Morning Must Reads -- Taking security advice from Nigeria 

New York Times -- New Air Security Checks From 14 Nations to U.S. Draw Criticism

They may be critical, but they still want to come here.

New rules subject citizens of and flight originating from Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria to extra security before flying to the U.S. in the wake of the underwear bomber.

It’s an interim step during an administration security procedure review that has won bipartisan praise for sensibility.

Writer Eric Lipton, though, finds outrage in the Muslim world ofver national-level racial profiling and hidden dangers in being less welcoming to the residents of these nations, who his experts say may be more sympathetic to al Qaeda because they got a pat down before flying into JFK.

“We have to be careful not to play into the narrative that Al Qaeda has made up, where it is Islam versus the West,” [Rick Nelson, a retired Navy commander and former supervisor at the National Counterterrorism Center, said. “We risk alienating the moderate populations that we need to be successful against Al Qaeda.”

 

Washington Post -- Yemeni officials, fearing backlash, play down partnership with U.S.

 

Yemen was first the key to the Obama administration’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay, but now is seen as a key to the administration’s plan to stop people from blowing up airplanes.

Writer Sudersan Raghavan gives us the scene in Yemen, where the president is trying to install his son as his successor amid a civil war in the north and a separatist movement in the south.

As in Pakistan, the government needs our money and military, but may not share our goals or want to have a visible relationship. America is becoming the easy girl in high school of the Muslim world – some of the boys want favors, but none will be seen in public with us.

“In parliament, opposition politicians are warning that many Yemenis will support al-Qaeda if the conflict escalates. Tribal leaders and lawmakers in the south are furious about what they say was a U.S.-sponsored airstrike on civilians two weeks ago. Yemen's government says the strike targeted militants and their relatives.”

 

New York Times -- Behind Afghan Bombing, an Agent With Many Loyalties

Writers Richard A. Oppel, Mark Mazzetti and Souad Mekhennet tell the story of a doctor recruited from a Jordanian prison to pose as a jihadi and infiltrate the Taliban/al Qaeda operation in Afghanistan/Pakistan. He was instead radicalized and ended up becoming a suicide bomber who pulled off one of the most effective strikes against our forces in the region, killing seven CIA agents operating in a forward base in southern Afghanistan.

“Current and former American officials said Monday that because of Mr. Mohammed’s medical background, he might have been recruited to find the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahri, the Egyptian doctor who is Al Qaeda’s second in command.

Agency officers had traveled from Kabul, the Afghan capital, to Khost for a meeting with the informant, a sign that the C.I.A. had come to trust the informant and that it was eager to learn what he might have gleaned from operations in the field, according to a former C.I.A. official with experience in Afghanistan.”

 

New York Times -- C.I.A. Is Sharing Data With Climate Scientists

The CIA has revived a Clinton-era program of working with a group of 60 climate scientists to use spy technology to harvest and analyze environmental data to look for signs of global warming.

Writer William Broad explains that it doesn’t cost much, it may help with geostrategy when Al Gore’s apocalyptic vision is finally fulfilled, and that all precautions are taken against leaks. So he seems confused by why people would complain about the program diverting the CIA from other things, like killing terrorists and spying on our enemies.

“The C.I.A. runs the program and arranges for the scientists to draw on federal surveillance equipment, including highly classified satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office.

Officials said the effort to restart the program originated on Capitol Hill in 2008 after former Vice President Al Gore argued for its importance with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who was then a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee; she became its chairwoman in early 2009.”

 

Heather Mac Donald -- A Crime Theory Demolished

Mac Donald, the indispensable writer on crime and deviant social behavior in America, looks at the crime wave that wasn’t. Editors across the country ginned up “recession leads to crime” stories, but the numbers never appeared. In the first six months of last year, murder rates dropped 10 percent, violent crime dropped 4 percent and property crime dropped 6 percent.

While the reasons are up for debate (Mac Donald credits better policing and more prison sentences, others credit an aging population or other demographic trends) the animating argument for so much of the Great Society and programs subsequently brewed up from its husks has taken a mortal blow.

“Public safety is the precondition for thriving urban life. In 1990s New York, crime did not drop because the economy improved; rather, the city's economy revived because crime was cut in half. Keeping crime rates low now is the best guarantee that cities across the country will be able to exploit the inevitable economic recovery when it comes.”

 

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About The Author

Chris Stirewalt

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Washington Examiner Political Editor Chris Stirewalt, who coordinates political coverage for the newspaper and ExaminerPolitics.com in addition to writing a twice-weekly column and
regular blog posts.

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