Rational Security

Janet Lindenmuth (background)

Rational Security is a weekly roundtable podcast featuring Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare and the Brookings Institution, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, who directs the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. It's a lively and irreverent discussion of news, ideas, foreign policy, and law. There's always a laugh. Often, there are guests. Sometimes there's even Scotch. A production of . You can  or on

Latest in Rational Security

Podcasts

Rational Security: The ‘On the Edge of Our Seats’ Edition

Federal authorities launch raids on the home and office of President Trump’s personal attorney. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress. And the U.S. prepares for possible military action against Syria. Special guests this week: Quinta Jurecic of Lawfare and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal.

Quinta diagnoses a constitutional infection.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The "Return of Susan" Edition

Susan is back with a hilarious story about how Devin Nunes sent her blood pressure soaring—and sent her into the delivery room. Robert Mueller tells the president’s lawyers that Donald Trump is the subject of a criminal investigation. Trump vows to pull the military out of Syria. And American troops may be heading to the US border with Mexico. Plus, Shane asks you to join him for a book discussion. And I am upping the Rational Security drinking game.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The “All the President’s Lawyers” Edition

Like Goldilocks in search of porridge, the President can’t seem to find the lawyer who’s just right. The U.S. expels Russian diplomats, but Trump continues to hold his fire against Putin. And Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress over Facebook’s role in Russian election interference. Plus, I confess to violating Twitter’s terms of service—and grudgingly bring myself into compliance. Danielle is excited for a new book on privacy. And Tamara is psyched for Madeline Albright’s new book.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The "Rex, Eat the Salad" Edition

Rex Tillerson is out at the State Department, and Mike Pompeo will leave CIA to take his place. The British government blames Russia for a brazen poisoning plot—but President Trump is not so sure. And Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee wrap up their Russia probe. Plus, special guest Scott Anderson tells us about a document so transparent you can’t even see it. Tamara runs for a friend. And Shane is engaged in dangerous drinking.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The "Ben Sucks and Also a Lot of News Happened" Edition

Let the record reflect that I dissent from this episode's title, which was imposed upon me because I joined remotely from Maui.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller zeroes in on a mysterious Lebanese businessman. What do elections in Italy portend for democracy in Europe? And North Korea signals it’s willing to cut a deal with the United States. 

Plus, special guest Shannon Togawa Mercer is contemplating the security implications of Barbra Streisand's cloned dogs. And Tamara shares a slide show of her trip to Riyadh.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The 'Downgraded' Edition

Jared Kushner is under scrutiny for his contacts with foreign officials. Democrats in Congress release their own memo about surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser. And ahead of a U.S. visit by Saudi Arabia’s future king, how are his reforms playing out on the ground? Plus, I recommend Max Boot’s new book. Shane discovers his roots—and is not surprised. And Tamara is back from Saudi Arabia with treasures.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The "Mansplaining" Edition

Bob Mueller indicts a slew of Russians who interfered in the 2016 election. Can the president distinguish between the national interest and his own? And the school shooting in Florida brings students to the frontline of the gun control debate. Plus, the word "fucked" appears on Lawfare for the first time, and for good reason. And Shane wonders if Jared Kushner will lose his interim security clearance.

Podcasts

Rational Security: The ‘Do We Have Clearance, Clarence?’ Edition

Dozens of White House officials, including Jared Kushner, lack permanent security clearances. It’s been a really bad week for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And U.S. intelligence chiefs present their annual list of threats to national security. Plus, I am at it again with FOIA. And Tamara is ironing her abaya.

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