Rational Security 2.0: The 'Slap in the Face' Edition

Jen Patja Howell, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Benjamin Wittes
Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by RatSec 1.0 host and Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes! They hashed through some of the week's big national security news, including:

  • “You’re Changing my Regime, What a Wonderful Way to Say How Much You Hate Me.” In recent remarks in Europe, President Biden appeared to call for the removal of Russian President Vladimir Putin–a statement he later reframed as an expression of “moral outrage,” not a call for regime change. Was this a deliberate move or a slip-up? And how significant is it?
  • “People, Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Best Friend.” Revelations about his wife Virginia Thomas’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection have raised questions whether Justice Clarence Thomas should be recusing himself from more cases–including a case governing whether records that might well implicate his wife should be turned over to the Jan. 6 committee. Should Justice Thomas be recusing? And what should be done if he doesn’t?
  • “Eastman’d and Down, Load it Up and F*** It, We’re Gonna Do What They Say Can’t Be Done.” Both a federal judge and a former New York prosecutor have concluded that there are credible reasons to believe former President Trump has broken the law. But it’s unclear whether any local, state or federal investigations are likely to lead to criminal charges. Will Trump be held accountable for his actions?

For object lessons, Alan urged listeners to view North Korea's newest propaganda video for its ICBMs in all its glory. Quinta gave a strong endorsement to Taika Waititi's new pirate series, "Our Flag Means Death.” Scott gave an even stronger endorsement to the one kitchen unitasker he can stand. And Ben recommended the refreshingly sexless Finnish police procedural "Deadwind."

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Scott R. Anderson is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School. He previously served as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.

Subscribe to Lawfare