Friday, February 20, 2009

A Look at The Least Worst Place

The Least Worst Place
Guantanamo's First 100 Days
By Karen Greenberg

From the Oxford University Press

The Least Worst Place
is an account of the first 100 days of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The book tells the story of and through a group of capable and honorable career Marine officers who tried to create a humane and just detention center, but who were ultimately prevented by the Bush Administration's desire to bypass the Geneva Conventions and implement harsh interrogation techniques. Ultimately, transparency was replaced with secrecy, military protocol with violations of basic operation procedures, and legal and humane treatment of detainees with “enhanced” interrogation methods and torture.

In an interview with Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine, Karen Greenburg reveals the struggle between military leaders, who wanted to do things by the book, and their powerful political superiors in the Pentagon, who wanted to break with American and international law. Her account provides an invaluable statement on how the war on terror turned into a moral assault on our nation’s values and Constitution.

For those who wish to understand the legal and moral morass surrounding Guantanamo and detainee policy in the Bush Administration’s “war on terror,” the book would seem to be essential reading.

Karen J. Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security at New York University Law School. She has written for a number of major newspapers and national publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, The Nation, the American Prospect, and the Guardian and has appeared on a number of major news channels. She is the editor of the NYU Review of Law and Security, and co-editor of the Center's newest publication, The Enemy Combatants Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press, August 2008), The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Graib, and editor of the books Al Qaeda Now and The Torture Debate in America (Cambridge University Press).

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