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 Do Some Harm

Mohammed, a 36-year-old graduate of Baghdad University's College of Art, says he was examined by an American physician in a detention facility near Baghdad International Airport shortly after being arrested in late 2003. “The doctor said, ‘Maybe you have a bullet wound you are not aware of,'” recalls Mohammed, sitting in a hotel room in Amman, Jordan, with a journalist and two American attorneys a year later. “I said, ‘Do you want me to take off my pants?' He said, ‘No, I'll just lift up your pant leg.'”

Downsizing, Iraq-Style

On July 6, President George W. Bush celebrated his 59th birthday in Copenhagen with a friend, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. It was an important moment for Bush, and not only because of the Greenland stamp collection he received as a birthday present. He also got a chance to show his appreciation to members of a club that has become increasingly unpopular: the “coalition of the willing.” There are roughly 520 Danish troops stationed in Iraq, and Bush paid tribute to their families. Unfortunately for Bush, there may be a lot fewer people around to thank at his next birthday party.

The Interrogation Room

Erik Saar, a clean-cut, former Bible-college student dressed in a white shirt, looks like someone who's just left the Army and still kind of misses it. Saar, 30, speaks nostalgically about his days as a sergeant and Arabic linguist -- right up to the moment when he was sitting in an interrogation room at Guantanamo Bay and watched things go terribly wrong. Sitting in a Starbucks in Rosslyn, Virginia, Saar talks about female interrogators, thongs in a supervisor's office, and, of course, Newsweek's “Periscope” item.

What was your first impression of Guantanamo Bay?

War Requiem

Marla Ruzicka always knew how to get people's attention, Lieutenant Lars Ewing told the hundreds of people crammed into Room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building for her memorial service on May 14. Plainly struggling to retain his composure, Ewing -- after turning his head to the side, scrunching up his face, and uttering an audible, “Whew” -- told the gathering a story about his childhood friend, a 28-year-old human-rights worker who was killed in Iraq by a terrorist's bomb on April 16. In particular, he recalled one instance when Ruzicka pulled up in front of Ewing's house with a newly bought car and tried out the thunderous horn. “I didn't care how the car drove,” Ewing recalled her saying. “I just wanted something with a loud horn.”

Morgantown Firebrand

Wearing a lilac sweater, crushed velvet pants and a star necklace, Asra Q. Nomani hardly looks like a revolutionary. But she's helped shake up a mosque in Morgantown, West Virginia, -- and, indirectly, mosques everywhere -- with her demands that women take on leadership roles and, at the very least, be allowed to sit near men during prayer services.