Today's Headlines and Commentary

Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 11:29 AM
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has released a report on the alleged unauthorized data transfers from Huwai systems in the U.S. to computers in China; the report is entitled "Investigative Report on the U.S.

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The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has released a report on the alleged unauthorized data transfers from Huwai systems in the U.S. to computers in China; the report is entitled "Investigative Report on the U.S. National Security Issues Posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE." Here's Brendan Sasso's story in The Hill, and Ellen Nakashima's report in the Washington Post. Huwai, for its part, denies the allegations and calls the report "quite strong on rhetoric" and "utterly lacking in substance." It seems that the Obama administration is discussing its cybersecurity order with Senate staffers, as well as with the private sector. But of course, the GOP says that's not enough. Here's The Hill's report on that, as well as a report from Senator Joseph Lieberman that the order could come in the next month. The Washington Post editorializes that a cybersecurity policy executive order is "better than taking no action at all." The Department of Defense isn't the only part of federal government using drones. Here's Spencer Ackerman of Wired discussing the Department of Homeland Security's cautious embrace of unmanned aerial vehicles in a program called Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS). Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno was on Fox News Monday to discuss insider attacks. Justin Sink of The Hill has the video here. White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan is visiting Tripoli to help get the FBI investigation into the Benghazi attack moving. But meanwhile, it seems that the White House is still a bit undecided as to how to proceed with punishing those responsible for the deaths for Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. According to an anonymous administration official cited in this article in the Post, the FBI's involvement does not necessarily mean that the perpetrators will be prosecuted in U.S. Court. Our own John Bellinger III was interviewed for the article and believes that they will be brought to trial in the U.S. civilian court system, though. He said:
I would tend to think that this administration — and frankly even the Bush administration or a Romney administration — would try hard to apply a criminal law enforcement approach if possible[.]
The LA Times has this interview with Notre Dame law professor Mary Ellen O'Connell on her "lonely" position stridently opposing the Obama administration's drone strike policy. It cites her famous debate with Ben:
Benjamin Wittes...put O'Connell on the defensive in a debate two years ago by challenging her to take her position to its logical conclusion — as he put it, "that President Obama is a serial killer." She fumbled her response. But upon reflection, she sees some parallels to the abortion debate. One can believe, as she does strongly, that abortion is deeply immoral, without labeling women who have abortions as murderers. "I feel the same way about targeted killing," she said. "I understand that Americans don't ... see it, but we want the practice to end. I don't think President Obama should go to jail for it."
Speaking of critics of drone strikes, CBS News updates us on the protests along the Afghan-Pakistan border, which includes thousands of Pakistanis and members of CODEPINK and Reprieve representatives. And for all of you D.C. Metro riders, keep an eye out for a new and uncouth set of ads from the "American Freedom Defense Initiative." They read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, Defeat Jihad." These ads have also appeared in San Francisco and New York, and in both New York and DC judges had to step in to force the public transportation systems to run the ads despite security concerns. Here's a New York Times article about the controversy in the Big Apple last month. Some news from south of the border: the Mexican Navy reported yesterday that it believes that it's killed the founder of the Zetas, one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords, Heriberto Lazcano (aka El Lazca). Here's Randal Archibold of the New York Times with that news. 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, and check out the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events.

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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