Monday, September 13, 2004

Persons of Interest -- New Documentary

From Froomkin, I caught a link to the site for a documentary called Persons of Interest.

The people who were arrested randomly, detained endlessly, and deported unfairly after 9/11 will always necessarily be a smaller story than the people who died in such a horrifying way when the towers were attacked. That's fine -- it's probably how it should be.

But the aftermath-ers are still people, and their suffering is still a story that is worth telling. No one wants to admit that a few hundred Arab and Pakistani men detained for more than a year for no particular reason are part of the story of 9/11. (Two of the Perons of Interest in this film include a guy named Syed Ali, who was arrested on a tip from a former coworker bearing a grudge, as well as Mohammed Irshaid, who was arrested on anonymous vague charges.) It's not the end of the world. After all, these men survived their ordeals, though not without damage done. They remain, in my view, a necessary footnote to the larger tragedy.

Maybe the hysteria of both law enforcement and ordinary Americans was temporary, or maybe it's really true that the climate of fear and suspicion has hardened into permanency. I'm not really sure.

At any rate I'm glad this film has been made; I'll wait to say more until I get a chance to see it.


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