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The Torture Debate in America


  • Page extent: 436 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.6 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521674614 | ISBN-10: 0521674611)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$36.99 (G)

Widely acclaimed as a publishing milestone, The Torture Papers (Cambridge, 2005) constitutes the definitive book of public record detailing the Bush Administration's policies on torture and political prisoners. In the process of assembling the documents, memoranda, and reports that comprise the material in The Torture Papers, a vital question arose: What was the rationale behind the Bush Administration's decision to condone the use of coercive techniques in the interrogation of detainees suspected of terrorist connections? The use of these techniques at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo has sparked an intense debate in America. The Torture Debate in America captures the arguments on torture that have been put forth by legislators, human rights activists, and others. It raises the key moral, legal, and historical questions that have led to current considerations on the use of torture. Divided into three sections, the contributions cover all sides of the debate, from absolute prohibition of torture to its use as a viable option in the War on Terror.


Introduction: the rule of law finds its Golem: judicial torture then and now Karen Greenberg; Part I. Democracy, Terror, and Torture: 1. Tortured liberalism David Luban; 2. How to interrogate terrorists Heather MacDonald; 3. Torture: thinking about the unthinkable Andrew McCarthy; 4. The curious debate Joshua Dratel; 5. Is defiance of law proof of success: magical thinking in the war on terror Stephen Holmes; 6. Through a mirror, darkly Scott Horton; 7. Speaking law to power: lawyers and power Richard Bilder and Detlev Vagts; 8. 'Engine of state' and the rule of law Jeremy Waldron; 9. Torture: an interreligious debate Joyce Dubensky and Rachel Lavery; Part II. On the Matter of Failed States, The Geneva Conventions and International Law: 10. Unwise counsel: the war on terrorism and the criminal mistreatment of detainees in U.S. custody David Bowker; 11. Rethinking the Geneva Conventions Lee Casey and David Rivkin; 12. The disappearing state David D. Caron; 13. War not crime William H. Taft IV; Part III. On Torture: 14. Panel discussion - torture: the road to Abu Ghraib and beyond Burt Neuborne, Dana Priest, Samuel Rascoff, Anthony Lewis, Joshua Dratel, Major Michael Dan Mori and Stephen Gillers; 15. Legal ethics and other perspectives Jeffrey Shapiro; 16. Legal ethics: a debate Stephen Gillers; 17. Lawyers know sin: complicity in torture Christopher Kutz; 18. Renouncing torture Michael Dorf; 19. Reconciling torture with democracy Deborah Pearlstein; Part IV. Afterword: 20. Litigating torture: the German Criminal Prosecution Michael Ratner and Peter Weiss; 21. Ugly Americans Noah Feldman; Part V. Relevant Documents: 22. Uncharted legal territory - RE: 1949 Geneva Conventions: the President's decisions under International Law William Taft IV to William Haynes, March 22, 2002; 23. The 'torture' memo - RE: standards of conduct for interrogation Jay Bybee to Alberto Gonzales August 1, 2002; 24. Redefining torture Memo - RE: Legal standards Applicable Daniel Levin to James B. Comey, December 30, 2004; Part VI. Afterthought: To the American People: Report upon the Illegal practices of the United States Department of Justice Zechariah Chafee, Felix Frankfurter, Ernst Freund, Roscoe Pound, et al. May 1920.


"With this superb collection of documents, we can begin to see the contours of our new post 9-11 world." The Washington Post on The Torture Papers

"...a block of granite on the path of any forgetfulness. The book is a true public service, compiled by two U.S. lawyers, which brings the whole twisted story into the public domain, and let us hope into every library and many personal hands." Toronto Globe

"an excellent and thorough introduction ot the legal and institutional arrangements of the contemporary minority rights regime in the Western world. A great value of that book is precisely that it positions questions of minority rights and self-determination right in the analytical propinquity to democracy, and as such it manages to address an important lacuna within the rights-oriented literature of today." - Andrew Goldmsith, Law and Politics Review


Karen J. Greenberg, David Luban, Heather MacDonald, Andrew McCarthy, Joshua Dratel, Stephen Holmes, Scott Horton, Richard Bilder, Detlev Vagts, Jeremy Waldron, Joyce Dubensky, Rachel Lavery, David Bowker, Lee Casey, David Rivkin, David D. Caron, William H. Taft IV, Burt Neuborne, Dana Priest, Samuel Rascoff, Anthony Lewis, Major Michael Dan Mori, Stephen Gillers, Jeffrey Shapiro, Christopher Kutz, Michael Dorf, Deborah Pearlstein, Michael Ratner, Peter Weiss

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