Today's Headlines and Commentary

Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 10:54 AM
Headlines and Commentary took the beautiful and long weekend off (and we hope you did, too).

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Headlines and Commentary took the beautiful and long weekend off (and we hope you did, too). Here's what you may have missed in the news over the weekend: Al Qaeda’s #2 in Afghanistan's, Sakhr al Taifi, was killed in an airstrike, reports the Long War Journal and the New York Times' Rod Nordland. David Ignatius has this column on a PBS documentary on Al Qaeda, which is airing tonight on Frontline. Ben already noted this New York Times piece on Obama's counterterrorism record. Scott Sayare writes in the New York Times' Saturday Profile on Lakhdar Boumediene's efforts to start anew after being released to France in mid-2009. The Atlantic Wire notes that someone may be surreptitiously taking photos of KSM and posting them on Al Ebdaa Media, a jihadist website. A virus 20 times the size of the Stuxnet virus, which attacked Iranian nuclear plan centrifuges a few years back, has been discovered. Called Flame, Skywiper, or Flamer, it is believed to be a state-sponsored virus, writes Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post. Nicole Perlroth at the New York Times Bits Blog writes that it has been infecting computers across the Middle East for over two years. Dave Lee at BBC News also has a story on the virus. Brendan Sasso at The Hill tells us that the House is considering a  mostly unpopular proposal authorizing the United Nations to gain additional control over the Internet which has already been backed by China, Russia, Brazil, and India, among other members of the UN. Speaking of international agreements causing a rucus on the Hill, David Weigel writes at Foreign Policy about conservative opposition to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It looks as though the U.S. will be helping to arm Italy's Reaper drones, reports Adam Entous at the Wall Street Journal (caution: $$) and Fox News. Larry Abramson has this story on NPR's All Things Considered on the Air Force's plan to turn its attention to the vintage U-2 instead of seeking funding for the Global Hawk. The U-2 costs less and can do almost everything the Global Hawk can do. Daniel Klaidman is coming out with a new book (available June 5th) entitled Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency. Check out this excerpt from his book on drones over at the Daily Beast. Conor Friedersdorf comments on John Yoo's recent remarks on domestic drone use over at the Atlantic. Two men of Somali descent have been arrested in Denmark on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack in the country. The AP has the story. The Senate Armed Services Committee left untouched a Pentagon plan to retire the Global Hawk in the 2013 NDAA, which puts the chamber's version in conflict with the House's version of the bill. Jeremy Herb at The Hill has the story. And Carlo Munoz takes a look at the approved funding in the Senate's bill, finding a line item for $75 million to support U.S. counterterrorism operations in Yemen and East Africa, signaling a greater commitment to efforts to thwart AQAP and other Al Qaeda cells in the region. Although  there were reports that the U.S. is sending spies into North Korea, the U.S. military is denying it, reports Chico Harlan at the Washington Post. Albert Hunt reviews Jack's book, Power and Constraint: The Accountable President After 9/11 in Bloomberg. Carlo Munoz at The Hill also has this piece on the USS Illinois, the first all-female staffed Navy submarine, which First Lady Michelle Obama sponsored. 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, Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief, and Fordham Law’s Cyber Brief. Email us noteworthy articles we may have missed at and

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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