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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: Page 4
Apr 30, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer Leone Lakhani speaks to Adam Meyers from the cyber-security firm CrowdStrike. As the Vice President of Intelligence, Adam heads a team that identifies the perpetrators of cyber-crimes, both in the private and public sectors. CrowdStrike helped to identify the hackers behind the Democratic National Committee's email leaks last year, and more recently the mastermind behind the Kelihos Botnet. Leone speaks to Adam about the challenges and procedures in identifying these cyber criminals. 

Apr 23, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's CEO & Publisher Suzanne Kelly spends 15 minutes with Michele Flounoy, CEO & Founder of the DC-based think tank the Center For a New American Security (CNAS). She was formerly the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. When President Barack Obama nominated her for the position, she was the highest-ranking woman in the Pentagon’s history.

 

After President Donald Trump’s election, General James Mattis asked her to be his Deputy Secretary of Defense, a position she turned down. So, what are her views on the new Administration? And what does she see as the most pressing challenges ahead, from North Korea to Yemen, Syria and Iraq?

Apr 16, 2017

This week, The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to Jonna Mendez, who spent 27 years at the CIA, eventually becoming the Chief of Disguise. She’s also a founding board member of the International Spy Museum, where she aims to educate people about the world of espionage. Here, Jonna educates Leone on how she learned from Hollywood makeup artists and magicians, to master illusion and disguise.

Apr 9, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to Carmen Medina, former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence and a long-time advocate of diversity in the Agency. She’s also the co-author of Rebels at Work, a book in which she shares the virtues of being a rebel in the workplace. A self-styled rebel herself, Carmen tells Leone how she shook up the Agency, and why she sees the world differently.

Apr 2, 2017

This week, The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge speaks to Michael German, author of “Thinking Like a Terrorist” and a former undercover FBI agent, who infiltrated white supremacist groups in the 1990s. Fritz asks Michael how his experiences shaped his understanding of terrorism and how to best fight violent extremism both at home and abroad.

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. 

 

Feb 26, 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 – who spent much of his career profiling Saddam – was the first CIA analyst to question the Iraqi leader after his capture. 

In the first part of the interview, John describes his thoughts when he finally came face-to-face with the Iraqi leader, what he uncovered about the weapons of mass destruction, and his views on Saddam’s trial and execution. 

Feb 19, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief’s Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to Vince Houghton, the curator and historian for The International Spy Museum. With all the intrigue and mystique surrounding the world of spies, the museum attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. But as Vince tells Leone, its main mission is to educate the public about the real-life world of espionage – and how spies have shaped the course of history.

 

Feb 12, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Makhani speaks to Chris Taylor, who leads a course at Georgetown University called "Hacking for Defense". Despite the name, the course isn't just about cyber threats; it uses unique new methodology to find solutions to pressing challenges in national security, brought directly to the class by U.S. government agencies. 

Feb 5, 2017

This week, The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to Haras Rafiq, CEO of Quilliam—a UK-based organization whose mission is to counter extremism, in every form. Much of its work surrounds counter-messaging Islamism by creating alternatives and empowering moderate Islamic voices. Leone spoke to Haras about how Quilliam conveys its message.

Jan 29, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to David Priess, a former CIA analyst and author of The President's Book of Secrets, which shares the untold stories and historical perspectives of the president's daily intelligence briefing. Press, who served during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, once worked as a daily intelligence briefer for the CIA himself. He speaks to Leone about the types of details that go into the President's Daily Brief. 

Jan 22, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to Antony Blinken, who served as Deputy Secretary of State under the Obama Administration. As Donald Trump takes office, Leone asks Antony for his views on the diplomatic and security challenges facing this administration. From Russia to North Korea… Syria and Iraq.

Jan 15, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney speaks to Mary Aiken, advisor to Interpol and author of The Cyber Effect. Fionnuala talks to Mary to explain cyber-psychology and the impact of the internet on human behavior.

Jan 8, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Producer and Reporter Leone Lakhani speaks to Corin Stone, Executive Director of the National Security Agency. Leone asks Corin about the evolving role of the NSA amid new threats including cyber crime. 

Jan 1, 2017

This week The Cipher Brief's Executive Editor Fionnuala Sweeney sits down with Steve Grobman, Chief Security Officer with the Intel Security Group. When it comes to America's security in the cyberspace, the U.S. government and the private sector haven't always seen eye to eye. Fionnuala talks to Grobman about how best to cooperate to the two sectors. 

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.

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