Blog of Rights

Ben
Wizner

Ben Wizner (@BenWizner) is director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, which is dedicated to protecting and expanding the First Amendment freedoms of expression, association, and inquiry; expanding the right to privacy and increasing the control that individuals have over their personal information; and ensuring that civil liberties are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. He has litigated numerous cases involving post-9/11 civil liberties abuses, including challenges to airport security policies, government watchlists, extraordinary rendition, and torture. He has appeared regularly in the media, testified before Congress, and traveled several times to Guantánamo Bay to monitor military commission proceedings. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law and was a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

"It's My Country, Too."

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:29am
(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

In the Eye of the Beholder

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:35am

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

It was movie day at the military commission trial of Salim Hamdan — or rather, in the government’s words, “motion picture presentation” day. The motion picture in question was The…

Frying the Small Fish

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:43pm

(Originally posted on DailyKos.)

There’s a telling scene near the beginning of The Dark Side, Jane Mayer’s indispensable chronicle of the Bush Administration’s descent into torture and criminality. Shortly after the September 11 attacks,…

Boumediene — Sadness and Celebration

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:16pm

It's been a riveting month at Guantánamo. First was the sad spectacle of the “arraignment” of alleged 9/11 conspirators — in a courtroom expressly designed to suppress their statements about brutal torture in CIA custody,…

When "Torture" Is the Only Way to Describe It

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:14am
Last month I participated in a Federalist Society-sponsored debate about the administration's torture and detention policies. After the event, one of several federal judges in attendance challenged me on my frequent use of the word "torture." "That…

Guantánamo: The Road to Closure, Part II

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:50pm
Part II: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Military Commissions Act, and Boumediene v. Bush The Hamdan case, which reached the Supreme Court in 2006, involved two critical and distinct legal issues. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, alleged to have been Osama Bin Laden's…

Guantánamo: The Road to Closure

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:48pm
Guantanamo has been in the news again: Several congressional bills would restore habeas corpus to detainees or close the prison camp altogether; the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a third Guantanamo-related case, reversing its own recent decision…

The Looking-Glass Sentence

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:24pm
It was a day of competing narratives. Who was the real David Hicks? In a jarringly strident sentencing argument in which he advocated the maximum sentence – by agreement, seven years – the military prosecutor intoned that the members of the Military…

No Books, No Tours, No Hearings

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:23pm
We had expected to depart Guantanamo on Tuesday morning, but David Hicks's plea and upcoming sentencing hearing have thrown the schedule out the window, and no one seems to know when the proceedings will be completed. Reporters, human rights observers,…

Coming Soon: More Injustice at Gitmo

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:05am
Even as we await proceedings that will likely determine the particulars of David Hicks's return to Australia, we received the dismal news on Monday night that the United States had transferred a new detainee to Guantanamo. He is, the Pentagon maintains,…
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