From ancient times to the present, politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups have gained resources and control over the public by playing to peoples fears of various crises and by offering solutions that often only make problems worse.
The reception and presentation of the Thomas S. Szasz Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties to Robert Higgs and Robert Spillane, followed by a special forum featuring Dr. Higgs on Liberty and Leviathan.
The elections in Iraq have not resolved the main problems therea constitutional crisis, continued terrorism, a potent Sunni rebellion, and fighting between religious and ethnic groups that could result in a full-blown civil war. Is the Iraq war a hopeless quagmire that has been lost, or can the U.S. still foster a united, peaceful and prosperous Iraq? If the latter, how can this be achieved? Should the Iraqi constitution be revised and, if so, how? Should the U.S. withdraw its forces-with Iraq partitioned-or use the threat of withdrawal to pressure Iraqi groups into a negotiated settlement? Should the U.S. extract troops rapidly, pull them out gradually, stay the course with current Bush administration policy, or escalate its involvement? This very timely policy forum, featuring Mark Danner and Ivan Eland, will address these critical issues.
Each year, the U.S. government spends over $30 billion on the drug war and arrests more than 1.5 million people on drug-related charges. Currently more than 318,000 people are behind bars in the U.S. for drug violationsmore than the number of people incarcer-ated for all crimes in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined. Have current drug laws deterred drug abuse and reduced crime? What are the real costs of this countrys war on drugs? Is there a link between the homicide rate and the amount of resources given to drug prohibition? Please join us as Boston University economist Jeffrey Miron (author of the major new book, Drug War Crimes) and former San Jose police chief, Joseph McNamara, examine these questions and explore real alternatives to Americas War on Drugs.
Jeffrey A. Miron
Boston University Professor of Economics and author of the new book, Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition. His articles on Drug Policy have appeared in Social Research, Boston Globe and the London Observer. He received his Ph. D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Joseph D. McNamara
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution. Former Chief of Police, San Jose, CA and Kansas City, MO. He has published articles in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications. He has been a commentator for NPR and has appeared on Meet the Press, Good Morning America, Sixty Minutes, and other programs.
Ethan A. Nadelmann
Founder and Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the War on Drugs. Dr. Nadelmann received his Ph.D. and J.D. from Harvard University and a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. His speaking and writings on drug policy have attracted international attention and appeared in Science, American Heritage, National Review, and others.
The recent unveiling of White House plans for PATRIOT Act II has raised concerns nationwide about the state of American civil liberties in a time of crisis. Since the attacks on September 11 and the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bush administration has clashed with civil libertarians over allegations of constitutional violations and the excessive use of government powers. With an expansion of the PATRIOT Act now before Congress, what do the American people stand to gain or lose from its passage? Is the increased power of law enforcement a necessary response to terrorism or a reckless assault on our constitutional protections? Please join the Independent Institutes Center on Peace & Liberty and our panel of distinguished experts as we examine the key issues in this crucial national debate.
Professor of Law, Georgetown University, and author of Enemy Aliensand Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security
Member, ACLU National Board, past Chair of ACLU Northern California, and Professor of Law, Santa Clara University.
Journalist, Policy Analyst, and Author of Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil and Lost Rights