The bloody civil war in Syria has spawned a refugee crisis of dimensions unknown since World War II. Nearly 5.5 million people have fled the conflict with only around 10,000 re-settled in the United States—less than 0.2 per cent of the total Syrian refugee population. Yet, during the campaign, President-elect Trump said he would close the door to Syrian immigration. International Rescue Committee President David Miliband tells Jim that the U.S. must open its doors to carefully vetted Syrian refugees, and do its part to avert a humanitarian disaster.
The Russians hacked the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s private server. The North Koreans hacked SONY. The U.S. hacked Angela Merkel’s cell phone and Dilma Rouseff’s email. The U.S. and the Israelis hacked Iran’s nuclear installation in Natanz, and set the program back for at least five years. Council on Foreign Relations cyber-security expert Adam Segal tells Jim that whether on offense or defense, America lives in a new hacked world order.
Noel Field came from solid Quaker stock. He completed Harvard in two years, and joined the foreign service in the 1930s where he wrote speeches for two Secretaries of State. He then became a spy for Stalin. In her sobering book, True Believer, author Kati Marton relates Field’s amazing story, and tells Jim Zirin how he came to betray his country for an ideology that eventually cast him and three members of his family into a Soviet gulag.
Turning the tables, Ambassador William vanden Heuvel interviews Jim about his new book, Supremely Partisan–How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the United States Supreme Court. Jim talks about the Court’s historic origins, the evolution of its decision-making, the use of identity politics in appointing the Justices to reserved ethnic seats, and the future of a partisan Court in a post-Scalia world.