Today's Headlines and Commentary

Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 11:10 AM
With all the focus on the Iowa Caucuses today, there is scant news to share, but here goes: reported over the weekend that the U.S.

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With all the focus on the Iowa Caucuses today, there is scant news to share, but here goes: reported over the weekend that the U.S. is considering releasing Mullah Mohammed Fazl, a Taliban commander detained in Guantanamo, as part of peace talks with the Taliban. The Taliban reportedly has a deal to open a liaison office in Qatar, to aid in its negotiations with the international community, reports the AP. The trial of Amir Mirza Hekmati, an American accused of spying on Iran, is expected to be decided soon, reports Reuters. The Wall Street Journal's Review & Outlook page writes (caution: paywall) on what it categorizes as the latest Islamist front: Nigeria. A Green Beret was arrested on Saturday at Midland International Airport in Texas with explosives. Read the AP's story here. The Israeli legal advocacy group Shurat HaDin has threatened to sue Twitter if it doesn't eliminate accounts linked to organizations designated by the U.S. as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Adam Rawnsley over at Wired's Danger Room blog reports. While W.J. Hennigan at the LA Times reports that the Air Force has just purchased a next-gen $15M drone, Jill Laster at the Air Force Times writes on the results of a 2008 capstone course at the Air Force Academy, culminating in designs for a new drone which may become the next UAV model. Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman at the Journal write on the increasing tension between the Obama administration and members of Congress over drone policy. The San Francisco Gate's Bob Egelko summarizes the ACLU's Liberty Watch 2012, which scores each presidential candidate on key issues. It finds significant fault with President Obama and gives him one "torch" for his failure to close Guantanamo Bay. Eyder Peralta over at NPR collects coverage of the hack on Israeli credit cards, claimed by a Saudi hacker. The Long War Journal's Thomas Joscelyn reports that Abu al Bara'a Abdul Aziz bin Attash, the son of a prominent al Qaeda family, was killed by Ethiopian forces in Somalia. Over at NPR, Mark Memmott reports on Iran's missile test and its claims that it has produced a nuclear fuel rod. Read today's LWOT here. For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, and visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief as well as the Fordham Law Center on National Security’s Morning Brief. Feel free to email me noteworthy articles we may have missed at

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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