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April 17, 2009

NSN Daily Update 4/17/2009
Posted by The National Security Network

See today's complete daily update here.

What We’re Reading

President Obama released Bush era memos from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Council authorizing the CIA to use waterboarding and other techniques widely accepted as constituting torture.  One of the more chilling memos was written by Jay Bybee, who served as the OLC’s Assistant Attorney General and now serves as a judge on the ninth circuit court of appeals. Dafna Linzer at Pro Publica points to one of the memos that mentions Hassan Guhl, a so-called ghost detainee whose whereabouts and detention status have been uncertain since his arrest in 2004.

President Obama visited Mexico and pledged that the U.S. would be a better partner in the drug wars, but stopped short of promising an assault weapons ban.

President Obama said that Cuba has to make the next move in working towards better relations.  Raul Castro says Cuba is ready “to discuss everything” with President Obama.

A U.S. patrol ambushed a group of Taliban fighters, a shift in tactics that has rallied American forces in the area.  The Taliban exploit class rifts to gain ground in Pakistan.

Commentary of the Day

Bush administration officials, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, criticized President Obama’s release of the torture memos. The Washington Post called the move “courageous.”

Philip Stevens says President Obama needs to further loosen Cuba restrictions after half a century of failed policies.

Iranian scholar Changiz Pahlavan has advice for the U.S. on Afghanistan.


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