Tara McKelvey

Tara McKelvey, a senior editor at the Prospect, is a research fellow at NYU School of Law's Center on Law and Security and the author of Monstering: Inside America’s Policy on Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War.

Recent Articles

First Responder

As a former U-2 spy plane pilot and war journalist, Espinoza had seen plenty of death and destruction over the years. But Hurricane Katrina, she says, was different. Two weeks after the storm hit New Orleans, she and her partner, Ellen Ratner, traveled to Mississippi to help people living in flood-damaged areas. Here, she talks about the red-state/blue-state divide, disaster relief, and obstacles faced by Gulf Coast residents trying to rebuild their lives.

Where were you when the disaster happened?

The Unaccountables

One December night in 2003, Adel L. Nakhla, a chunky, broad-shouldered Egyptian American interpreter with a soft, almost feminine voice, went to Cell 43 in Abu Ghraib's Tier 1A. He was accompanied by Army Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr., a reservist convicted in January 2005 of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, to the cell where a former Baath Party member, A.A. (his attorney asked that his name not be used for safety reasons) was lying on a mattress. A.A. had been classified as a “high-value target” because of suspected terrorist activities.

Boundary Issues

Anthony Lewis calls himself a “process man.” And these days, Lewis, the author of the bestselling Gideon's Trumpet and former Times columnist, is keenly interested in the process of presidential decision-making and what happens when presidents overstep the boundaries of their office. On a recent Tuesday, Lewis thumbs through a speech he's written on a typewriter (“I'm the last typist!” he says) in an NYU adjunct-faculty lounge and talks about “Presidential Powers,” which was the theme of last month's day-long symposium sponsored by New York University School of Law's Center on Law and Security.

What role do you think Congress has played in the increase in presidential power?

A Zbig Deal

On a rainy November afternoon, Zbigniew Brzezinski, author, most recently, of The Choice: Global Nomination or Global Leadership, outlines a new Democratic strategy from his Center for Strategic and International Studies office on K Street.

Some Democrats, such as Senator Joseph Biden, say they regret their decision to support the Iraq war. What do you think Democrats overall should be saying and doing?

Picture This

It's pouring rain outside American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staff attorney Jameel Jaffer's office on an October afternoon, making the room dark and chilly, and Jaffer holds up a legal document so a visitor can get a better look. In the document, a 23-page affidavit filed on July 28 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York in Manhattan, General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explains why releasing additional Abu Ghraib photos through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a bad idea. Yet there's little to be seen of Myers' argument on the page -- regardless of the lighting in the room.