Execution justification. The Obama administration announced late yesterday it will release a secret memo explaining the president’s legal justification for using drones to kill American citizens overseas. President Barack Obama has faced criticism from Republicans and some Democrats over the program, which has killed several American-born al-Qaeda operatives. Officials finally agreed to release the document after a federal appeals court required them to do so under the Freedom of Information Act. The memo is getting a lot of attention in Washington this morning as the Senate prepares to vote on the nomination of its author, Harvard professor and former Justice Department official David Barron, to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Internet bust. Investigators busted a major child pornography ring in New York today. Among the perpetrators were a rabbi, a Little League coach, a police officer, and a Boy Scout leader. In all, officers arrested 60 people and collected more than 600 computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices. Officials say the bust was one of the largest child pornography operations of its kind, involving cooperation between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and local law enforcement officers. The alleged predators used peer-to-peer file-sharing networks to trade photos, documents, and videos online.
Human pawn. Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Iranian American pastor Saeed Abedini, jailed for his faith in Iran, says her husband may be an important part of the nuclear talks going on with that rogue country. Saeed Abedini was severely beaten and taken from a hospital back to prison Monday. Attorney Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said U.S. negotiators have been asking about Abedini separately from the main talks. But the Iranian government might have seized the opportunity to use him as leverage. As the talks have broken down, Nagmeh Abedini says she fears for her husband’s life.
Stalemate. Talks in Vienna between Iran and the West about the future of Iran’s nuclear program ended Friday with both sides pessimistic about the outcome. In an exclusive interview with WORLD News Group, Israeli Consul General David Siegel said he sees trouble brewing. “They want the bomb and they’re moving forward very systematically,” Siegel said. And while his country is still hoping for a diplomatic solution, they are not taking a military option off the table. The two sides in the Vienna negotiations have set a July deadline to reach an agreement.
Federal Bureau of Intoxication? Perhaps nothing says more about marijuana’s new cultural acceptance than this gem from the FBI: Pot smokers are welcome to apply for jobs with the agency’s cybercrimes division. “I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” FBI Director James Comey told a group of New York lawyers yesterday. (Insert your favorite joke about pot smoking here.)