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The Lawfare Podcast

Author: The Lawfare Institute

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The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at www.lawfareblog.com.

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876 Episodes
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This week on Arbiters of Truth, the Lawfare Podcast's series on our online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with the journalist Will Oremus, who until recently was a senior writer at the technology publication OneZero and who is one of the most astute observers of online platforms and their relationship to the media. They dug into Will’s reporting on the social media platform Nextdoor. The app is designed to connect neighbors, but Will argues it’s filling the space left by collapsing local news—which may not be the best development when the platform is struggling with many of the common challenges of content moderation. And, of course, they also talked about the inescapable, ever-present elephant in the room—the Facebook Oversight Board’s ruling on Donald Trump’s account. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jerusalem on the Brink

Jerusalem on the Brink

2021-05-1253:14

The situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories is growing heated. Protests over the forced dislocation of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have escalated into violent confrontations with Israeli police forces, including in the Old City of Jerusalem and on the sacred grounds of the al-Aqsa Mosque, interrupting prayers there during the holy month of Ramadan. Over the past few days, these clashes have in turn triggered rocket attacks into Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza and reciprocal airstrikes by the Israeli military. Some such rockets have even reached the city of Tel Aviv, leading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partner, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, to promise a new military operation against Hamas in Gaza over the days to come. To catch up on these fast-moving developments, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of the Center for Middle East Policy, and Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. They discussed the origins of this most recent conflict, the unusual Israeli and Palestinian political context in which it is occurring and what it might all mean for the Biden administration's own objectives in the region. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
David Ignatius, a columnist for the Washington Post, recently ran a lengthy column about the machinations of Kash Patel in the executive branch during the presidential transition. Patel, a former staffer for Devin Nunes, held a variety of positions in the months before Donald Trump left office, and Donald Trump considered him for a variety of other positions. It's a remarkable story that raises a whole series of questions that Jack Goldsmith has been asking on Lawfare for some time. Benjamin Wittes sat down with Ignatius and Goldsmith to discuss the article. What was Patel up to in the final days of the Trump administration? What does it say about the way the executive branch functioned under Donald Trump? And what does it say about the activities of the deep state? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the fifth episode of "After Trump," the six-part limited podcast series based on the book, "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency," by Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith, we consider whether the Justice Department is really independent of the president. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Over its first 100 days in office, the Biden administration has faced a difficult set of policy challenges at America's southern border, ranging from new waves of individuals driven to try to cross the border by the effects of the global pandemic, to the often difficult legacy left by some of his predecessor's draconian immigration policies. As a candidate, Biden channeled Democrats' outrage with former President Trump's actions on immigration and pledged to reverse them. But now that he is in office, will Biden find more common ground with his predecessor than expected, or will he turn over a new page on America's immigration policies? Scott R. Anderson sat down with ProPublica immigration reporter Dara Lind to discuss what drives immigration to the United States, how the Biden administration has responded thus far and what it may all mean for the future of immigration policy in the United States. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The wait is over. Four months after Facebook indefinitely banned Donald Trump from its platform following the Capitol riot, the Facebook Oversight Board—the platform’s self-appointed quasi-court—has weighed in on whether or not it was permissible for Facebook to do so. And the answer is ... complicated. Mark Zuckerberg can still keep Trump off his platform for now, but the board says that Facebook must review its policies and make a final decision about the former president’s fate within six months.To discuss the decision, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes hosted a special episode of Arbiters of Truth, our Lawfare Podcast miniseries on our online information ecosystem. He sat down with Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic and Lawfare Deputy Managing Editor Jacob Schulz for a conversation about the Oversight Board’s ruling. Did the Oversight Board make the right call? What might the mood be like in Facebook headquarters right now? What about Twitter’s? And is this decision really the Oversight Board’s Marbury v. Madison moment? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Return of Rudy

The Return of Rudy

2021-05-0553:11

Rudy Giuliani played a central role, both in President Trump’s response to the Mueller investigation and in the drama in Ukraine that eventually led to Trump’s first impeachment. Now, a year later, Giuliani is back in the news, thanks to reports of a search of his apartment by federal investigators in the Southern District of New York. What exactly is Giuliani being investigated for, and how does it connect to his role in the first impeachment? What does it mean that the Justice Department reportedly decided not to move ahead with the search under the Trump administration but that Attorney General Merrick Garland gave the thumbs-up? Quinta Jurecic spoke with Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes and Lawfare Deputy Managing Editor Jacob Schulz to catch up on just what is going on in the wild world of Rudy Giuliani. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
2020 was a remarkable year in so many ways, not least of which was the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Why did so many countries bungle their responses to it so badly? And what should their leaders have learned from earlier disasters and the pathologies clearly visible in the responses of their predecessors to them?Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author of more than a dozen books, including, most recently, "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." David Priess sat down with Niall to discuss everything from earthquake zones, to viruses, to world wars, all with a mind to how our political and social structures have or have not adapted to the certainty of continued crises. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the fourth episode of “After Trump,” the six-part limited podcast series based on the book, "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency," by Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith, we explore how and when a president is held to account for wild and sometimes criminal behavior. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
When President Biden entered office, he inherited a bilateral relationship with Turkey that was strained to the limits by the growing independent streak in that country's foreign policy—and one that had been pushed in unfamiliar directions by his predecessor's direct and often unpredictable personal relationship with Turkey's longstanding president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This past week, the Biden administration made its first major move on the U.S.-Turkey relationship by recognizing the atrocities committed against Armenians by Ottoman authorities in the early 20th century as a genocide, a move that prior presidents had avoided for fear of how Turkey might react.To discuss what these developments may mean for this key bilateral relationship, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Nicholas Danforth of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy and Asli Aydıntaşbaş of the European Council on Foreign Relations. They discussed how Turkey views its place in the world, what this means for its alliance with the United States and how the Biden administration is likely to respond moving forward. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Odds are, you probably haven’t heard of the Israeli government’s “Cyber Unit,” but it’s worth paying attention to whether or not you live in Israel and the Palestinian territories. It’s an entity that, among other things, reaches out to major online platforms like Facebook and Twitter with requests that the platforms remove content. It’s one of a number of such agencies around the globe, which are known as Internet Referral Units. Earlier in April, the Israeli Supreme Court gave a green light to the unit’s activities, rejecting a legal challenge that charged the unit with infringing on constitutional rights.This week on Arbiters of Truth, the Lawfare Podcast’s miniseries on our online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic talked to Fady Khoury and Rabea Eghbariah, who were part of the legal team that challenged the Cyber Unit’s work on behalf of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab and Minority Rights in Israel. Why do they—and many other human rights activists–find Internet Referral Units so troubling, and why do governments like the units so much? Why did the Israeli Supreme Court disagree with Fady and Rabea’s challenge to the unit’s activities? And what does the Court’s decision say about the developing relationship between countries’ legal systems and platform content moderation systems? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Biden administration has now responded to two major cyberattacks—one from Russia, the SolarWinds attack, and the other from China, the so-called Hafnium Microsoft Exchange Server attack. Recently, Lawfare has run articles on both of these incidents—a piece from Dmitri Alperovitch, the co-founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike, and a piece from Alex Iftimie, a former Justice Department official and a lawyer at Morrison & Foerster. They joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the Biden administration's response to the attacks. Were they appropriate, both in absolute terms and in relation to each other? Do they send the right messages to the countries in question? Do they go far enough? And what more do we want to see?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Russian GRU Unit 29155 is in the news again. Czech authorities pin the blame on it for a series of explosions in 2014 that killed two people, and then they expelled an unusually high number of Russian diplomats, dramatically reducing Russia's diplomatic presence in Czechia and perhaps harming its intelligence efforts across Central Europe.To talk about it, David Priess sat down with Michael Schwirtz, an investigative reporter with the New York Times based at the United Nations whose most recent reporting has shed important light on the events of this shadowy Russian military intelligence unit, and John Sipher, the co-founder of Spycraft Entertainment and a retired 28-year veteran of the CIA with significant experience against the Russian target. They discussed this Russian military unit's active measures, Putin's motivations and possible miscalculations, and intelligence collection against and cooperation to thwart this unit, along with the bigger picture of Western relations with Russia. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the third episode of “After Trump,” the six-part limited podcast series based on the book, "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency," by Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith, we explore the pardon power and what happens when a president abuses it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Tim Maurer is a senior counselor for cybersecurity to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Jennifer Daskal serves as deputy general counsel at DHS focused on cybersecurity. And Eric Goldstein serves as the executive assistant director for cybersecurity for CISA, DHS's cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency. They joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about what the Biden administration's priority is in cybersecurity domestically, how DHS is using its new authorities that it has received in the National Defense Authorization Act, how CISA has grown as an agency and what success looks like if the administration pursues its goals effectively. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This week on Arbiters of Truth, the Lawfare Podcast’s miniseries on our online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic talked to Sean Li, who until recently was the head of Trust and Safety at Discord. Discord is experiencing phenomenal growth and is an established player in a space that is the new hot thing: audio social media. And as the head of Trust and Safety, Sean was responsible for running the team that mitigates all the bad stuff that happens on a platform. Evelyn and Quinta asked Sean what it’s like to have that kind of power—to be the eponymous “arbiter of truth” of a slice of the internet. They also discussed what makes content moderation of live audio content different from the kind we normally talk about—namely, text-based platforms. As almost every social media platform is trying to get into audio, what should they be prepared for? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Last week for the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, David Priess moderated a virtual event called, "Spy Writing in the Real World." The event featured three authors of espionage fiction, two with previous experience working inside the U.S. intelligence community: Brad Thor, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 21 thrillers; Karen Cleveland, a former CIA analyst and New York Times bestselling author of "Need to Know" and "Keep You Close"; and award-winning author and former NSA and CIA officer Alma Katsu, who had written five novels prior to her first new spy novel, "Red Widow." They talked about the spy thriller genre, their challenges within it, their research and their experience with prepublication classification review. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jack Goldsmith sat down with Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, and Geoffrey Stone, the Edward H. Levy Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, to discuss their new book, "National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On." They discussed the holding and legacy of the Pentagon Papers case, as well as some of the many challenges of applying the Pentagon Papers regime in the modern digital era that is characterized by massive leaks and a very different press landscape than the one that prevailed in 1971. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the second episode of "After Trump," the six-part limited podcast series based on the book, "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency," by Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith, we consider the problem of foreign interventions in American political campaigns—and what to do about it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
On Wednesday, President Biden announced a full withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, an announcement that comes as the U.S. and Afghan governments have been trying to reach a power sharing agreement with the Taliban. Prior to the withdrawal announcement, Bryce Klehm spoke with Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a New York Times correspondent based in the Kabul bureau and a former Marine infantryman, who walked us through the situation on the ground in Afghanistan over the last year. Following Biden's announcement, Bryce spoke with Madiha Afzal, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, who talked about the broader implications of a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (70)

Midnight Rambler

podcast use to be interesting. now it's become woke and tedious

Apr 15th
Reply

Midnight Rambler

lil utter bs

Apr 15th
Reply

Nonya Bizness

i "so, kind of, sort of" just can't listen.

Apr 5th
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Nonya Bizness

impeachment trial review: in leaning toward no witnesses, you seem to forget the point of this exercise. this trial is political, and is for the people to observe. astute legal maneuverings are one thing. putting on a display of ALL the evidence, including the events and their effects, for all the world to see, is the point. without a trial that looks like the tv courtroom trials that americans are familiar with, a conviction or aquittal will be moot to the people.

Feb 8th
Reply

Nonya Bizness

an obviously better analogy to the trump brief claim that he did the best he could as president, and his 'best' was really pretty excellent, to the extent that he actually believes he won an election that was stolen from him: upon being stopped for running a red light, you tell the officer that you drive the best you can at all times, you do not agree that you ran the light, and if you did it was because the cop who stopped you conspired with the whole town to rig the light in order to smear your perfect driving record and take your license. trump arguing that he did his best at being potus is really waving the white flag, in that it implies that his massive failings- specifically, protecting the physical electoral ballots and defending lawmakers on jan 6- were due to him being stupid and/or crazy.

Feb 4th
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N Me

what an interesting guest and an interviewer who dropped the ball..

Jan 28th
Reply

Philly Burbs

NYT's had a several series podcast on the history of Qnon. listen & hold ur jaw so it doesn't drop to the floor. How to fix this: Remove analytics. Ban calling yourself news if its not news. tv news & newspapers have laws they must follow.

Jan 21st
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Philly Burbs

I can not edit .. please watch Netflix's The Social Media Delimna. In 2011 in silicone valley 30 white boys wrote programs that choose data that we see & hear. for profit yes they were controlling everything. They all used Google as a guide to achieve. the United Kingdom had hearings in 2016. We were too busy watching Trump.

Jan 21st
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Philly Burbs

Google to every profitable social media app have one thing in common: Analytics: We only see & read those we agree with. They have access to our contacts to send them what we agree with. It's very profitable. It has been going on for 20 years. With the invention of the smartphone, in 2011 it went into high gear. You want to save the country, the world? Make this unlawful, to hack our minds, our contacts & social groups for profit & sell our personal meda data. They have AI that can do it! Our loved ones show us these wackjob articles. Highly intelligent with masters & PHD's have been spoon fed this since in diapers. Only when we read & see both sides will we heal.

Jan 21st
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Philly Burbs

Today's Wash Post & NYT FBI says Christian sites fund insurrection. Months in the planning.

Jan 19th
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Suzanne Lauer

I found this episode particularly illuminating and it has helped to set me up for a critical appreciation of events in the parts of the world reported on by your guests. Please consider follow-up episodes just like this, possibly with the same commentators in a year or perhaps more or less often. It was a great idea to produce an episode with the voices of so many reporters, academics and former diplomats from important countries and regions. Thank you!!

Nov 25th
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Nonya Bizness

um, susan, ah, should, sort of, work on, on, like, eliminating, um, her sort of, ah, excessive use of, of, filler words.

Nov 9th
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Scott Thomas

Even w Andrew, one must set the read speed to at least 1.25x to tolerate Ben Wittes. Why he's on the mic for a lawfare podcast is one of the great mysteries of the universe

Oct 22nd
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Michael Meenan

I am the son of radio news reporters, an attorney and former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. This episode is one of the best interviews I've ever listened to. The questioning, the responses and follow-ups, the measured pace demonstrate a commitment by all involved to understand the full scope of the counterintelligence risks facing our country by a vestige of Soviet intelligence. I just returned from Kiev, Ukraine and completed an obligatory quarantine. Eastern Europeans are a wonderful, intelligent, cultured and hard-working people. Yet, their ability to self-actualize is limited by a corrupt governmental administration, which has tentacles reaching out to many facets of business and public life. Hence, there is a low ceiling on their ability to self govern in a truly democratic sense despite their desire to do so. Clearly, this is the challenge we now face as Americans - the preservation of our democracy. Peter Sztruk's efforts, and those of his former colleagues at the FBI, support this most important value.

Sep 14th
Reply (1)

linda cohen

It's a fucking building & I don't see anyone concerned about the lungs of the protesters who are tear gassed multiple times a night, night after night. Or press who's first amendment rights are violated night after night. Over a fucking building!

Aug 10th
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Richard Thornton

I enjoyed the David’s Rhode episode but I have some comments which center around an apparent rationalization regarding the Barr attitudes and Trumps view of “the deep state.” Number one: Stone is not a typical political worker, he actually had a relationship with Assange, this doesn’t bother Barr?? Number two: Trump acts like a jerk and lies daily, but yet he still has a point regarding a deep mistrust of biased government officials against him?? He’s not an honest official and I welcome so called “deep state” obstruction to Trump and his cronies.

Jul 15th
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Accordionbabe

Another excellent episode. Highly recommend podcasts.

Jun 17th
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Nonya Bizness

you missed the salient point when talking about there being no such thing in the law as declaring a domestic terrorist group. sure, trump can't do that, legally speaking, but he never intended to. saying that antifa will be designated as a terrorist group has the intended effect of making his minions think that antifa IS a domestic terrorist group. we may see some of them act accordingly.

Jun 7th
Reply

Terry Durand

hey guys, I listen to this podcast regularly because although it tends to swing anti-Trump, it's usually fair. I just caught the AG Barr commentary on "history written by winners"...I find it highly suspect that you did not relay the entirety of his comment. Not really fair. The whole mess stinks to high heaven, however if you want professionals to keep listening, please be fair and objective. Also not mentioned were the notes about "getting Flynn to lie". As a legal professional from the prosecution side, who has spent a career in and out of Federal and State courtrooms, I can say that these things do make a difference.

May 11th
Reply

LetItBeMe

makes it obvious that the FBI became willing dupes of Russian disinformation during the 2016 campaign. I wish Trump was smart enough to know this.

May 1st
Reply
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