Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Thursday, May 17, 2012, 10:41 AM

We've already commented on the court ruling in the Christopher Hedges case over the detention provisions of the NDAA: Steve here, Ben here, and Bobby here. Reuters reports on it here.

Linda Greenhouse's New York Times column today is on the cert petitions coming from Guantanamo and now teed up for Supreme Court consideration. She concludes with a plea to the Court:

Maybe the justices, or a majority of them, think the D. C. Circuit is calling it right. Maybe the D.C. Circuit is right. That’s not the point. Rather, it seems to me that a court that had so much institutional pride just a few years ago ought to care enough now not to let itself be dissed by lower court judges who, in the system as I understand it, owe the Supreme Court obedience rather than on- and off-the-bench sniping. Let the Supreme Court take the reins back into its own hands and, as Chief Justice John Marshall famously promised, tell us what the law is.

The New Yorker's Amy Davidson interviews Ali Soufan, the author of The Black Banners, on former CIA official Jose Rodriguez. And Jane Sutton of Reuters reports that defense counsel for the alleged 9/11 co-conspirators have requested that Rodriguez be called to testify in the military commission case.

Attorney for Abu Zubaydah Joseph Margulies has this op-ed in the LA Times urging the U.S. to charge his client with a crime. And CBS News interviewed Margulies as well.

In a Senate Judiciary Hearing, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said that the FBI is investigating how details about the Al Qaeda plot that was thwarted was leaked to the Associated Press. Michael Schmidt at the New York Times reports. And Corey Flintoff at NPR attempts to answer the question of why terrorists target planes, collecting responses from a number of analysts and scholars.

The House of Representatives is debating those proposed amendments to the 2013 NDAA today, writes Pete Kasperowicz at The Hill. As Bobby wrote yesterday, the President is threatening to veto the bill over, among other reasons, proposed detention provisions in the bill. Austin Wright at Politico has more details on the threat here.

Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic shares a video of Charles Krauthammer arguing against permitting drones in domestic airspace. Says Friedersdorf:

Still, when a prominent neoconservative calls for a ban on the domestic use of drones and invokes the aversion of the Founders to a standing army, it's a good day. Now if only he'll persuade some of his fellow neoconservatives to go along, reconsider his support for illegal, warrantless spying by the NSA, and reflect on the civil-liberties-destroying effects of unchecked executive power...

Ben says he will post later today on why both Krauthammer and Friedersdorf are out to lunch on this matter—after he goes out to lunch.

It is believed that a U.S. drone strike has killed three Islamist militants in Yemen. Read the Reuters piece here.

Jordy Yager over at The Hill tells us that the Senate Intelligence Committee will complete a report on enhanced interrogation techniques that's been in the works for three years this summer.

The Taliban attacked the office of Farah Province's governor, killing at least 11 people. Rob Nordland at the Times reports.

You didn't think Pakistan would give NATO access to the Pakistan-Afghan border for free, did you? Pakistan is requesting $5,000 for each NATO shipping container and tanker using the crossing, a sticking point in the negotiations between Pakistan and U.S. officials, write Richard Leiby and Karen DeYoung in the Washington Post.

Ellen Nakashima reports on a Carnegie Mellon University CyLab survey of 108 global companies on their computer and information security risk management over at the Post. In other cybersecurity news, looks like Howard Schmidt, who has been the White House's cybersecurity coordinator for the past two and a half years, is retiring.

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