Jen Patja Howell

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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 dedicated to empowering 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 15 years. Jen has her B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia.

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The Lawfare Podcast: An October Surprise from the New York Post

On October 14, the New York Post began publishing what it touted as a series of blockbuster articles on emails and photos obtained from a laptop mysteriously abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop—emails and photos that, the Post announced, belonged to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. The materials had been provided to the tabloid by President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. And from there, it only gets weirder.


The Lawfare Podcast: Ambassador Doug Silliman on the Fate of Embassy Baghdad

The past year has been a difficult one for the U.S. relationship with Iraq, a country that has increasingly found itself caught in the middle of the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign against Iran and Iran's own efforts to strike back at the United States. Now, the relationship between the United States and Iraq appears to be reaching a new low, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly threatened to close the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad unless the Iraqi government does more to thwart attacks by militias associated with Iran against U.S. personnel stationed there.


The Lawfare Podcast: Maria Ressa on the Weaponization of Social Media

On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek spoke with Maria Ressa, a Filipino-American journalist and co-founder of Rappler, an online news site based in Manila. Maria was included in Time's Person of the Year in 2018 for her work combating fake news, and is currently fighting a conviction for “cyberlibel” in the Philippines for her role at Rappler. Maria and her fight are the subject of the film, “A Thousand Cuts,” released in virtual cinemas this summer and to be broadcast on PBS Frontline in early next year.


Rational Security: The 'Unmasked at Last' Edition

A Justice Department investigation into whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals from intelligence reports ends with a whimper. An investigation into the shooting of a protestor in Portland raises questions about the federal government’s use of force. And CyberCommand takes down a Russian botnet.


The Lawfare Podcast: David Priess Accepts the Results of the Presidential Election

Last Friday, Lawfare's chief operating officer, David Priess, published a piece on the site titled, "The Powerful Norm of Accepting the Results of a Presidential Election." It recounts the long history, with few exceptions, of presidents and other candidates who respected election results even if they did not go their way—a commitment that the current president and vice president have both failed to make.


The Lawfare Podcast: Charles Kupchan on 'Isolationism'

Many of us think of the history of the United States' interaction with the world as one of relentless expansion, growth and engagement. From the early colonies, through the Spanish American War, through involvement in two world wars and of course, the Cold War era, the story is one of America increasingly getting involved with countries in its region and around the globe. Charles Kupchan has a thing or two to say about that.