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JUSTICE AND THE ENEMY by William Shawcross

JUSTICE AND THE ENEMY

From the Nuremberg Trials to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

By William Shawcross

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-58648-975-5
Publisher: PublicAffairs

A controversial intervention into the ongoing political and legal argument about whether and how to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators for their role in the 9/11 attack.

British writer and commentator Shawcross (The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, 2009, etc.) takes a no-holds-barred approach to the issues involved in putting the alleged perpetrators of 9/11 on trial for their crimes. His argument is embedded in parallels concerning World War II and the application of justice to Nazi war criminals. Shawcross' father was the British prosecutor at the Nuremberg war-crimes tribunal; at that time there were differences of opinion among the allies. Churchill favored summary execution of top Nazis, without recourse to trial. Stalin proposed eliminating the top 50,000 officials. Truman was in favor of the trials and appointed Robert Jackson to represent the U.S. Shawcross believes that the Nuremberg trials provide a precedent for the current situation, and he argues that military commissions, or tribunals, are well established in U.S. law. A key precedent, he writes, was provided by Ex Parte Quirin 1942, in which German spies were to be tried by military commission. Justice Jackson wrote one of the opinions and upheld tribunals as within the war powers of the presidency. Shawcross similarly supports the Bush administration's decisions on illegal combatants and believes that Mohammed, waterboarded more than 180 times, was not necessarily a victim of torture.

Sure to cause further heated debate on the Mohammed situation and other similar scenarios.