Ben Wittes, senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute and co-director of Harvard Law School, visits Kenyon Tuesday, Sept. 16, to commemorate Constitution Day with a talk titled “Drones, Surveillance, Detention, Interrogation and the Rule of Law.” The event takes place in Gund Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater at 7:30 p.m.
Wittes will discuss “activities the United States is engaged in under the rubric of counterterrorism and how they fit under the rule of law.” Wittes also will address the recent confrontations with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Wittes’s visit, hosted by Kenyon’s Center for the Study of American Democracy (CSAD), is funded in part with a grant from the Jack Miller Center, a nonprofit dedicated to funding education in American civic and cultural history. The Center started its Constitution Day initiative in 2011 to support events at colleges and universities that celebrate Sept. 17, the day the Constitution was signed. In addition to Kenyon, 38 schools are receiving funding from the Center.
CSAD Director Tom Karako said the Center selected the topic of drones and surveillance because of the subject’s recent prominence in the news and because of the public’s renewed interest in enhanced interrogation.
According to Wittes, it’s a topic the nation has struggled with for many years. “Thirteen years after 9/11, we still are arguing about the parameters of the authorities to do the things we do against the enemy,” Wittes said. “Some things are not settled, and some are settled but settled very uncomfortably and very uneasily. Why is that?”
By Madeleine Thompson ‘15