Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Friday, August 2, 2013, 1:35 PM

As Paul noted, Timothy Edgar, former Deputy for Civil Liberties for the DNI, and Director of Privacy and Civil Liberties for the White House National Security Staff, authored this Wall Street Journal op-ed defending the NSA surveillance programs and calling for more transparency.

Former head of the NSA Michael Hayden also penned an op-ed on surveillance matters, over at CNN.

Brendan Sasso explains the bill proposed by Democratic Senators Blumenthal, Wyden and Udall to reform the FISC.

Today's Journal editorial criticizes Russia for harboring Edward Snowden. And the New York Times collected Tweets from prominent citizens of the Motherland, who welcomed Snowden to the country.

No big surprise here:  it's no longer clear that President Obama will make his long-planned trip to Moscow this fall, writes Mark Landler in the Times.

U.S. diplomatic missions around the world will be shuttered on Sunday, in response to a terror threat, as Mark Mazzetti reports over at the Times.  The security measures surely were influenced in part by last September's Benghazi Attack, and Carlo Munoz writes at The Hill that the CIA is conducting monthly polygraphs to keep an eye on employees with knowledge of what happened during it---the idea being to prevent further unauthorized disclosures.

Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News notes some updates to the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement, the form signed by every person who receives a security clearance.

Over at the Journal is this important piece, on law enforcement's growing use of cyber-hacker tactics.

On the topic of hacking, several so-called "Black Hat" exhibitions---ones demonstrating how easily (or not) industrial systems can be co-opted---are described over at the MIT Technology Review.

A dispute between NATO and Afghanistan over payments for cargo shipments has been resolved.  The Afghan government has relented, and will waive customs fines on outbound U.S. military cargo. Here are Ernesto Londono of the Washington Post and Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times.

SecState Kerry made headlines yesterday when he indicated that the U.S. and Pakistan were nearing agreement on the U.S.'s use of drone strikes in Pakistani territory. However, the White House retreated from SecState's remarks back in Washington yesterday, saying that there is no plan to eliminate the drone program in the near future. Carlo Munoz, of The Hill, updates us.

So what if Congress hasn't yet agreed to fund the government after September? At least the Senate's confirmed a few of the President's recent nominees to their posts: we've got a new FBI Director, the first Senate-confirmed ATF director in 7 years, a new U.N. Ambassador, and a re-confirmed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Bradley Manning trial has come to its sentencing phase. The Post's Julie Tate tells us about testimony given by the head of a special task force responsible for assessing damage caused by Manning's leaks. The witness provided some statistics on his team's work: 125 people, working 24 hours a day, from August 2010 through September 2010, at a cost of $6.2M.

In this week's print edition of The Economist is a review of privacy and civil liberties over the last ten years in the United States. The magazine concludes that "America's values ought not to have become casualties of Mr. Bush's war on terror."

Fox News reports on Mexican drug cartels' efforts to recruit American soldiers to join their ranks.

And I almost got through an entire roundup without referring to GTMO---but not quite.  Yesterday President Obama met with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to discuss, among other things, the repatriation of Yemeni GTMO detainees. It seems that they've agreed to "cooperate closely to enable the return" to Yemen of those detainees cleared for transfer, writes McClatchy reporter Lesley Clark.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll and blog, 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.