Our Nation Unhinged: The Human Consequences of the War on Terror / Edition 1

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Jose Padilla short-shackled and wearing blackened goggles and earmuffs to block out all light and sound on his way to the dentist. Fifteen-year-old Omar Khadr crying out to an American soldier, "Kill me!" Hunger strikers at Guantánamo being restrained and force-fed through tubes up their nostrils. John Walker Lindh lying naked and blindfolded in a metal container, bound by his hands and feet, in the freezing Afghan winter night. This is the story of the Bush administration's response to the attacks of September 11, 2001—and of how we have been led down a path of executive abuses, human tragedies, abandonment of the Constitution, and the erosion of due process and liberty.
In this vitally important book, Peter Jan Honigsberg chronicles the black hole of the American judicial system from 2001 to the present, providing an incisive analysis of exactly what we have lost over the past seven years and where we are now headed.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education
“Provides a compelling account of the human costs of the erosion of civil rights in the post-9/11 US.”
Publishers Weekly
Law professor Honigsberg, who documented his 1960s civil-rights work in the memoir Crossing Border Street, brings his considerable knowledge and steadfast values to document the U.S. government's abuses of domestic and international law in the name of combating terrorism. His unflinching descriptions of detainee treatment make difficult reading: prisoners are kept in isolation for years and subject to sensory deprivation (Brooklyn native Jose Padilla was held in complete isolation for 21 months), confined to "dog boxes" designed to prevent standing and induce "learned helplessness," plied with "truth serum" (which may have been LSD or PCP), and much worse. Honigsberg does not deny that prisoners may well be "extremely bad guys," but contends that, regardless, "civilized society declines in direct relation to the ascendancy of torture." Honigsberg charges the Bush administration with "abandoning... our core values of due process and justice," but even if one does not agree, Honigsberg insists, "we should all know what responses our nation chose" to 9/11. Inspired by a 2007 visit to Guantanimo, Honigsberg has penned a powerful indictment Bush's War on Terror, vivid and horrifying and hard to put down.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254725
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/18/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Sales rank: 1,468,391
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Jan Honigsberg is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law. He visited Guantánamo in May 2007. He is author of Crossing Border Street: A Civil Rights Memoir (UC Press), among other books.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
The Cuban Iguana and American Jurisprudence
Foreword by Erwin Chermerinsky

Part One: Manipulating the Law

Introducing the Term Enemy Combatant
Justifying Harsh
Interrogations and Torture
Asserting Absolute Power as Commander-in-Chief

Part Two: Lawless Detentions in America
Yaser Hamdi, American Citizen
Jose Padilla, American Citizen
Ali Saleh Kalah Al Marri, American Resident
Preventive Detention
Part Three: Lawless Detentions in Guantanamo

I. Guantanamo and the Road to the Supreme Court, 2002-2004
Why Guantanamo?
Martin Luther King Weekend, January 2002
The Road to the Supreme Court
With a Little Help from the Cuban Iguana
A Historic Supreme Court Decision: Rasul v. Bush

Inhumane Treatment of Detainees at Guantanamo

Interrogation Log of a Guantanamo Detainee
FBI Report: July 29, 2004
Denial of Treatment
Suicides at the Base
Emergency Response Force
Hunger Strikers and Forced Feeding

III. The Administration under Siege, 2004-2006
Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs)
Interference with Attorneys
The Administration's Legal Position Falters
Detainee Treatment Act of 2005

IV. Winds of Change, 2006-2008
A Second Historic Supreme Court Decision: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
The Military Commissions Act
The Third Guantanamo Case: Boumediene v. Bush
Supreme Court Oral Arguments
A Parallel Case on Reviewing CSRT Hearings
The Return to War Crime Prosecutions: Hicks, Khadr, and Hamdan
Victory: Boumediene v. Bush

Part Four: Foreign Prisons and CIA Black Sites
The Evolution of Extraordinary Rendition
Case Study: Khalid El-Masri
Case Study: Maher Arar
Case Study: Abu Omar
Violating Human Rights Laws

Part Five: Detentions in America with Due Process
John Walker Lindh
Richard Colvin Reid
Zacarias Moussaoui
The Lackawanna Six

Addendum: Visiting Guantanamo Bay
List of Abbreviations


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