Rational Security: The ‘Key West v. West Bank’ Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, March 2, 2023, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by favorite guest Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett to talk through the week's news, including:

  • “Low Confidence Games.” A Department of Energy intelligence report concluded with “low confidence” that COVID-19 may have begun with a lab leak in Wuhan, China, further fracturing views within the U.S. Government and giving added fuel to those seeking to put blame for the pandemic on China. What should we make of the report—and the strong reactions to it?
  • “It’s Coming from Inside the Cabinet.” The West Bank and Israel appear to be in the midst of another spiral of violence. Most recently, the shooting of two Israeli settlers by a Palestinian led to a riot through a number of Palestinian towns that killed one resident and damaged hundreds of homes and cars. What explains this surge in violence? And is the new Israeli government headed by Bibi Netanyahu to blame? 
  • “Tallanasty.” At the prompting of Gov. Ron DeSantis—likely a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination—Florida’s state legislature is enacting a wave of culture war measures, targeting everything from school libraries to Disney. What does this all mean for democratic governance in Florida? And what could it mean for the country come 2024? 

For object lessons, Alan endorsed all things Alison Brie, including her newest film, Spin Me Round. Quinta celebrated her favorite carb- and dairy-based holiday, National Khachapuri Day. Scott hearkened back to object lessons of yesteryear to mark the release of two new comedies that have literally been decades in the making: Party Down and A History of the World, Part 2. And Natalie embraced her inner corporate shill to endorse Lawfare's own podcast series, The Aftermath, which is releasing the final episode of its first season soon.