Flipping through my colleagues' contributions to this series, it seems I'm not the only person having trouble choosing just one piece. We've been blessed with an abundance of talented writers and important stories to tell, and I could certainly point you toward plenty of great work, like Ann Friedman on Sarah Palin or Gabe Arana's prescient coverage of the legal challenge to Proposition 8. However, forced to choose, my favorite stories in the Prospect this year are from Adam Serwer's ongoing coverage of the clash of national security and civil liberties in the age of Obama.
Starting with a visit to Guantanamo Bay, Adam has spent a year looking through the eyes of people we prefer to forget about -- Muslim Americans facing discrimination and tempted by the promises of radicalism, prisoners who are too poor to stay out of de facto debtors' prisons, convicts seeking their right to vote, and public officials smeared as terrorist sympathizers -- all while confronting the unpleasant reminders of the price we pay for the current security state and the question of entrapment at the heart of many current terror prosecutions. Throughout, he has combined empathy, exhaustive reporting and a deeply felt morality to share stories about the deepest tensions in the American experience. I can't recommend his work more.
He even found the time to write about the civil rights of beings that don't exist yet. That's dedication!
-- Tim Fernholz