Today's Headlines and Commentary

Raffaela Wakeman
Thursday, September 1, 2011, 12:46 PM
I'm in the process of collecting and posting reviews of and commentary on Vice President Dick Cheney's book that will be of interest to Lawfare readers.

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I'm in the process of collecting and posting reviews of and commentary on Vice President Dick Cheney's book that will be of interest to Lawfare readers. If you have found noteworthy ones, please send them to me at Reuters reports that the Obama administration is in the process of selling Global Hawk drones to South Korea. As Ben noted yesterday, Peter Finn and Julie Tate at the Washington Post have the scoop on information coming out of court documents from a Hudson, NY court house concerning the CIA's Rendition program. The documents have been made available because of a billing dispute between contractors:
On Aug. 12, 2003, a Gulfstream IV aircraft carrying six passengers took off from Dulles International Airport and flew to Bangkok with fueling stops in Cold Bay, Alaska, and Osaka, Japan. Before it returned four days later, the plane also touched down in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland. As these unusual flights happened, U.S. officials took custody of an Indonesian terrorist, Riduan Isamuddin, who had been captured in Thailand and would spend the next three years being shuttled among secret prisons operated by the CIA.
The Gulfstream IV’s itinerary, as well as the $339,228.05 price tag for the journey, are among the details of shadowy CIA flights that have emerged in a small Upstate New York courthouse in a billing dispute between contractors. The court documents offer a rare glimpse of the costs and operations of the controversial rendition program.
For all the secrecy that once surrounded the CIA program, a significant part of its operation was entrusted to very small aviation companies whose previous experience involved flying sports teams across the country.
Adam Zagorin at Time's Battleland Blog writes on this developing story here, the Guardian covers it here, and Stephen Braun at the AP also has a brief story on this topic. Over at the Politico, Josh Gerstein reports that Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA officer indicted last year for allegedly leaking intelligence regarding a CIA effort to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program, has filed a request for more information about other potential sources of the leak, including the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's General Counsel at the time, Vicki Divoll. Sterling's lawyers suggest that Divoll was fired from the Committee for leaking information to the New York Times, which Divoll, who was also a lawyer for the CIA and the Clinton White House, denies. In its most recent annual report on terrorism, the State Department finds that Pakistan is not capable of prosecuting terror suspects (reporting that 3 out of 4 suspects are aquitted). The Telegraph's Dean Nelson writes on the results of the report. Doug Johnson at PBS's blog The Rundown reports on how the drone strike that killed al Qaeda's second in command last week is increasing animosity between the U.S. and Pakistan, and the disagreement over the number of civilian deaths from drone attacks. Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations writes on on whether or not the U.S. overuses drones in warfare. Scott Shane at the Times covers Wikileaks' most recent release of diplomatic cables, in which it did not redact the names of sources needing special protection, diplomats, and government officials concerned that may put them in danger.
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Raffaela Wakeman is a Senior Director at In-Q-Tel. She started her career at the Brookings Institution, where she spent five years conducting research on national security, election reform, and Congress. During this time she was also the Associate Editor of Lawfare. From there, Raffaela practiced law at the U.S. Department of Defense for four years, advising her clients on privacy and surveillance law, cybersecurity, and foreign liaison relationships. She departed DoD in 2019 to join the Majority Staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where she oversaw the Intelligence Community’s science and technology portfolios, cybersecurity, and surveillance activities. She left HPSCI in May 2021 to join IQT. Raffaela received her BS and MS in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009 and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2015, where she was recognized for her commitment to public service with the Joyce Chiang Memorial Award. While at the Department of Defense, she was the inaugural recipient of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s General Counsel Award for exhibiting the highest standards of leadership, professional conduct, and integrity.

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