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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Terrorism, Torture and National Security
Last Featured: 7/5/2004

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President George Bush swiftly and firmly denounced the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison and immediately took steps to prosecute the perpetrators. Attorney General John Ashcroft also condemned the use of torture in recent testimony before Congress and stated that no order for torture has ever been given by this President. However, revelations about memos now circulating in the Defense and Justice Departments that argue a President may legally order torture, outside the constraints of the Geneva Convention, raise questions about how our nation will choose to balance national security needs with respect for human rights. Human rights activists cite this latest disclosure as further evidence the administration has placed itself above constitutional and international law with actions that threaten to undermine “every convention on torture the U.S. has ever signed.”

Reed Brody is Special Counsel at Human Rights Watch (HRW) and lecturer at Columbia Law School. He is the author of the recent HRW report, "The Road to Abu Ghraib," which examines the roots of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. He also runs the group's program to prosecute those who commit atrocities. Brody coordinated HRW’s intervention in the case of Augusto Pinochet in Britain’s House of Lords, and initiated and coordinates the prosecution of the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, who was arrested on torture charges in Senegal. Previously, he led United Nations teams investigating massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo and observing human rights in El Salvador.

David B. Rivkin, Jr. is a partner in Baker & Hostetler LLP, a Visiting Fellow at the Nixon Center, a member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He specializes in regulatory and litigation work, with an emphasis on constitutional and public policy issues. Rivkin has served in a variety of legal and policy positions in the Reagan and Bush Sr.'s Administrations. Prior to his legal career, he served as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues, and worked as a defense consultant to numerous government agencies and Washington think tanks.

Closing Quote
"The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas – a trial of spiritual resolve; the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated."

— Ronald Reagan

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war
United Nations Convention Against Torture
Department of Defense memo on the use of torture
The Heritage Foundation
United Nations
White House Press Briefing
Amnesty International
International Rehabilitation Council for Toture Victims
The History of Torture (Sutton History Classics)
by Daniel P. Mannix
Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture
by John Conroy
The Tension Between Security and Liberty in the War on Terror
Immigration and Policy
The Cuban Embargo