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Office of the Provost press release   Date: 2/16/11 Bookmark and Share

ACLU Litigator to Discuss 'War on Terror'

Woodrow Wilson Fellow Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU begins weeklong residency with lecture Monday, Feb. 21

Next week, Monday through Friday, February 21-25, Smith will welcome renowned litigator Jameel Jaffer as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Jaffer’s intensive weeklong visit will begin with a public lecture, “What Is the 'War on Terror,' and Are We Still Fighting It?” on Monday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room.

Jaffer’s talk will explore the standing of the ‘war on terror’ that the Bush administration launched after the September 2001 terrorist attacks as a new kind of war—the enemy was nebulous, the battlefield was everywhere, and no one could say what victory would look like. What was this war, and are we still fighting it? And what does it mean for human rights and civil liberties if we're engaged in a war that, almost by definition, is both everywhere and forever?

As Deputy Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Jaffer oversees the union's work on issues relating to free speech, privacy, technology, national security, and human rights. He has litigated numerous cases at the intersection of civil liberties and national security, including challenges to the CIA's rendition and ‘targeted killing’ programs and a challenge to the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program.

Jaffer is a graduate of Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, D.C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a weeklong residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions.

Hosted by the Ethics Program and supported by the Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty, Jameel Jaffer’s visit will allow students and faculty an opportunity to make new connections and create better understanding between the academic and nonacademic worlds.

As the Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Jaffer will have the time to explore in depth how the classroom and campus relate to the broader society. In addition to offering Monday’s public lecture, conducting discussion groups and participating in classroom colloquia, Jaffer will meet with students and faculty members informally to share his practical knowledge in the areas of human rights and civil liberties.

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