National Security Brief: March 6, 2012

— In a White House meeting yesterday, President Obama urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give diplomacy and economic sanctions a chance to work before resorting to military against Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu reportedly assured Obama that Israel has not made any decision on attacking Iran.

— Iran announced today that it will allow U.N. nuclear investigators to visit the Parchin military complex where inspectors had previous been refused access.

— Election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticized Vladimir Putin’s overwhelming victory in Russia’s recently presidential election saying he faced no real competition and unfairly benefited from lavish government spending on his behalf.

— Tens of thousands of opposition activists protested in Moscow and St. Petersburg yesterday contesting Putin’s election. Police cracked down on the Moscow rally in Pushkin square, arresting hundreds.

— Executive branch reviews of evidence against al-Qaeda leaders before they are targeted for killing meets the constitution’s “due process” requirement and American citizenship doesn’t protect individuals from being killed, said Attorney General Eric Holder in a speech delivered yesterday at Northwestern University Law School.

— China’s special envoy to Syria is expected to press Syrian authorities to impose a cease-fire but Beijing remains opposed to any foreign intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

— House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) call to intervene militarily in Syria might not be a good idea. “My heart agrees with him, but my head says no,” she said.

— A new report from the Director of National Intelligence found that far fewer detainees released from Guantanamo Bay rejoined terrorist activities than previously reported.