Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday

Rachel and I caught some of this show on the way into work. It needs listening to.

Guantánamo detainees interviewed on This American Life

This week's edition of WBEZ radio's This American Life, "Habeas Schmabeas," examines the importance of the right of habeas corpus in America's legal tradition:

It means the government has to explain why it's holding a person in custody. But now, the war on terror has nixed many of the rules we used to think of as fundamental. At Guantanamo Bay, our government initially claimed that the prisoners should not be covered by habeas – or even by the Geneva Conventions – because they're the most fearsome terrorist enemies we have. But is that true? Is it a camp full of terrorists, or a camp full of our mistakes? Reporter Jack Hitt unveils everything we know about who these prisoners are. In interviews with two former detainees, he finds out the consequences of taking away habeas, for them and for us.

The whole episode is outstanding, but the personal testimonies of Badr and Abdullah (sp?), two Pakistani men wrongfully detained as terrorists, are some of the most powerful radio moments I've ever heard.

Link to streaming Real Audio, Audible.com show link, or you can buy a CD.
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