James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, went before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in a bit of a sour mood. He led off complaining that he had to speak publicly at all.
"An open hearing on intelligence matters," Clapper said, "is a contradiction in terms." And then, before getting to any international problems Clapper hit a domestic one: the spending cuts mandated under the sequestration package.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush often made a provocative claim: He argued that the U.S. was fighting a war without a typical battlefield. In effect, he said, this war is everywhere.
"Our enemies make no distinction based on borders," he said in a 2007 speech in Michigan. "They view the world as a giant battlefield and will strike wherever they can."
Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and a former al-Qaida spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, is in U.S. custody and is being held in a Manhattan jail. He could appear in a federal court as soon as Friday, U.S. officials familiar with the case say.
His capture is considered important not just because he was so close to bin Laden but also because U.S. officials have decided to try him in a federal court, not Guantanamo Bay.