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Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution? and What We Can Do about It Hardcover – February 7, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Elizabeth Holtzman, who helped bring President Nixon to justice in the Watergate hearings, now takes on the bigger, deeper and even more crucial task of investigating—and exposing—exactly how President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney started an illegal war, subverted civil liberties, human rights and the law itself, and then used the national trauma following 9/11 to cover it up. Start to read Cheating Justice, and you won't be able to put it down."— Gloria Steinem, co-founder Ms. Magazine, writer and feminist activist

“A passionate book grounded in law.”—Kirkus

“This book makes a vital contribution to addressing the abuses of power of the Bush administration. Unfortunately today, nearly three years after the end of the George W. Bush administration, our nation still labors under the many excesses of that era. Holtzman’s book offers a cogent and elaborate account of that time period and important insights into how we can prevent those from recurring.”—John Conyers Jr., author of The Constitution in Crisis

“George W. Bush and his administration are gone, but the wrongdoing they committed endures, exposed but unpunished. Extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping, torture: we cannot live with this legacy, but neither can we seem to escape it. No one is better qualified than Elizabeth Holtzman—prosecutor, congresswoman, member of the Watergate committee—to confront this legal and moral conundrum and show the way forward. Cheating Justice, like its author, is fierce, bold, and unflinching. A powerful, necessary book.”—Mark Danner, author of Stripping Bare the Body
 
“Here at last is a book for everyone who is outraged—or just bewildered—that Bush, Cheney, and other top officials escaped prosecution for their many flagrant violations of the law. Will there really be no consequences for the men who lied us into war, compromised our civil liberties, and made ‘waterboarding’ and ‘Guantánamo’ household words? Passionately, clearly, and concisely, Elizabeth Holtzman lays out how it happened, how the Bush administration secretly sought to immunize itself from prosecution, and how we can still hold the perpetrators accountable.”—Katha Pollitt, author of Subject to Debate
 
“Holtzman’s book indicting the Cheney-Bush administration is passionate and persuasive. Whether it will be in a court of law or a truth commission, history demands a reckoning so that future administrations don’t also routinely act above the law. When that happens, Cheating Justice will be among the bill of particulars. Going from Nixon to Bush, Liz Holtzman has been a progressive patriot dedicated to the rule of law.”—Mark Green, coauthor of The Book on Bush
 
“Elizabeth Holtzman and I were in Congress at the same time: no one I know is more vigilant in holding those in power accountable for upholding our Constitution and the justice it demands. In Cheating Justice, she recaps the incredible misdeeds of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their team. Her cry for the rule of law to be applied to them is a cry every citizen should heed; if we don’t, our democracy’s future is in peril.”—Former congresswoman Patricia Schroeder

 

About the Author

Elizabeth Holtzman is a practicing lawyer in New York and a former U.S. congresswoman.
 
Cynthia L. Cooper is a journalist and former practicing lawyer.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807003212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807003213
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
Throw them in jail and throw away the key!
C. Scanlon
"Cheating Justice" by Elizabeth Holtzman with Cynthia L. Cooper deserves our attention.
Malvin
The authors did an excellent job with this book.
Frederick S. Goethel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Kooiman VINE VOICE on February 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first saw this book I thought "here's another Republican bashing book", but it's not. It is a well researched list of actions taken by the former president and Dick Cheney. The author was involved in the trials for Watergate and recognized the same type of criminal behavior that President Nixon attempted to get away with being perpetrated by Pres. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Each action for which she believes they should be prosecuted is fully researched and provides the sources of her information. She warns that if we allow these individuals to get away with their criminal behaviors (the war in Iraq when the evidence showed that Iraq was no threat and had not violated treaty agreements, illegal wiretapping, torture...), there will be no way to stop future presidents from doing much worse. After reading this book, I honestly believe that it should be required reading for high school and college civics students. Watergate was a long time ago and young people don't necessarily understand what it was about. This is about current history that directly affects them today.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let me first state up front that I didn't really want to read this book. I thought it was going to be another tired liberal rant against the Bush administration. Also, until I read this book I was in favor of using the enhanced interrogation techniques to extract information from suspected terrorists. However, this is a case where a book changed my mind.

This book is a powerful indictment of the Bush administration's absolute arrogance, primarily coming from Bush himself, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. I identify more with conservatives than liberals, but what I read in this book shocked me. The authors do a remarkable job of showing how deeply these people consider themselves above the law. Apparently they have a god complex. Conservatives should be horrified by such abuses of power as described in this book. This is not about politics, it's about a country of laws and not a country of a few individual men who think they can do whatever they want.

What's really sad about all this is that in the end it wasn't effective. The torture and abuse heaped upon prisoners yielded little if any actionable intelligence. However, it did result in great recruiting PR for terrorists, disdain in the eyes of the rest of the world, and exposed our extreme hypocrisy.

What you will find in this book is that even the Bush administration was not of one voice. Many people in the State, Justice, and Defense departments opposed these policies. The FBI completely distanced themselves from the torture because aside from being illegal it destroyed the ability of the FBI to get any useful information.

This book starts with the lies and conspiracy within the Bush administration to justify the war against Iraq.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David C N Swanson on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Holtzman knows something about struggles for justice in the U.S. government. She was a member of Congress and of the House Judiciary Committee that voted for articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1973. She proposed the bill that in 1973 required that "state secrets" claims be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. She co-authored the special prosecutor law that was allowed to lapse, just in time for the George W. Bush crime wave, after Kenneth Starr made such a mockery of it during the Whitewater-cum-Lewinsky scandals. She was there for the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. She has served on the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, bringing long-escaped war criminals to justice. And she was an outspoken advocate for impeaching George W. Bush.

Holtzman's new book, coauthored with Cynthia Cooper, is called "Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution -- and What We Can Do About It." Holtzman begins by recalling how widespread and mainstream was the speculation at the end of the Bush nightmare that Bush would pardon himself and his underlings. The debate was over exactly how he would do it. And then he didn't do it at all.

Holtzman ends her book by pointing out that legal accountability can come after many years, as in the case of various Nazis, or of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, or of the murderers of civil rights activists including Medgar Evers.

In between, for the bulk of the book, Holtzman, a former district attorney, lays out the prospects for a prosecution of Bush and others on charges of lying to Congress about the grounds for war, wiretapping Americans, and conspiring to torture.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Harmon VINE VOICE on February 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As someone with the legal training to appreciate this book, I can tell you that the authors have made a detailed case against the Bush-Cheney administration, and have done a particular service by tying that to breaches of U.S. criminal law: that is, in Title 18 of the U.S. Code. They've broken it into key major areas: the breaches of U.S. law that got us into the Iraq war; the wiretap breaches of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA); the torture of prisoners in violation of U.S. law. All of this with a view to prosecuting Bush and his senior aides, not the small fry. The authors also show how Congress can re-establish a special prosecutor and re-enact the Federal laws weakened during the Bush years, and, failing that, they sketch out how international courts might pursue them. However, this book's particular value is that it shows precisely how the Bush administration's actions are open to U.S. criminal prosecution.

We're over three years into the Obama administration, and the book says little about what it could, or has, done about it. The authors do mention several civil actions regarding torture and illegal surveillance -- notably the al-Haramain, AT&T and Jepesen Dataplan cases -- but fails to mention that the Obama Department of Justice has continued the Bush DOJ's defense pleadings seamlessly. In other words, supporting the Bush administration's impunity, not prosecuting it.

The book also mentions Wikileaks and foreign attempts at prosecuting Bush's people, notably in Spain, but avoids mentioning that the pressure on Spain to drop the case came from the Obama administration, or that one Wikileaker, PFC Bradley Manning, is facing court-martial by this administration.
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