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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: March, 2017
Mar 26, 2017

This week, The Cipher Brief's Senior National Security Editor Steve Hirsch speaks with James Mitchell, a psychologist - and author of Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America. Along with his partner John Bruce Jessen, James carried out debriefings of high profile detainees like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, on behalf of the CIA from 2002 to 2009. Together they created what's known as "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" - or EITS - to question the prisoners. James spoke with Steve about the EIT program and the role they could have in the future. 

Mar 19, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief’s Leone Lakhani speaks to Robert “Buzz” Patterson, who held the “Nuclear Football” for President Bill Clinton. If the United States faces an imminent threat from a foreign power, did you know the President can order a nuclear attack at a moment’s notice? How? One option is by using the “Nuclear Football.” The Football – also known as the President’s Emergency Satchel – is a briefcase that accompanies the President, at all times. So what’s in it? And how does it work? Buzz gives some insight on these questions. 

Mar 12, 2017

This week, The Cipher Brief's National Security Reporter and Europe Analyst Kaitlin Lavinder speaks with Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO (2012-2016). A changing external threat environment, internal security concerns, and the rise of populist anti-EU political parties leave Europe in a vulnerable position in 2017. Alexander tells Kaitlin how NATO can play a vital role in European security, and how the United States plays an indispensable role. 

Mar 5, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief’s Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to John Nixon, author of “Debriefing The President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein.” 

John was the first CIA analyst to question the Iraqi leader after his capture. He specialized in profiling world leaders for the CIA and spent much of his career studying Saddam. 

In the second part of the interview, John describes the interrogation process, and the challenges of analyzing high-profile targets like Saddam. 

 

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