The United States helped establish the international principles guiding the prosecution of war crimes – starting with the Nuremberg tribunal following World War II, when Nazi officials were held accountable for their crimes against humanity. But the American government and legal system have consistently refused to apply these same principles to our own officials. Now Rebecca Gordon takes on the explosive task of “indicting” the officials who – in a just society – should be put on trial for war crimes. Some might dismiss this as a symbolic exercise. But what is at stake here is the very soul of the nation.
Cosponsored with the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School, Harvard University.
No pattern of actual attacks on U.S. territory has yet emerged that provides a clear basis for predicting how serious any given form of attack might be in the future, what means of attack might be used, or how lethal new forms of attack might be. As a result, there is a major ongoing debate over the seriousness of the threat and how the U.S. government should react. This work is an invaluable contribution to that debate.
As the first researcher to apply the Techniques of Neutralization Theory, a traditional criminological theory, to explain such religion-terrorism, Al-Khattar examines the primary data to understand the motivations beyond the surface explanations offered by the perpetrators and adherents to their causes. Terrorists are considered as traditional criminals, despite their claims of nobler callings. Through utilization of this theoretical approach, the study offers practical suggestions on how this criminal behavior might be dealt with by law enforcement, society, and religious institutions themselves.
Fred Allen asks why Bin Laden and his organization were effective against the Russians but may have more trouble with free societies. Edward Tenner muses on the ironies of low-tech attacks and the dangers of over-reliance on high-tech sophistication. Such thoughts are tempered by direct and unreassuring reportage from the federal security front. Ann Larabee turns the telescope around, with a history showing that bomb-throwing is as American as apple pie. Toby Blyth takes us inside the theorists' backroom for a look at the ever-mutating ways, means, and motives of war. It used to be about power, money, land, resources, or the ever-popular Pamir Knot "Great Game." Now it seems that globalization has coughed up groups of people, with little in common except for simultaneous feelings of helplessness and cultural superiority. Modern technology, which once seemed to hold only promise, now seems to harbor the potential for danger and destruction. The contributors to this volume are interested in the broader culture, and how terrorism affects that culture--including how people go about researching terrorism.
David Clarke, professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University, has degrees in philosophy, architecture, management science, and urban design. His most recent book is The Architecture of Alienation: The Political Economy of Professional Education, published by Transaction, and he is the editor of the Transaction journal Knowledge, Technology, & Policy.