Human Rights in an Age of Terror
Thursday, March 4th, 7pm, Edmunds Ballroom
How do we balance our safety as a nation with the rights of individual citizens? Does protecting our nation from terrorist attacks justify selective curtailing of our civil liberties? Since September 11, 2001, these questions have been at the heart of America’s public debate and many Americans’ private fears. Most Americans are familiar with the flash points of the debate, or at least the hotly contested words: Guantanamo, torture, selective rendition, wire-tapping, Blackwater. Yet the answers and—more crucially—the values on which we base our national security choices often still seem murky.
To help clarify these issues, the Pomona Student Union is honored to host leading experts Scott Horton and Peter Berkowitz in debating the ethics of defending our nation.
Scott Horton is a New York attorney specializing in Human Rights Law and the Law of Armed conflict. He is a past president of the International League for Human Rights and is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School. Since 2007, he has been a contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine, focusing on legal affairs and national security. He is the author of the blog “No Comment” on Harper’s Online and writes frequently for American Lawyer and the Daily Beast. He has tried numerous cases against the US government for their alleged abuses since the start of the War on Terror, including those of Guantanamo Bay detention camp whistle-blower Lieutenant Commander Matthew Diaz and Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist Bilal Hussein.
He is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the Eurasia Group and the American branch of the International Law Association.
Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His scholarship focuses on the interplay of law, ethics and politics in modern society. He is co-founder and director of the Israel Program on Constitutional Government, has served as a senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics, and is a member of the Policy Advisory Board at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
His books include Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism and Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist. He has edited, among others, the volumes Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution: Debating the Enemy Combatant Cases and Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic. Additionally, he has written for numerous publications, including the American Political Science Review, Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary, Critical Review, First Things, Jerusalem Post, London Review of Books, National Review, The New Republic and New York Post.