The Lawfare Podcast

By The Lawfare Institute

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John
 Aug 7, 2018
This is an excellent podcast, presenting a range of learned opinions and expert testimony on a wide range of topics (diverse, but mostly touching national security and the law). No hype, no bluster, just well-informed and sincerely presented explanation. I strongly recommend it!

Description

This is Lawfare's series of audio podcasts.

Episode Date
Bruce Schneier on 'Click Here to Kill Everybody'
42:54

Security technologist Bruce Schneier's latest book, Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World, argues that it won't be long before everything modern society relies on will be computerized and on the internet. This drastic expansion of the so-called "internet of things," Schneier contends, vastly increases the risk of cyberattack. To help figure out just how concerned you should be, last Thursday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Schneier. They talked about what it would mean to live in a world where everything, including Ben's shirt, was a computer, and how Schneier's latest work adds to his decades of advocacy for principled government regulation and oversight of "smart devices."

Sep 18, 2018
Special Edition: Paul Manafort “Breaks”
49:22

On Friday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort entered a plea agreement with the special counsel. To figure out what it means for Manafort, the Mueller investigation, and President Trump, Benjamin Wittes spoke to former Obama White House counsel Bob Bauer, independent counsel prosector Paul Rosenzweig, and Lawfare managing editor Quinta Jurecic. 

Sep 14, 2018
John Brennan and Jerrold Nadler on 20 Months Under Trump
47:59

The challenges that President Donald Trump has posed to the rule of law are well documented, from his delegitimization of the law enforcement investigation into his campaign and conduct in office, to his attacks on federal judges who rule against the legality of his policy prerogatives. Coupled with what many call his adversarial relationship with his own intelligence community, the Trump presidency has created a role of the executive with no analogue in recent memory.

On September 4, at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, Representative Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and former CIA Director John Brennan, both outspoken critics of the president, sat down for a conversation about what they've seen in the past 20 months under the Trump administration, including their takes on threats to the rule of law, the investigations of the president, and ongoing vulnerability of American democracy to cyber threats.

Sep 12, 2018
Special Edition: Kavanaugh vs. the Committee with No Bull, Part II
02:43:14

Brett Kavanaugh spent Thursday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his second day of marathon questioning about his qualifications to join the Supreme Court. But on this podcast, we cut down more than 8 hours of testimony to bring you only the national-security content Lawfare readers and Lawfare Podcast listeners need. Every question and every answer on national security, presidential power and the Mueller investigation.

Sep 07, 2018
Special Edition: Kavanaugh vs. the Committee with No Bull, Part I
02:12:34

Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced the Senate Judiciary Committee in Day 1 of a two-day marathon Q&A session for his nomination as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. We sat through it all so you don't have to. We've cut out all the garbage and are bringing you just the questions and answers on legal matters related to national security, presidential power, and presidential investigation.

Sep 06, 2018
John Sipher on Human Sources in Moscow
36:57

The New York Times reports that CIA human sources in Moscow are drying up. The newspaper speculates that this may be because of the political environment in the United States, an environment in which the president tweets about the intelligence community and the Steele dossier, and the House Intelligence Committee goes after human sources and outs them.

John Sipher knows something about human sources in Moscow. He was stationed there for the CIA in the 1990s and had to deal with sources. He joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio to talk about the fragility of those operations, the plausibility of the New York Times story, and what we could do tamp down negative impacts on intelligence collection.

Sep 01, 2018
What is Too Far When Former Intelligence Community Leadership Criticizes the President?
56:38

This edition of The Lawfare Podcast grows out of an email exchange between David Kris and Jack Goldsmith over a draft article Jack had written about John Brennan and other intelligence community former leaders who were criticizing the president in public and from whom the president was threatening to pull their security clearances in response.

What is appropriate for intelligence community leaders to say about the president? What is going too far? What is outside their lane? And what is required by the current moment when intelligence community leaders face a rogue elephant of a president who is violating every norm we know?

Aug 29, 2018
Solomon Wisenberg on Interviewing the President
34:31

Bob Mueller and the president's legal team are engaged in an extended negotiation over whether the president will sit for an interview with the Mueller team. As it turns out, there are three people in the world who have interviewed a sitting president as part of a grand jury investigation. This week Benjamin Wittes sat down with one of them—Solomon Wisenberg.

Wisenberg served as deputy independent counsel under Ken Starr during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigation. On Thursday, Wisenberg discussed his experience interviewing Bill Clinton, how that can inform thinking on the next possible presidential interview, and how both prosecutors and the president's lawyers can think strategically about next steps.

Aug 25, 2018
Special Edition: The Mueller Investigation's Weird Weekend
47:57

What a weird weekend it has been. The Manafort jury is deliberating, the White House lawyer is cooperating with the special prosecutor and giving 30 hours of interview about presidential conduct, and Michael Cohen seems poised to either be indicted or form a cooperation deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.

Benjamin Wittes jumped on the phone to discuss all of this with former White House counsel Bob Bauer, former Justice Department official Carrie Cordero, and Lawfare contributor Paul Rosenzweig.

Aug 21, 2018
Brad Moss on Presidential Power and Security Clearances
30:10

The President of the United States this week stripped the former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance in a dramatic White House statement by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The White House is threatening more adverse security clearance actions against presidential critics, and former senior security officials are outraged. Benjamin Wittes sat down Friday afternoon with Bradley Moss, who represents people in security clearance revocation processes, to discuss the president's move, how different it is, and what we can expect if a lawsuit develops.

Aug 17, 2018
A Worthwhile Canadian Dust-Up
35:03

Canada and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads over the past week ever since the Canadian Foreign Minister condemned Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Samar Badawi, a human rights activist. Saudi Arabia's reactions were extreme, including expelling the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, halting trade negotiations and the pulling of the Saudi Arabian ambassador for diplomatic consultation.

To sort this all out, Lawfare senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer  spoke to Scott Anderson, former diplomat and international lawyer, and Canadian professors Stephanie Carvin of The Intrepid Podcast and Carleton University, Bessma Momani of the Stimpson Center, and Thomas Juneau of the University of Ottowa.

They spoke about Saudi Arabian and Canadian strategy, international legal considerations and what comes next.

Aug 13, 2018
Special Edition: Buzzfeed Follows Peter Smith’s Money
41:03

There’s a new twist in one of the stranger subplots of L’Affaire Russe: Buzzfeed News reports that Peter Smith, a Republican operative who reportedly sought to obtain missing Hillary Clinton emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, made several suspicious withdrawals from bank accounts during the timeframe of his quest for Clinton’s emails—suggesting that he may have paid people he believed were Russian hackers.

Benjamin Wittes is joined by Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier and former Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris to make sense of it all. 

 

Aug 11, 2018
The Challenges of Digital Evidence
43:25

Encryption usually takes center stage in debates over digital evidence, and the sensitivities around the issue often halt discussions before reaching practical solutions. But on July 25, the Center for Strategic and International Studies unveiled a new report detailing solutions to other, less-fraught challenges that digital evidence presents to federal law enforcement. The launch event featured a panel discussion moderated by Jen Daskal, with an ensemble cast of law enforcement experts, including Lawfare contributing editor David Kris, David Bitkower, Ethan Arenson, Jane Horvath, and Michael Sachs. They talked about the challenges faced by law enforcement in accessing and utilizing digital evidence, the civil liberties and privacy concerns digital evidence provokes, and the role of Internet Service Providers in any new legal or policy framework.

Aug 08, 2018
Fighting Deep Fakes
44:41

Technologies that distort representations of reality, like audio, photo, and video editing software, are nothing new, but what happens when these technologies are paired with artificial intelligence to produce hyper-realistic media of things that never happened? This new phenomenon, called "deep fakes," poses significant problems for lawyers, policymakers, and technologists. On July 19, Klon Kitchen, senior fellow for technology and national security at the Heritage Foundation, moderated a panel with Bobby Chesney of the University of Texas at Austin Law School, Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and Chris Bregler, a senior computer scientist and AI manager at Google. They talked about how deep fakes work, why they don't fit into the current legal and policy thinking, and about how policy, technology, and the law can begin to combat them.

Aug 04, 2018
Should Humans Communicate with Aliens?
54:37

For years, Shane Harris of The Washington Post has been fascinated with the search for extraterrestrial life in the universe. But that search raises a profound question: Should we try to communicate with aliens? Is there a risk to alerting a potentially hostile species to our presence? On July 12, Shane moderated a conversation hosted by Future Tense with Lucianne Walkowicz, the Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, and NASA astrophysicist Elisa Quintana, to talk about the ethics of the search for ETs and the associated risks with trying to make contact.

Aug 01, 2018
Talking Brexit
41:38

The British government is falling apart, Brexit talks are on the rocks, and into the maelstrom walks Donald Trump to walk in front of the Queen after having tea with her. It's been a bad period in the Brexit negotiations. To talk it through, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Tom Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe; Amanda Sloat, the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe; and Shannon Togawa Mercer from the Hoover Institution and Lawfare. They talked about Northern Ireland, trade, U.S. policy, what the United States' dog in the Brexit fight is, and what happens if there is no deal by the time the whole thing turns into a pumpkin.

Jul 28, 2018
Kennedy, Kavanaugh, and the Future of National Security Before the Supreme Court
56:21

Justice Kennedy's resignation and the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement promises to usher in a new era of the U.S. Supreme Court, not least in the areas of foreign relations and national security law. To hash out what these changes might mean, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson spoke with Jen Mascott of the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University, Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and former Department of Justice official Bob Loeb, currently a partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Jul 25, 2018
Jennifer Hillman and Clark Packard on Trade and National Security, Part Deux
57:55

The Trump administration has taken an aggressive stance on U.S. trade relations, opting for bilateral negotiations, and in many cases, eschewing the multilateral trade order. The administration is collapsing the distinction between economic security and national security, and this has been painfully apparent in our trade war with China. Tensions with China are escalating. On Tuesday, Lawfare senior editor Shannon Togawa Mercer sat down with Jennifer Hillman, former World Trade Organization Appellate Body member, commissioner on the United States international Trade Commission, and general counsel at the Office of the United States Trade Representative; and Clark Packard, trade policy counsel at the R Street Institute, to hash it all out. They talked about China, the WTO, and this administration’s incoherent trade strategy.

Jul 21, 2018
Julia Ioffe and Ian Bremmer on the Trump-Putin Summit
40:23

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki for their first one-on-one summit, where the U.S. president said that he trusted the Russian president's denial of election interference over his own intelligence community. In the United States, furor followed on both sides of the aisle. To break down what happened and what it means, Alina Polyakova sat down with Julia Ioffe, correspondent at GQ and long-time Russia observer, and Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, to talk about why nobody else was in the room with Trump and Putin during their over-two-hour, one-on-one meeting; what Russia's kompromat on Trump really might be; and whether this summit actually moved the needle in U.S.-Russia policy. What was gained and what was lost? Was this a win for Putin? An embarrassment for Trump?

Jul 18, 2018
Emergency Edition: GRUccifer 2.0 Indictment!
59:32

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their role in the theft and dissemination of documents from the DNC, the DCCC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. Susan Hennessey, David Kris, Paul Rosenzweig, Matt Tait and Benjamin Wittes got together to make sense of the news.

Jul 14, 2018
#AbolishICE?
40:12

#AbolishICE is the hashtag that has proliferated all over Twitter. Anger over the family separation policy of the Trump administration has many people doubting whether the agency that does interior immigration enforcement is up to a humane performance of its task. Paul Rosenzweig, former policy guru at DHS where he supervised immigration matters, and Carrie Cordero, who has been actively engaged on the subject recently, joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the substance of our immigration laws. Would abolishing ICE actually make a difference, or would it just be renaming the problem with three other letters?

Jul 11, 2018
Radek Sikorski on the Week's Events in Poland
21:37

It's been a bad week for Polish democracy, with the government removing a bunch of judges from the country's Supreme Court in order to replace them with party loyalists. In response, protestors took to the streets to push back against the deconsolidation of Polish democracy. Radek Sikorski joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the week's events and the larger degradation of Polish governance of which they are a part. Radek served as foreign minister and defense minister of Poland, as well as speaker of the Polish parliament. He has also been a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and he's currently a senior fellow at the Center of European Studies at Harvard University and distinguished statesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Jul 07, 2018
Amanda Sloat Talks Turkey
36:28

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the Turkish election the other day, and becomes the first president under Turkey's new empowered presidential system. His party, in coalition with ultra-nationalists, will control the Parliament as well, so it's a big win for the Turkish president. It may be a loss for democratic values. On Tuesday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Amanda Sloat, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at Brookings, to discuss the election results, the crackdown in Turkey and the justifications for it, friction points in U.S.-Turkish relations, and what comes next for Turkey, the United States, and the EU.

Jul 03, 2018
Jim Baker and Orin Kerr on the Carpenter Ruling
47:36

On June 22, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited ruling in Carpenter v. United States, a case challenging whether law enforcement agencies need a search warrant to acquire the history of a cell phone's location from a wireless provider. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the five-justice majority that doing so amounts to a 4th Amendment search, a decision that will have far-reaching implications for law enforcement activities moving forward. On Thursday, Benjamin Wittes spoke on the phone with Jim Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI, and Orin Kerr, the 4th Amendment expert whose writing was cited in every dissent, to understand the decision. They talked about what the decision said, what a warrant for cell site data might look like, and the ruling's implications for other areas of 4th Amendment law.

Jun 30, 2018
Stephanie Leutert on the Other Southern Border
46:15

With the media and political commentators focused on family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border, few are paying attention to how developments along Mexico's southern border affect the United States. On Monday, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at The University of Texas at Austin, who has spent the past several weeks in the field studying the flow of migrants from Central America into Mexico. They discussed who's entering Mexico, why they're doing it, why most continue on to the United States, and where the dangers lie along their journeys.

Jun 27, 2018
Michael Hayden on 'The Assault on Intelligence'
52:08

Gen. Michael Hayden has served as the head of both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency—and he says that intelligence is under attack. In his latest book, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies,” Gen. Hayden argues that in what he calls a post-truth world, the United States needs its intelligence community now as much as ever. All the more reason to be concerned about the president’s repeated attacks on it.

On June 15, Gen. Hayden sat down with Jamil Jaffer of George Mason University’s National Security Institute to talk about the book, and how the intelligence community can navigate the challenges it faces.

Jun 22, 2018
Artificial Intelligence and Security
32:40

From manufacturing to healthcare, and from criminal justice to national security, artificial intelligence is changing nearly every sector of the global economy and many aspects of our public and private lives. And as artificial intelligence technology races ahead, its political, legal, and ethical considerations cannot be left undiscussed. Last Tuesday, as part of the A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy, James Baker, Susan Hennessey, and Scott Tousley joined John Allen at the Brookings Institution to discuss the opportunities AI offers and the challenges it presents to security.

Jun 20, 2018
All Things Inspector General...and Emails!
56:50

This week, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a gigantic report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton emails matter/investigation during the 2016 election cycle. On Friday, Benjamin Wittes got together with Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare's managing editor; Carrie Cordero, former Justice Department official and Lawfare contributor; and Marty Lederman of Just Security and the Georgetown Law School, to talk about the whole report.

Jun 16, 2018
Mira Rapp-Hooper and Steph Haggard on the Singapore Summit
41:56

On Tuesday, in Singapore, after doubts about whether the Summit would happen, President Trump met for several hours with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, culminating in a joint declaration between the two heads of state. Just after the declaration dropped, North Korea experts Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow at Yale's Paul Tsai China Center, and Steph Haggard, a professor at UC San Diego, joined Benjamin Wittes to help make sense of the news. They talked about the substance of the Summit, how it impacts the U.S.'s security alliances in the Asia Pacific, and what might come next for the U.S.-North Korea relationship.

Jun 12, 2018
Soumaya Keynes and Megan Reiss on Trade and National Security Under the Trump Administration
44:38

Economic welfare and national security have never been mutually exclusive, but trade has factored into the national security discourse prominently in recent days, with the administration announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the name of national security, the backlash from American allies, and the current standoff with China. On Thursday, June 7, Shannon Mercer sat down with Megan Reiss, senior national security fellow with the R Street Institute, and Soumaya Keynes, economics and trade correspondent at The Economist, to discuss the ins and outs of trade law and how Trump is using it.

Jun 08, 2018
Clint Watts on 'Messing with the Enemy'
50:59

Former FBI agent and Army officer Clint Watts has spent years hunting down terrorists and Russian disinformation on the Internet in his spare time. In his new book, Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News, Watts documents what he learned from his experience. On Monday, he sat down with Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio for a conversation about how terrorists, cybercriminals, and nation-states use online media platforms to influence people’s social and political perceptions. They talked about how Watts began tracking disinformation, what he saw, and what free societies can do to protect against it.

Jun 05, 2018
The Future of CFIUS
01:15:08

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) plays an essential role in advising the president on how to exercise his or her authority to block foreign investments that might let the U.S.'s adversaries acquire sensitive American technology or intellectual property. A bipartisan proposal in Congress aims to expand CFIUS's powers. On Thursday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies convened a panel of Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon official; Ivan Schlager, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates; Nova Daly, Senior Public Policy Adviser, Wiley Rein LLP; and CSIS Vice President James Andrew Lewis, to talk about CFIUS and how it might change under the new law.

Jun 02, 2018
Counterterrorism Under the Early Trump Administration
01:18:42

In January 2017, Donald Trump inherited a complex, multifaceted counterterrorism campaign, and since taking office, he has escalated it rhetorically and operationally. On Tuesday, New America convened a panel with Joshua Geltzer and Luke Hartig, both former senior fellows for counterterrorism on the Obama National Security Council; Stephen Tankel, a professor at American University; and Shamila Chaudry, former director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council. They discussed how Trump has changed how the United States uses force in its counterterrorism efforts, and where he has stayed the course of the Obama administration.

May 30, 2018
Vladimir Milov on Russia Beyond the Headlines
46:53

Vladimir Milov is the current economic advisor to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the former deputy minister of energy in the Russian government. This week, Milov spoke to Alina Polyakova about the Russian economy, the recent Cabinet reshuffles in the Kremlin, and how local politics are back in Russia.

May 26, 2018
Special Edition: Outing a Confidential Informant
41:11

Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmith and David Kris join Benjamin Wittes to discuss the sequence of events between the Justice Department, the FBI, the House intelligence committee and the White House over the last few days and the resolution arranged at the White House on Monday afternoon.

May 22, 2018
The Jerusalem Embassy Opening and Protests in Gaza
52:16

The past week saw the culmination of a major shift in US policy as the United States formally opened its embassy in Jerusalem. Yet ongoing protests along the border with the Gaza Strip and the Israeli government’s harsh response have provided a sharp contrast to the hopeful rhetoric surrounding the embassy’s opening ceremony. On Friday, Lawfare senior editor Scott Anderson spoke with Khaled Elgindy, fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings and a founding board member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association; Natan Sachs, fellow in and director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings; and Sarah Yerkes, fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to sort through the headlines.

May 18, 2018
Special Edition: Anthony Cormier on Trump Tower Moscow
27:20

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier about his latest story, co-authored with Jason Leopold, about the negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

May 17, 2018
Amanda Tyler on Habeas Corpus in Wartime
01:02:45

In her new book, "Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay," Amanda Tyler presents a comprehensive account of the legal and political history of habeas corpus in wartime in the Anglo-American legal tradition. On Monday, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Tyler at the Hoover Book Soiree for a wide-ranging discussion of the history of habeas, where its origins really lie in English law, and how it has changed over the years in the United States, from the Founding to modern counterterrorism cases.

May 15, 2018
The Lawfare Podcast: James Comey on 'A Higher Loyalty'
01:20:19

Benjamin Wittes speaks to former FBI director James Comey before a live audience at the Brookings Institution.

May 11, 2018
The Lawfare Podcast: Special Edition: Gina Haspel vs. the Senate Intelligence Committee With No Bull
01:15:07

On Wednesday, Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, testified for two-and-a-half hours on her nomination before the Senate intelligence committee. We cut out all the opening statements, all of the repeated questions, and in this episode, we're bringing you the distilled version of everything that's important from the hearing.

May 10, 2018
Shane Harris on the Gina Haspel Nomination
42:43

Gina Haspel, the CIA's current deputy director, goes before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow, May 9, 2018, for confirmation as the CIA's director. Shane Harris of The Washington Post recently produced a lengthy and detailed profile of Haspel, who was deeply involved in the CIA's coercive interrogation program in the years that followed 9/11. He joins Benjamin Wittes to discuss the nomination, the cases for and against Haspel, and what we can expect when she faces the Committee tomorrow.

May 08, 2018
Mira Rapp-Hooper and Steph Haggard Preview the North Korea Summit
42:19

Only a few months ago, President Donald Trump threatened to rain fire and fury on North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s missiles were crashing into the ocean. Now, President Donald Trump is preparing for a summit with the North Korean leader. To understand what to expect from that meeting, Benjamin Wittes spoke on Friday to North Korea experts Mira Rapp-Hooper, senior research scholar at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center, and Steph Haggard, distinguished professor at the University of California-San Diego. They talked about how we got here, about what would make the Trump-Kim summit successful, and about predictions for the future of northeast-Asian security.

May 04, 2018
Democracy's Morticians: Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt on 'How Democracies Die'
53:57

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt talk to Benjamin Wittes about their new book, "How Democracies Die."

May 02, 2018
Preserving Justice Department Independence
46:13

At Georgetown Law, Matt Axelrod, Bob Bauer, John Bellinger, Jack Goldsmith, and Don Verrilli reflect on the norms that govern contact between the White House and the Justice Department, how the Trump administration has broken them, and what can be done to protect them in this administration and future ones.

Apr 28, 2018
Lisa Monaco and Wayne Williams on Protecting the 2018 Election
41:27

Eric Rosenbach moderates a conversation between former homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and current Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on election security.

Apr 24, 2018
Bobby Chesney and Scott Anderson on the Corker-Kaine AUMF
46:59

Last week, Sens. Bob Corker and Tim Kaine introduced a proposal to reshape the legal authorization for U.S. counterterrorism operations abroad. On Thursday, Susan Hennessey sat down with Bobby Chesney, co-founder of Lawfare and professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and Scott Anderson, Lawfare senior editor and former State Department lawyer, to talk about the proposal. They discussed the current status of the authorization for use of force, what the new proposal says, and it’s prospects in this Congress.

Apr 20, 2018
Toomas Ilves on the Situation
51:51

Former Estonian President Toomas Ilves sits down with Benjamin Wittes and Megan Reiss to talk about the use of social media by the presidents of the United States and Estonia, election interference, cybersecurity cooperation, and the digitization of Estonia.

Apr 18, 2018
Taking Stock on Syria
47:17

All week, President Trump has promised airstrikes in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, but so far nothing has come. Does this mean he’s having second thoughts? Or is this simply the calm before the storm? On Friday afternoon, Scott Anderson spoke with Dan Byman, Lawfare's foreign policy editor and a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and Tess Bridgeman, a former deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council and current affiliate of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, for a late-breaking discussion on that question and more.

Apr 14, 2018
Tim Maurer on 'Cyber Mercenaries'
47:54

The idea of proxy conflict dates to the Cold War and earlier, but Tim Maurer’s new book “Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power” makes one of the first forays into proxy conflict in cyberspace. Last week, Maurer sat down with Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes at the Hoover Book Soiree to talk about the book. They discussed Maurer’s typology of how states like the United States, Syria, Russia and China differ in their use of cyber proxies and the challenges they pose to attribution and accountability.

Apr 11, 2018
Vladimir Kara-Murza on Russia's So-Called 'Election'
41:59

Vladimir Kara-Murza is the vice chairman of Open Russia, founder of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation and a contributing opinion writer for the Washington Post. On Wednesday, Kara-Murza spoke to Alina Polyakova about last month's presidential elections in Russia, the poisoning of Sergei Skirpal, and the future of Russia under and after Putin.

Apr 06, 2018
Special Edition: The President is a 'Subject'
28:41

The Washington Post reports this evening that: "Mueller told Trump’s attorneys the president remains under investigation but is not currently a criminal target." The report comes the same day as Alex van der Zwaan was sentenced to 30 days in jail for lying to Mueller's probe. On this emergency podcast, Benjamin Wittes is joined by Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare's deputy managing editor, who was in the courtroom for the van der Zwaan sentencing; Orin Kerr, a former federal prosecutor and the Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Southern California; and Paul Rosenzweig, who served under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.

Apr 04, 2018
Bobby Chesney, Matt Tait and Steve Vladeck on War, Law and Cyberspace
41:19

Bobby Chesney, Matt Tait and Steve Vladeck speak at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law on "War, Law and Cyberspace."

Apr 03, 2018
Chimène Keitner on the State Department Before and After #Rexit
49:04

Chimène Keitner speaks to Scott Anderson about her experience as international law counselor at the State Department and the future of the department after Secretary Rex Tillerson's departure.

Mar 30, 2018
Niall Ferguson on 'The Square and the Tower'
40:24

Jack Goldsmith interviews Niall Ferguson about Ferguson's latest book, "The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies, and the Struggle for Power."

Mar 27, 2018
Amy Chua on 'Political Tribes'
50:13

Jack Goldsmith talks to Yale Law School professor Amy Chua about her new book, "Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations," at the Hoover Book Soiree.

Mar 24, 2018
Liza Osetinskaya on Journalistic Freedom Under Putin
41:47

Shortly before last Sunday's election in Russia, Alina Polyakova spoke to Liza Osetinskaya, editor of The Bell and former editor of Forbes Russia and independent Russian news agency RBC. They discussed the Kremlin’s approach to censorship and how the Putin regime reacted when RBC, under Osetinskaya’s leadership, began covering the Panama Papers.

Mar 21, 2018
A Real Live Framer of the Constitution
32:34

Matthew Kahn speaks to John Feerick, dean emeritus of Fordham Law School and an adviser to the congressional committees that drafted the 25th Amendment.

Mar 16, 2018
Jeh Johnson on Protecting the Cyber Battlespace
38:51

Last week, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson addressed the Boston Conference on Cybersecurity in a speech titled "Cyberspace is the New Battlespace." The next day, Secretary Johnson sat down with Harvard Law professor and Lawfare co-founder Jack Goldsmith to discuss the themes his speech reflected on. They discussed the hacking and exfiltration of data, the vulnerabilities of the U.S. electoral infrastructure to cyberattacks, and the problem of fake news and disinformation—and what we might do to stem it.

Mar 14, 2018
Yascha Mounk on Populism and Democracy
46:39

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Yascha Mounk about his new book: 'The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It."

 
 
Mar 10, 2018
Max Boot on 'The Road Not Taken'
51:18

Benjamin Wittes interviews Max Boot on Boot's new book, "The Road Not Taken," for the Hoover Book Soiree.

Mar 07, 2018
Zhanna Nemtsova on Boris Nemtsov's Life
40:11

Alina Polyakova speaks to Zhanna Nemtsova about the life and political legacy of her father, Boris Nemtsov. Learn more about Nemtsova's work at nemtsovfund.org.

Mar 02, 2018
Dan Radosh on 'Liberty Crossing'
22:04

Benjamin Wittes speaks to "Daily Show" writer Dan Radosh about his latest sitcom, "Liberty Crossing," a workplace comedy about intelligence analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Feb 28, 2018
Stephen Williams on Vasily Maklakov
44:37

Benjamin Wittes speaks to Judge Stephen Williams about his new book "The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution," the story of Vasily Maklakov and the virtues of political moderation.

Feb 23, 2018
Phil Carter on Civil-Military Relations in the Trump Administration
38:38

The military has been not been a refuge from the Trump administration's norm-defying nature. This week, Jack Goldsmith speaks to Phil Carter, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, about the history of civil-military relations, episodes that highlight the Trump administration's departure from that tradition, and what that may mean for the future.

Feb 21, 2018
Special Edition: Mueller Indicts Russian Trolls
41:53

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian entities involved in efforts to interfere in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election. Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes discusses what the indictment means for L'Affaire Russe and U.S. national security with David Kris, Paul Rosenzweig and Matt Tait.

Feb 17, 2018
Chuck Rosenberg on Value-Based Leadership
20:39

Chuck Rosenberg spent most of his career leading or helping lead federal law enforcement agencies. Before serving as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rosenberg served as Jim Comey’s chief of staff at the FBI and the Justice Department, as counselor to FBI director Robert Mueller, and as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Now outside government, Rosenberg shared his thoughts on leadership with a group of University of Virginia law students two weeks ago, and now, we’re sharing his thoughts with you. He says of this speech, “I was privileged to work with great leaders, mentors, and friends at the Department of Justice. I learned so much from them: Bob Mueller, Jim Comey, Sally Yates, John Ashcroft, and David Margolis, among others. I hope my words reflect the values these good people—and so many others at DOJ—consistently demonstrated. Kindness, civility, humility, fairness, and character remain in fashion.”

Feb 13, 2018
David Frum on Threats to Democracy in the Trump Era
01:30:00

In his recent New York Times bestseller “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic,” David Frum, senior editor of The Atlantic, lays out a compelling account of how President Donald Trump’s tendencies could push the United States toward the illiberalism that many Americans believe the republican system of government to be immune to. In an event on Feb. 7 at the Brookings Institution, Frum sat down with Jonathan Rauch, Elaine Kamarck, and Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes for a conversation and Q&A on the book and Trump’s threats to democracy.

Feb 09, 2018
Special Edition: Memo #Released
43:41

On Friday, Rep. Devin Nunes, the House intelligence committee chairman, released a controversial and long-awaited memo alleging surveillance abuses by the Justice Department and FBI against Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. In this special edition of the Lawfare Podcast, Quinta Jurecic, Orin Kerr, David Kris and Benjamin Wittes unpack the memo, its charges, and what those charges mean for the Mueller investigation and the future of surveillance oversight.

Feb 03, 2018
Mike Pompeo on the State of the CIA
46:28

Last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo visited the American Enterprise Institute to join AEI Resident Fellow Marc Thiessen for a conversation to reflect on his first year running the agency and his vision for 2018 and beyond. They discussed the challenges posed by North Korea’s missile program, the war on terror, the Trump administration’s national security agenda, and the quotidian of being CIA director. Sorry to disappoint the curious Lawfare listener out there, but no—there was no discussion of the Pompeo family fudge recipe sent to the CIA workforce—and Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes—with the director’s holiday card.

Jan 30, 2018
Stephen Vladeck on Dalmazzi
44:47

Lawfare contributor and University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck argued before the Supreme Court last week in United States v. Dalmazzi, a case concerning the appointment of military judges to the Court of Military Commission Review and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Vladeck joined Scott Anderson on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss the complexities of the case, why it matters and what it’s like arguing before the nine justices.

Jan 27, 2018
The Lawfare Podcast, Special Edition: Not Firing Bob Mueller
35:14

The New York Times Thursday evening is reporting that back in June, President Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller—but couldn't quite pull it off. We, however, pulled off a special edition of the podcast to go over the story. Joining Benjamin Wittes on the recorded conference call (pardon the audio quality) were Lawfare contributors Jack Goldsmith, Steve Vladeck, Carrie Cordero, and Bob Bauer.

Jan 26, 2018
What the Heck Happened in Hawaii?
01:00:46

It may seem like ages ago, but the false alarm about a missile heading towards Hawaii hasn't left our minds. Last week, Shannon Togawa Mercer interviewed a group of experts on the event: Stephan Haggard, political science professor at the University of California, San Diego; Garrett Graff, author and journalist; Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Paul Rosenzweig, Lawfare masthead contributing editor and former deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS all joined in. They discussed what actually occurred and how it happened, the relationship between the federal and state governments in handling emergency responses like this, the political situation surrounding the alarm, and what would have happened if there actually had been a missile. 

Jan 23, 2018
Shaun Walker on Russia's Long Hangover
45:16

This week on the Lawfare Podcast, the Guardian's Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker joined special guest host Alina Polyakova to discuss his new book "The Long Hangover: Putin's New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past." They discussed Putin's use of Russian history as political strategy, the pulse of Russian politics as its elections approach in March, the changing landscape of Russia's outer cities, and much more.  

Jan 20, 2018
Special Edition: Anthony Cormier on Russia Wire Transfers
34:20

Buzzfeed News has published a lengthy story by reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier entitled, "Investigators Are Scrutinizing Newly Uncovered Payments By The Russian Embassy." The story reports on an unusual set of wire transfers and movements of money by Russian diplomatic sources, including by former ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in the period immediately surrounding Donald Trump's election and inauguration. The transactions, the story reports, are under scrutiny both from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Cormier joined Benjamin Wittes on the podcast to discuss the story, the larger reporting stream of which it is a part, and what it may mean. 

Jan 17, 2018
David Anderson on the United Kingdom's Intelligence Policies
50:26

This week, Shannon Togawa Mercer and Benjamin Wittes interviewed David Anderson QC, who served as the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation in the U.K. from 2011 to 2017. Anderson has appeared 150 times in the E.U.'s Court of Justice and the General Court in Luxembourg and is one of the country's leading experts in the national security law field. He joined Wittes and Mercer for a conversation on his career, his role in reviewing terrorism legislation, the changing nature of intelligence in the U.K., and much more. 

Jan 13, 2018
Julia Ioffe on What Putin Really Wants and Fears
47:10

Behind the legend of Vladimir Putin, which America’s obsession with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections has only bolstered, hides a complex political landscape, history and—of course—president. To dispel the myth behind Russia’s president and explore the man underneath the facade, Russia expert and staff writer for The Atlantic Julia Ioffe recently published an essay titled “What Putin Really Wants.” Last week, Ioffe joined guest host Alina Polyakova to discuss her piece, and what young Russians actually think about America’s fixation on their country.

Jan 09, 2018
Through the Looking Glass with Mike Doran, Part II
52:47

Part II of the conversation between Michael Doran and Benjamin Wittes. Doran, a former Brookings scholar now at the Hudson Institute, served in the George W. Bush White House, at the State Department, and at the Pentagon. The first part of the conversation dealt with how Doran broke with the Never Trumpers, how he sees the President, and how he sees the Russia investigation in broad strokes. This part deals with the Mueller investigation, the FBI, the Justice Department leadership, and the prosecution of Michael Flynn.

Jan 06, 2018
Special Edition: The New York Times on Obstruction
50:18

This evening, the New York Times published a  with new details of significance to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation regarding the President and obstruction of justice. Michael Schmidt reports, among other news, that President Trump instructed White House Counsel Don McGahn to attempt to prevent Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. We put together a special edition podcast with Schmidt, and Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey, Jack Goldsmith, and Bob Bauer to discuss what the story might mean for the future of the investigation. Warning: the audio is a recorded conference line and therefore somewhat rougher than usual.

Jan 05, 2018
Through the Looking Glass with Mike Doran, Part I
41:58

Michael Doran and Benjamin Wittes have an extended conversation about Trump, Russia, and how Doran parted ways with his many colleagues who became #NeverTrump conservatives. Doran is a former Brookings scholar now at the Hudson Institute who served in the George W. Bush White House, at the State Department, and at the Pentagon. Doran is unusual among Washington foreign policy and national security experts in being vocally supportive of President Trump and dismissive of the Trump-Russia allegations. This part of the discussion deals with how Doran broke with the Never Trumpers, how he sees the President, and how he sees the Russia investigation in broad strokes.

Jan 02, 2018
Year in Review: Lawfare Questions
46:12

As we wrap up 2017, we wanted to listen to you, our listeners. In this year-end episode of the Lawfare Podcast, Lawfare contributors took your questions by voicemail and answered them on the show. Susan Hennessey, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Scott Anderson joined Benjamin Wittes in the Jungle Studio, with Josh Blackman joining from afar, to answer questions on subjects ranging from the Islamic State to presidential pardons. Thanks to our listeners, new and old, for listening to the Lawfare Podcast this week and every week. See you in 2018.

Dec 30, 2017
What the Heck is Up with 702?
41:55

As the year is coming to a close, Congress has now missed the deadline for reauthorizing FISA Section 702. Molly Reynolds, a Brookings fellow in Governance Studies and expert on Congress, joined Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey for a conversation on the failure to reauthorize and what happens next. They discussed the politics of Section 702, the influence of this year's overall legislative agenda, and what to expect in 2018 for the crucial intelligence apparatus. 

Dec 23, 2017
C. Christine Fair on Bangladeshi Terrorism
40:00

Last week, a Bangladeshi man set off a pipe bomb in the New York subway in an attempted terrorist attack inspired by the Islamic State. C. Christine Fair, a professor in Georgetown University’s Peace and Security Studies Program, joined Benjamin Wittes to contextualize the incident. They discussed modern Bangladeshi terrorism, the country’s history and governance, and the significance (or lack thereof) of the attack.

Dec 20, 2017
Noah Feldman on Madison’s Three Lives
38:37

President James Madison shaped the course of American history in not one, not two, but three different and foundational roles in the formation of the young republic. He was a drafter of the constitution, a leader of the Democratic-Republican party, and America’s first wartime president. In a sweeping biography, Noah Feldman traces Madison’s distinct roles and their resonance in current politics in his new book “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” Jack Goldsmith recently interviewed Noah Feldman on the book. Together, they discussed Madison’s dynamic role in shaping America’s Constitution, his influence on national security, including the use of economic sanctions, and much more.

Dec 16, 2017
Saria Samakie on Surviving Syria
52:42

Saria Samakie has a story unlike those of most of his peers at Georgetown. After being kidnapped three times in Syria, Samakie managed to flee the war-ravaged country and eventually arrived in the United States. Arne Duncan, a Brookings nonresident senior fellow and former secretary of education, recently interviewed Samakie to describe growing up in Syria, the harrowing experience of being a teenager under Assad’s regime, and what he envisions for his future—and his country’s. 

Dec 12, 2017
MIkhail Zygar on Putin as the Accidental King
45:34

When the Department of Justice required RT, the Russian-funded news outlet, to register as a foreign agent last month, the Russian government responded in kind. Yet the Kremlin's recent crackdown on Western media is part of a longer history of stifling independent media in Russia. For this episode of the Lawfare Podcast's special Russia series, Alina Polyakova talked to Mikhail Zygar, a Russian independent journalist, filmmaker, and author of two books on the Kremlin’s elite circle. They discussed Zygar's latest book "All the Kremlin's Men," what it’s like to be an independent journalist in Russia today, why Vladimir Putin may be far from a strategic mastermind, and much more. 

Dec 09, 2017
Bruce Riedel on Kings and Presidents
43:13

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime ally in the Middle East, faces a tumultuous future. Plummeting oil prices, an ongoing royal purge, and Yemen’s civil war across the border have thrust the kingdom into a domestic and international maelstrom. But what role does the United States play in Saudi Arabia’s changing position? To address that question, Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, recently discussed his new book “Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and America Since FDR” at a Brookings event. Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, moderated the conversation in which they discussed the state of U.S.-Saudi relations, the historical events that have precipitated Saudi Arabia’s current situation, and the future of the kingdom. 

Dec 05, 2017
Special Edition: A Criminal #Flynnformation and a Plea Deal
38:04

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty today and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. We put together an all-star panel to talk it through. Lawfare contributors Orin Kerr, Stewart Baker, Steve Vladeck, and Paul Rosenzweig joined Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey to go over all the angles. 

Dec 01, 2017
Orin Kerr on Carpenter
38:18

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Carpenter v. United States, a major Fourth Amendment case asking whether a warrant is necessary before law enforcement can obtain cell site data identifying a suspect phone's location from a service provider. Lawfare contributor and Fourth Amendment expert Orin Kerr discussed the case with Benjamin Wittes shortly after the argument.

Nov 29, 2017
Arkady Ostrovsky on Russia’s Wild Wild Far East
47:41

Putin’s government is often painted as an all powerful, centralized regime. But, in reality, it’s far from that: in Russia’s Far East, Moscow is either resented or disregarded by many, and the security services are the only agents fully loyal to Moscow. This week, special guest host Alina Polyakova interviewed Arkady Ostrovsky, the author of “The Invention of Russia: The Rise of Putin and the Age of Fake News” and the Russia and Eastern Europe editor at the Economist, on life Russia’s wild Far East, the tensions between the Kremlin and its far flung provinces, and what it all means for the limits of Putin’s power and his deepest fears. 

This is the second podcast in a new series with Alina Polyakova to shed light on Russian politics and society in an effort to understand the Kremlin’s intentions toward and engagement with the West.

Nov 25, 2017
Gordon Wood on Friends Divided
41:53

The relationship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams largely shaped the course of the newly-formed United States of America. Historian Gordon Wood examined this relationship and its effect on America’s future in his new book “Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson." Last week, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Wood on his book to discuss the friendship and disagreements between Jefferson and Adams, America’s perilous position in the 1790s, and the ways in which the Founding Fathers forged the country’s national security policy.

Nov 21, 2017
Naunihal Singh on Zimbabwe and the Strategic Logic of Military Coups
37:19

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe's military placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest and took over state institutions in what is largely considered a military coup. Naunihal Singh, author of "Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups" and professor at the Naval War College, joined Benjamin Wittes for a lively discussion on current events in Zimbabwe and the nature of coups in general. They discussed the defining elements of a military coup and its modern history, the politics surrounding Zimbabwe's situation and much more. 

Nov 18, 2017
Cass Sunstein on the Citizen's Guide to Impeachment
51:27

Discussion on impeachment has intensified since Donald Trump assumed office this January, but what do we know about impeachment’s constitutional design and history? Cass Sunstein, professor at Harvard Law School, recently wrote an accessible account of impeachment to separate myth from history. Last week, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Sunstein on his new book "Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide." They discussed the Framers’ intent behind impeachment, what “high crimes and misdemeanors” actually means, the appropriate situations for which impeachment is called, and much more.

Nov 14, 2017
Andrei Soldatov on Russian Intel Ops and Surveillance
52:08

Matters Russia have been prevalent in U.S. politics since news of the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 elections first surfaced. It's time to pay some serious attention to the Russian surveillance apparatus. Andrei Soldatov, a Russian investigative journalist and co-author of the book, “The Red Web,” brings a unique interpretation of the Kremlin’s actions as an independent reporter in the very country Americans find so confusing. Special guest host Alina Polyakova, David M. Rubenstein fellow in Brookings’s Foreign Policy Program, interviewed Soldatov last week to discuss Russia’s perspective on the 2016 election meddling, the Kremlin’s surveillance operations, Edward Snowden, and much more.  

This is the first podcast in a new project between in which Polyakova will shed light on Russian politics and society on the Lawfare Podcast in an effort to understand the Kremlin’s intentions toward and engagement with the West.

Nov 12, 2017
Special Edition: A Person of Flynnterest
01:03:55

The Wall Street Journal this morning broke a major story: Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump's former national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, for allegedly plotting with Turkish officials to arrange the extrajudicial removal of Fethullah Gulen from the United States in exchange for a boatload of money. We put together an emergency podcast with Shane Harris, one of the reporters on the story, Ryan Evans of War on the Rocks, and Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey, Paul Rosenzweig, and Steve Vladeck to cover all the angles. What does it mean? And where does it go from here?

Warning: the audio quality is a little rough in spots, recorded conference calls being what they are.

Nov 10, 2017
Susan Landau is Listening in on You
47:12

Technology presents both consumer convenience and risk, creating a conflict between security and privacy as government agencies seek to weaken the protections that consumers want heightened. Cybersecurity expert and advocate of liberal encryption policy, Susan Landau, explores this challenge and the need for maintaining cybersecurity in her new book “Listening in: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age.” Last week at the Hoover Book Soiree, Benjamin Wittes and  Susan Landau discussed the issues behind encryption, whether law enforcement can manage without signals content, the impact of end-to-end encryption on security, and much more.  

Nov 07, 2017
Populisms Ancient and Modern with Mike Duncan
41:09

Political polarization, inequality, and corruption during the period 146 to 78 BC gravely weakened the Roman Republic in the years before its collapse. In his new book “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Late Republic,” podcaster Mike Duncan explores this period and how Rome’s politics, which emerged from Rome’s success, subsequently led to the republic’s downfall. Benjamin Wittes interviewed Duncan on his new book to discuss ancient and modern populisms, the parallels between the late Roman Republic and current American politics, and the impact of demagoguery on government.

Nov 03, 2017
Anne Applebaum on the Red Famine
26:05

Stalin’s 1929 agricultural collectivization policy, which catalyzed the most lethal famine in European history, left millions of Ukrainian peasants dead. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Anne Applebaum recently published a book on this famine and the horrors of Stalin’s agricultural collectivization in Ukraine, revealing the more insidious intent behind the Soviet Union’s policy and enforcement. Last week, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Applebaum on her new book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, to discuss the scope of the book, the devastating impact of Stalin’s policy on Ukraine’s peasant population, and the book’s relevance to Putin’s current agenda.

Nov 01, 2017
Special Edition: Indictment Day
33:23

What a day. Paul Manafort Jr. and Richard Gates III have been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who today also rolled out a plea deal with Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. Lawfare contributing editors Paul Rosenzweig, who worked under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, and Robert Bauer, who served as Barack Obama's White House Counsel, join Benjamin Wittes for a discussion of the day's events.

Oct 31, 2017
Revenge of the Blob: A Texas National Security Review Panel
54:30

This week marked the launch of the Texas National Security Review, a new publication from the University of Texas and War on the Rocks. At the recent launch event of the journal, War on the Rocks editor-in-chief Ryan Evans moderated a conversation with Benjamin Wittes, Kori Schake, distinguished research fellow at the Hoover Institution and Nora Bensahel, defense policy analyst and Atlantic Council scholar. Panelists discussed how countries are responding to the Trump administration and what strategies they should consider in the future, the relationship between domestic and international order, and how we should feel about the state of American democracy ten months into the new administration.

Oct 27, 2017
Brookings Panel on 'Icarus' and Russian Meddling
47:08

Last week, Lawfare hosted a screening and panel discussion of the new film Icarus at the Brookings Institution. Benjamin Wittes moderated the conversation with director Bryan Fogel, producer Dan Cogan, Atlantic staff writer Julia Ioffe, and Brookings President Strobe Talbott to discuss the film and its striking similarities to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Podcast listeners may recall we did an earlier Lawfare podcast with Fogel in August about the film. Warning: This discussion will make more sense for those who have seen the film--available on Netflix—or who have listened to that earlier episode.

Oct 24, 2017