The Lawfare Podcast

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Rational Security 2.0: The “Get Off My Lawn” Edition

This week on Rational Security 2.0, a Quinta-less Alan and Scott welcomed Lawfare's dynamic associate editor duo, Katherine Pompilio and Hyemin Han, on to the show to talk through the week's big national security news stories, including:

  • “Going Full Cleve.” Last week, former President Donald Trump announced his intention to once again run for president—in spite of the Republicans’ weak showing in the midterm elections and his own impending legal troubles. What does Trump’s announcement mean for 2024 and after? 
  • “A Mueller Mulligan?” Trump’s announcement that he was once again running for president in turn led Attorney General Merrick Garland to make his own announcement last Friday: that he was appointing another Special Counsel to take over the investigations into Trump’s interference in the 2020 election results and mishandling of classified records. Was this the right move? How will the Special Counsel’s appointment impact the investigations—and Trump’s political future?
  • “Pyongyanking Our Chain.” North Korea has launched a new ICBM that it claims can deliver nuclear weapons anywhere in the United States. Should this threat be taken seriously or is it a bluff? And is the Biden administration doing enough to respond?


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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.