The Lawfare Podcast

7/1/2022

Memorializing Babyn Yar after the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

When a Russian missile recently struck a TV tower in Kyiv, near Babyn Yar, the site of Nazi mass murders during the Holocaust, some saw the attack as a potent symbol of the tragic occurrence of violence in Ukraine. To talk through the historical significance of the attack, Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Maksym Rokmaniko, an architect, designer, entrepreneur, and director at the Center for Spatial Technologies in Kyiv, and Linda Kinstler, a PhD candidate in the rhetoric department at UC Berkeley.In her recent New York times essay, the Bloody Echoes of Babyn Yar, Lindawrote, "the current war in Ukraine is so oversaturated with historical meaning, it is unfolding on soil that has absorbed wave after wave of the dead, where soldiers do not always have to dig trenches in the forest because the old ones remain."Linda's writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and Jewish Currents, where she recently reported on the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial center. Linda is also the author of Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends, which is out in the U.S. on August 23rd, from Public Affairs.Tyler, Linda and Maksym discuss the history of Babyn Yar as a sight and symbol, the role of open source investigative techniques and forensic modeling in the documentation of war crimes, the battle over historical narratives, memorialization and memory, as well as the limits of the law in achieving justice for victims of negation and genocide.
6/26/2022

Chatter: Misremembering Watergate and Jan. 6 with Tim Naftali

Chatter, a podcast from Lawfare, features weekly long-form conversations with fascinating people at the creative edges of national security.This week on Chatter, Shane Harris talked with historian Tim Naftali about the legacy of Watergate and how we tell stories, fifty years later, about America’s most notorious presidential scandal. What is it about Watergate that still captures our attention? What do historians, journalists, and citizens misremember about the events? And how does the scandal shape our understanding of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol?Naftali was the first federal director of the Richard Nixon library and earned accolades from historians—and criticism from Nixon loyalists—for his efforts to truthfully tell the story of Watergate in the Nixon museum. Naftali has written about intelligence, counterterrorism, national security, and the American presidency in the modern era. He is currently a professor at New York University.Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad. Learn more and subscribe to Chatter.Among the works discussed in this episode:Naftali’s recent article in The Atlantic about a controversial proposal from the National Archives on presidential librariesNaftali on TwitterNaftali’s book on the secret history of U.S. counterterrorism, “Blind Spot”
6/23/2022

Rebroadcast: The Most Intense Online Disinformation Event in American History

If you’ve been watching the hearings convened by the House select committee on Jan. 6, you’ve seen a great deal about how the Trump campaign generated and spread falsehoods about supposed election fraud in 2020. As the committee has argued, those falsehoods were crucial in generating the political energy that culminated in the explosion of the January 6 insurrection.What shape did those lies take, and how did social media platforms attempt to deal with them at the time? Today, we’re bringing you an episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on the online information ecosystem. In fact, we’re rebroadcasting an episode we recorded in November 2020 about disinformation and the 2020 election. In late November 2020, after Joe Biden cemented his victory as the next president but while the Trump campaign was still pushing its claims of election fraud online and in court, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Alex Stamos, the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory. Their conversation then was a great overview of the state of election security and the difficulty of countering false claims around the integrity of the vote. It’s worth a listen today as the Jan. 6 committee reminds us what the political and media environment was like in the aftermath of the election and how the Trump campaign committed to election lies that still echo all too loudly. And though it’s a year and a half later, the problems we’re discussing here certainly haven’t gone away.