Chase Madar

  • Hard Time

    American punitiveness—in our policing, courts, prisons, and law—can’t be fully understood outside the context of white supremacy. Louisiana’s state penitentiary is on the site of a former plantation called Angola, so named because that was where its slaves came from; black men in bondage continue to farm the land. And the incarceration rate for black men in the US is an astronomical 2,207 per 100,000, nearly six times the rate for white men and higher than in South Africa under apartheid. In recent years, videos of lethal police violence against unarmed African Americans have become a constant

  • Rules of Disengagement

    How quickly talk of war turns into talk of law! When a hospital is bombed in a military action, whether by the United States in Afghanistan, Russia in Syria, or Israel in Gaza, what typically draws outrage is the "war crime"—the violation of the laws of armed conflict—while the choice to wage war itself evades condemnation or analysis. Opposition to the Iraq War was commonly voiced as a matter of respect for international law. And now that Washington is helping a Saudi-led coalition bomb Yemen, one common apologia is that American targeting assistance saves lives by bringing air strikes into

  • Torture and Silence

    1. What we don’t talk about when we talk about torture

    Last December, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released its long-delayed report on CIA torture, to much media attention; that coverage segued back into long-running debates on torture’s utilitarian justification. Still, many heavy silences from all sides weigh on The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture. The Senate panel only examined the CIA’s program; it did not cover the US military’s orders-of-magnitude-larger program of questionable interrogation techniques. Nor does the report cover the widespread torture