American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes

Skyhorse
Free sample

America goes on trial for war crimes in this persuasively argued book from the author of Mainstreaming Torture.
 
In the aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration initiated a war on terror that systematically violated international law. In the name of national security, the United States government established secret detention centers (aka “black sites”) and carried out torture, extraordinary rendition, drone assassinations, and massive surveillance of its own citizens. Though there is overwhelming evidence of these human rights violations, no action has been taken to pursue justice for the victims. No high US official has been charged for enacting these policies, considered by legal experts around the world to be war crimes.
 
Between 1945 and 1949, the United States and its allies put nearly two hundred Nazi war criminals on trial, a towering political achievement that established the legitimacy of international law. Philosopher and ethicist Rebecca Gordon argues that America must now either apply the same principles to its own officials or risk undoing its legacy as leader of the free world. In American Nuremberg, she not only makes a compelling case for the prosecution, but also lays out the legal groundwork that would make such a tribunal possible in our time.
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About the author

Rebecca Gordon is the author of Mainstreaming Torture, which has been hailed as a “morally challenging” and “courageous work” that reveals how torture has been “sanitized” in America. She teaches philosophy at the University of San Francisco. Prior to her academic career, Gordon spent decades working as an activist in peace and justice movements in Central America, South Africa, and the United States. She lives in San Francisco.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Apr 5, 2016
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781510703384
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
Political Science / Corruption & Misconduct
Political Science / Human Rights
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 reopened what many people in America had long assumed was a settled ethical question: Is torture ever morally permissible? Within days, some began to suggest that, in these new circumstances, the new answer was "yes." Rebecca Gordon argues that September 11 did not, as some have said, "change everything," and that institutionalized state torture remains as wrong today as it was on the day before those terrible attacks. Furthermore, U.S. practices during the "war on terror" are rooted in a history that began long before September 11, a history that includes both support for torture regimes abroad and the use of torture in American jails and prisons. Gordon argues that the most common ethical approaches to torture-utilitarianism and deontology (ethics based on adherence to duty)-do not provide sufficient theoretical purchase on the problem. Both approaches treat torture as a series of isolated actions that arise in moments of extremity, rather than as an ongoing, historically and socially embedded practice. She advocates instead a virtue ethics approach, based in part on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. Such an approach better illumines torture's ethical dimensions, taking into account the implications of torture for human virtue and flourishing. An examination of torture's effect on the four cardinal virtues-courage, temperance, justice, and prudence (or practical reason)-suggests specific ways in which each of these are deformed in a society that countenances torture. Mainstreaming Torture concludes with the observation that if the United States is to come to terms with its involvement in institutionalized state torture, there must be a full and official accounting of what has been done, and those responsible at the highest levels must be held accountable.
An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the man who transformed the CIA into the most powerful—and secretive—colossus in Washington, from the founder of Salon.com and author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers.

America’s greatest untold story: the United States’ rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials—including newly discovered U.S. government documents, U.S. and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles’s wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials—Talbot reveals the underside of one of America’s most powerful and influential figures.

Dulles’s decade as the director of the CIA—which he used to further his public and private agendas—were dark times in American politics. Calling himself “the secretary of state of unfriendly countries,” Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients—colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home, Talbot charges, offering shocking new evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

An exposé of American power that is as disturbing as it is timely, The Devil’s Chessboard is a provocative and gripping story of the rise of the national security state—and the battle for America’s soul.

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