Baher Azmy on Constitutional Rights and Justice for Guantanamo Detainees
April 23, 2020

Baher Azmy Murat Kurnaz was nineteen years old when he was arrested by Pakistani authorities and sold to the United States for a bounty. It was 2001 and the United States had distributed fliers in Pakistan promising money in exchange for suspected terrorists. Murat was a civilian who had not committed any crime. He ended up at the United States prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where for five years he was denied the right to due process and subjected to torture. His attorney, Baher Azmy, fought the Bush Administration to help get Murat and others released from Guantanamo.

Baher is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he has litigated cases related to discriminatory policing practices (stop and frisk), government surveillance, the rights of Guantanamo detainees, rights of asylum seekers, and accountability for victims of torture.

Baher joins me on Crossroads to discuss Murat’s case, the torture carried out at Guantanamo, and how the US legally and politically paved the way for the prison after 9/11. We also talk about the current crisis in regards to freedom versus security. Baher cautions using this framework without examining underlying assumptions about whose freedoms are lost and whose security is protected when the nation is asked to sacrifice liberty for safety. We also hear from him about the current situation at Guantanamo, how the remaining detainees have been faring during the pandemic, and whether they will be allowed to celebrate the holiday of Ramadan.

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Free speechHate SpeechMark White
How to counter Holocaust denial–a particular type of hate speech

How to counter Holocaust denial–a particular type of hate speech


Treblinka train station sign

What does it mean, to ‘counter hate speech with more speech’?

Hint: it doesn’t mean 5 minutes for the Jews and 5 minutes for Hitler.

In 1971, over the course of several months, historian Gitta Sereny trudged regularly into a prison in Dusseldorf, Germany to sit across a small table from Franz Stangl, former commandant of the extermination camp Treblinka. Between April and June of that year, Sereny collected over 70 hours of interviews with Stangl who died on June 28–within hours of her last visit. For the following 18 months Sereny continued researching details of the stories Stangl had told her and to speak to people who had known him when he was in charge of killing operations at Treblinka.

Cancel CultureCapitalismFeaturedPlebity
Hello, do you know the difference? The Raytheon, Goldman Sachs left is not the left.

Hello, do you know the difference? The Raytheon, Goldman Sachs left is not the left.


Left vs woke chart

Dear Liberals or Conservatives,

When you say left, you probably aren’t actually talking about the left. Find another name. Or at least understand the difference between the woke left and the traditional left which although largely silenced does still exist.

Here is a crude guide for liberals and conservatives who want to know the difference. See the chart.