Dispatches from the Dark Side
On Torture and the Death of Justice
By Gareth Peirce
(Verso, Paperback, 9781844677597, 140pp.)
Publication Date: April 2012
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In this set of devastating essays, Gareth Peirce analyzes the corruption of legal principles and practices in both the US and the UK that has accompanied the ‘War on Terror’. Exploring the few cases of torture that have come to light, such as those of Guantánamo detainees Shafiq Rasul and Binyam Mohamed, Peirce argues that they are evidence of a deeply entrenched culture of impunity among those investigating presumed radicals among British Muslim nationals and residents, who constitute the new suspect community in the UK.
Peirce shows that the British government has colluded in a whole range of extrajudicial activities – rendition, internment without trial, torture – and has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal its actions. Its devices for maintaining secrecy are probably more deep-rooted than those of any other comparable democracy.
If the government continues along this path, Peirce argues, it will destroy the moral and legal fabric it claims to be protecting.