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Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials Hardcover – May 30, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Honor Bound is an engrossing, first-hand account of military justice in an age of terrorism and what it takes to defend liberty as a JAG officer today. And though Major Rotunda pulls no punches where criticism is due, she (and we) can be justly proud of the underlying integrity of our military services and the honor-bound system of our men and women in uniform. --Edwin Meese, Former U.S. Attorney General

Major Rotunda has written an immensely readable and stunningly valuable book about terrorism, terrorists and the extraordinarily difficult and demanding task our military faces in dealing with captured enemy combatants. I have twice visited Guantanamo, and participated in our Government's defense against some of the legal challenges to our nation's efforts to protect us from another--possibly vastly more dreadful--September 11. Nevertheless, this book was a page-turning eye-opener for me. No American should miss the opportunity--and responsibility--to read it. Bravo! --Theodore B. Olson, Former Solicitor General of the United States, Former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, and partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Kyndra Rotunda provides a unique perspective, having served in three different capacities. She was the legal advisor in Guantanamo Bay to the detention camp commander in 2002-2003, where she provided legal advice to the Commander and worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Later, as a member of the Criminal Investigations Task Force, she was legal counsel to the military law enforcement agents who interviewed detainees and developed cases for possible prosecution. Finally, as a member of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor, she prepared war crimes charges against alleged al Qaida and Taliban members designated for trial at Guantanamo Bay. No one else saw things unfold from these three distinct vantage points. --Morris Davis, Former Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay

Major Rotunda has written an immensely readable and stunningly valuable book about terrorism, terrorists and the extraordinarily difficult and demanding task our military faces in dealing with captured enemy combatants. I have twice visited Guantanamo, and participated in our Government's defense against some of the legal challenges to our nation's efforts to protect us from another--possibly vastly more dreadful--September 11. Nevertheless, this book was a page-turning eye-opener for me. No American should miss the opportunity--and responsibility--to read it. Bravo! --Theodore B. Olson, Former Solicitor General of the United States, Former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, and partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Kyndra Rotunda provides a unique perspective, having served in three different capacities. She was the legal advisor in Guantanamo Bay to the detention camp commander in 2002-2003, where she provided legal advice to the Commander and worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Later, as a member of the Criminal Investigations Task Force, she was legal counsel to the military law enforcement agents who interviewed detainees and developed cases for possible prosecution. Finally, as a member of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor, she prepared war crimes charges against alleged al Qaida and Taliban members designated for trial at Guantanamo Bay. No one else saw things unfold from these three distinct vantage points. --Morris Davis, Former Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay

Major Rotunda has written an immensely readable and stunningly valuable book about terrorism, terrorists and the extraordinarily difficult and demanding task our military faces in dealing with captured enemy combatants. I have twice visited Guantanamo, and participated in our Government's defense against some of the legal challenges to our nation's efforts to protect us from another--possibly vastly more dreadful--September 11. Nevertheless, this book was a page-turning eye-opener for me. No American should miss the opportunity--and responsibility--to read it. Bravo! --Theodore B. Olson, Former Solicitor General of the United States, Former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, and partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Kyndra Rotunda provides a unique perspective, having served in three different capacities. She was the legal advisor in Guantanamo Bay to the detention camp commander in 2002-2003, where she provided legal advice to the Commander and worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Later, as a member of the Criminal Investigations Task Force, she was legal counsel to the military law enforcement agents who interviewed detainees and developed cases for possible prosecution. Finally, as a member of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor, she prepared war crimes charges against alleged al Qaida and Taliban members designated for trial at Guantanamo Bay. No one else saw things unfold from these three distinct vantage points. --Morris Davis, Former Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay

About the Author

Kyndra Rotunda, a lawyer, is a Major and JAG Officer in the U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserve, and a leading expert in military law. She has served three tours in the Global War on Terror, including one as a prosecutor at the Office of Military Commissions and one in Guantanamo Bay. Rotunda is in private practice and devotes much of her time to advocating for wounded troops and military families. She has represented hundreds of soldiers before their disability boards at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was the lawyer assigned to Jessica Lynch after Lynch's rescue. Rotunda was recently recruited by the National Veteran's Legal Services Program to produce a series of instructional DVDs about military law, to be published by Lexis Nexis. She is an avid writer and her op-eds have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (May 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594605122
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594605123
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William J. Kresse on June 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This afternoon, my mailman delivered a box to my door. It was Kyndra Miller Rotunda's book, Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials. I decided to take a moment to give it a quick skim.

At least that's what I initially intended to do.

It's now several hours later, and I just put it down.

I can't recall the last book that I read entirely in one sitting!

In a word, this book is phenomenal! It is that rare find of a book that is scholarly, well researched and extensively referenced, yet eminently readable.

And what an interesting and timely topic!

This is the inside story of "Gitmo" that had to be written, and must be read!

I'd write more here, but I have to get something to eat!

Great job, Ms. Rotunda!

William J. Kresse
Associate Professor
Saint Xavier University, Chicago
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Kyndra Miller Rotunda's "Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials" is an eye-opening first-hand account of a small slice of the "legal" war on terror fought at Guantanamo Bay. This book shows a different side of Guantanamo Bay and the military commissions - a side that has never been told in the popular press.

Rotunda was an Army JAG officer that served a tour at Guantanamo Bay and a tour as a prosecutor on the military commissions. Her story is personal and at times very much of a memoir as she discusses her personal journeys and even some of her military training. It is not a scholarly discussion of the legal issues regarding the detainees, although it does contain succinct (but somewhat shallow) discussions on many relevant points of international law.

Rotunda is very defensive of the way the detainees were treated at Guantanamo Bay. She is also very critical of the way the military commissions have been run by the government; she says that the government has bent over backwards to give the detainees more rights than they are entitled to or (or deserve), while also sitting back and not defending itself against baseless charges made by the detainees, by the media, or by international organizations. At times you can tell she writes from frustration with the many hurdles that the Department of Defense and the government placed on the prosecutors. She is also extremely critical of the two judges she dealt with as a prosecutor for their inconsistent rulings, their efforts to bend over to help the detainees, and even their checkered past as military judges.

While an interesting and enlightening read, it does suffer from a few weaknesses.
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Format: Hardcover
I opened this book with great anticipation, but with the expectation that I may not be able to understand everything I was about to read with respect to the content. Kyndra's unique and charming style has made this book easy to read, while extremely informative with explanations of circumstances, laws and situations an average person can absorb. Her personal account is eye-opening and intriguing, one that every American should take advantage to read! I am thankful that she has shared her story and I look forward to future publications of this very talented author.
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This is not just another political book for or against Guantanamo and the war on terror. Written by an articulate young lawyer who found herself in the midst of some of the most important situations in recent years, it gives exciting, personal and inherently reliable accounts of those events that make a great read. The author's perspective as an Army officer comes through clearly. But she also takes on bureaucratic indifference that makes victims of U.S. soldiers, and American efforts to please media personnel and international critics who then spin the efforts to make the U.S. look worse than before. You will coming away genuinely better informed by reading this book and you will be especially impressed by its author.
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This book is a HISTORICAL first hand account of an experience with the trials in Cuba. This book is easy to read and Kyndra allows a reader with little understanding of the world of a lawyer to understand what is happening. Extensively referrenced with supporting information. Pictures add to the compelling nature of the book. This story is hard to put down. I appreciate the true account of Kyndra's experiences.
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Wow! I purchased several copies of this book, because I was a law school class mate of Kyndra. I opened up a copy, and didn't put it down until I finished it. Very impressive and so informative. Definitely an insider's real life experience, which is such a breath of fresh air, after only hearing about "Gitmo" from the twisted and often unreliable perspectives of the media. I truly hope Kyndra continues her writing, as I am already waiting for her next book Go Kyndra!!
Rendy Sell Lemke
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Written by an Army JAG officer this book explains the ins and outs of detention ops at Guantanamo Bay, the issues involved and the major players. This is a very refreshing first-hand account which is very well documented as to the way the U.S. is waging the Global War on Terror and the unprecendented need to try and punish stateless terrorists. This book is both personal and professional at the same time. Well-illustrated.
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