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State Secrets

State Secrets is a weekly interview podcast featuring Cipher Brief experts and national security leaders.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 25, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney sits down with Suzanne Spaulding, Under-Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. Fionnuala talks to Suzanne about the development and execution of cyber security policies in the federal government. 

Dec 18, 2016

This week, The Cipher Brief’s Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney talks to Rob Richer, former CIA Associate Deputy Director for Operations and formerly chief of Russian Operations, about Donald Trump’s rejection of a recent CIA finding that Russia helped him win the White House,. She asks him for his opinion on Russia’s objectives and how it conducts itself in the field of espionage.

Dec 12, 2016

This week, The Cipher Brief’s Executice Editor Fionnuala Sweeney speaks to Alex Finley, a former CIA officer who served in West Africa and Europe. Alex has gained a niche cult following with the publication earlier this year of her satirical novel, ‘Victor in the Ruble’ which depicts the trials and tribulations of an overseas CIA counter-terrosim officer whose biggest enemy turns out to be Agency red tape. Alex, not her real name, discusses the impact a Trump administration might have on the CIA.

Dec 2, 2016

This week, In a post–election special edition, The Cipher Brief's Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney talks to Jack Keane, retired four-star general and former Vice Chief of Army Staff. Fionnuala asks General Keane for his insight on President-elect Donald Trump's choice of retired General James Mattis (whose name Keane recommended to the transition team) as Secretary of Defense. 

Dec 2, 2016

This week, in a special edition of 15 minutes, The Cipher Brief’s Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani talks to Steve Murphy, one of the DEA agents who was instrumental in bringing down Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Murphy and his partner Javier Pena were depicted in the Netflix series Narcos, during their hunt for Escobar. To mark Escobar’s death anniversary, Leone sits down with Murphy for a special edition of 15 minutes. In the first part of the interview, she asks him how much of the series was accurate, how much was pure Hollywood, and what really happened the day the “King of Cocaine” was killed.

[A word of warning, if you’re still watching the series, here’s your spoiler alert!]

Dec 2, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief’s Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani talks to Steve Murphy, one of the DEA agents who was instrumental in bringing down Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Murphy and his partner Javier Pena were depicted in the Netflix series Narcos, during their hunt for Escobar. In the second part of the interview, Leone asks Murphy what Escobar was really like, how they finally caught him, and the true story behind his death.

[A word of warning, if you’re still watching the series, here’s your spoiler alert!]

Nov 27, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani sits down with Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior Middle East Adviser to three U.S. Presidents. She talks to him about President Barack Obama’s legacy in the Middle East, and the challenges facing the next administration.

Nov 20, 2016

This week on 15 Minutes, The Cipher Brief’s Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney speaks to John McLaughlin, former Deputy Director and Acting Director CIA. On the agenda - why he joined the Agency, his view of the challenges facing the new administration. And a touch of magic.

Nov 20, 2016

This week, in a post–election special, The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani sits down with Jack Keane, retired four-star general and former Vice Chief of Army Staff. General Keane has been tapped for a potential position in Donald Trump’s national security team. Leone speaks to Keane after his meeting with the President-elect and asks him about his views on the transition team.

Nov 13, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief's CEO and Publisher Suzanne Kelly sits down with Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA, the research branch for the intelligence community that works on ways to tell the future. In the first part of the interview, she asks Matheny what exactly IARPA does and how it accurately forecasts events. 

Nov 13, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief's CEO and Publisher Suzanne Kelly sits down with Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA, the research branch for the intelligence community that works on ways to tell the future. In the second part of the interview, she asks Matheny what keeps him up at night, and if there's ways to predict political instability and unrest. 

Nov 6, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief’s Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney talks to the European Union’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove. De Kerchove discusses the challenges of keeping the continent safe, following terrorist attacks in France and Belgium in the past year.

Oct 31, 2016

This week The Cipher Brief CEO Suzanne Kelly sits down with Michael Vickers - former Green Beret, CIA paramilitary operations officer and Undersecretary Defense for Intelligence - about his illustrious career and the security threats that face the next administration. 

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