Praise for Drone Memos:
"A trenchant summation of the issues at hand."
Publishers Weekly (starred)
“A nice counterweight to the hosannas ushering Obama from office”
Teju Cole, The Guardian, Best Books of 2016.
“The collection should interest those concerned with the conduct of modern warfare, fought in the courtroom as well as on the battlefield.”
"Democracies may be more fragile than we care to admit, existing perhaps one election from tyranny. At a time in history when those words blink red in the mind, this investigation shows the dangers of investing government with the power to kill suspected enemies in secret. Jaffer and his team perform a lasting public service by exposing the ‘targeted killing’ policies, and Jaffer’s introductory essay is a much-needed corrective to the linguistic manipulation and official obfuscation that have made these policies possible."
Edward J. Snowden
"Few programs are more controversial than America’s use of killer drones. Whether for or against drones, every citizen should read the previously secret documents contained in this book, and thank the public-spirited lawyers who made them public."
"The sad fact, as Jaffer notes, is that Democrats who protested when George W. Bush claimed broad war powers were quite willing to help Barack Obama claim even broader ones. The result is that the counterproductive, colossally wasteful, deeply unethical, and endlessly expanding ‘war on terror’ has now become a permanent bipartisan fixture of our foreign policy. Jaffer’s introduction is careful and fairsome might say too fairbut it is a devastating indictment of the irresponsible and short-sighted arguments that the Obama administration made in secret memos and then in open court."
"An invaluable contribution to the literature on drone strikes. The documents, and Jaffer’s contextualization of them, provide a crucial glimpse into one of the United States government’s most shadowy, problematic and controversial programs."
Farea al-Muslimi, chairman, Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies
"This important book shows how the Obama administration embraced the legal underpinnings of the ‘global war on terror’as well as its secrecy, lethality, and lack of meaningful constraint. Jaffer’s astute commentary critiques U.S. drone policy as unlawful and potentially counterproductive. With a new administration soon to take office, the questions he raises are increasingly urgent."
Joanne Mariner, senior crisis response adviser, Amnesty International
"This is a compelling expose of the sophisticated and concerted efforts by Obama Administration officials to thoroughly subvert the international rule of law in the pursuit of minor short-term military gains and at the expense of American credibility."
Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, 20042010
"Armed drones have given the United States the power to kill individuals anywhere, even far from conventional battlefields, but the United States has failed to articulate clear limits on their uselet alone subscribe to the limits imposed by international law. As Jaffer’s book makes clear, that failure has grave implications as the technology of killer drones inevitably spreads to other countries."
Ken Roth, executive director, Human Rights Watch
Praise for Jameel Jaffer’s Administration of Torture:
"In gathering these truly telling documents Jaffer and Singh have distilled the essence of an evil that has shamed America. Exposing it can only help remove a terrible national stain."
John W. Dean, Nixon White House counsel
"An extraordinarily important book.”
Naomi Wolf, The Huffington Post
"An historic reminder of the dangers of curtailing human rights protections in the name of national security."
Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
"An immensely useful resource."
David Cole, The New York Review of Books
"The definitive evidence of the Bush-Cheney war crimes."
Nat Hentoff, The Village Voice
A trove of documents, some heavily redacted, on the American governments evolving practice of targeted killing of terroristsand, sometimes, untargeted killing of civilians in the process.Can the U.S. government kill U.S. citizens without due process? That is the question that civil rights attorney Jaffer pressed in a legal brief filed on behalf of the family of Anwar al-Aulaqi, a Muslim cleric who had been targeted for assassination. It was a bizarre death-penalty case in which there was no indictment, the accused was in hiding overseas, and the prosecutors, who had already pronounced the sentence, were apoplectic at the suggestion that there should be anything resembling a trial, writes Jaffer. This volume collects documents broadly relevant to that case and the after-the-fact judicial review of the legal framework under which the governments actions were taken. Among them are speeches by President Barack Obama, who praised the al-Aulaqi killing as a tribute to the effectiveness of Americas intelligence-gathering services while allowing, in remarks delivered at the National Defense University, that this new technology raises profound questions. The remarks of intelligence adviser John O. Brennan are more considered; here, speaking at Harvard Law School, he presents a case for a counterterrorism framework guided by several precepts, not least the primacy of American security and of a pragmatic and not ideological policybut also upholding the core values that define us as Americans, a matter with which Jaffer finds issue. In an extensive introduction, the editor mounts a multitiered critique of national security efforts that rely on extrajudicial killing by proxy, arguing that the use of lethal force in response to non-imminent threats constitutes a violation of a jus cogens normthat is, a norm so fundamental and well settled that no departure from it is permitted. The extended redactions may put off some readers, but the collection should interest those concerned with the conduct of modern warfare, fought in the courtroom as well as on the battlefield.