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Beyond the Law: The Bush Administration's Unlawful Responses in the "War" on Terror

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521884266
ISBN-10: 0521884268
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Paust's work encourages anti-terrorism initiatives to be implemented in the name of the law and not against the law. His work also ensures that those engaged in the struggle against terrorist atrocity sacrifice neither their dignity nor humanity."
-Mark A. Drumbl, The European Journal of International Law

"This particular account conveniently assembles the best of the research, reality, and rhetoric that one could muster to fulfill the quintessential purposes of penning a durable account that is currently informative, and being likely destined to be the beacon for those who must live with the consequences."
-American Society of International Law

Book Description

This book details violations of international law authorized by secret memos and orders of the Bush administration. In particular, it describes erroneous executive claims, illegal authorizations, interrogation tactics, and transfers and secret detentions. It provides the most thorough documentation of cases demonstrating that the president is bound by the laws of war; that decisions to detain persons, decide their status, and mistreat them are subject to judicial review, and that the commander-in-chief power is subject to restraints by Congress; and that the military commissions at GTMO have serious legal defects.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521884268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521884266
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,471,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Jordan Paust is Professor of International Law at the University of Houston's Law Center. He has produced a thorough and definitive account of US war crimes against its detainees.

50,000 people have been detained at Guantanamo Bay, at 25 sites in Afghanistan and 17 in Iraq. As Paust writes, "The `dirty war' would involve at least cruel and inhumane treatment of captured human beings and the forced disappearance of various detained persons, despite the fact that cruel and inhumane treatment and forced disappearance are well-known examples of conduct that is absolutely proscribed under several treaties of the United States and customary international law." The International Committee of the Red Cross described the US's interrogation process as `a form of torture'.

Presidential memos and directives illegally authorised illegal interrogation methods including at least cruel and inhumane treatment and the illegal secret detentions, renditions and disappearance of human beings. President Bush publicly admitted in September 2006 that he had approved `tough' interrogation tactics and a `program' of secret detentions and secret renditions, and that this would continue. Paust writes, "during the long history of the United States, no other President is known to have authorized violations of the laws of war concerning the transfer, treatment, and interrogation of human beings."

Government officials in most European countries, including Britain, are wrongfully complicit in violations of the rights of prisoners secretly detained in and/or transferred through their territory. They are obliged under international law not to be complicit in these violations.
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Format: Paperback
Professor Jordan Paust has written a very simple book in which his sole goal is to apply the law - primarily international law - to the actions of the Bush Administration in its "war on terror."

What is unusual is not only Paust's straightforward legal analysis for a lay public, but his fearlessness in the face of great wrongdoing and his willingness to articulate exactly what is wrong. Paust, of course, has the knowledge and credentials to know what he's talking about. He has been a professor of international law at the University of Houston since 1975, is a Fulbright Professor at the University of Salzburg (Austria), a Ford Foundation Fellow at Yale University, and visiting Ball Eminent Scholar University Chair at Florida State University. He is Co-Chair of the ASIL's International Criminal Law Interest Group and his publications have been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, other courts, and international tribunals. Paust also served in the military.

It may have been no great matter for Paust to write or assemble this collection of essays (all of which have been modified from articles he published in various prestigious law journals, to which he has been a frequent contributor over the past 25 years). He is trained to write this kind of stuff.

But given the high levels of wrongdoing he catalogs, his courage and steadfast adherence to unwavering moral principle must be commended and encouraged if there is to be any hope of recovery from the moral degradation brought on by this regime.

Simply stated, Paust shows that the Bush Administration repeatedly and intentionally violated intentional laws in its so-called "war on terror." Many of these violations constituted war crimes, both under international and domestic law.
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Beyond the Law: The Bush Administration's Unlawful Responses in the "War" on Terror
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