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American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Center attorney Ben Wizner will present “Liberty vs. Security: Real Conflicts and False Conflicts” 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 4 in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104.

The event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the American studies department, the department of history, the department of religious studies through the Lyman Coleman Fund, the department of government and law, the Office of Intercultural Development, and the Emile Durkheim Society.

Wizner will give an overview of his recent casework, briefly discuss his perspective on the changing dynamics of civil liberties and national security after 9/11, and then invite lively discussion with the audience on these issues.

Caroline Lee, assistant professor of anthropology and sociology, says Wizner’s visit will offer students a unique chance to hear firsthand about the work of civil liberties lawyers during the “War on Terror.”

“Ben has been involved in some of the most important civil liberties cases of the last six years,” says Lee. “For American studies students learning about extraordinary rendition, or government and law students studying American foreign policy, the chance to ask questions directly of someone who has represented Khaled El-Masri and visited Guantanamo is a truly exciting opportunity.”

Wizner has been a staff attorney at the ACLU since 2001. He has been involved in numerous post-9/11 civil liberties cases, including a challenge to the CIA’s abduction, detention, and torture of an innocent German citizen (El-Masri v. Tenet); lawsuits aimed at exposing FBI and Pentagon surveillance of non-violent protestors; and suits challenging the discriminatory removal of Arab and South Asian men from commercial flights and other public venues. He has traveled to Guantanamo Bay to observe and report on Military Commission trials. Wizner is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law.

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