From the Publisher
The Seattle Times
"This is an ingenious book...a compelling story of two men wrongly imprisoned, and a legal system that makes it no easy thing to help them."
The Midwest Book Review
"A grand and important must read for anyone questioning the protection of our civil liberties."
“Federal public defender Wax masterfully delivers a harrowing story of the erosion of civil liberties after the September 11 terrorist attacks in a powerful testimony that reads like a thriller. . Wax offers personal insight and professional outrage; his is a powerful voice that deserves to reach all Americans.”
Clive Stafford Smith
Founder and Legal Director of Reprieve (UK); author of Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side
“Steven Wax’s office has done some of the best work of any lawyers when it comes to exposing the truth about prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. It is important for the international community to take notice of this eloquently told account.”
U.S. Attorney for Oregon (1994-2001) and author of Standing Tall
“Steven Wax vividly portrays how chillingly close we have come to forsaking our foundational beliefs of justice and liberty. Precisely because he is devoted to deeply-held American values, this book has the power to promote effective activism against a government that has lost its way. Wax writes with authority, both moral and legal.”
author of Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power
“Some day, the United States will leave its post-9/11 cave. But principles wither with prolonged disuse, and if we emerge with ours intact, it will be in some measure because of courageous lawyers like Steve Wax.”
author of Executive Privilege
“Wax’s true story is heart-wrenching and as scary as any fictional thriller. This is a must read for anyone who cares about maintaining the freedoms that make this country great.”
“Those interested in an inside account of how attorneys represent unpopular clients will learn a great deal from the behind-the-scenes strategy sessions detailed here… offers important insights into what can happen when overzealous prosecutors believe that the ends justify any means”
Federal public defender Wax masterfully delivers a harrowing story of the erosion of civil liberties after the September 11 terrorist attacks in a powerful testimony that reads like a thriller. Wax follows the stories of two men he represented, both victims of post-9/11 counterterrorism measures. The first-American citizen and fellow lawyer Brandon Mayfield-was arrested by the FBI as a suspect in the Madrid train station bombings in 2004, after the FBI claimed that a latent fingerprint found on the scene matched Mayfield's. The second story revolves around Adel Hamad, a Sudanese-born hospital administrator arrested in Pakistan while doing refugee relief work. Imprisoned for six months in "a fetid hell" for alleged connections with al-Qaeda, Hamad was hooded and shackled and transferred to Guantánamo Bay, where he has languished for the past four years. With considerable finesse, the author narrates these two gripping stories in alternating chapters through each stage of his clients' cases. Wax offers personal insight and professional outrage; his is a powerful voice that deserves to reach all Americans. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Oregon Federal Public Defender Wax describes the obstacles faced by lawyers representing people accused of terrorist activities. Those interested in an inside account of how attorneys represent unpopular clients will learn a great deal from the behind-the-scenes strategy sessions detailed here. Both of Wax's clients, Oregon lawyer and Islam convert Brandon Mayfield and Sudanese hospital administrator Adele Hassan Amad, were eventually released and the charges against them dropped, but not before they had their privacy violated. Mayfield, who had defended someone convicted of terrorist activities, was arrested as a suspect in the 2004 Madrid bombings because the FBI misidentified his fingerprints. Amad, accused of associating with terrorists, was imprisoned at Guantanamo, where he was frequently interrogated and beaten, although the U.S. government declined to reveal why he was a suspect. Descriptions of the judicial wrangling and the impact of the procedures on the defendants' families are dramatic and far from subtle. Wax, a former prosecutor who worked on the "Son of Sam" case, delivers a screed against the policies of the Bush administration: "For five years now, the administration has acted as though U.S. law and the Constitution do not reach Guantanamo and has done everything in its power to obstruct Adele and other prisoners from having as day in court or contact with the outside world." While acknowledging that after 9/11 the government was right to beef up prosecution of terror suspects, the author contends it could be accomplished in a more prudent, nuanced manner. One-sided and too long, but offers important insights into what can happen when overzealous prosecutors believe thatthe ends justify any means. Agent: Al Zuckerman/Writers House