Starting today and continuing through next Friday, the blog The Complex Terrain Laboratory is holding an online symposium titled “Defending Hamdan.” The symposium is CTlab’s first, and is the first in a series entitled Social Sciences in War. This symposium revolves around the personal account of Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, an historian of Central Asia and Al Qaeda based at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, of his experiences as an expert witness in the Guantanamo Bay trial of Salim Hamdan, “bin Laden’s driver.”
Scholars from the the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand will participate in the symposium.
- David Betz: Insurgency Research Group, Dept. of War Studies, King’s College London
- Christian Bleuer: Political Science, Australian National University
- John Matthew Barlow: History, Concordia University
- Craig Hayden: Int’l Communications, American University, Intermap.org
- Kevin Jon Heller: Law, University of Auckland/University of Melbourne, OpinioJuris.org
- John Horgan: Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
- Thomas Johnson: Cultural Studies, Naval Postgraduate School
- Jason Ralph: Politics & International Studies, University of Leeds
- William Snyder: Law, University of Syracuse/Maxwell School
- Marc Tyrrell: Anthropology, Carleton University, blogger
- Tony Waters: Sociology, Chico State University
- L.L. Wynn: Anthropology, Macquarie University
The first five installments of Dr. Williams’ account have already been posted to the weblog:
- The Capture and Defense of Bin Laden’s Driver
- On Ruffling Establishment Feathers
- Letter and Spirit of the Law
- Digging Deeper for the Defense
- Defending Hamdan: Trial And Verdict
With the fifth post, the symposium will be formally launched with two forthcoming introductory blog posts, one providing the background and outlines of the symposium, the other surveying coverage of the Hamdan trial in the law blogosphere.
This will be an event worth following. The implications are substantial and go beyond the immediate issue of Hamdan and should go toward basic understanding of the culture and rule of law and perceptions.