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Juliette Kayyem on Dealing with Disasters

We live in a time of seemingly constant catastrophes, and we always seem a step behind and still fumble when they occur. It's no longer about preventing disasters from occurring, but learning how to use the tools at our disposal to minimize the consequences when they inevitably do.

Juliette Kayyem has just written a book about it all called, “The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters.” Juliette is a lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a CNN national security analyst, and David Priess sat down with her to talk about it all. They talked about the traditional focus of the disaster framework; consequences minimalization; the paradox of preparedness; and a variety of disasters and what we can learn from them, ranging from the Y2K incident, to Super Bowl XLVII, to the shipping incident in the Suez Canal back in 2021. They talk a lot about how to recover from disasters, and how to deal with them in a way that stops the bleeding and keeps them from getting worse, even as they’re occurring.

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2/5/2023

Chatter: M. Todd Bennett on the Secretive Story of the Glomar Explorer

A sunken Soviet submarine. A secret CIA plan to lift it from the bottom of the ocean with a giant claw. And reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. It sounds like the makings of a Netflix series—and it should be. But the story of the Glomar Explorer is the stuff of fact, even if it has long been shrouded in secrecy.  In his new book, intelligence historian M. Todd Bennett pierces the veil surrounding this most improbable of intelligence operations and surfaces a riveting tale of underwater espionage and high-stakes foreign policy. The sub-salvage mission, which the CIA codenamed AZORIAN, was green-lit at a time of remarkable daring and ingenuity by the spy agency, which enjoyed only minimal oversight from Congress. But journalists brought the Glomar operation to light in another era, when scandals and excesses led lawmakers to rein in the intelligence community.  Shane Harris talks with Bennett about his book, “Neither Confirm nor Deny: How the Glomar Mission Shielded the CIA from Transparency,” which shows how the exposure of the secret program led to a public backlash against disclosures of classified information and helped reinforce the culture of secrecy that envelops the CIA’s work. The phrase “neither confirm nor deny,” which Bennett tells Harris has become a kind of coy cliche, originates from attempts to uncover the facts of the Glomar mission. Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.