March 30th 2016

When justice fails.

Guantánamo, Wikileaks, Snowden, Manning & Modern Society
Nancy Hollander, International Criminal Defense Lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Within the scope of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® recently welcomed the internationally renowned lawyer Nancy Hollander. Because of her commitment to people classified as public enemies or accused of terrorism, the New York Times has described Hollander to be a “terrorist lawyer”.

Nancy Hollander opens her lecture with the disillusioning fact that 3 % of the entire population of the United States of America are imprisoned, which is more than in all of Europe. A number of American prisoners are so-called whistleblowers, people who have disclosed truths or secrets about the government relevant to all people.

Among them is Hollander’s client Chelsea Manning, who became known for having provided Wikileaks with documents about human rights and violations of such during the Iraq War. Also Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who has been imprisoned in Guantánamo for his suspected connection to al-Qaida, is one of Hollander’s clients. His book, consisting of letters to Nancy Hollander as his lawyer, was published not until after seven years and partial censorship under the title Guantánamo Diary. According to Hollander, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been tortured more than any other of the prisoners of Guantánamo. However, the lawyer does not only criticize the American way of treating whistleblowers: The government’s approach to its citizens’ privacy seems equally alarming. Hollander even goes so far as to claim that the state draws on surveillance not to protect its citizens, but simply to spy on them.

Hollander seizes the final discussion moderated by MCI Rector Dr. Andreas Altmann to emphasize the responsibility of all people to sustain a fair and, above all, a transparent concept of democracy. In comparison to former presidencies, Hollander believes the Obama era to be the least transparent of all. Dr. Andreas Altmann thus raises the question of whether the failure of justice may relate to the failure of society, of education, or the media. Hollander particularly blames the American educational system for its deficiencies, and admits that poorly educated people are indeed much more easily to be influenced.