• Show Notes

In this sample from the United Security podcast, Matt Olsen, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, speaks with host Ken Wainstein about Guantanamo Bay detainee transfer process to his position as General Counsel to the National Security Agency.

In the full episode, Olsen reflects with Ken about the entire arc of his career, from his time working with Ken at the U.S Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia to his reflections on then-Vice President Joe Biden’s foreign policy perspective during the Obama administration. working together his diverse work during the Obama administration, from his overview of the, and his reflections on the character President-elect Biden. 

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This podcast is produced by CAFE Studios. 

Tamara Sepper – Executive Producer; Adam Waller – Senior Editorial Producer; Nat Weiner — Audio Producer; David Kurlander — Editorial Producer, Sam Ozer-Staton — Editorial Producer. 


  • “Attorney General Appoints Executive Director to Lead New Task Force on Review of Guantanamo Bay Detainees,” DOJ.gov, 2/20/2009
  • “United States Transfers Two Guantanamo Detainees to Foreign Nations,” DOJ.gov, 6/11/2009
  • Dafna Linzer, “Review of Gitmo Detainees Has Been Slow and Complex,” ProPublica, 6/26/2009
  • “The man who decides the fate of Guantanamo detainees,” BBC News, 1/17/2010
  • David Johnston, “Uighurs Leave Guantánamo for Palau,” New York Times, 10/31/2009
  • Jason Breslow, “Matt Olsen: ‘Politics’ Kept Guantanamo Open, ‘Not National Security,’” PBS Frontline, 2/21/2017
  • Mark Hosenball, “Obama Administration Appoints New General Counsel for NSA,” Newsweek, 6/10/2010

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United Security: Interview with Matt Olsen