The Lawfare Podcast

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.

Direct download: Orin_Kerr_mixdown_final_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Edited_Final_Alina_Arkady_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41am EDT

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.

Direct download: Gordon_Wood_final_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

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. 

Direct download: Zimbabwe_Coup_mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Cass_Sunstein_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Alina_Polykova_Andrei_Soldatov_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Emergency_Podcast_11_10_17_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

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.  

Direct download: Susan_Landau_Listening_In_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Mike_Duncan_mixdown_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Anne_Applebaum_Remixed_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT