The Lawfare Podcast

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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.

Direct download: Lawfare_Emergency_Podcast_-_Indictment_Day_mixdown_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12pm EST

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.

Direct download: War_on_the_Rocks_Event_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm EST

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.

Direct download: Icarus_Screening_mixdown_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm EST

In his recent book Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA, civil liberties activist and former intelligence official Timothy Edgar calls for a renewed conversation on mass surveillance reform in the global and digital age. This month, Benjamin Wittes interviewed Edgar on his new book at the Hoover Institution’s regular book soiree. They discussed Edgar’s work as both an ACLU lawyer and an intelligence official in the Bush and Obama administrations, the substantive reform agenda Edgar envisions for mass surveillance, the nuances of protecting privacy in a global landscape, and much more.

Direct download: Hoover_Event_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EST

When an American ISIS fighter turned himself in to Syrian Democratic Forces last month, the subsequent detention of the unnamed enemy combatant by U.S. forces sparked concern. To explore the implications of John Doe’s detention, Steve Vladeck joined Benjamin Wittes for a lively debate on the level of alarm that the American citizen held in military custody should raise. They discussed the facts of the event, the reasons behind the failure to disclose John Doe’s identity or provide him access to counsel, the legitimacy of his detention, and much more. 

Direct download: Steve_Vladeck_EDIT_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EST

Political Islam has been radically shifting in the past four years since the Egyptian coup and the emergence of ISIS, consequently challenging how we understand Islamist movements and their impact. To evaluate the evolution of mainstream Islamist groups and the obstacles they face in governance, Brookings Senior Fellows Shadi Hamid and Will McCants led an initiative to assess these movements across 12 countries, compiling field research from a group of leading specialists in their recently released book Rethinking Political Islam. Benjamin Wittes interviewed Shadi and Will on their book, discussing the scope of the volume, the common themes across the major movements, and the nuances of movements in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Syria.

Direct download: Rethinking_Political_Islam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:58pm EST

Last month, Lawfare and Foreign Policy hosted an event on lawyering for the Trump presidency. Susan Hennessey spoke with former White House Counsels Bob Bauer, who served in the Obama administration from 2010 to 2011, and A.B. Culvahouse, who served in the Reagan administration from 1987 to 1989, in a lively discussion on providing legal support when your client is the president. They talked about the distinction between a president’s personal counsel and White House counsel, the challenges of defending a president during an investigation, and the quotidian aspects of the role of the White House Counsel. 

Direct download: 10072017_Bar_Review_Live.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EST