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

Peter Jan Honigsberg, Author, Erwin Chemerinsky, Foreword by University of California Press $27.5 (311p) ISBN 978-0-520-25472-5
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.
Reviewed on: 05/04/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 334 pages - 978-0-520-94312-4
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