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Lawless World: The Whistle-Blowing Account of How Bush and Blair Are Taking the Law into TheirO wn Hands Paperback – September 26, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014303782X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143037828
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,945,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this expert and judicious study, Philippe Sands portrays a frightening image of ‘America unbound,’ self-exempted from the delicate fabric of international law on which human survival rests.” —Noam Chomsky

“A penetrating and detailed account of the extent to which those who claim to be spreading global values have ridden roughshod over them.” —The Observer (London)

“Lawless World goes to the very heart of the nature of the international order and its  future.” —The Guardian (London)

From the Back Cover

"In this expert and judicious study, Philippe Sands portrays a frightening image of ‘America unbound,’ self-exempted from the delicate fabric of international law on which human survival rests."
—Noam Chomsky

"A penetrating and detailed account of the extent to which those who claim to be spreading global values have ridden roughshod over them."
The Observer (London)

"Lawless World goes to the very heart of the nature of the international order and its future."
The Guardian (London)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pearl Crescent on October 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phillippe Sands "Lawless World" is a deeply disturbing book for anyone who shares my belief that America lives by the rules.

It is indeed a "whistle-blowing" account of just how many rules of international law the Bush administration, with the complicity of Tony Blair of Great Britain, flouted in the run-up to and execution of the Iraq war. For someone like me who previously knew next to nothing about the body of international law that exists, it is incredibly eye-opening.
From the Geneva Convention and its protocols, to the Convention against Torture (1984), and the Charter of the United Nations, Sands reveals in plain and readily understandable language just what this body of law contains, how it got there, and how and why the Iraq war violated so much of it.

I have been accused of being an idealist and a liberal. (Which makes me doubly tainted). If I am an idealist, it is because I grew up in a time and in a place where I cut my teeth on the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. I grew up believing the U.S. was a country of ideals, rules, a code of ethics and fundamental decency, that we had a system of checks and balances that prevented any one arm of the government from becoming too powerful, and that this government governed with the consent of the governed.

When laws, whether domestic or international, are flouted without demur, as they have been by this administration, we are all of us, each and every one of us, at risk. To quote Sands, "what you take away from others you take away also from yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rosalie G. Sundin on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sands is a great lecturer on the Bush administration's violations of constitutional law. The book can be a bit heavy, but worth reading if you are researching what all happened behind the scenes and without mention by the news media.
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Format: Paperback
Now that we have the benefit of hindsight( ie since the Bush Administration has begun to fade into history) but even before it, we can see that to quote Phillippe Sands's observation that international laws( or at least those dealing with the rights of prisoners under the Geneva Convention) amongst others may have been damaged ut certainly were not destroyed(despite the best attempts of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Yoo)- they are simply TOO robust to be destroyed, even by a single Administration
What is so sad is the sheer short sightedness-if not self centeredness of Team Bush's outlook. Vis a vis when discussing ways to eviscerate Geneva Convention protections against the ill treatment or torture of POWs, nobody seems to have asked- "hang on, how would we respond if a foreign government treated Americans- whether military personnel or civilians-in such an inhumane fashion?" "Is this even right for common criminals in our own nation's prisons!" The answer I believe would be NO! To quote the late( conservative) US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter- "there are things that you cannot do to a dog!" In fairness, Sands makes the point that this attempt to"remake" international law and custom to suit the "neo-con" agenda came not from the professional lawyers of State, Justice or Defence but a bunch of political appointees such as Yoo, Gonzalez, Bolton- few if any who have ever seen combat or military service.
(As wags put it, they were more familiar with the air conditioned inside of a think tank as opposed to an Abrams tank)!
All in all, a chilling attempt of one administration's(thankfully failed) attempt to foist a new "legal paradigm" on not just the US but the world!
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