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PBC News & Comment Tuesday, October 16

Obama-Romney WTF Smackdown #2 preview: some important questions that are unlikely to be asked in the last two debates...   

While moderator Candy Crowley may not observe the limits defined in the agreement between the candidates, it is unlikely she will stray too far from conventional Beltway thinking.  PBC expects to hear about the 14-year-old Pakistani girl assaulted by Taliban supporters for promoting education for girls.

But will the candidates talk about the 16-year-old boy from Denver who was killed by a drone strike in 2011? There is no evidence this teenager was a "militant", but Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was an American who was killed in Yemen just a week after his father, Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike.  This targeted killing of a teen for the alleged--but never proven--crimes of his father has drawn little attention, but illustrates the unchecked power that Obama claims and Romney covets.  Read Kevin Gozstola's powerful report here.  We also cover the report that the senior al-Awlaki took a third wife who was a CIA plant.

--Obama's failure to close Guantanamo--and Romney's desire to "double Gitmo"--are unlikely to be mentioned, even though an appeals court just overturned the conviction of bin Laden's driver, Hamden, for "material support" because this is a concocted crime that was not on the books at the time

--the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military probably won't be mentioned, either.  Today we update the case against Brig. General Jeffrey Sinclair: speculation that he may be allowed to resign before facing court-martial for a long list of sex abuse-related charges

--the attack on our consulate in Banghazi is likely to come up in the debates, and just in time, Hillary has accepted responsibility for the security lapse that led to the death of the ambassador and 3 others, along with irresponsible plitical attacks from Romney and friends

--US is prepared to attack the Benghazi attackers, but do we really know who they are?

--Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle asks: can either of these guys really govern?  And it's a good question

--Oakland police monitor cites "regression" in the department's compliance with court-ordered changes from a scandal 12 years ago

--and Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson defends the Oakland cops