From February 28, 2015: On Thursday of this week, Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes and Bobby Chesney, along with General Jack Keane, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee to provide “Outside Perspectives on the President's Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”The hearing grappled with a number of difficult and vitally necessary questions: What exactly does "enduring ground combat operations" mean? Should the AUMF sunset after three years? And, does a new AUMF accomplish anything if it is not tied to the existing authorities present in the 2001 AUMF? The discussion delved deeply into the President's proposed AUMF, its merits and its flaws, and how those failings can be addressed.Note: The Podcast has been edited for length and content; only the most relevant parts of the discussion are included.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Lawfare has a new podcast: Chatter! Hosted by none other than David Priess, publisher of Lawfare and the Lawfare Institute's chief operating officer, and Shane Harris, intelligence reporter from the Washington Post, Chatter focuses on culture, science and national security issues through long-form interviews with cool people. They joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about what they're doing with the show, what they're planning to do with the show and what sort of people they're going to bring on it. Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Roger Parloff is a senior editor at Lawfare and the author of the recent article, “What Do—and Will—the Criminal Prosecutions of the Jan. 6 Capitol Rioters Tell Us?” It is a deep dive on the demographics, the charges and the adjudications of the Capitol riot cases so far. Roger sat down with Benjamin Wittes on Lawfare Live to talk about who the Capitol rioters were, why some of them have been allowed to plead out to misdemeanors, what characterizes the misdemeanor pleas and who is left among the bigger fish.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From February 20, 2012: Joel Brenner, who served as inspector general of the National Security Agency and as the national counterintelligence executive in the DNI's office, joined Jack Goldsmith to discuss his new book, America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare. Benjamin Wittes reviewed the book here.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Majid Khan pled guilty in a military commission at Guantanamo eight years ago, but he has been back in the news of late. At a sentencing hearing at Guantanamo recently, he gave graphic testimony about his torture and treatment at the hands of the CIA and the military. He also took responsibility and showed remorse for his own conduct. His speech in the military commission was sufficiently moving that several members of the jury wrote a letter to the convening authority asking for clemency for Majid Khan. To talk about the dramatic events, the history of the case, and the CIA program's treatment of Majid Khan, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Michel Paradis, an appellate lawyer for the Office of Military Commissions Defense Counsel. They talked about what Majid Khan did, his history in al-Qaeda after a childhood in Baltimore, what was done to him, and whether with all this water under the bridge, something like justice could ever come from a trial.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued a declassified assessment of the origins of the coronavirus, and it's a bit of a muddle. Was it a lab leak? They don't really know. Was it naturally occurring? They're not quite sure. They do know a few things. It wasn't a bioweapon, and we're not going to find out any real answers until China starts cooperating. To chew over the ODNI's report, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Shane Harris of the Washington Post, who wrote a story about the assessment last week. They talked about what the Intelligence Community could agree on, what it couldn't agree on, why the people with the minority opinion were more confident than the people with the majority opinion, and what we can and can't say about the coronavirus.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From January 5, 2019: The murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in 2017 and other recent events have drawn in the public discourse to the fact that domestic terrorism is not a federal crime in and of itself. Earlier this week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with two experts on domestic terrorism to talk about ways that it might be incorporated into our criminal statutes.Mary McCord is a professor of practice at Georgetown Law School, a senior litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law School, and the former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the U.S. Department of Justice. Jason Blazakis is a former State Department official in charge of the office that designates foreign terrorist organizations and a professor of practice at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Both have proposed ideas in recent months to recognize domestic terrorism in U.S. law. They joined Ben to talk about their very different proposals for how domestic terrorism might become a crime. They talked about why domestic terrorism is currently left out of the criminal code, their two proposals for how it might be incorporated and how those proposals differ, and the First Amendment consequences of their competing proposals.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Pete Strzok is a former counter-intelligence official at the FBI. He is the author most recently of an article in Lawfare entitled, “The Sussmann Indictment, Human Source Handling, and the FBI's Declining FISA Numbers.” It's an article that makes an interesting connection between a sentence in the indictment of Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann and some data on FISA applications released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They may seem unconnected, but Strzok argues that there may be a deep connection between the two, and he sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss it. They talked about the anomaly of the Sussmann indictment; about how it was the tip of a very large iceberg of investigations of officials, agents and analysts who worked on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation; and about the shocking decrease in the number of FISA orders issued over the length of the Trump presidency. Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From March 25, 2017: Between leading the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's first open hearing on Russian election interference on Monday, and sparring with HPSCI Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes over Nunes's odd escapades regarding possible incidental collection of communications of Trump associates, HPSCI Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff has had a busy week. On Tuesday, Lawfare and the Brookings Institution were pleased to host Rep. Schiff for an address on "The Role of Congress in Protecting Liberal Democracy." In conversation with Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey, Rep. Schiff spelled out an ambitious legislative program and a vision for revitalizing the power of Congress under the Trump presidency.If you're interested in reading Rep. Schiff's remarks, Lawfare has published them here in article form.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From February 25, 2017: Under the oversight of Paul Lewis, the Department of Defense's Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure under the Obama administration, the detainee population at Guantanamo Bay went from 164 to 41. But Guantanamo remains open, and the Trump administration has promised not only to halt any further transfers or releases of detainees, but also to possibly bring in more detainees in the future. And that's aside from the fact that recent news reports indicate that a former Guantanamo detainee was responsible for an ISIS suicide bombing in Mosul.With this in mind, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Paul to discuss his time as special envoy, President Obama's failure to close the detention center, and what's next for Gitmo under President Trump.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jonathan David Shaub is an assistant professor of law at the University of Kentucky. He is a former OLC attorney and the author of a series of recent Lawfare posts on executive privilege, witnesses, documents and the Jan. 6 committee. He sat down with Benjamin Wittes to talk about Steve Bannon, the former president's suit against the National Archives, all of the privilege claims that are floating around, the misinformation about them that's proliferating on Twitter, and how the Justice Department will think about actually handling the cases that are now presenting themselves to it.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The January 6 investigating committee in the House is busily issuing subpoenas, collecting documents and negotiating with witnesses for depositions. It is also being defied by certain witnesses, and the former president is threatening to try to stop the National Archives from turning over material related to his activities and communications during and leading up to the January 6 insurrection.To chew over the entire spectrum of issues the committee is facing, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Brookings congressional guru and Lawfare senior editor Molly Reynolds, and Quinta Jurecic, also a senior editor at Lawfare and a Brookings fellow focusing on post-Trump accountability issues. They are the authors together of a recent piece on Lawfare on the hurdles the January 6 investigation may face. They talked about executive privilege claims involving witnesses; about executive privilege claims involving documents; about who controls the privilege, the current president or the past president; and about whether this is all just a complex scheme to run out the clock. Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General released a report on the FBI's mishandling of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications. It's the latest in a string of Inspector General reports and other documents to talk about the process. To go through the latest report, why the process is so important and what it all means, Jacob Schulz sat down on Lawfare Live with Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes, and Adam Klein, the former chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, who is now at the University of Texas at Austin's Strauss Center as director of the program on Technology, Security, and Global Affairs. They discussed what's in the latest report, what to make of it and how to think about reforms to the process in general.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The majority staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee has issued an interim report, entitled “Subverting Justice: How the Former President and His Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election.” A lot of it covers ground we knew about previously, but it contains a raft of new details about the president's pressure on the Justice Department to support his election fraud claims, the resignation of a U.S. attorney in Georgia, and the bizarre attempt to install as acting attorney general a Justice Department official who might actually support the president's ambitions. To go over it all, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Lawfare senior editors Alan Rozenshtein and Quinta Jurecic, and Lawfare associate editor Bryce Klehm, who has been reading all of the depositions in the matter. They talked about what the committee found, what aspects of it are new and what we might do about this dramatic turn of events.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From August 5, 2017: The growing threat from North Korea has intensified during the past few weeks after a series of missile tests demonstrated that the Kim regime may soon be able to strike the continental United States. This week, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Mira Rapp-Hooper, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and Stephan Haggard, a distinguished professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, to discuss recent events and the path forward for the United States and the international community. They addressed the diplomatic and military options for addressing the North Korean threat, the likelihood that the Kim regime will respond to traditional deterrence strategies, and how a new administration in the U.S. changes the dynamics in the region.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From October 9, 2018: It's easy to spend all our time focusing on American domestic politics these days, but the rest of the world is not going away. Take the European Union, for example—our neighbors from across the pond, and one of the US's most valuable economic and security relationships. There's a lot going on over there, and some of it even involves us. How is that relationship faring in the age of tariffs, presidential blusters, Brexit, and tensions over Iran sanctions?To figure that out, Shannon Togawa Mercer and Benjamin Wittes spoke to David O'Sullivan, the EU Ambassador to the United States. They talked about the US-EU trade relationship, Iran and Russia sanctions, Privacy Shield, the rule of law in deconsolidating democracies in the EU, and more.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, is free, having been put on a flight from Canada back to her native China. Moments later, two Canadians held in China were also freed and put on flights back to Canada in what many are describing as hostage diplomacy by the People's Republic of China. The United States had indicted Wanzhou and Huawei for bank fraud but dropped the indictment against her at least, having reached a deferred prosecution agreement with her in which she gave statements that may be used against Huawei. To go over all of the angles, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Pete Strzok, former deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI; Julian Ku, a professor of law at Hofstra University School of Law; and Leah West of Carleton University in Canada.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Ronan Bergman is a reporter for the New York Times and the author of the book, “Rise and Kill First,” a history of Israeli targeted killings. Most recently with Farnaz Fassihi, he is the author of a lengthy New York Times investigative report entitled, “The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine,” which is the story of the use of a ground-based robotic machine gun to kill an Iranian nuclear scientist. He joined Benjamin Wittes from Tel-Aviv to talk about the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the operation and the machine through which it was conducted, the larger policy of Israeli assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, and the legal bases on which these are done. Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Congress, which has been on recess for the month of August, has a lot on its plate. The January 6 committee is starting to receive information, and it has gone into stealth mode. If Congress doesn't get its act together, the government is going to shut down and we're going to default on the federal debt. And there's actually been some oversight hearings recently. We decided to check in on it all with Molly Reynolds and Quinta Jurecic, both of the Brookings Institution and both senior editors at Lawfare. They joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about what Congress has been doing, what's coming down the pike and if we are headed toward disaster.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Lawfare's editor in chief, Benjamin Wittes, gives a talk at the Palace of Westminster--sponsored by the Henry Jackson Society--on whether drones are becoming the new Guantanamo.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It has now been 20 years since September 11th, 2001. So we're bringing you a Peabody Award-winning story from our archives about one sentence, written in the hours after the attacks, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace. In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law - called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) - has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the "war on terror." In this collaboration with BuzzFeed, reporter Gregory Johnsen tells us the story of how this has come to be one of the most important, confusing, troubling sentences of the last two decades. We go into the meetings that took place in the chaotic days just after 9/11, speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman Ron Dellums about the vote on the AUMF. We hear from former White House and State Department lawyers John Bellinger & Harold Koh. We learn how this legal language unleashed Guantanamo, Navy Seal raids and drone strikes. And we speak with journalist Daniel Klaidman, legal expert Benjamin Wittes and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about how these words came to be interpreted, and what they mean for the future of war and peace. Finally, we check back in with Congresswoman Lee, and talk to Yale law professor and national security expert Oona Hathaway, about how to move on from the original sixty words. Original episode produced by Matt Kielty and Kelsey Padgett with original music by Dylan Keefe. Update reported and produced by Sarah Qari and Soren Wheeler. Special thanks to Brian Finucane. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.
On this premiere episode of Rational Security 2.0, new hosts Alan Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, and Scott R. Anderson are joined by special guest Benjamin Wittes to discuss: the Taliban's new government and the brutal way it seems to be governing (especially in relation to women); the Biden administration's border policies, and why they're facing trouble in the courts; and our summer from hell: are recent heat waves, wildfires, and floods now a permanent part of the American experience, and will this change the political calculus on climate change?For object lessons, Alan testified to the charms of Duluth, Minnesota; Ben talked about his efforts to shrink his carbon footprint, including by building Lawfare a new conference table; Quinta discussed an exciting new line of action figures taking toy stores by storm (pictured below); and Scott explained why the end of the global pandemic may just taste like pumpkin beer. Rational Security is a product of Lawfare. Be sure to visit Rational Security's show page and support Lawfare on Patreon to gain access to ad-free podcast feeds and other benefits. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From December 12, 2019: Live from the #NatSecGirlSquad Conference in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2019, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Danielle Citron, professor of law at Boston University, VP of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow. Ben and Danielle talked about technology, sexual privacy, sextortion, and the previously unexplored intersections of feminism and cybersecurity.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From April 16, 2019: Since November, Lawfare Contributor Michelle Melton has run a series on our website about Climate Change and National Security, examining the implication of the threat as well as U.S. and international responses to climate change. Melton is a student a Harvard Law school. Prior to that she was an associate fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she focused on climate policy.She and Benjamin Wittes sat down to discuss the series. They talked about why we should think about climate change as a national security threat, the challenges of viewing climate change through this paradigm, the long-standing relationship between climate change and the U.S. national security apparatus, and how climate change may affect global migration.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From April 19, 2014: Benjamin Wittes had meant to have a book review of former CIA lawyer John Rizzo's new book, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, ready to run along with this episode of the podcast. But he was still working on the review, which will be up shortly, and he didn't want to hold up the podcast while he finished it.Ben caught up with Rizzo at a recent conference at Pepperdine University Law School. They talked about the book, some of its major themes, the persistence of the interrogation controversies and their latest manifestations. They also talked about the growth of lawyering at the CIA and why all the lawyers in the world can't seem to keep the agency out of trouble. And they talked about a career that, in many ways, tells the story of the modern CIA and the effort to do intelligence and covert action under law—from the Church Committee to the post 9/11 scandals.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
You've probably heard about the craziness around the Biden administration's new eviction moratorium. They consulted outside law professors instead of the Justice Department. Or did they? The president said he didn't have the authority to do it, and then he did it anyway. Lawfare has published two big articles on the subject in the last couple of days—one of them by Lawfare senior editor Alan Rozenshtein, and the other by Lawfare founding editor Jack Goldsmith. They both joined Benjamin Wittes to talk it all through. What exactly did the Biden administration say? What exactly did it do? Where was the Justice Department? And did any of this violate the law? Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From March 9, 2019: For the past year, Matthew Waxman has been writing a series of vignettes on Lawfare about interesting—and usually overlooked—historical episodes of American constitutional war powers in action, and relating them to modern debates. These include the stories of St. Claire's Defeat and the Whiskey Rebellion during the Washington administration, congressional war powers and the surprisingly late termination of World War I, the proposed Ludlow Amendment during the interwar years, and Dwight Eisenhower's surprisingly broad Taiwan force authorization.Benjamin Wittes invited Matt on the podcast to talk about these episodes and how they fit together into the book broader project from which they sprung. It's a great discussion, very different from the usual war powers debates. Even if you think you know a lot about constitutional war powers, you'll learn a lot.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is the Pritzker Military Fellow at the Lawfare Institute, a former NSC staffer, and of course, an impeachment witness in the first impeachment of Donald J. Trump. He is also the author of the new book, "Here, Right Matters: An American Story." He joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about the book and the ground it covers—from Vindman's immigration as a small child, to his departure from the Army, the decision he made to report what he heard Donald Trump say to President Zelensky of Ukraine and the fallout, positive and negative. Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
On today's podcast Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes joins host Charlie Sykes to discuss "crack smoking, demon possessed leftists," Kevin McCarthy's "joke," vaccine passports, and evaluating the Merrick Garland Doctrine. Special Guest: Benjamin Wittes.
From August 12, 2017: The new Netflix documentary Icarus may seem at first glance off the beaten path for Lawfare. It's a film about doping in international sports, not national security law or policy. But as Benjamin Wittes explained when he reviewed it here, it's really about much more than that:Icarus is not about L'Affaire Russe or Russian interference with the 2016 election. But if you want to understand L'Affaire Russe, you should watch it. Because Icarus is the story of the Russian government's corruption of the integrity of supposedly neutral international processes and its use of covert action to tamper with those processes. If that sounds a little familiar, it should. It is easy to substitute in one's mind as one watches this film a foreign country's electoral system for the elaborate anti-doping testing regime whose systematic circumvention and undermining Icarus portrays. The corruption of process is similar. The motivation—the elevation of Russian national pride—significantly overlaps. The lies about it in the face of evidence are indistinguishable. And the result in both cases is a legitimacy crisis, of Olympic medals in one case and of a presidential election in another—a crisis that produces investigation and scandal.This week, Wittes asked Fogel to come on the podcast and talk about the film and its relationship to the broader concerns about Russia that have dominated public attention of late.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Yesterday saw the first hearing of the special House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riots and insurrection. Four law enforcement officers testified before the committee, which consisted of the Democrats along with two renegade Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.To chew it all over, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Lawfare congressional guru Molly Reynolds, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Quinta Jurecic, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. They talked about how the first hearing went, what it says about where the committee is headed, the fissures within the Republican party over how to handle this committee and whether the committee will have enough time and focus to get to real accountability.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From August 10, 2019: The United Kingdom has a new Prime Minister. It also has a looming cliff it is careening toward and about to leap off of on Halloween of this year. This week, Benjamin Wittes sat down with his Brookings colleague Amanda Sloat to talk about all things Brexit. They talked about the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his views on Brexit, the deadlock between Britain and the European Union, and the way the Brexit debate plays out in American politics.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From November 24, 2018: John Carlin served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's National Security Division from April 2014 to October 2016. In his new book with Garrett Graff, called “Dawn of the Code War: America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat," Carlin explains the cyber conflicts the U.S. faces and how the government fights back. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Carlin last week to talk about the book. They talked about about the FBI and Justice Department's fight against cyber espionage, about how the Justice Department attributes cyberattacks to the responsible actors, and about Carlin's experience as FBI director Robert Mueller's chief of staff.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It's been a busy couple of weeks at Guantanamo Bay, a place that has not had a busy couple of weeks in a while. There was a transfer, there was a resumption of military commissions, and the chief prosecutor of military commissions resigned abruptly.To go over these events, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Steve Vladeck, a Lawfare contributing editor and a professor at the University of Texas, and Latif Nasser, a co-host of the show Radiolab from New York Public Radio, where he did an extended series about a Guantanamo Bay detainee, who just happens to be the one who was transferred this week. They talked about who the transferee was and why he was held so long, about the resumption of military commissions and why they are stagnated even when resumed, about the resignation of General Martins, and about the DC Circuit's latest forays into Guantanamo Bay.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It was quite a week in cybersecurity. The Israeli firm NSO Group was outed by a consortium of newspapers and media entities for its snooping software Pegasus, which seems to have gathered data from the phones of a shockingly large number of people. Then, starting Sunday evening and into Monday morning, the Biden administration announced a multi-lateral response to China's Microsoft Exchange Server hack. There were indictments, there was a toughly worded statement, but there were no sanctions. Was it enough? Benjamin Wittes sat down with Matt Tait, AKA @pwnallthethings, the chief operating officer of Corellium, and Dmitri Alperovitch, the founder of the Silverado Policy Accelerator and the co-founder of CrowdStrike. They talked about the Biden administration's response on China; the disclosure of Pegasus and what that means for iPhone security, for Apple and for the Israeli government; and they talked about mobile device security. Is it hopeless?Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
U.S. troops are pulling out of Afghanistan, the withdrawal is almost done and U.S. forces turned over the Bagram Airfield to Afghan forces the other day. Scott Anderson knows something about withdrawals. He served at U.S. Embassy Baghdad shortly after the United States withdrew from Iraq. He joined Benjamin Wittes on Lawfare Live to talk about the Afghan withdrawal, his memories of the Iraq withdrawal and why these things sometimes go better and sometimes go worse. What has the Biden administration learned from the Iraq withdrawal experience? What is it doing right this time, and what is it doing wrong?Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From April 9, 2016: This week on the podcast, we welcome Eric Schwartz, the Dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Schwartz previously served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. In his conversation with Benjamin Wittes, he sketches the key aspects of U.S. refugee policy, explaining how it both protects the security of the United States and at times undermines its ability to accept refugees. Schwartz, who believes the United States has an interest in alleviating the Syrian refugee crisis, outlines what a coherent refugee policy would look like, and argues that the reforms must go beyond simply accepting more refugees.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jack Goldsmith is feeling a little bit grouchy. In a piece on Lawfare entitled, "Empty Threats and Warnings on Cyber," he blasts the Biden administration and its predecessors for "publicly pledging to impose 'consequences' on Russia for its cyber actions for at least five years—usually, as here, following a hand-wringing government deliberation in the face of a devastating cyber incident." Goldsmith catalogs the recent history of administrations promising big action against Russia, yet seeming to take none, and he asks why we would do this. Why would we thus erode our deterrent capability?He joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the latest of these statements, the history of them and the question of why the United States keeps speaking loudly and carrying such a small stick. Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From December 3, 2016: Earlier this week, the New York Times published a story by Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, and Mark Mazzetti informing us that the Obama administration had changed its interpretation of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to more broadly cover the use of force against al-Shabaab, expanding its previous reading of the AUMF as only authorizing force against members of al-Shabaab individually linked to al-Qaeda. Bobby noted the story on Lawfare and provided a few comments. While the news has been somewhat drowned out amidst the hubbub of the presidential transition, the significance of this change in legal interpretation shouldn't be lost—so we brought Bobby and Charlie Savage on the podcast to talk with Benjamin Wittes about where this change came from and what it might mean. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Manhattan district attorney and the New York attorney general's office have issued an indictment against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. It was, shall we say, not the indictment that many people who imagined accountability for Donald Trump would have prayed for or would have expected. It focuses on under-the-table compensation for senior executives—one senior executive in particular. To discuss it all, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic; Daniel Hemel, a tax law expert at the University of Chicago; and Rebecca Roiphe of the New York Law School, who is an expert on prosecutions and politicization and a veteran of the New York office that brought the case. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Adam Klein was, until the other day, the chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, known colloquially as the PCLOB. In that capacity, he had the opportunity to do something that no one has ever really done before as an outsider: review a bunch of FISA applications, that is, applications for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The result is a white paper that looks behind the FISA curtain that he published before leaving office and about which he wrote a Lawfare post. He joined Benjamin Wittes on Lawfare Live to talk about the applications, the review, the white paper and the Lawfare article, and how the FISA process could stand improvement. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Apple Daily newspaper in Hong Kong has shut down under pressure from the Chinese and Hong Kong governments. It's the latest political repression in Hong Kong that shows no sign of easing up. Alvin Cheung is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University and a non-resident affiliated scholar at NYU's U.S.-Asia Law Institute. He joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about the Apple Daily case, the other cases like it, the implementation of Hong Kong's new national security law and what it all means for the Hong Kong constitutional order. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From the Lawfare Archive, February 19, 2020: Jessica Stern, who served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, has a remarkable skill: she interviews really bad people, and she writes about them in really interesting ways. She spent quite a bit of time interviewing Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic, who is serving a life sentence at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide in connection with the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s. Their conversations led to the publication of the book, "My War Criminal: Personal Encounters with an Architect of Genocide," which triggered a remarkable outpouring of rage at Jessica Stern. Benjamin Wittes spoke with Jessica recently about the book, the controversy, and her general approach to talking to evil men. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
President Biden met with President Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. There was a lot of press and dueling press conferences, with both presidents having testy moments with them, and the whole thing was pretty different from the last time Putin met with a U.S. president. To talk through the Putin-Biden summit, Benjamin Wittes sat down on Lawfare Live with Fiona Hill and Alex Vindman, both formerly of the National Security Council, Alina Polyakova of the Center for European Policy Analysis, and former Estonian President Toomas Ilves. They discussed whether this was a win for Putin, a win for Biden, an overblown icebreaker or something else, and what it all says about where U.S.-Russia relations are headed. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A spree of stories has emerged over the last week or so that the Justice Department under the prior administration obtained phone and email records of several journalists, several members of Congress and staffers, and even family members. It has provoked a mini scandal, calls for investigation, howls of rage and serious questions. To discuss it all, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Gabe Rottman of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, former FBI agent Pete Strzok, Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic and Berkeley law professor and Lawfare contributing editor Orin Kerr. They talked about what we really know about these stories and what happened in these investigations. Was it all legal? Was it legitimate? How should it be investigated and by whom? And what does it mean that none of the prior attorneys general or deputy attorneys general seem to remember it? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Daniel Richman and Sarah Seo are professors at Columbia Law School, and they are co-authors of a recent article on Lawfare entitled, "Toward a New Era for Federal and State Oversight of Local Police." Benjamin Wittes sat down with them to discuss the article, the history of the federal-state relationship in law enforcement, how the feds came to play an oversight role with respect to police departments, the limits of that role inherent in the cooperative relationship that law enforcement agencies engage in for other reasons, the role that the feds might play under new legislation and the role that state governments may play as well. Sign up for Lawfare's Patreon to support our podcast and get access to its ad-free feed and other perks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Alicia Wanless is the director of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and she has a beef with the current debate over influence operations. Put simply, we don't really know what works in countering them, and the studies of the subject all seem to be case studies using different methodologies and examining different things. Benjamin Wittes spoke with her about how we might improve our knowledge base on this subject, what kind of information we would need to study whether influence operations work and what works to counter them. They talked about transparency reporting requirements for the big tech companies, data sharing between companies and scholars, what a massive effort at research in this space would look like and whether it has any possibility of coming to be.Sign up for Lawfare's Patron to get access to an ad-free podcast feed and other exclusive content. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It's been a crazy time for Trump investigations. There is a new one in the Eastern District of New York, a grand jury in Manhattan and ongoing investigations in the Southern District of New York. There's also a big throwback to the Mueller investigation—a smackdown between the current Justice Department and Judge Amy Berman Jackson over whether the Justice Department has to release documents from when Bill Barr was thinking about what to do with the Mueller report.To talk it all over, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare executive editor Scott Anderson and Jack Goldsmith of the Harvard Law School. They talked about what we can responsibly say about these new investigations, where they might be going and what the Justice Department's fight with Judge Jackson says about Bill Barr and his comments about the Mueller investigation. Get the ad-free version of the Lawfare Podcast on our Patreon page See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It's been a year since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and there have been a lot of police reform efforts since then. A lot of them have come to nothing, but some of them have been very productive—at the state level, in certain cities and even, to a certain extent, at the federal level. To discuss the police reform successes and failures of the last year, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Rashawn Ray, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and the David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, who has studied police violence issues extensively and has become a prominent voice on the subject of police reform. They talked about what has worked, how close we are to federal legislation on the subject and what the holdups are, which states have made progress and how, which states haven't moved the ball and what success over the next year might look like. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Over the weekend, an airplane from an Irish airline flying from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, was forced down in Belarus so that Belarusian authorities could arrest a dissident. The pretext for the grounding of the plane was a bomb threat from, of all things, Hamas. The incident has produced a major international standoff between the European Union and Belarus, with Russia lurking in the background. What does it all mean? Can this be defended as a matter of international law? Was this simply a hijacking by the Belarusian government, or was Vladimir Putin really behind it? And what can the United States and the European Union do about it all? To discuss these questions, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Alexander Vindman, the Pritzker Military Fellow at Lawfare; Alina Polyakova of the Center for European Policy Analysis; and Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.