Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Monday, June 17, 2013, 10:20 AM

As John noted over the weekend, Clifford Sloan has been selected as the Department of State's envoy for closing the GTMO detention center. Here are the Washington Post story and Politico story on the decision.

The Guardian has released yet another wave of classified materials, this time from the British agency GCHQ. They indicate that foreign government officials' communications were monitored during international conferences. Here are Scott Shane and Ravi Somaiya with details in the Times.

Edward Snowden will be answering reader questions live at 11AM eastern time at the Guardian's website.

Now that the House has passed its version of the NDAA, attention shifts to the Senate's deliberations on the appropriations bill. Late last week, the Senate Armed Services committee approved its iteration, which is markedly different from the House-approved version. Here's Carlo Munoz in The Hill with the details.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is coming out swinging against U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. His remarks as released by his office included the following statement:

Just as I have stood against American military operations in Afghanistan where civilians were killed, where civilians were wounded, where civilian homes were destroyed, I fully will stand with Pakistan against any activity by any foreign power that causes civilian casualties in Pakistan. . .

Yaroslav Trofimov discusses President Karzai's remarks at the Wall Street Journal.

Former top-CIA official John McLaughlin blogs at Foreign Policy about the public debate, and makes predictions about the ultimate outcome:

In the end, we will all get comfortable with some not-so-very different version of it, perhaps buttressed by a more consensus-based legal foundation. In the process, we will have created a public guidebook to how we do this type of intelligence, and our citizens will be much more educated and sophisticated about our intelligence methods.

But so will those who want to know all of this even more desperately than we do. There is no having it both ways.

Over the weekend, Facebook and Microsoft released data about information they've supplied to the NSA, but Google says the permissions granted by the U.S. government aren't as permissive as it would like. Nicole Perlroth reports in the New York Times

The Times's David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth discuss the implications of the Snowden leaks on his former employer, defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

Meanwhile, intelligence officials seconded U.S. Senators' defense of the PRISM program, arguing that it's thwarted dozens of terrorist plots. Here's Michael Isikoff reporting at NBC.

The way in which President Obama was persuaded to change his tack on Syria---a pincer action by SecState Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague---emerged over the weekend. Here's the Daily Mail with the play-by-play.

And the U.S. will leave a number of F-16s and Patriot missiles in Jordan in an attempt to pressure the Assad regime, the Times tells us. The Journal also has a story.

Washington Post editorial over the weekend focused on the still-classified the cyber operations policy directive that was leaked by Edward Snowden. It concludes:

Certainly, this leak must have pained the White House. But on balance, it is a good sign that the imponderables of fighting a cyberwar are being examined and clarified. Better now, before trouble arrives, than in the midst of crisis or after conflict has broken out.

Major Nidal Hassan won't be permitted to argue that he was protecting the Taliban when he opened fire in Fort Hood back in 2009The Times explains the military judge's decision.

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