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Rational Security: The “Dry January” Edition

Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Anna Bower
Thursday, January 4, 2024, 12:00 PM
This week, Quinta Jurecic and Scott Anderson were joined by Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower to talk through the week’s big national security news

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This week, Quinta and Scott were joined by Lawfare Legal Fellow Anna Bower to talk through the week’s big national security news, including:

  • “Hamas, No Más.” A senior Hamas official was recently killed in an attack in Beirut, in what many believe was an operation by Israel—a country whose leaders have pledged to target Hamas’s leaders wherever they might be, though it has not formally acknowledged involvement in this particular attack. But pursuing such action across a border that is already on the edge of becoming a second front in the Gaza conflict has observers nervous. How significant is this operation? Does it risk regional escalation?
  • “Bad for the Immune System.” Just before the holiday, the Supreme Court rejected special counsel Jack Smith’s petition for it to expedite consideration of former President Trump’s claim of immunity to criminal charges. And in the week that’s passed, briefing is already underway—including an argument by an amicus asserting that appeal shouldn’t be allowed at all. What hangs on this case? And how do the courts seem poised to address it?
  • “The Unprincipled Agent Problem.” The Justice Department has leveled additional charges against Sen. Robert Menendez and his wife alleging additional illegal actions in support of Qatar, including some in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Meanwhile, several associates of former President Trump have faced similar charges for alleged work for the same government. What should we make of these powerful public officials and their associates doing work for foreign governments? And is FARA the right tool to address it?

For object lessons, Quinta continued to suck up to the estate of Roberto Bolano by endorsing his book “The Savage Detectives.” Scott spilled the beans on one of Denver’s lovely speakeasies, B&GC. And Anna urged folks to try out a Tarot Card reading for the New Year—advice Fox News appears to have taken on former President Trump’s behalf.

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.
Anna Bower is Lawfare’s Legal Fellow and Courts Correspondent. Anna holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Cambridge and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. She joined Lawfare as a recipient of Harvard’s Sumner M. Redstone Fellowship in Public Service. Prior to law school, Anna worked as a judicial assistant for a Superior Court judge in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit of Georgia. She also previously worked as a Fulbright Fellow at Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey. A native of Georgia, Anna is based in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

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