Today's Headlines and Commentary

Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 12:46 PM
In spite of the weather, the Senate had enough senators present on Monday evening to confirm Janet Yellen as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Colleen LaRose, a.k.a. "Jihad Jane," was sentenced to ten years in prison for providing material support to terrorism.

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In spite of the weather, the Senate had enough senators present on Monday evening to confirm Janet Yellen as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Colleen LaRose, a.k.a. "Jihad Jane," was sentenced to ten years in prison for providing material support to terrorism. The disparity in the potential maximum sentence (life) and her ultimate sentence seemed to derive from her "extensive" cooperation with law enforcement. Read Ashby Jones's Wall Street Journal piece. Glenn Greenwald eases fears that the news media may have run out of Edward Snowden-fed leaks related to Israel---that story is over at Reuters. On the topic of Snowden, Kelsey Atherton of Popular Science flags a 1996 article in Cryptologic Quarterly (yes, that's really a journal) highlighting the threat posed by rogue system administrators. And Secrecy News pulls from the archives a 1994 CIA memorandum addressed to the DCI proposing in-house GAO oversight of NSA activities. Bruce Schneier, meanwhile, makes a case at the Atlantic for the position that NSA poses a threat to, rather than helps to protect, national security. The back-and-forth interpreting DNI Clapper's misleading statement last March before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence goes on: Steven Aftergood has a slightly different take on that situation over at Secrecy News:
If DNI Clapper “lied,” it was to them, not to the Senate Intelligence Committee, that he did so. But the Committee permitted that deception to occur, and to persist, and so it must take its share of responsibility for that.  Yet unlike the DNI (who apologized, several months after the fact, saying he misunderstood the question), the Committee has not acknowledged any failure on its part. When Senator Wyden posed his question in open session, he was evidently attempting to corner the DNI and to compel him to involuntarily reveal classified information about the NSA bulk collection program. At the time, it seemed to be a clever rhetorical maneuver. Even if the DNI refused to respond or requested to answer the question in closed session, that would have indicated that something pertinent was being concealed. However, by answering falsely, the DNI turned the tables on Senator Wyden and the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Whether by design or not (almost certainly not), the DNI’s response challenged the Committee to make its own choice either to disclose classified information about the NSA program — in order to rebut and correct the DNI’s answer — or else to acquiesce in the dissemination of false information to the public.
The situation in Iraq deteriorates. On Monday, Vioe President Joe Biden spoke with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and voiced his support for the country; the two Iraqi leaders, one Shiite, the other Sunni, have traded punches in the past. And the White House defended its decision not to reengage in Iraq after rebels took control of Fallujah, responding to criticisms by Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham of U.S. inaction. Meanwhile, the White House continues to emphasize the urgency of reaching an agreement with the Afghan government on a post-2014 U.S. military presence in that country. Here's Kristina Wong at The Hill. Today's New York Times features an op-ed by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, co-authors of the 2003 book The Age of Sacred Terror. They say the Egyptian government's decision to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization will exacerbate, not improve, the tensions there. Paul flagged former CIA-er John Rizzo's book Company Man yesterday. Today, Rizzo appeared on NPR's Morning Edition to talk shop about the book, and Walter Pincus takes a look at the book in his column today. 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.

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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