Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 10:24 AM

Carol Rosenberg wrote about yesterday's arguments in the 9/11 hearings on defense counsel's request for access to the Red Cross's reports of its interviews with the five accused. That's in the Miami Herald.

Yesterday's House intelligence committee hearing with top intelligence agency and DOJ officials drew a big crowd and much news: Wired explores the DOJ's efforts to conceal the NSA's role in collecting evidence against a man convicted for providing material support to Al Shabab; Peter Finn and Gregg Miller of the Washington Post explore another aspect of the hearing: the collaboration between U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies in foiling two other terrorist attacks.

Dana Milbank's column in the Post today branded the hearing a "pep rally" for the FISC. Watch video from the hearing here.

The New York Times editorial today focuses on President Obama's interview with Charlie Rose and yesterday's House intelligence hearing. It argues:

If the president is serious about declassifying some secrets, he should have said he would start with the court. And at the top of the list should be its opinion that broadened the Patriot Act to allow the collection of every phone record, a power that surprised even the Republican lawmakers who wrote the act. The opinion is the subject of a federal lawsuit, and the Obama administration has fought its release. Mr. Obama should publicly support a bill, sponsored by a bipartisan group of at least eight senators, that would require the court’s opinions to be made public.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin isn't so sure about the prospects of passing the Senate's version of the defense authorization bill prior to its August recess. Jeremy Herb reports in The Hill.

Additional developments in Afghanistan beyond the formal takeover of Afghan security force control broke yesterday: the Taliban there announced it's open to talks with the Afghan government, reopening its Doha office, and the United States signaled that it's open to talks with the Taliban (BBC News and The Hill). This latest item has displeased Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who announced hes's suspending negotiations with the United States (The Hill).

The Washington Post editorializes on the prospect of a U.S.-Taliban peace talk, urging U.S. negotiators to adopt a tough line to make it clear that "waiting it out" is not an option for the Taliban.

Ernesto Londono reports in the Post on the U.S./international community's response to past and future uses of WMD by the Assad regime.

Times appear to be hard at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where a few recent war crimes suspects have been acquitted and someone leaked a damning email authored by one of the Court's judges that claimed that external influence on the court was taking its toll. There's a BBC story documenting all of that.

Al Qaeda attacked a U.N. compound in Mogadishu today; three guards were killed along with nine militants. Here's the Wall Street Journal with more.

The Times tells us the latest in the Sprint-SoftBank-Clearwire-Dish saga: Dish is backing out of its bid for Sprint, but will forge ahead in its efforts to acquire Clearwire.

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