Monday, March 20, 2006

Required Listening for Every American: This American Life

As we mark the third anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq, I want to recommend some essential listening for every American, regarless of your current opinion of our country's approach to the "war on terror." Listen to the March 10th episode of This American Life called Habeas Schmabeas which interviews Guantanamo detainess and talks about the real reason that the US won't let many detainees go. The show makes the argument that the US has scooped up many innocent people in their sweeps in places like Afghanistan, but after holding these people for years it would be too embarrassing, and would expose too many government lies, to let the harmless among the prisoners go now.

The title Habeas Schmabeas is a play on the name of the legal principle of Habeas Corpus, which has been thrown out the window in the case of these detainees. This show affected me like few others have. This American Life is best know for its humorous David Sedaris segments, but it has consistently produced much of the best war coverage I've heard, read, or seen anywhere. The December 20, 2002 episode called Why We Fight is also a timely piece to listen to on this third anniversary.

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