Saturday, August 18, 2007

Interview: Richard A. Posner

New at Author Interviews: Judge Richard A. Posner, author of last year's Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency and many other books, graciously responded to a few of questions about his subject and his book.

Cary Federman, author of The Body and the State: Habeas Corpus and American Jurisprudence and a professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University, generously researched and developed the questions.

One exchange from the interview:
Federman: Does it matter for civil liberties whether the US classifies those who flew the planes into the World Trade Center as terrorists or criminals?

Posner: These aren't mutually exclusive categories. Terrorists are criminals. The issue is whether to classify them as criminals, as enemy soldiers, or as illegal combatants. If they are put in the last box, their civil liberties would be substantially curtailed. Their civil liberties would be at the highest level if they were treated as criminals, but if they were treated as ordinary soldiers they would be entitled to substantial protections, for example against punishment and mistreatment, including coercive interrogation.
Read the entire interview.

--Marshal Zeringue