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

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 12:01 PM

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."