Daily Archives: February 3, 2009

Upcoming lecture: Jeremy Wisnewski on Torture and War Crimes in the Bush Administration

Dr. Jeremy Wisnewski is the guest for Ideas Matter this week.  Here is the abstract for his talk:

If there is one lesson to learn from the Bush Presidency, it is that no law—whether domestic statute or international treaty—can resist systematic misinterpretation. The aim of this talk is to look closely and carefully at the arguments surrounding several key Bush administration decisions—examining these as a case study, in essence, of the way that legal reasoning can be manipulated toward virtually any end. In exploring the arguments of the Bush league surrounding things like torture, the constitution, and our international treaty obligations, I want to suggest two theses: First, that human rights law has been significantly damaged by the Bush League, and second, that the kind of legal gerrymandering and linguistic subterfuge employed by the Bush administration constitutes the commission of war crimes. 

Hope to see you there!


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David Reidy and Michael Blake: “Humanitarian Intervention and Human Rights” Now Available

The free podcast of the discussion between Professors David Reidy and Michael Blake on the issue of humanitarian intervention and human rights is now available from the OSU iTunes site.

David Reidy and Michael Blake

David Reidy and Michael Blake

The conversation between these two philosophers centers not so much on whether coercive intervention is permissible today or should in fact be a duty (both agree that coercive intervention using military force was probably required of the world community in a case such as the 1994 genocide in Rwanda). Instead, the question they pursue, in broad terms, is whether coercive intervention ought to be used by liberal democratic societies as a means to promote human rights in societies that are not necessarily liberal democracies. For instance, while it may not be a good idea to invade a society such as Saudi Arabia in order to get it to extend civil and political rights to women, does that mean that liberal democracies should not find other ways to coerce Saudi Arabia to respect human rights?

Check out the conversation, add your thoughts in the comments section, and check out the photos from the evening with philosophers on the right!


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