From Publishers Weekly
Margulies, a Minneapolis lawyer and civil rights activist, served as lead counsel in Rasul
, successfully petitioning the Supreme Court to extend the right of judicial review to all prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. This book, Margulies's first, minutely chronicles the attempts of the present administration to extend the bounds of presidential authority while limiting official culpability. Breaking new ground by comprehensively analyzing the government's legal reasoning and deconstructing it in the light of historical precedent, Margulies states: "The Bush Administration has not provided a complete explanation for its detention policy. (Part of the motivation for this book is that no one else has either.)" Interspersed with accounts of his fascinating and frustrating attempts to obtain access to his British client, Shafiq Rasul, Margulies shines light on the theory and practice of indefinite military detention, peering into a self-contained, Kafkaesque universe of our own creation barely 90 miles from American shores. Accessible to nonlawyers, the book also offers full citations for those who wish to do further research. Margulies's clear explications of intricate legal points move his narrative effortlessly from the signing of the Geneva Conventions through the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, to the myriad cases of the detainees in Guantánamo. (July)
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, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of prisoners in U.S. military custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to challenge the legality of their detention in federal court. As one of the lead counsel on behalf of the detainees in that case, law professor and civil-rights attorney Margulies is uniquely qualified to narrate the legal struggles surrounding the prison that was built to evade legal oversight. Infused with firsthand accounts of both interrogation room and courtroom, Margulies' narrative is lucid, precise, and made urgent by recent legislation, currently before the Supreme Court, that purports to render Rasul
meaningless. Most compelling, however, is that Margulies never lets the legal blow-by-blow obscure the historical and political import of Camp Delta, where preservation of prisoners' "debility, dependence, and dread" trumps all other concerns and even shapes the Bush administration's interpretation of the law. Timed to coincide with the Supreme Court's forthcoming ruling on jurisdiction over Guantanamo, this powerful selection deserves all the attention it will receive. Brendan DriscollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved