Patterico's Pontifications

6/30/2020

The National Security Law Podcast on Flynn, Berman, and the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



I wanted to pass along to my readers my love of the National Security Law podcast. It is a podcast hosted by two University of Texas at Austin School of Law professors, Bobby Chesney and Steve Vledeck.

They are a fun mix and they each remind me of myself (if smarter) in different ways. Chesney is more of a center-right guy who shares my longstanding political views. Unlike me, however, he is amiable and easygoing and likes to give political actors the benefit of the doubt when possible. He’s less active on Twitter and is perhaps a little less neurotic. Vladeck is excitable and can’t stand Trump (like me) and tends to view Trump administration actions with a little more skepticism (as I do) but his overall politics appear to be center-left and reasonably to the left of mine.

They’re professors in the same areas of law, they’re clearly friends (and even neighbors) and it’s just a fun listen. The latest episode addresses several topics of interest to me, and is worth your time. Especially if you’re a legal nerd, whether a lawyer or not.

Beginning at about 8:23,* they discuss the D.C. Circuit panel decision in the Flynn case. Vladeck says many of the same things I have been saying here for weeks, but more effectively, and with more detail about why the panel decision’s blithe discarding of usual mandamus standards is such a serious breach. Pro-Flynn people should really listen. To them, I say: I’ll put up Vladeck’s expertise and knowledge against that of literally anyone you’ve been following online who has tried to convince you this panel decision makes sense.

They also discuss Bill Barr’s recent fumbling attempt to install a political appointee as the U.S. Attorney for the SDNY. Again, you’ll hear echoes of what you’ve read here, but with more detail and legal discussion.

Finally, in news ripped from today’s headlines (although they recorded the podcast on Friday, I believe), Chesney and Vladeck discuss the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act, which was invoked by President Trump in this tweet:

What the statute addresses is “attempts to injure or destroy, any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.” Does the George Washington statue referenced by Trump count? Well, according to the New York Post, there are two:

The early 20th-century statues — one of Washington as the nation’s first president and another depicting him as general of the country’s Revolutionary War forces — bled red as they dripped with the still-fresh paint just before 8 a.m.

Sounds like one might be covered by the statute and one might not!

(By the way, no way this statute protects statues of Confederate Army generals.)

Enjoy the podcast. It’s great.

*One thing you’ll either find charming (as I do) or annoying is that these guys get along so well that they sort of chat it up as they introduce what they’re going to talk about, and it can take them a while to get to the substance.

19 Responses to “The National Security Law Podcast on Flynn, Berman, and the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act”

  1. Right, because commander in chief isn’t a part of the armed forces…

    Good Lord.

    Harvey's Potted Plant (7438e3)

  2. Right, because commander in chief isn’t a part of the armed forces…

    Good Lord.

    Well, there’s this one CiC who is getting paid to do nothing while other American’s of the Armed Forces are being killed by the guys paying him to do nothing. So is he really part of the Armed Forces?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  3. Another good legal radio show (and podcast) is All the President’s Lawyers on KCRW featuring Ken White, a former assistant US attorney and working now in white collar criminal defense.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  4. #1-
    One can argue that the Continental Army was a revolutionary army, and the United States didn’t exist as an independent nation until 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  5. Right, because commander in chief isn’t a part of the armed forces…

    Good Lord.

    Harvey’s Potted Plant (7438e3) — 6/30/2020 @ 9:01 am

    Civilian leadership over our military is a pretty basic concept. We don’t have Generalissimmo heads of state here. Trump’s tear gas mistake, his rush to crowd streets with as many uniforms as he can, shows how good an idea this is. I wish more of our executive leadership were veterans, but they shouldn’t be marching the troops into battle like George Washington did during the revolution.

    Obviously vandalism is a crime either way. This is about whether mere politicians deserve a protection intended for war memorials, which they clearly do not. I would go much further and say all the monuments in this country to mere political leaders should be reconsidered and at least heavily limited. I live in a town where so many things are named after Lyndon Johnson (a veteran but also a cynical and crappy president) and his family. Naming things should be a way to enrich the cultural heritage, not to venerate a political party.

    Dustin (739c8b)

  6. the United States didn’t exist as an independent nation until 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.

    Tory sedition!

    We were independent when we assumed among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitled us, on July 4, 1776.

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. We were independent when we assumed among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitled us, on July 4, 1776.

    Not much good if we lost.

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  8. There was no case against flynn, the prosecutors should be disbarred and jailed.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  9. Can someone explain what this tweeter is supposed to mean? Is there context? BUTTERNUT SQUASH!

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    THE LONE WARRIOR!
    10:49 AM · Jun 30, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  10. So the argument is GW wasn’t in the American military during the revolution? But the US Armed forces predate the country. It’s like a promoter preceding a corporation.

    There was no case against flynn, the prosecutors should be disbarred and jailed.

    Narciso (7404b5) — 6/30/2020 @ 9:53 am

    Because it’s bad to go after people who use criminal justice for their political ends.

    Dustin (739c8b)

  11. There was no case against flynn, the prosecutors should be disbarred and jailed.

    Notice there’s no call for rule of law, trials, etc. You know, the thing that Flynn actually received. Straight to jail.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  12. The rule of law only operates like kafka except for democrats brennan hillary et al

    Narciso (7404b5)

  13. The rule of law only operates like kafka except for democrats brennan hillary et al

    So does that mean you are for it or against it?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  14. 9 – Breitbart says it is how Trump sees himself.

    DRJ (aede82)

  15. What a great link, DRJ.

    The riots largely subsided after Trump’s famous walk across Lafayette Square to the fire-damaged St. John’s Episcopal Church, and after he used the National Guard to suppress the worst of the violence in Washington, DC. […] With conflict all around him, being pushed from every side, Trump may see himself as an isolated figure — or, perhaps, as the last line of defense, the one leader who will dare to stand up to the left rather than capitulating to the “woke mob.”

    Having little support is generally considered ‘losing’ for elected officials. For Trump, he is the last line of defense, a leader, a warrior singlehandedly stopping all the black people, one birth certificate at a time.

    Dustin (739c8b)

  16. Man, do people really believe that Trump’s thought processes are that complex?

    Me Trump Hungry
    Me Trump Angry
    Me Trump Horny
    Me Trump Warrior
    Me Trump Giant Hands

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  17. Actually, when Washington was president, he lead troops to put down the Whiskey rebellion.

    By 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the stability of the nascent United States and forced President Washington to personally lead the United States militia westward to stop the rebels.

    https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/whiskey-rebellion/#:~:text=By%201794%2C%20the%20Whiskey%20Rebellion,westward%20to%20stop%20the%20rebels.&text=By%201791%20the%20United%20States,incurred%20during%20the%20Revolutionary%20War.

    That said, the statute as quoted here requires a monument “commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”

    So it sounds like it is not enough that the person served at some point in his or her life in the military, the statute has to commemorate that service. Lots of people served in the military at one point, and then did something else in civilian life later, and a statue might commemorate their later civilian contribution. (Several presidents come to mind.) So I guess it matters what the theme of the statue is.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  18. I enjoyed their conversation on Barbie Dreamhouse Adventure.
    Suggested drinking game: take a shot every time Steve says “Bob”. Or maybe just a sip of beer if you want to survive.

    kaf (4ab47f)

  19. Steppe Nomad version 14.0 comment deleted. As stupid and utterly wrong as his comments usually are.

    Patterico (115b1f)

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