Today's Headlines and Commentary

Ritika Singh
Friday, September 7, 2012, 3:05 PM
Let's begin with the moment for which we've all been waiting with baited breath: the Obama administration's official decision on the Haqqani network. Drumroll, please. . . . They're bad guys.

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Let's begin with the moment for which we've all been waiting with baited breath: the Obama administration's official decision on the Haqqani network. Drumroll, please. . . . They're bad guys. The New York Times reports, as do the Washington Post and USA Today. Gretchen Peters, a researcher and consultant, has an op-ed in the Post in favor of the administration's designation. The Frenemy Press has had much to say on the subject too: the Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune reports that the Haqqanis---shocker---aren't happy, and senior commanders have said that "[t]he United States’ decision to designate the Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation shows it is not sincere about peace efforts in Afghanistan" and "[that t]he move will also bring hardship for U.S. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is being held by the militants." And Agence France Presse tells us that a senior Pakistani security official said that the designation will negatively impact future relations with Pakistan. In other news, as Wells noted yesterday, the Times reports that Judge Royce Lamberth of the D.C. District Court rejected the Obama administration's efforts to impose restrictions on counsel's access to detainees at Gitmo. Politico also has the story. Judge Lamberth corrected the opinion immediately after Wells noted an error in it in his post yesterday---but apparently, the correction did not occur because Judge Lamberth had been scanning Lawfare (although we certainly hope he has been reading it). In response to Ben’s Twitter suggestion that the court may have been responding to Wells’s post, the Times's Charlie Savage tweeted this morning, “I think, actually, it was bc I called his chambers & asked a clerk about it when I read that line.” Yeah, that’s probably it. President Obama's interview with CNN on drones is also generating cyberwaves. Wired's Danger Room is very critical, and Politico also reports. Here is the Hill on Senator John Kerry's foreign policy speech at the Democratic National Convention. Graham Allison, director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, has this op-ed about living in an "era of megaterror:"
One of the hardest truths about modern life is that the same advances in science and technology that enrich our lives also empower potential killers to achieve their deadliest ambitions. To imagine that we can escape this reality and return to a world in which we are invulnerable to future 9/11s or worse is an illusion. For as far as the eye can see, we will live in an era of megaterror.
Scott Horton offers his thoughts on the recently-released Human Rights Watch report outlining the CIA's torture of Libyan prisoners in Harper's, and Wired's Danger Room also has grisly details. CNN's Security Clearance blog reports that Judge Gregory Gross ordered that Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hassan be forcibly shaved for his trial. And, here, from the Onion, is what you missed at the DNC---it's today's Moment of Most Excellent Zen:
CHARLOTTE, NC—Drawing thunderous applause and roars of approval from the 20,000 Democrats in attendance, top party officials released all 168 remaining detainees from the Guantánamo Bay detention facility into the Time Warner Cable Arena on Thursday. “Are you ready to rectify one of the gravest moral failings and grossest miscarriages of justice in American history?” Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz shouted from the convention podium before lifting a curtain to reveal dozens of enemy combatants, all of whom immediately sprinted into the crowd of wildly cheering liberals and out the facility’s exits. “Justice is finally served!” At press time, the FBI was responding to a report of a possible dirty-bomb detonation in the immediate Charlotte, NC area.

Ritika Singh was a project coordinator at the Brookings Institution where she focused on national security law and policy. She graduated with majors in International Affairs and Government from Skidmore College in 2011, and wrote her thesis on Russia’s energy agenda in Europe and its strategic implications for America.

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