I went to a lecture today from an Oberlin graduate. His name is Joshua Colangelo-Bryan and he represented detainees at Guantanamo, including Juma Mohammed Abdul Lattif al Dossary. It was interesting to hear him describe the legal maneuvering, law, and legislation that are involved in fighting (and protecting) torture. But the most worthwhile part of Colangelo-Bryan’s talk–for me and I suspect for other Oberlin students–was that he brought attention to what our government does to people while we barely pay attention.
He described life at Guantanamo Bay, for the soldiers and the detainees and gave us an idea of what kind of torture or “refined interrogation techniques” the US military uses over there. Amazingly, it’s not that hard for us to forget what is being done by our government. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading a lot more about Hillary crying or Barack denying a handshake than I have about the treatment of “enemy combatants.” If everyone in America listened to Colangelo-Bryan instead of Chris Matthews for an hour, the entire nation would be righteously, morally outraged.
I do take a certain amount of pride in the fact that there are people in my country who not only haven’t forgotten what is happening in these extraordinary times, but are fighting hard to do what is right. (Not to mention a little pride in the fact that he went to Oberlin.)