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The Politics of Prisoner Abuse
The United States and Enemy Prisoners after 9/11

$24.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521181105

$ 24.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • When states are threatened by war and terrorism, can we really expect them to abide by human rights and humanitarian law? David Forsythe's bold analysis of US policies towards terror suspects after 9/11 addresses this issue directly. Covering moral, political and legal aspects, he examines the abuse of enemy detainees at the hands of the US. At the centre of the debate is the Bush Administration, which Forsythe argues displayed disdain for international law, in contrast to the general public's support for humanitarian affairs. He explores the similarities and differences between Presidents Obama and Bush on the question of prisoner treatment in an age of terrorism and asks how the Administration should proceed. The book traces the Pentagon's and CIA's records in mistreating prisoners, providing an account which will be of interest to all those who value humanitarian law.

    • Provides an overview of the moral, political and legal factors at play in the US treatment of terror suspects after 9/11
    • Comprehensive and multi-dimensional, going beyond narrow legal argumentation
    • Compares the CIA record with that of the Pentagon and the role of internal critics in the Administration and the army
    • Compares the early Obama years with the George W. Bush years and highlights both the continuities and the differences between the two Administrations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This important book details the massive abuse of human rights of US prisoners since 9/11. It is up to date as of July 2010, thus covering the problematic actions of the Obama Administration as well as that of George W. Bush. In a form accessible to scholars, students, and the general public, Dr Forsythe’s careful research and analysis underscore how fragile human rights become when national security seems to be at stake.”
    – Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, Wilfrid Laurier University

    “Forsythe’s encyclopedic chronicle of America’s descent to the dark side capably tackles the tough question: What are the wages of American exceptionalism?”
    – Gabor Rona, International Legal Director, Human Rights First, New York

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521181105
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Prisoner abuse and political morality in historical perspective
    2. Political morality and the Bush Administration
    3. Bush lawyers: the politics of legal interpretation
    4. The military: Afghanistan, Guantánamo, Iraq
    5. The CIA: kidnapping, Black Sites, extraordinary rendition
    6. Due process: detention classification, Military Commissions
    7. Prisoner abuse and the politics of transnational justice.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Constitutional Law: Powers and Relationships
    • Rights in Conflict
    • Seminar in IR
    • Seminar on International Law and US Foreign Policy
    • The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals
    • The United Nations System
    • Wartime Politics
  • Author

    David P. Forsythe, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    David Forsythe is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has been a visiting professor at universities in Geneva and Utrecht and in 2008 he held the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair of Human Rights and International Studies at the Danish Institute of International Studies, Copenhagen. He has also been on staff for the United Nations University in Tokyo and has been a consultant to both the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Refugees and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

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