The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book

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9781595583413: The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book
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The Case Against Donald Rumsfeld lays out the evidence that high–level officials of the Bush administration ordered, authorized, implemented, and permitted war crimes, in particular the crimes of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Using primary source documents ranging from Rumsfeld’s “techniques chart” and Iraqi plaintiffs’ statements to the testimony of whistleblowers and key pieces of reportage, the book sets forth evidence of a torture program that took place throughout the world: in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo, secret CIA prisons, and other places unknown.

The accused are accorded a defense drawn from their memos and public statements. Readers are allowed to judge whether the Bush administration has engaged in torture and whom among the administration to hold responsible.

Reminiscent of Christopher Hitchens’s bestselling The Trial of Henry Kissinger, The Case Against Donald Rumsfeld constitutes one of the only attempts to hold high–ranking Bush administration officials criminally responsible for their actions.


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About the Author:

Michael Ratner is an attorney and president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is well known for his human rights activism and the author of numerous books, including The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld and Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in Twenty-First-Century America (co-authored with Margaret Ratner Kunstler), both published by The New Press. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

The Bush administration's security and intelligence-gathering policies have inspired few critiques as thorough as Ratner's. The president of the progressive Center for Constitutional Rights presents a mock trial of 14 U.S. government and military officials, Donald Rumsfeld chief among them; with immunity from criminal prosecution while in office, Bush and Cheney are named as unindicted co-conspirators. The charge is torture and war crimes. The opening statement describes the Bush administration's alleged torture program in detail and the role the defendants played. The prosecution evidence includes statements of former Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo detainees describing tortures such as sleep deprivation, water-boarding and stress positions. Ratner presents the defense primarily through government documents, such as the infamous John Yoo memo rejecting the application of the Geneva Accords to detainees. This defense is followed by a rebuttal based on international law that systematically rejects the government's arguments. Of course, a real trial would give the defense an opening and closing statement, and books don't allow for cross-examination. Though his case appears strong, Ratner's conceit will appeal primarily to those who have already voted guilty. Photos. (Sept.)
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