Synopses & Reviews
In his address to the nation on September 20, 2001, President Bush declared war on terrorism and set in motion a detention policy unlike any we have ever seen. Since then, the United States has seized thousands of people from around the globe, setting off a firestorm of controversy. Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power explores that policy and the intense debates that have followed.
Written by an expert on the subject, one of the lawyers who fought -- and won -- the right for prisoners to have judicial review, this important book will be of immense interest to liberals and conservatives alike. With shocking facts and firsthand accounts, Margulies takes readers deep into the Guantanamo Bay prison, into the interrogation rooms and secret cells where hundreds of men and boys have been designated enemy combatants. Held without legal process, they have been consigned to live out their days in isolation until the Bush administration sees fit to release them -- if itever does. Margulies warns Americans to be especially concerned by the administration's assertion that the Presidentcan have unlimited and unchecked legal authority.
Tracing the arguments on both sides of the debate, this vitally important book paints a portrait of a country divided, on the brink of ethical collapse, where the loss of personal freedoms is under greater threat than ever before.
The detention system established by the Bush Administration at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba is like no other in our nation's history. Joseph Margulies traces the development of this detention policy from its ill-conceived creation in 2002 as "the ideal interrogation chamber" to its present form, where most prisoners are held without charges in a super-maximum security prison, even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that many have been cleared for release and most of the others are not even alleged to have committed a hostile act against the United States or its allies.
Margulies, who was the lead attorney in the Supreme Court case Rasul v. Bush, writes that Guantánamo and other secret CIA and Defense Department detention centers around the world have become "prisons beyond the law," where the Administration claims the right to hold people indefinitely, incommunicado, and in solitary confinement without charges, access to counsel, and without benefit of the Geneva Conventions. Weaving together firsthand accounts of military personnel who witnessed the interrogations at Guantánamo along with the words of the prisoners themselves, Margulies exposes the chilling reality of a "war on terror" that masks an assault on basic human rights -- rights to which the United States has always subscribed.
About the Author
Joseph Margulies is an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center and a law professor at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. He and his wife live in Chicago.
Table of Contents
Part One: UNDERSTANDING CAMP DELTA
1 "An Atmosphere of Dependency and Trust"
2 "Debility, Dependence, and Dread"
3 "The System That Has Been Developed"
Part Two: UNLIKE ANY OTHER WE HAVE EVER SEEN
4 "You Are Now the Property of the U.S. Marine Corps"
5 Debating Torture
6 "The More Subtle Kind of Torment"
Part Three: "OUR EXECUTIVE DOESN'T"
7 "War Is Not a Blank Check"
8 A Pattern of Deceit
9 "Finding Someone Else to Do Your Dirty Work"
Part Four: THE FUTURE OF CAMP DELTA
10 What If He's a Shepherd?
11 Asking Why
12 "Just Shut It Down and Then Plow It Under"