A PLACE OUTSIDE THE LAW

FORGOTTEN VOICES FROM GUANTANAMO

A well-documented, hard-hitting, necessary exposé.

The founder and director of Witness to Guantánamo shares his research on nearly 20 years of lawlessness there.

Since the military prison was founded in 2002, this “detention center for alleged terrorists” has housed inmates who have been held indefinitely without being charged and without legal representation or recourse for enduring extralegal torture. (Most have since been released from custody.) Honigsberg (Univ. of San Francisco School of Law; Our Nation Unhinged: The Human Consequences of the War on Terror, 2009, etc.) and a crew of researchers have conducted 158 videotaped interviews (more than 300 hours of film across 20 countries) with detainees; their distraught family members; Guantánamo guards and interrogators from the U.S. military; civilian and military lawyers; and interpreters hired by the federal government to deal with the mixture of languages spoken by those incarcerated. The author presents factual accounts based on the videotaped interviews and wide-ranging supplemental research. Honigsberg combines his impressive research with his persistent advocacy for detainees who clearly played no role in the 9/11 attacks and who almost certainly never posed any threat to American citizens. In easily understood lay terms, the author explains how the George W. Bush administration ignored federal court rulings regarding humane treatment, how Congress furthered the lawlessness, how federal lawyers invented the status of “enemy combatant,” and how the Obama administration never observed promises to shut down Guantánamo. Some of the most unforgettable profiles in the narrative focus on detainee Mourad Benchellali, interpreter Rushan Abbas, military defense attorney Matt Diaz, civilian defense lawyer Gita Gutierrez (on the staff of the Center for Constitutional Rights), military guard Brandon Neely, journalist Carol Rosenberg, and Damien Corsetti, the so-called “King of Torture.” As presented convincingly by the author, the misconduct by the U.S. government is so egregious that readers with a moral compass could fairly conclude that many individuals have been wrongly incarcerated.

A well-documented, hard-hitting, necessary exposé.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-2698-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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