Daniel Norland joins host, T.J. O’Hara, on this week’s episode. Dan is best known locally as a history teacher at a San Diego school, and nationally as the editor of Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo, the story of two Algerians detained for seven years at Guantanamo, who wished to tell their story to America. The two discuss the complex issue of human rights versus terrorism, and more.
Daniel Norland is a history teacher, mock trial coach, and global education coordinator at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego. While at Boston legal firm WilmerHale, Dan began conducting interviews with Lakhdar Boumediene and Mustafa Ait Idir, who wished to tell their story to America – which was published in April of this year, in Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo.
Though not part of the litigation team for Lakhdar Boumediene and Mustafa Ait Idir, Dan Norland and his sister, Kathleen List, who speaks fluent Arabic, conducted more than 100 hours of interviews with the two men, which was shaped into Witnesses of the Unseen.
In October 2011, the two men, who were living and working in Sarajevo, were among six Algerians who wound up being arrested by Bosnian authorities and charged with plotting to blow up the American embassy in Sarajevo. They were held for three months, then released to American authorities. There was no evidence to back up the accusation. This was only the beginning of their story.