On this weekend’s This American Life, official friend of TMW Jack Hitt talks with the Afghan satirist who spent three years at Gitmo because interrogators didn’t get the punchline.
The right of habeas corpus has been a part of this country’s legal tradition longer than we’ve actually been a country. It means the government has to explain why it’s holding a person in custody. But now, the war on terror has nixed many of the rules we used to think of as fundamental. At Guantanamo Bay, our government initially claimed that the prisoners should not be covered by habeas â€“ or even by the Geneva Conventions â€“ because they’re the most fearsome terrorist enemies we have. But is that true? Is it a camp full of terrorists, or a camp full of our mistakes? Reporter Jack Hitt unveils everything we know about who these prisoners are. In interviews with two former detainees, he finds out the consequences of taking away habeas, for them and for us.