The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror

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The Enemy Combatants Papers presents the five major enemy combatant cases of the post–9/11 era. Presented in narrative form, these original documents tell the story that clarifies the questions at the heart of the American detention of alleged combatants in the war on terror. These documents discuss the right to counsel, the right to a trial, the right for the accused to see the evidence against him, and the intersection between domestic and international law. The book highlights the tension between the needs of national security and the liberties allotted to alleged enemies of the state by highlighting the basic question of what the U.S. Constitution guarantees and to whom. In these documents, the reader can follow the evolving arguments about presidential powers in time of war, habeas corpus, the Geneva Conventions, balance of powers, and matters of detention and prisoner treatment. Complemented with a comprehensive timeline and appendices that include the relevant cases from the Civil War, World War II, and the Korean War and the premises for setting up military commissions and Combatant Status Review Tribunals, this book is meant for those who seek to understand the issues – legal, political, and military – that have dominated the search for balance between justice and security in the war on terror.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The shame is in the details. Here is the record of what President Bush and his lawyers have done to American principles in detaining alleged terrorists, including U.S. citizens, without charges or trial. Some day—and it should be soon—all those responsible for this tormenting of the Constitution will be judged. The legal arguments are laid out in this book, coldly and compellingly."
—-Anthony Lewis

"The definitive documentation of one of the most troubling experiments in modern history – the Bush administration’s effort to establish the authority to capture and detain indefinitely anyone anywhere in the world, on the President’s say-so that they are ‘bad guys.’ This necessary volume provides both the first-hand documents and the critical overview necessary to see how that experiment was launched, challenged, defeated, and revived."
—-David Cole, Georgetown Law Center

"The Bush Administration charted a radical new set of legal policies after the events of 9/11. In concept they all came to the same focus: to give the president, as commander-in-chief, unprecedented power over persons who had been detained in the campaigns that followed. Of all the various approaches used, one of the most audacious was the introduction of a distinctive and new casting of the idea of "enemy combatant" which was designed to strip away a system of protections and rights that developed as a part of international humanitarian law over the prior century. This book collects original materials that document the evolution of this legal concept and a series of extraordinarily insightful introductory essays that put it all in clear perspective."
—-Scott Horton, Columbia Law School

"This comprehensive volume tells a powerful story — of executive power run amok, the human beings left in its wake, and the effort to use the courts to restore the rule of law and balance of powers in this country. When the definitive history of this period is written, those who write it will turn to this impressive collection as a primary source."
—-Elisa Massimino, Washington Director, Human Rights First

"A valuable collection of primary source documents. It will be useful for law libraries, medium to large academic libraries, and collections focused on terrorism or national security."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521886475
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/11/2008
  • Pages: 1040
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen J. Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security. She is the editor of the NYU Review of Law and Security, co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, and editor of the books Al Qaeda Now and The Torture Debate in America. She is a frequent writer and commentator on terrorism, international law, the war on terror, and detainee issues. Her work has been featured in the L.A. Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, the American Prospect, and on major media outlets.

Joshua Dratel is a practising attorney in New York City. He is past President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Along with Major Dan Mori, Dratel assisted in the defense of Australian detainee David Hicks. He also defended al Qaeda member Wadih el Hage after the bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Dratel has written articles on defending terrorism cases, including Ethical Issues in Defending a Terrorism Case: How Secrecy and Security Impair the Defense of a Terrorism Case and Ethical Issues in Defending a Terrorism Case: Stuck in the Middle. He is co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib. He received his B.A. from Columbia College and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

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Table of Contents

Part I. 'Battlefield' Captures: 1. Rasul v. Bush; 2. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld; Part II. Military Commissions: 3. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld; Part III. US Captures: 4. Padilla v. Bush; 5. Al-Marri v. Hanft; Afterword: Boumediene v. Bush.

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