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Rational Security

A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters hosted by Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal and featuring Brookings senior fellows Tamara Cofman Wittes and Benjamin Wittes, and managing editor of the Lawfare blog Susan Hennessey.
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Now displaying: Page 3
Sep 15, 2016

How much medical history should presidential candidates disclose? Activists launch a new campaign to pardon Edward Snowden, just in time for the launch of a biopic on the world’s most famous leaker. And FBI Director James Comey gets compared to J. Edgar Hoover.

Sep 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spar over who’d be the better commander-in-chief. The FBI releases its report on Clinton’s email server. And what has changed, and what hasn’t, since 9/11?  

Sep 1, 2016

New details emerge about Americans held hostage by Islamic militants. Security researchers use an unorthodox approach to protect medical devices. And the US kills ISIS’ number 2. Does it matter? 

Aug 25, 2016

The New York Times and maybe the NSA get hacked. Is the U.S. turning the tide of the war on ISIS? And October surprises—what could happen between now and the election, and will it matter? 

Aug 3, 2016

In the wake of the suspected Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee, experts warn that voting machines could be the next target. The U.S. begins airstrikes against ISIS in Libya. And we’ll talk about our summer reading lists. 

Jul 27, 2016

The Russian government hacks the Democratic National Committee. Is Moscow trying to swing the election for Donald Trump? Will it work or backfire? Also, the gang takes your questions! 

Jul 19, 2016

A terrorist in Nice, France, kills more than 80 people celebrating Bastille Day. Turkey’s president hangs onto power following an attempted coup. And the congress releases 29 previously classified pages from an inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. This week, Ryan Evens of War on the Rocks joins the podcast.

Jul 13, 2016

Police officers in Dallas use a robot-bomb to kill the man who murdered five police officers. A tribunal rules that China is violating international law over its territorial claims. And the GOP platform committee eliminates language that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jul 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton will not be prosecuted over her use of a private email server. The death toll of a bombing in Baghdad approaches 300. And the death of a Navy sailor raises concerns about the training of elite military operators. 

Jun 30, 2016

How will the U.K.’s exit from the European Union affect U.S. national security? Is a terrorist attack in Turkey the inevitable result of battlefield victories against ISIS? And the gang takes on the sound and fury of the Benghazi report.  

Jun 22, 2016

The American political system has gone insane. What's that mean for our national security? State Department officials protest President Obama's decision not to bomb Syria. And the intelligence community lashes out at Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Special guest Jonathan Rauch joins the podcast this week. 

Jun 16, 2016

How did Omar Mateen become a mass-killer, and could he have been stopped? The politics of the Orlando shooting have something for everyone, but very little clarity. And Russian hackers penetrate the Democratic National Committee.

Jun 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump can't be trusted to protect U.S. national security. In Israel there's talk of another war in Gaza. And a federal appeals court rules that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to cell phone location information. 

May 26, 2016

President Obama makes one last pivot to Asia in an official visit. The United States kills the Taliban’s leader. And a State Department inspector general report scolds Hillary Clinton and others for their use of private email. 

May 19, 2016

An EgyptAir jet crashes en route from Paris to Cairo, immediately sparking fears of terrorism. Hackers are targeting the presidential candidates’ campaigns. And the intelligence community may scrutinize social media accounts of people applying for security clearances. Plus, listener questions!

May 11, 2016

A new study on “sextortion” reveals a widespread crime few people are talking about. Is a profile of presidential adviser Ben Rhodes a puff piece or a clever hit job? And president Obama faces a lawsuit over war powers from an unlikely source.   

May 5, 2016

Donald Trump becomes the presumptive Republican nominee for president after an overwhelming primary victory in Indiana. Iraq and Syria are in meltdown—why is this time any worse? And the Supreme Court gives the thumbs up to new hacking powers for law enforcement. 

Apr 28, 2016

The U.S. is ramping up cyber operations against ISIS. Another standoff over the FBI’s access to a locked iPhone ends, but are more fights around the corner? And the mystery of the curious habeas cases popping up at Guantanamo.

Apr 21, 2016

Lawmakers want to give families of the 9/11 victims the power to sue Saudi government officials, but the Obama administration says that’s a terrible idea. Syrian peace talks are in jeopardy of falling apart, but a ceasefire seems to be offering some reprieve. And Facebook swears it won’t try to rig the presidential election against Donald Trump.

Apr 13, 2016

A Navy officer is accused of spying, possibly for Taiwan and China. President Obama wades into the debate over how much government information should be classified. And a family in Kansas is trapped in a special kind of Internet hell.

Apr 6, 2016

The hugely popular messaging system Whatsapp is now encrypting everything for 1 billion people. The financial shenanigans of the rich and powerful are laid bare in the Panama Papers, the biggest leak of all time. And Bernie Sanders has his own embarrassing interview with a newspaper editorial board. 

Mar 31, 2016

The dispute between the FBI and Apple over a dead terrorist’s iPhone comes to an end, but new fights are just around the corner. Why did bombings in Pakistan and Iraq get so little attention compared to the attacks in Brussels? And the Justice Department indicts seven Iranians for allegedly launching cyber attacks on U.S. banks and a dam in New York.  

Mar 23, 2016

Terrorists attack Brussels in a series of bombings. The FBI tells Apple, “Just kidding! We can maybe hack the iPhone after all.” And Donald Trump sits down with the Washington Post editorial board, and no one’s sure what he said. 

Mar 18, 2016

President Obama nominates Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. An American ISIS defector is in Kurdish custody. And major Web sites have been delivering malware to their readers.

Mar 10, 2016

Republican national security experts declare Donald Trump unfit to be president. Who would actually advise a President Trump? And President Obama pulls back the curtain on the inner workings of his foreign policy. Plus, in Object Lessons, Ben and Tamara are on the road again. 

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