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Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror Paperback – May 26, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
I very nearly stopped reading right at that point, but I continued on. Surely, I thought, a book so highly praised couldn't all be like that terrible, Glenn Beck-like opening. Surely a book lauded for being "masterful," "fair-minded" and "thoughtful" would start to overflow with wisdom if I just persevered. Well, that didn't happen. The book is terrible from start to finish.
Space doesn't permit me to explore every issue that Wittes addresses, so to illuminate the flaws in his book I'll focus on his treatment of the issue of detention. Wittes announces his intention to get Americans who love liberty, like me, to "cross the psychological Rubicon" of admitting the supposed necessity of locking up large numbers of people not because they have committed crimes, but because someone in the government decides that they might commit crimes in the future.
Wittes begins his efforts by trying to show that detention is as American as apple pie, by giving what he says are examples of "routine" detention that are "given no thought" by Americans. He fails to persuade the skeptical reader, however. His "closest to home" example of supposedly legitimate detention is the confinement of the mentally ill.Read more ›
SO what system of law do you apply? Obviously, detainees for terrorism cannot be kept incommunicado indefinitely, but neither can they be treated as common criminals. A hybrid system? And lead by whom: the executive or the Congress? And why hasn't the judiciary taken a more leading role in preserving the basic human rights of detainees.
No easy answers, but Wittes does a good job of examining what has happened to date, and what might be the course of action Congress (who he believes should take the lead) might take in the future to remedy some of the failings of the Bush Administration.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only four stars because it is a slow read. However, the subject is well worth the effort.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
While still an avid Bush-hater, after reading this book, my views are tempered with a better understanding of the laws of war, the difficulty of meting out justice to terrorists... Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by Cliffith D. Bennette
This is the best currently available treatment of the legal issues attendant to holding and interrogating prisoners in the war on terror. Read morePublished on September 19, 2008 by Richard M. Kuntz