Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Karen Greenberg in Lawfare (blog), May 14, 2012

Media Source

A former Al Shabab military commander has turned out to be our kind of terrorist—he “has become a cooperating witness and is expected to testify for the United States government in a trial this summer in Manhattan,” reports the New York Times.

From the Department of Recreational Waterboarding: Turns out Senator Bill Nelson of FL asked the CIA to waterboard him—a request the Agency unsurprisingly denied, according to the Post.


The Daily Beast informs us that Ibrahim al-Asiri, the AQAP bomb-maker who designed the two failed underwear bombs as well as the failed printer cartridge bombs, is experimenting with surgically implanting bombs in—you guessed it—terrorists’ love handles.

Eleven suspected militants were killed by drone strikes in Yemen on Saturday, says the Associated Press. Meanwhile, John Brennan met Yemen’s president the next day to discuss closer cooperation between the two countries on foiling AQAP’s plots and finding Ibrahim al-Asiri. The Times reports.

According to Reuters, Sen. Dianne Feinstein didn’t hold back about Mr. Al-Asiri on Fox News Sunday. “I am hopeful that we will be able to, candidly, kill this bomb maker and kill some of these other associates, because there is a dangerous process in play at the present time,” she said.

The Hill‘s Defcon Hill blog reports that the House plans to revisit the contentious issue of whether suspected terrorists arrested on U.S. soil can be held indefinitely.

The AP tells us that Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers wrote a letter to Convening Authority Bruce MacDonald asking the government to finally charge their client.

Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad, writes on CNN’s web site that the mission to find Osama Bin Laden was “more Agatha Christie than 24,” and says that the ”role of interrogations, whether they were coercive or not, seems to have played only a partial role in the hunt for bin Laden.”

Read the impassioned letter that four members of Congress sent to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urging the State Department to officially classify the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organization. The Hill has more.


L. Gordon Crovitz writes in the Wall Street Journal about the 9/11 military commission, as does Karen Greenberg of Fordham Law.


The AP describes U.S.-Pakistani negotiations about re-opening Pakistan’s border supply routes ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago.


Wired’s Danger Room blog describes the the Pentagon’s public memo about drones.


And look, from Press TV, comes this encouraging story of one interest and one enemy the United States and Iran have in common—today’s Moment of Zen.