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Terror Courts, Rita Moreno, Phone Phreaks, Morality and Technology

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Monday, March 04, 2013

The Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin and government prosecutor Lt. Col. Stuart Crouch talk about the courts at Guantanamo Bay, where suspected Al Qaeda terrorists are tried. Rita Moreno looks back at her career on stage and screen. She’s one of the few artists to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. We’ll look at the underground network of “phone phreaks” who managed to hack into the country’s telephone system. Plus, the political and moral dilemmas posed by the technological efficiencies of the digital age.

Guantanamo Bay Terror Courts

Jess Bravin, the Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent, and Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a government prosecutor, talk about the terror courts at Guantanamo Bay, set up after the September 11 attacks in 2001, to hold captured suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and around the world. In his book The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay, Bravin describes the U.S. effort to create a parallel justice system for enemy aliens, and argues that a maze of legal, political, and moral issues has stood in the way of justice—issues often raised by military prosecutors who found themselves torn between duty to the chain of command and their commitment to fundamental American values.

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Rita Moreno on EGOTing and Brando

Rita Moreno talks about her career in on the stage and screen, and her new memoir, Rita Moreno, which details her tumultuous relationship with Marlon Brando. She’s also one of the few artists to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

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Phone Phreaks Exploding the Phone

Phil Lapsley describes the clandestine underground of “phone phreaks,” a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world’s largest machine: the telephone system. In Exploding the Phone, he show how they turned the network into their electronic playground and gives an account of the explosion of telephone hacking in the counterculture, and the war between the phreaks, the phone company, and the FBI.

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To Save Everything, Click Here

Evgeny Morozov looks at the moral consequences of solving social problems with digital technologies. In To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism he writes about how technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life, allowing us to solve problems in highly original ways. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency?

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National Book Critics Circle Awards

The National Book Critics Circle's national awards were given out last week. A number of the winners have been guests on the Leonard Lopate Show, and you can find their interviews in the show archives.

Robert Caro won for his biography of Lyndon Johnson, The Passage of Power. Leonard spoke with him about that book in May, and you can listen to that conversation here.

The general nonfiction award was given to Andrew Solomon for Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. Listen to Leonard's interview with him here.

Ben Fountain's novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk won the award for fiction. He spoke with Leonard about that book in August, and you can listen to that interview here.

Author and illustrator Leanne Shapton's memoir Swimming Studies won in the category of autobiography. Listen to Leonard's conversation with her here.

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