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Global War on Terror

A Prison Beyond the Law

Not long after September 11, 2001, the Bush administration began to develop plans for a prison at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station, in Cuba. Though modeled physically on maximum-security prisons in the United States, this facility—with a maximum capacity of 1,100 inmates—would not hold convicted criminals. In fact, most of the inmates at this prison would never be charged with a crime, let alone convicted.

José Padilla and the War on Rights

On June 9, 2002, an American citizen named José Padilla disappeared into a legal black hole. The government says he is a dangerous terrorist, but they have never charged him with a crime. For the nearly two years since he was arrested at Chicago O'Hare Airport, Mr. Padilla has been held without trial in solitary confinement in a military brig.

Putting the War on Terror on the Couch: Vamik Volkan’s Blind Trust

In his new book, Blind Trust, psychoanalyst Vamik Volkan offers starkly different terms for what he sees as a troubling "societal regression." Volkan looks at bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and the Bush administration and sees id, ego, and superego; he sees the war on terror as a series of "psychodynamics" and explains foreign policy as trickle-down Freudianism. Welcome to the world of psychopolitics.