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Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution - And What We Can Do about Itby Elizabeth Holtzman
Synopses & Reviews
President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney deceived Congress and the people to drive us into a war in Iraq; they claimed the right to wiretap illegally and to eavesdrop on citizens; and they authorized torture, unilaterally upending laws and violating international treaty obligations. Yet, both Bush and Cheney are audaciously unapologetic about their crimes. In his recent memoir, President Bush makes no apologies for his decision to start a war in Iraq, though no weapons of mass destruction, the ostensible reason for the war, were found there. Regarding his approval of the waterboarding form of torture, he proudly said, "Damn right."
Time and again throughout his term, President Bush proclaimed sternly "we do not torture." However, the 2009 release of secret torture documents revealed otherwise. The documents paint a bleak picture of the involvement of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and top administration officials in unleashing, sanctioning, and conspiring in the infliction of torture. Holtzman and Cooper cite unlawful torture as only one of the many ways that the Bush-Cheney administration transgressed the law, trampled the Constitution, and harmed the image of the United States around the world. Bush and Cheney, the authors argue, authorized and condoned behavior and practices that starkly violate human-rights principles and the rights of American citizens. Congress chose not to pursue impeachment, despite multitudes of citizens advocating for it, Holtzman and Cooper among them. New revelations, however, about the extent and depth of their crimes make the need for accountability imperative.
Holtzman posits that the failure to indict, prosecute, or hold accountable officials at the highest level makes a mockery of U.S. law and sets frightening precedents. With Holtzman's legal expertise and Cooper's bold journalism, Cheating Justice explains why the nation needs to address the Bush-Cheney administration's abuse of power and manipulation of the law.
As a member of Congress and part of the committee that investigated and held hearings on the conduct of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal, Elizabeth Holtzman balks at Bush's echo of Nixon's claim that he was acting in the interest of national security. Using Watergate-era reforms as a model, Holtzman details the steps necessary to undo the damage that the Bush-Cheney administration inflicted and explains how we can establish new protections that will block future presidents from similarly abusing the law. Cheating Justice is a call to empower the American people, and a firm insistence that the nation's leaders are not above the law.
"Former Democratic congresswoman Holtzman of New York teams up with Cooper (The Impeachment of George W. Bush) for a detailed investigation into how the Bush administration broke the law. While much speculation has been made over the former president's awareness of the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the declaration of war, this book barrels through his defense strategies to prove his guilt. Through carefully documenting the dates of speeches he gave to the public and Congress against the dates of investigations and reports back to him regarding the situation in Iraq, Holtzman alleges that the president was more than aware of the erroneous information in his addresses. She further examines how the Bush administration bypassed legality to set up wiretaps, tortured detainees, evaded internal investigations, and withheld government documents. It's an impressive effort, but the book suffers from its brevity and poor organization. Some sections place quotations of legislation alongside countless memorandums and documents to create something that's oftentimes incomprehensible. The case for conspiracy becomes confusing, the data disorienting, and at times the book is bafflingly dense. It's unfortunate, as the amount of information collected is astounding, and the extent of the authors' research is admirable. But without more explanation and analysis, accessibility is sacrificed." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
In this follow up to their 2006 volume The Impeachment of of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens former Congresswoman and legal scholar Elizabeth Holtzman and journalist Cynthia Cooper outline the crimes of the Bush administration and argue that it is in the essential interest of the nation and the rule of law that Bush, Cheney and other key officials be prosecuted for their crimes. The work details topics such as the run up to the Iraq war, torture, illegal wiretapping of American citizens, and extraordinary rendition, and argues that direct and immediate prosecution must take place to ensure the rule of law and to prevent further abuses by future administrations. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Holtzman and Cooper reveal how the Bush-Cheney administration broke the law—and why and how the people can bring them to justice.
Deceiving Congress about the war in Iraq, illegal wire-tapping, and torture are only a few of the ways that the Bush-Cheney administration transgressed the law. Yet, they remain unindicted for these and other offenses. This book details how they got away with it, and how we can hold them accountable.
Despite the many misdeeds of and abuses of criminal law by the Bush administration, there has been no accountability. Former U.S. representative Elizabeth Holtzman pairs with lawyer and journalist Cynthia L. Cooper to explain why we can’t “just move on.” They lay bare how the Bush-Cheney administration broke a multitude of laws and betrayed American values, and exactly why and precisely how we, the people, must bring them to justice for their crimes, their cover-ups, and their deceit.
Backed by strong evidence gleaned from “astounding”* research, Holtzman and Cooper argue that the Bush administration not only violated various U.S. laws but also changed many laws to escape prosecution for their crimes later. The authors demonstrate how a failure to hold George W. Bush and Dick Cheney accountable would set a dangerous precedent for the future leadership of America.
Bush and Cheney deceived Congress and the people to drive us into a war in Iraq; they claimed the right to wiretap illegally and to eavesdrop on citizens; and they authorized torture, upending laws and breaching international treaty obligations. Yet, both Bush and Cheney are boldly unabashed about their offenses. In his memoir, President Bush makes no apologies for his decision to start a war in Iraq, though no weapons of mass destruction, the ostensible reason for the war, were found there. And once out of office, Bush proudly said, “Damn right,” about his approval of waterboarding, a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law. Recent revelations about the extent and depth of their crimes, catalogued in detail here, make the need for accountability imperative.
As a member of Congress and part of the committee that investigated and held hearings on the conduct of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal, Elizabeth Holtzman condemns Bush’s adoption of Nixon’s claim that he acted in the interest of national security. Using Watergate-era reforms as a model, Holtzman details the steps necessary to undo the damage that the Bush-Cheney administration inflicted and explains how we can establish new protections to block future presidents from similarly abusing the law. Cheating Justice is not only a call to empower the American people, and a firm insistence that the nation’s leaders are not above the law; it is also a blueprint by one of America’s top legal minds for bringing Bush to justice and protecting the future of our democracy.
About the Author
Elizabeth Holtzman is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She won national attention for her role on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate and was subsequently elected district attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn). She is a Harvard Law School graduate and a practicing lawyer.
Cynthia L. Cooper is a journalist and former lawyer. She has coauthored two books with Holtzman and written five others.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why We Shouldn’t Simply Move On
1) Lies That Embroiled Us in War and Occupation in Iraq
2) Wiretapping Americans
3) Crimes of Torture
4) Accountability at Home: Redressing Bush Administration Misdeeds
5) International Justice: Accountability for the Bush Team Abroad
6) What to Do: The Time Is Now
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