How Evil Is the American Empire?: A Review of The Mauritanian (movie)

Reprinted from the Future of Freedom Foundation with permission.

If ever one were to doubt or question that the United States has become a national-security state, all he or she would need to do is see the movie The Mauritanian  to dispel such doubts. Titled after the name of the obscure Arab country in Africa from which the protagonist is from, it is an inspiring true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. government for years at Guantanamo Bay in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Alone and afraid, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (played by Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan. Together they battle the U.S. government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, who at first was unwilling to accept the possibility that our government was lying about Slahi, uncovers shocking truths of relentless torture and forced confessions.

The movie is available on Netflix and various streaming services and is based on Slahi’s memoir Guantanamo Diaries. I cannot recommend it more highly. It is the kind of story out there in the mainstream media which reinforces the libertarian world view simply by virtue of telling it, and is the type of thing that libertarians should seek out and make known in our efforts to grow the movement and demand change, like closing the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison once and for all.

Lance Lamberton is a Georgia-based taxpayer-activist who founded the Cobb Taxpayers Association, which advocates for taxpayers on issues related to transportation, among others. In an earlier life, he served as the deputy director of the White House Office of Policy information under President Ronald Reagan.