Tanner Lectures: Mark Danner (author and Professor of Journalism, Berkeley)

Thu April 15th 2010, 5:30pm
Event Sponsor
Center for Ethics in Society and the Office of the President
Bldg 320, Room 105

"Naturalizing the State of Exception: Terror, Fear and the War Without End" Mark Danner is a writer and reporter who for twenty-five years has written on politics and foreign affairs, focusing on war and conflict. He has covered Central America, Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and the Middle East, among many other stories. Danner is Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics and the Humanities at Bard College. Abstract: More than eight years have passed since the United States, after the attacks of September 11, entered into its current "state of exception." Some of the more radical changes imposed in the practice of detention and interrogation have now been reversed or modified. Others, however, have become permanent. Acts that would seem to have violated international treaties to which the United States is a signatory - notably, the "extreme interrogation techniques" applied to prisoners by the CIA and the military - and that were judged to be "legal" by lawyers in the Department of Justice, have been largely discontinued, but those officials who approved them and those who practiced them have not been investigated or punished. Instead, "extreme interrogation" has become a vivid issue in domestic American politics, with members of one major political party, the Republicans, professing themselves wholly in favor of it, and deploying that approval as a weapon in political combat against the incumbent Democratic administration. Torture, in this sense, has been "naturalized" - become a permanent part of our politics. We live with it to this day. Danner will give two lectures (the first lecture on 4/14). There will also be two discussion sessions (4/15 & 4/16). Mark Danner's books are availalbe for purchase at the Stanford Bookstore.

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