Justice and the Enemy
Justice and the Enemy
Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
PublicAffairs, Hardcover, 9781586489755, 272pp.
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Since the Nuremberg Trials of 1945, lawful nations have struggled to impose justice around the world, especially when confronted by tyrannical and genocidal regimes. But in Cambodia, the USSR, China, Bosnia, Rwanda, and beyond, justice has been served haltingly if at all in the face of colossal inhumanity. International Courts are not recognized worldwide. There is not a global consensus on how to punish transgressors.
The war against Al Qaeda is a war like no other. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda's founder, was killed in Pakistan by Navy Seals. Few people in America felt anything other than that justice had been served. But what about the man who conceived and executed the 9/11 attacks on the US, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? What kind of justice does he deserve? The U.S. has tried to find the high ground by offering KSM a trial - albeit in the form of military tribunal. But is this hypocritical? Indecisive? Half-hearted? Or merely the best application of justice possible for a man who is implacably opposed to the civilization that the justice system supports and is derived from? In this book, William Shawcross explores the visceral debate that these questions have provoked over the proper application of democratic values in a time of war, and the enduring dilemma posed to all victors in war: how to treat the worst of your enemies.
Kirkus, October 10, 2011
“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… 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… Sure to cause further heated debate on the Mohammed situation and other similar scenarios.”
Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas Blog, October 28, 2011
“[Shawcross] has written the best book yet on the dilemmas Western governments face in dealing with Islamic terrorists…Shawcross writes carefully, without bluster and exaggeration, and the effect is a damning indictment of much of the popular rhetoric of the decade after 9/11 that insisted we had no legal or moral right to deal with al Qaeda kingpins as we had in the past with other such terrorists and criminals.”
Booklist, December 1, 2011
“Shawcross here addresses the timely and thorny question of how best to prosecute international terrorists… Those seeking a more policy-focused review of recent developments should start with this work.”
New York Times Book Review"A reminder that critical contemporary judgments about wartime justice do not always persist."
“Brief but immensely useful.”
Policy Review “A probing analysis grounded in history, law, and politics…By clarifying the dilemmas that America faces in justly defeating its jihadist enemies and by putting into perspective both America’s achievement and errors in the struggle against Islamist terrorism, Shawcross shows himself a true friend of freedom and democracy.” The National“a daring plunge into a debate that has become an emotional minefield… Credit Shawcross for striving to guide readers through a moral labyrinth out of which he makes no definite claims to know the path.” Evening Standard
“[Shawcross] returns to the political fray with a vital contribution to the ongoing debate over how Western democracies should deal with terrorists… This subject, and book, will be controversial. But it will also be of increasing relevance in the years ahead. Shawcross's work distinguishes itself not just by taking on a subject most other writers have shied away from but by reaching answers. It should be read by policy-makers and public alike.
“Thoughtful, challenging and deeply depressing… [Shawcross] argues a compelling case… This book is lucidly argued, well informed and exceptionally well written”
“Shawcross is a voice worth listening to in today's tongue-biting culture because he is not frightened to call things by their proper names… Readers who rely on the liberal media for their opinions should seek out a copy of Justice and the Enemy. Opinions that are never tested are mere prejudices, and Shawcross presents a sober account of debates you are unlikely to hear.”
“A distinguished journalist, Shawcross brings a strong dose of common sense to the fevered debate over what constitutes due process and proper treatment for those now waging an unconventional war against the West.”
“There is no mistaking Shawcross’s passionate belief that, through such vacillations, the west is paralyzing itself in the face of a ruthless and very focused enemy. But he also fully acknowledges the sharp dilemmas in trying to reconcile justice and security. Both he and Lipstadt, indeed, restrain their obvious emotions to write fairly and judiciously about one of the greatest questions of our times – how a society should respond to immense evil without, on the one hand, compromising its principles or on the other committing national suicide.”
“British journalist William Shawcross tries to find some legal and moral clarity on the subject by reexamining the trials of Nazi leaders after World War II…It's with sympathy for Bush and censure for Obama that Shawcross looks back more than six decades to his father's Nuremberg colleague, Robert Jackson, for lessons on how war criminals should be tried.”
Literary Review“Whatever one’s political views, Justice and the Enemy its provocative case with some flair. William Shawcross is an eloquent champion of expediency in the name of virtue.”
“The book provides a spirited defence of the notion that the US is locked into a ‘war’ with the soldiers of international terror and is entitled to kill them as ‘enemy combatants’ wherever they can be found, or else to put them on trial before a jury of US soldiers.”
In Justice and the Enemy, William Shawcross says the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders after World War II created a template for the trial of future war crimes. He considers the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, who will be tried in a military commission this year. More at NPR.org
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