Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 3:52 PM

Let’s begin with Senate news. Our favorite group of people has voted to end debate on Chuck Hagel’s nomination, reports Sara Murray at the Wall Street Journal. The majority vote for Secretary of Defense is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST. Stay tuned.

Mark Hosenball reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee has closed its inquiry into whether Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers had inappropriate access to the CIA. The cool kids seem to have lost interest after the film didn’t win best picture.

And Pam Benson of CNN’s Security Clearance blog tells us that the White House will give the Senate Intelligence Committee access today to “the e-mails associated with the development of the intelligence community's talking points on the attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi.”

Another of Security Clearance's correspondents, Barbara Starr, informs us that the United States and Pakistan have agreed to work together to develop a more inert version of a fertilizer that has been used by terrorists to make IEDs and other bombs.

In the fallout from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s order that U.S. Special Operations forces leave Wardak province, Richard Leiby of the Washington Post reports that a joint commission of Afghan and NATO officials will investigate the claims that led to President Karzai’s decision. Here is the Karzai government’s position on its website, and Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times tells us that as of now, very few details are known about the allegations.

Ex-CIA head Michael Hayden advocated for greater oversight of the drone program, according to Josh Gerstein of Politico. On Sunday Hayden said: “I don't think it's a court, but some sort of review, a commission named by the president and Congress that doesn't get in the chain of command, but reviews drone operations and reports to both of the political branches with very prominent and trustworthy Americans.”

As Wells posted earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Clapper v. Amnesty International that the plaintiffs---American lawyers, activists, and others---lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of a government surveillance program.  In making their case for standing, the plaintiffs had argued that their communications with foreign contacts overseas were likely to be intercepted under the program and that they had taken costly steps to avoid interception.  Here is Adam Liptak of the Times with more.

A Dutch-Pakistani gentleman known as Sabir K. will be extradited to the United States by the Netherlands for “allegedly plotting a suicide attack on an American military base in Afghanistan,” says the AP.

Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room blog writes about the latest discussions on Shumukh, an online jihadi forum.

Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post discusses the number of Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memos that have been issued during the Obama administration.

David Sanger writes in the Times about the “worsening cyber-cold war” between the U.S. and China.

Check out this interesting profile of Aaron Swartz by Noam Scheiber in the New Republic.

And, I get quite a lot of interesting SPAM in my Lawfare capacity, but I have to say, this particular email takes the cake---it’s today’s Moment of Zen:

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