The Detainee Bill: Blank Check to Torture?
Yesterday, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit on behalf of a group of detainees at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, in a case that's designed to contest the legislation passed last week by Congress establishing military commissions—this even before president George Bush has even signed the bill into law. The sense of urgency comes from the worry that this new law is, as our guest Aziz Huq of the Brennan Center puts it, a "blank check to torture" and a "wholesale assault on the idea of a limited government under law." Join us as we break down the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and its long-term ramifications, and discuss the chances of stopping it.
AZIZ HUQ directs the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice. He is co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in Times of Terror (New Press, 2007), and recipient of a 2006 Carnegie Scholars Fellowship.
Literature from the "Axis of Evil"
When president George W. Bush named an Axis of Evil in his 2002 state of the union address, he cast Iran, Iraq, and North Korea into the role of the enemy. Bush's UN envoy, John Bolton, later added Libya, Syria, and Cuba to the list of villains. But how much do Americans know about life in these ostensibly enemy countries? How many of us have read the work of a contemporary writer from Iran, North Korea, or the Sudan (and what would happen if we did)? We'll be joined by the editors of a new book, Literature from the "Axis of Evil", which brings together fiction and poetry from all of the countries named above, most translated into English for the first time.
ALANE MASON is founding editor of Words Without Borders and a senior editor at W.W. Norton & Company. Three of the books she published by previously unknown authors in the past four years went on to become National Book Award Finalists. She has translated from the Italian for New Directions.
HA-YUN JUNG is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Prairie Schooner, the Threepenny Review, The New York Times, and Best New American Voices. She currently lives in Seoul, Korea, where she is at work on a novel.
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