The Lawfare Podcast (general)

This afternoon, the Washington Post broke a major story: Donald Trump disclosed highly classified material to the Russian ambassador and Foreign Minister in the Oval Office last week, compromising a highly sensitive counterterrorism program run by an allied intelligence service. This evening, we got former DNI General Counsel Robert Litt on the line for a discussion with Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes of the latest mess. Litt helped coordinate and manage the intelligence community's response to the Edward Snowden revelations, so he knows a little something about responding to massive intelligence disclosures. We talked about how bad the disclosure may be, what the remedies for it are, and what we still don't know. 

Direct download: Episode_225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08pm EST

It’s been a long week, so after our special emergency edition on the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the Lawfare Podcast is coming to your rescue with an episode that has nothing at all to do with the crisis at the FBI. Instead, take a listen to Jack Goldsmith’s interview of Mark Moyar at the Hoover Book Soiree about Moyar’s new book, Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America’s Special Operations Forces. The conversation delves into the history of special operations forces and how they’ve been used and misused over time.

Direct download: Episode_224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm EST

The sound quality is, well, substandard, and we apologize for that. But people on Twitter were asking for an emergency podcast on FBI Director James Comey's firing today, and we put together an incredible group to discuss the day's events. In a recorded conference call this evening, we heard from—in addition to the two of us—Jack Goldmith, who knows a little something about confrontations between the White House and Justice Department officials; Carrie Cordero, who knows a little something about national security investigations (having served at NSD for years); and Paul Rosenzweig, who knows a little something about special prosecutor investigations (having served under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr). By the time you listen to this, it may be out of date, but we're confident it's the best discussion you'll hear on the subject tonight.

Direct download: Episode_223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07pm EST

Three months into the Trump presidency, where does the relationship between the President and the intelligence community stand? Donald Trump is no longer quite so regularly combative in his tweets and public comments about the various intelligence agencies, but the White House-intelligence community relationship is still far from normal under this very unusual presidency. Here to ponder the question are former NSA and CIA director General Michael Hayden, former acting and deputy director of CIA John McLaughlin, and former deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism Juan Zarate, who spoke with the Washington Post’s David Ignatius in a recent event at the Aspen Institute.

Direct download: Episode_222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am EST

Four years on, the cultural differences between Europe and the United States exposed by Edward Snowden’s disclosures of NSA surveillance programs still loom large in transatlantic relations. At our most recent Hoover Book Soiree, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Russell Miller—editor of a new volume on Privacy and Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair— and Ralf Poscher—who, along with Ben, contributed a chapter to the book—to chat about privacy and surveillance oversight post-Snowden.

Direct download: Episode_221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am EST

Over the past year, Lawfare has expended a great deal of ink on the problem of sextortion, a form of online sexual assault in which perpetrators obtain explicit images or video of their victims and use those images to extort further explicit content. We even brought Mona Sedky, a Justice Department prosecutor who focuses on sextortion cases, onto the podcast to discuss her work. Now, we’re pleased to feature Mona on the podcast once again with audio of her talk last week at George Washington University Law School on prosecuting sextortion.

If you’re interested in reading our Brookings Institution reports on sextortion, you can find them here and here.

Direct download: Episode_220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EST

As our dependence on cyberspace increases, so too will the urgency of crafting good cybersecurity policy—but the combination of knotty problems in the realms of both technology and law often makes these issues particularly difficult to iron out. In this episode of the podcast, Susan Hennessey sits down with Trey Herr, Fellow with the Belfer Center's Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School; Jane Chong, Deputy Managing Editor of Lawfare and National Security and Law Associate at the Hoover Institution; and Robert M. Lee, nonresident national cybersecurity fellow at New America, to chat about a new book on the subject: Cyber Insecurity: Navigating the Perils of the Next Information AgeCo-edited by Trey and Richard Harrison, Director of Operations and Defense Technology Programs at the American Foreign Policy Council, and with chapters by Jane and Robert, the book seeks provides a practitioner's roadmap to cybersecurity policy.

Direct download: Episode_219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EST

At the Third Triple Entente Beer Summit, the usual Rational Security gang (Shane Harris, Benjamin Wittes, Tamara Cofman Wittes, and Susan Hennessey) joins up with Stewart Baker and Michael Vatis of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast to discuss airstrikes in Syria, the misadventures of Devin Nunes, and Steve Bannon's ouster from the National Security Council. Plus, in Object Lessons, Stewart recommends Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich and Shane does some sleuthing. 
 
Direct download: Episode_218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EST

On Friday, March 31st, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held its first open hearing in its investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election on "Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns." The experts before the committee, including Eugene Rumer, Roy Godson, Clint Watts, Kevin Mandia, General Keith Alexander, and Thomas Rid, gave a useful rundown of the scope and mechanics of Russian influence. There's just one problem: their testimony ran five hours long. So once again, we've cut down the hearing to a snappy two hours, bringing you just the good parts. 

Direct download: Episode_217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm EST

At this week's Hoover Book Soiree, Samuel Tadros of the Hudson Institute and the Hoover Institution sat down with Graeme Wood to discuss his new book, The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic StateThe book both situates ISIS within context of Islamic history and theology and chronicles Wood's meetings with ISIS supporters and sympathizers across the world in an effort to understand what's behind the group's pull. It's a useful complement to the news coming out of Iraq and Syria as we begin to consider what the future of ISIS will look like after the fall of Raqqa and Mosul.

Direct download: Episode_216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EST