Karen Greenberg

Karen Greenberg

Karen J. Greenberg is the Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law. She is the author of The Least Worst Place, Guantanamo's First 100 Days (Oxford University Press). She is also the co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, among other works.

Articles by this author

In whose world are filth, disease, and persistent emotional cruelty acceptable? (Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, July 25, 2019
No Fairy Tale: The Trump Administration’s Declaration of Inhuman Rights
Lately, I've been thinking about the Grimm's fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Terrified by cruel conditions at home, the brother and sister flee, winding their way, hungry and scared, through unknown woods. There, they encounter an old woman who lures them in with promises of safety. Instead, she...
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In the 448 pages of the Mueller report, there are nearly 1,000 redactions. (Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty) Views
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Redacting Democracy
The Nobel Prize-winning Czech author Milan Kundera began his 1979 novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting , by describing two photographs . In the first, two men are standing side by side, a Czech nationalist later executed for his views and the country’s Communist ruler. In the second, the...
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In its urge to build walls of every sort, seen and unseen, however, the Trump administration has taken the global lead in creating a world in which citizenship will be ever more narrowly defined. (Photo: Brian Angell/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Retiring the Statue of Liberty: Citizenship in the Age of Trump
It turns out that walls can’t always be seen. Donald Trump may never build his “ great, great wall ,” but that doesn’t mean he isn’t working to wall Americans in. It’s a story that needs to be told. This past month, for instance, claims of ISIS’s near total defeat in Syria have continued to mount...
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Children in a refugee camp in Jordan. (Photo: Reuters) Views
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
The Year of the Child (in Trouble): We-Are-Not-Them Exceptionalism
Halfway through 2018, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski hurled a mother-to-mother dagger at Ivanka Trump. How, during the very weeks when the headlines were filled with grim news of child separations and suffering at the U.S.-Mexico border, she asked, could the first daughter and presidential adviser be so...
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As the shackling of men on the decks of ships reveals, the Coast Guard’s present war-on-drugs detention mission is not one it has exactly been prepared for. (Photo: US Coast Guard) Views
Thursday, December 20, 2018
America’s Mixed Messages: On Board the USS Detention
I grew up in New London, Connecticut, watching many a military ship float by my window. New London was home to the Coast Guard Academy and sat across the river from a U.S. Navy submarine base. Uniformed guardsmen, sailors in training, and sub crews leaving port would regularly wave to my friends...
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Monday, October 15, 2018
How Guantanamo Set the Stage for the Kavanaugh Hearings
Amid the emotional hubbub over the predictable confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, there has been a largely overlooked casualty: the American judiciary. It’s not the end result alone -- his addition to the highest bench in the land where he will sit for life -- that promises to damage the country, but...
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018
A Children’s Gitmo on the Border: Heartless America’s Latest Nightmare
By the time Donald J. Trump threw in the towel, who among us hadn’t seen or heard the chilling videos in which U.S. border officials shamelessly grabbed uncomprehending children and toddlers from their pleading mothers and fathers? Some were told they were being taken to bathe or shower by people...
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"In a set of parallel moves of betrayal, the dismemberment of agencies created to honor and protect peacefulness and basic civil liberties at home or abroad is ongoing." (Photo: beppesabatini/Flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Dismantling Democracy, One Word at a Time
Consider us officially in an Orwellian world, though we only half realize it. While we were barely looking, significant parts of an American language long familiar to us quite literally, and in a remarkably coherent way, went down the equivalent of George Orwell’s infamous Memory Hole. This hit me...
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 "Haspel herself played a role in destroying evidence of what occurred at the site she oversaw." (Photo: CIA / with overlay) Views
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
The Hearings for Trump’s CIA Pick Should Prompt a Reckoning With Torture
President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel, a longtime clandestine officer now serving as the CIA’s deputy director, to head the agency is an intensely provocative and unsettling move. Haspel was a key figure in the Bush administration’s secret detention and torture program — one of the darkest...
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Activists outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11, 2017 marking the 15th anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay prison. Views
Monday, October 16, 2017
Gitmo's Living Legacy in the Trump Era
Eight years ago, when I wrote a book on the first days of Guantanamo, The Least Worst Place: Guantánamo’s First 100 Days , I assumed that Gitmo would prove a grim anomaly in our history. Today, it seems as if that “detention facility” will have a far longer life than I ever imagined and that it,...
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