Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 4:07 PM

At the Atlantic, the New York Times' Mark Mazzetti discusses where he gets his news. Thanks for the shout-out to Lawfare,  Mark! We read your work, too.

The White House released its 2014 budget request today.  Spencer Ackerman points out over at Wired that defense spending on drones will drop significantly, due to fewer acquisitions by the Air Force, the Army and the Navy.

Two more stories about Bitcoin, the increasingly valuable online currency.  Does the rise of Bitcoin, which isn't distributed by national governments, threaten the stability of our financial markets---and, by extension, national security? Here are Caitlin Dewey of the Washington Post and Noam Cohen of the New York Times.

Senator Patrick Leahy gets his wish: he and all other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will get to review the infamous Office of Legal Counsel memoranda on the targeted killing of U.S. citizens.  The Hill's Jordy Yager has the news.

Reuters tells us that a second DHS official working on cybersecurity issues, Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, will leave her post.  (The first, cybersecurity chief Mark Weatherford, announced his departure last month.)   Thus new personnel will have to implement President Obama's recent executive order on cyber matters.

Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee is marking up CISPA, a cybersecurity and information-sharing bill.  Jennifer Martinez and Brendan Sasso of The Hill discuss amendments that will be considered in the session.

Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats takes an aggressive stance on China and its pattern of alleged cyberattacks. So we learn from William Wan in the Washington Post.  Apropos, the Economist's lengthy piece is chock full of details about cyberattacks in the U.S., and their likely originators in China. The article ominously concludes:

The Chinese army’s doctrine of cyber-warfare (like that of a number of Western counterparts) is to knock out the enemy’s information infrastructure, and its doctrine of cyber-security is to go on the offensive to defend itself against attacks. The Chinese authorities often point out, correctly, that they are the victims of frequent cyber-attacks from America. Thousands of such attacks are also carried out from Russia and Brazil every year. But more of them originate from China than from anywhere else in the world, and at least some of them are undeniably linked to the party-state. That Chinese model may well prove attractive to other countries.

Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese dissident living in the U.S., wants Congress to pressure the White House to release certain evidence allegedly in its possession---namely,  proof that the Chinese government promised that it would not harm Chen's family members after his departure from the country.  But, Chen says, China has breached that promise, as Karen DeYoung reports in this Post piece.

Over in Qatar, a Taliban delegation is idle, maybe even bored.  It certainly isn't negotating with its counterpart from the U.S., in any event.  According to the New York Times' Rod Nordland, the group "remains idle," and its political office goes "unused."

Speaking of the Taliban, Declan Walsh of the Times reports on the group's advances and growing influence in northern Pakistan. The country's national elections are scheduled for next month.

Ratko Mladic, a Bosnian Serb and notorious ICTY war crimes defendant, was removed from court earlier today.   The cause was Mladic's in-court outburst, itself brought on by witness testimony about the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. AFP has the story.

Bird Flu 2.0 watch continues: two more people have died from a new strain of the virus in China. In total, 28 cases have been confirmed, reports the New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray has an update on a Senate immigration reform bill. It would prevent immigrants in the U.S. illegally from receiving green cards---until law enforcement officials find a way to monitor the entire southern border and prevent at least 90% of all illegal border crossings in certain areas.

I know I have been dying to see the Navy's drone-destroying laser in action.  I was therefore thrilled to find this Navy-produced video on Youtube. The cost of using a laser to strike a drone? $1, according to Bloomberg.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter and check out the Lawfare News Feed, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief,  Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll, and Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief and Cyber Brief. Email Raffaela Wakeman and Ritika Singh noteworthy articles to include, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.