In addition to admiring Glenn Greenwald’s powerful writing in opposition to authoritarian trends in government, politics and media, I now have reason to be extremely jealous of him.
For years, I used to dream of the notion of being able to debate Bush’s drug czar John Walters. Ever since 2003, I’ve said that I’d debate him any time, and even pay my own way.
Glenn Greenwald got there first.
Last Thursday at Brown University, I debated former Bush drug czar John Walters on the virtues of drug legalization, and the video is below. The aspect of With Liberty and Justice for Some that has received the most attention is the shield of immunity for elite lawbreaking, but the other side of that rule-of-law evisceration — the incomparably harsh and sprawling penal state America has created for its ordinary citizens — is at least as important, and it is the Drug War that personifies the worst abuses of that punishment system and accounts for much of it.
I began the debate by presenting a 25-minute argument, which was followed by Walters’ doing the same, and the next hour was composed of a quite contentious question-and-answer session with the audience of roughly 300 people. This was a vibrant and confrontational debate that, I think, really underscores the key issues in the controversy and will be worthwhile for anyone with an interest in these questions:
Full video is at the link. Haven’t had time to watch it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.