Shawcross (Deliver Us from Evil), son of the chief British prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, considers the legal and political issues surrounding the detention and trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. The Nuremberg trials, which introduced the concept of “crimes against humanity,” became the precedent for postwar justice, highlighting the difficulty of properly prosecuting “those who commit hideous and unprecedented crimes.” Using the judgment of Justice Robert Jackson, the lead American prosecutor at Nuremberg, as a guide, Shawcross explores what form of justice the al-Qaeda defendants should receive, the pros and cons of military versus federal courts, the admissibility of evidence gained under the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and the differing policies of the Bush and Obama administrations regarding “unlawful combatants,” the Geneva Conventions, Guantánamo, and justice. He takes liberal-leaning groups like the ACLU to task for their zeal in defending (and delaying the military trials) of “Islamists who wish to destroy western society,” and finds his native Britain becoming a dangerous breeding ground for Islamist extremism among young Muslims. Concluding that prisoners will have far greater right in military tribunals now than they did at Nuremberg, this thoughtful, passionately right-wing study underscores the thorny difficulties the U.S. has faced in bringing the September 11 attackers to court. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2011 Release date: 01/01/2012 Genre: Nonfiction
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