Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Christiana Wayne
Thursday, August 26, 2021, 4:13 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

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The Pentagon confirmed at least 12 U.S. service members were killed in two terrorist attacks outside the Kabul airport resulting in an unknown number of total injuries and fatalities among bystanders, according to the New York Times. Reporters said at least 30 people have been brought to a nearby emergency room. Just hours before the attack, the United States and other governments warned of a security threat at the airport from ISIS-K, an Afghanistan affiliate of the Islamic State. A U.S. military official said that the blasts were caused by suicide bombers wearing explosive vests. The explosion occurred near Abbey Gate, the main entryway to the airport. The American embassy in Kabul urged American citizens to stay at home and, if at the airport, to leave immediately. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said, “We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US and civilian casualties.”

District Judge Linda Parker of the Federal District of Detroit ordered sanctions to be levied against Sidney Powell and other lawyers who worked on behalf of the conspiracy-driven lawsuit challenging the validity of the 2020 presidential election, reports the New York Times. In a 110-page opinion, Parker said the suit should never have been filed and was aimed at deceiving “a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed.” The Michigan lawsuit is part of the group known as the “Kraken” suits filed in courts around the country claiming that vote-counting machines had been compromised in a covert, coordinated effort to flip votes from the former president to President Biden.

Capitol Police officers filed a lawsuit against former President Trump, accusing him and nearly 20 other far-right extremists of plotting to disrupt the peaceful transition of power on Jan. 6, according to the New York Times. The complaint implicates members of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers militia, Trump associates like Roger J. Stone Jr. and others.The suit cites the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act which protects proceedings of Congress from violent conspiracies.

More than 100,000 people are hospitalized with coronavirus in the United States, the highest level since January, according to the Washington Post. Hospitalizations are highest in the South, where every state in the region has a higher proportion of its population hospitalized with coronavirus than the national average. As debates over mask mandates in schools continue, pediatric coronavirus hospitalizations are up to 2,100 nationally, surpassing 2,000 for the first time since August 2020.

Japan suspended the use of 1.63 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine after the distributor received reports of contaminants in some vials, according to Reuters. Both Japan and Moderna said the suspension is a precautionary measure and that no safety concerns have been identified. Moderna said the contamination could be due to an issue on the production line at a manufacturing facility in Spain.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jack Goldsmith interviews John Arquilla, an analyst with the RAND Corporation and professor emeritus with the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, about his new book, “Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare.”

Robert Chesney provided a case study of the Russian cyberespionage campaign that targeted SolarWinds.

Nicholas Weaver explained what we learned from the $600 million hack of the Poly Network.

Bryce Klehm announced this week’s Lawfare Live in which Lawfare’s Scott R. Anderson and David Priess will discuss developments in Afghanistan and what’s to come through the lenses of their own experiences working overseas for the U.S. government.

Klehm and Rohini Kurup posted a job announcement for spring 2022 internships with Lawfare.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

Christiana Wayne is a junior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studying history and English. She is an intern at Lawfare.

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