Day: May 29, 2023

Background Breifing: May 29, 2023

Remembering an American General Who Would Not Speak of the Glorious Dead on Memorial Day

We begin on this Memorial Day and speak with an Army veteran whose grandfather was a hero of World War II Lieutenant General Lucian Truscott Jr who gave an eulogy on Memorial Day in 1945 at the graves of 20,000 American soldiers who died liberating Italy from the Nazis. According to Bill Mauldin “The general’s remarks were brief and extemporaneous. He apologized to the dead men for their presence here. He said everybody tells leaders it is not their fault that men get killed in war, but that every leader knows in his heart this is not altogether true. He said he hoped anybody here through any mistake of his would forgive him, but he realized that was asking a hell of a lot under the circumstances… he would not speak about the glorious dead because he didn’t see much glory in getting killed if you were in your late teens or early twenties. He promised that if in the future he ran into anybody, especially old men, who thought death in battle was glorious, he would straighten them out. He said he thought that was the least he could do.” Joining us is Lucian Truscott IV, a journalist, screenwriter and author of five bestselling novels. A graduate of West Point, he has covered the wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a regular columnist for Salon and writes a daily column at where his latest article is, “On this and every Memorial Day, my family and I remember Grandpa.”


How Defense Contractors Are Gouging the Taxpayer While Rewarding Shareholders at the Expense of R&D

Then with a deal over the debt ceiling protecting defense spending while cutting non-defense discretionary spending, we speak with Julia Gledhill, an analyst in the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight. She works to hold the Department of Defense accountable for waste, corruption, and abuse of power and advocates for more effective national security policy at a lower cost. We discuss her latest article at the Project on Government Oversight, “Defense Industry Crying Wolf on Its Finances” that shows how defense contractors are gouging the taxpayer while rewarding their shareholders at the expense of investing in R&D.


Is Cybersecurity an Unsolvable Problem?

 Then finally we look into whether cybersecurity is an unsolvable problem since perfect cybersecurity is impossible because the very principles that make hacking possible are the ones that make general computing possible. Joining us is Scott Shapiro, a professor of law and philosophy at Yale Law School and the director of the Yale Center for Law and Philosophy and its CyberSecurity Lab. He is also the author of Legality and the coauthor, with Oona Hathaway, of The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World. His latest book, just out, is Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks.