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The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book Hardcover – September 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Bush administration's security and intelligence-gathering policies have inspired few critiques as thorough as Ratner's. The president of the progressive Center for Constitutional Rights presents a mock trial of 14 U.S. government and military officials, Donald Rumsfeld chief among them; with immunity from criminal prosecution while in office, Bush and Cheney are named as unindicted co-conspirators. The charge is torture and war crimes. The opening statement describes the Bush administration's alleged torture program in detail and the role the defendants played. The prosecution evidence includes statements of former Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo detainees describing tortures such as sleep deprivation, water-boarding and stress positions. Ratner presents the defense primarily through government documents, such as the infamous John Yoo memo rejecting the application of the Geneva Accords to detainees. This defense is followed by a rebuttal based on international law that systematically rejects the government's arguments. Of course, a real trial would give the defense an opening and closing statement, and books don't allow for cross-examination. Though his case appears strong, Ratner's conceit will appeal primarily to those who have already voted guilty. Photos. (Sept.)
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[...] Michael Ratner and the Center for Constitutional Rights, call for criminal prosecution. Their book, The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld, convincingly makes the case that Rumsfeld committed war crimes... (David Cole - New York Review of Books)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595583416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595583413
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,559,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Michael Ratner is an attorney and the board chair of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is well known for his human rights activism and is the author of numerous books, including The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld (The New Press). He lives in New York City.

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David C N Swanson on September 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
U.S. politics has become something previously only found in science fiction, an intersection of parallel universes. One universe is the one on television and in Congress. In this universe there are suspicions that someone in the U.S. military may have used some technique bordering on torture, but there's just no way to know for sure. Perhaps an investigation would be a good idea. Or maybe a better solution would be to elect a new president, especially one who's been a victim of torture and opposes it. But the whole topic is very minor one, and the correct position is unclear since torture is both frowned on and useful for getting tough on terrorists.

In the other universe, John McCain has been supporting torture for years now, but virtually every informed observer recognizes that torture serves no practical purpose and is dragging world opinion of the United States into the gutter, making us less safe. In this other world, we encounter information like that collected in a new book by Michael Ratner called "The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld." We discover that there is voluminous evidence in the form of photographs and first-hand testimony that our nation has been engaged in using a wide array of the most abusive torture techniques possible for years now, resulting in many known cases of murder -- of the torture resulting in death.

In this other world, sometimes known as reality, there is extensive documentary evidence that torture has been authorized by many top U.S. officials, including George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Stephen Cambone, Ricardo Sanchez, Geoffrey Miller, Walter Wojdakowski, Thomas Pappas, Barbara Fast, Marc Warren, Alberto Gonzales, William James Haynes II, David Addington, John C. Yoo, and Jay Bybee.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven K. Ham on November 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the most corrupt men ever to serve the USA. Rumsfeld was one of the big four in the Bush 43 Administration along with Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft that nearly caused the demise of this great country. "Rumy" would have been one of the beneficiaries of a Fascist government, something that they seemed to be driving us toward whether that was their intent or not. I really found the format, like a trial, a bit disconcerting. Unique in it's presentation, Ratner does show evidence of the criminal activities of Don Rumsfeld and the entire Bush 43 Administration. A must read.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Carrick on February 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The proof has been gathered. The criminals have been named. It's time to form the jury. Let the chips fall where they may.
Mr. Ratner has formed his legal plan to prosecute these criminals. It is time to lay to rest the lawlessness that has been perpetuated in our country's name and of it's citizens. If, as a citizen, you are at all interested in enforcing the rule of law and understanding exactly how it was avoided, you must read this book!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Loew on December 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading the wonderful excerpt from Amnesty Internationale's magazine, I ran out and purchased this book. And, while the beginning portion was an intelligent and thoughtful argument against Donald Rumsfeld and his co-conspirators in the attempt to allow torture to continue once known, the middle and end section of "Evidence for the Defense" was such a jumble of legalese that it was very slow going. Still, a very interesting and intense novel.
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