Natasha Hunter

Natasha Hunter is a former American Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles

Rethinking Pacifism:

W hen you sit alone, silence seems normal, but the silence of a hundred people feels charged, alive somehow. The Quaker meetinghouse in Washington, D.C., is full this Sunday, as it has been every week since September 11. As we sit facing one another on rows of benches arranged around a central open space, sunlight dapples the floor and birds chirrup outside. Maurice Boyd, a longtime meeting member, stands to speak. His voice sounds a little unsteady. "I find my Quaker peace testimony stretched to its limit right now." Boyd's hands grip the back of the pew in front of him. "Quakers were able to resist joining the cry for vengeance in the twentieth century," he says. "But now here is Osama bin Laden and people like him, people who want to destroy us and all that we hold dear." He pauses and takes a breath. "I'm in a crisis of the soul. I don't know how much further I can go along the road--the road of peaceful resistance. I can only ask you to hold me in the Light." Quakers like Boyd...

Sidebar: Immigrants on Campus

See Green Light, Red Light by Ronald Brownstein Among the many things destroyed along with the twin towers on September 11 was the opportunity for many children of illegal immigrants to go to college. Before September 11, there were bills pending in state and federal legislatures that would have eased the path to college for undocumented immigrant students. But in the wake of the attacks, the country has dramatically revised its priorities. Regulating immigration has gone to the top of the list, as part of the general intensifying of our national-security apparatus. Providing a college education to some of the nation's estimated eight million illegal immigrants, meanwhile, never a high priority, has dropped to the bottom. Innocent high-school-aged children of undocumented immigrants now find themselves part of the wide-reaching collateral damage from September 11. Though colleges and universities generally don't ask about immigration status on their admissions forms--and no law...

Taking Liberties:

"When you're in this type of conflict, when you're at war, civil liberties are treated differently." -- Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss) The ACLU's phone is ringing off the hook with questions about what the recent disasters in Washington and New York will mean for a free society. People stare and point at the military "humvies" with their black-bereted guards parked on D.C. street corners. The Arab-American Anti-Defamation Committee protests an emerging "pattern of collective blame and scapegoating against Arab-Americans and Muslims." While no one protests the current uptick in military and police presence in the wake of Tuesday's tragedy, liberal-minded folk are wondering if the current calamity will spark yet another: a systematic breakdown of respect for personal liberties in the name of personal and national security. Will security hawks use the recent events to justify a "wish list" of radical and invasive measures? The U.S. Constitution makes no provision for its own...

Paging Tom Cruise

Is Washington Post reporter Steve Vogel covering the war in Afghanistan or pounding out a script for Top Gun II ? "Kabul had flashed by, and Cmdr Morris 'Moby' Leland rolled over the target area north of the city, looking for a Taliban bunker to destroy with his F/A-18 Hornet, a trusted fighter he had nicknamed War Admiral," Vogel writes in a breathless October 29 dispatch from the USS Carl Vinson . Moby loosed one of the 1,000-pound laser-guided bombs under the jet's wing. It homed in on the laser spot and exploded in a flash of orange fire. The operative on the ground radioed confirmation: "That's a shack," slang for a direct hit. Moby could see a satisfying string of secondary detonations from exploding ammunition. He then saw something else--enemy fire coming his way. It was a good time to be leaving. Moby, you can be my wingman anytime. --Natasha Hunter Three Cheers for the Crusades! When our friends at the National Review sacked the hysterical, overrated Ann Coulter recently, we...

The Law from A to The

It's the little things that count. While some privacy advocates cry foul over the section in Attorney General John Ashcroft's draft antiterrorism bill that extends certain wiretapping provisions to the Internet, an equally ominous challenge to civil liberties lurks in an innocent one-word change. In Section 153 of the proposed legislation presented to Congress on September 19, the word the would be changed to a. Amazing what a difference an indefinite article makes. "This is an attempt to destroy the distinction between criminal investigation and foreign intelligence," says Morton Halperin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former director of the ACLU's Center for National Security Studies. "It's something the government has wanted for a long time." As the law stands now, surveillance in criminal investigations falls under the federal wiretap statute commonly known as "Title III." Under Title III, an investigator demonstrates probable cause to a judge, who then...

Pages