Episode 76: The Valley of Ignorance

May 30, 2018

This week on the show:

  1. Another big win for FBI & DOJ in a terrorism prosecution, as a Maryland man gets 35 years for going to Somalia and becoming an unprivileged participant in hostilities for al Shabaab.
  2. Speaking of DOJ wins: they also picked up a five-year sentence (plus massive restitution) for a Canadian man whom Russia’s FSB hired to help with the massive Yahoo! hack a few years ago.
  3. Military Commissions: A stunner out of the Court of Military Commission Review in relation to the 9/11 case, as the CMCR declares itself inquorate (drink!) due to the surprise recusal of two more judges.  Meanwhile, Steve’s Dalmazzi case (pending before SCOTUS) picks up a useful fact in the form of news that one of the CMCR judges has retired from the military yet continues to serve as a CMCR judge, thus demonstrating the dual-office aspect of the CMCR position.
  4. Things Congress Empowers Presidents to Do: Among the important national security powers that Congress has conferred on the President are the ability to levy sanctions and to raise tariffs for national security reasons.  But just how much discretion does a president enjoy when wielding such powers?  Can anyone stop a president from softening sanctions on a Chinese company, or second-guess a decision to increase tariffs on car imports?
  5. Canada and targeted killing of one’s own citizens:  a recently-produced government document confirming the use of lethal force in Iraq/Syria against Canadian citizens who were categorized as IS fighters is raising questions about the legal and policy architecture for the Canadian role in the armed conflict with the Islamic State.
  6. Trumplandia: Important questions of constitutional law (not to mention policy and ethics) are heating up as a result of the new zero-tolerance policy involving separation of parents from children at the border (even in cases involving asylum applicants). Meanwhile, efforts to pass legislation relating to the Mueller investigation continue to generate constitutional debate, but no signs from the leadership that a relevant bill will be brought to the floor.

But never mind all that: we’ve also got a review of…hit songs with Cold War themes!  We’ve got all the colors of a royal flush, and it’s easy to believe that someone’s gonna light the fuse (to be fair, we didn’t light it but we tried to fight it).  So if radio’s gonna stay, then get your six-guns at your side because line morale has hit rock bottom and there’s a growing feeling of hysteria! (Think you can identify all 7 of those references based *strictly* on memory (no online research please!)?  Send your list to @nslpodcast, with band & song!  We’ll happily award you…our hearty congrats!)

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