The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast, Episode #89: Bone-Crushing Zombie Action

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, August 30, 2014, 10:24 AM

robert-chesneyHere at Lawfare, we try to spot critical legal issues impacting national security before they're really upon us . . . and eating our brains. Too often, American policymakers have not taken emerging threats seriously, only to find themselves on the wrong side of finger-pointing national commissions after tragedy strikes. Underreaction to threats prospectively often leads to overreaction after the fact. If we don't prepare for flesh-eating ghouls before they strike, we will react dangerously when the time comes.

Fortunately, the Pentagon is thinking about how to respond to a zombie apocalypse. The CDC is too. And a fair bit of thought, particularly from the estimable Dan Drezner (the author of a book on the subject), has gone into the question of how a zombie apocalypse would affect international relations.

The legal community, however, is behind this particular curve. What would a zombie AUMF look like, and do we need one? What are the civil liberties implications of fighting zombies? Do zombies have due process rights or are they legitimately subject to summary execution? Are there legal precedents for fighting zombies?

Today, on the Lawfare Podcast, it's Bone-Crushing Zombie Action. Shane Harris of Foreign Policy magazine hosts a discussion featuring Bobby Chesney, Jennifer Daskal and me. If ISIS hasn't scared you enough, our late-summer horror classic will turn your blood to jelly---and eat it.