Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution - And What We Can Do about It (Hardcover)

How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution - And What We Can Do about It

By Elizabeth Holtzman, Cynthia Cooper

Beacon Press (MA), 9780807003213, 208pp.

Publication Date: February 7, 2012



While the debate continues about impeaching President Trump, whether we're in a full blown Constitutional crisit, and which Trump administration officials should be prosecuted for illegal actions, Cheating Justice serves as useful background for how we got here by examining how the Bush-Cheney administration broke the law--and how the people can bring them to justice.
Despite the many misdeeds of and abuses of criminal law by the Bush administration, there has been no accountability. Former U.S. representative Elizabeth Holtzman pairs with lawyer and journalist Cynthia L. Cooper to explain why we can't -just move on.- They lay bare how the Bush-Cheney administration broke a multitude of laws and betrayed American values, and exactly why and precisely how we, the people, must bring them to justice for their crimes, their cover-ups, and their deceit.
Backed by strong evidence gleaned from -astounding-* research, Holtzman and Cooper argue that the Bush administration not only violated various U.S. laws but also changed many laws to escape prosecution for their crimes later. The authors demonstrate how a failure to hold George W. Bush and Dick Cheney accountable would set a dangerous precedent for the future leadership of America.
Bush and Cheney deceived Congress and the people to drive us into a war in Iraq; they claimed the right to wiretap illegally and to eavesdrop on citizens; and they authorized torture, upending laws and breaching international treaty obligations. Yet, both Bush and Cheney are boldly unabashed about their offenses. In his memoir, President Bush makes no apologies for his decision to start a war in Iraq, though no weapons of mass destruction, the ostensible reason for the war, were found there. And once out of office, Bush proudly said, -Damn right, - about his approval of waterboarding, a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law. Recent revelations about the extent and depth of their crimes, catalogued in detail here, make the need for accountability imperative.
As a member of Congress and part of the committee that investigated and held hearings on the conduct of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal, Elizabeth Holtzman condemns Bush's adoption of Nixon's claim that he acted in the interest of national security. Using Watergate-era reforms as a model, Holtzman details the steps necessary to undo the damage that the Bush-Cheney administration inflicted and explains how we can establish new protections to block future presidents from similarly abusing the law. Cheating Justice is not only a call to empower the American people, and a firm insistence that the nation's leaders are not above the law; it is also a blueprint by one of America's top legal minds for bringing Bush to justice and protecting the future of our democracy.
*Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Elizabeth Holtzman is a practicing lawyer in New York and a former U.S. congresswoman. Cynthia L. Cooper is a journalist and former practicing lawyer.

Praise For Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution - And What We Can Do about It

"Elizabeth Holtzman, who helped bring President Nixon to justice in the Watergate hearings, now takes on the bigger, deeper and even more crucial task of investigating—and exposing—exactly how President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney started an illegal war, subverted civil liberties, human rights and the law itself, and then used the national trauma following 9/11 to cover it up. Start to read Cheating Justice, and you won't be able to put it down."— Gloria Steinem, co-founder Ms. Magazine, writer and feminist activist

“A passionate book grounded in law.”—Kirkus

“This book makes a vital contribution to addressing the abuses of power of the Bush administration. Unfortunately today, nearly three years after the end of the George W. Bush administration, our nation still labors under the many excesses of that era. Holtzman’s book offers a cogent and elaborate account of that time period and important insights into how we can prevent those from recurring.”—John Conyers Jr., author of The Constitution in Crisis

“George W. Bush and his administration are gone, but the wrongdoing they committed endures, exposed but unpunished. Extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping, torture: we cannot live with this legacy, but neither can we seem to escape it. No one is better qualified than Elizabeth Holtzman—prosecutor, congresswoman, member of the Watergate committee—to confront this legal and moral conundrum and show the way forward. Cheating Justice, like its author, is fierce, bold, and unflinching. A powerful, necessary book.”—Mark Danner, author of Stripping Bare the Body
“Here at last is a book for everyone who is outraged—or just bewildered—that Bush, Cheney, and other top officials escaped prosecution for their many flagrant violations of the law. Will there really be no consequences for the men who lied us into war, compromised our civil liberties, and made ‘waterboarding’ and ‘Guantánamo’ household words? Passionately, clearly, and concisely, Elizabeth Holtzman lays out how it happened, how the Bush administration secretly sought to immunize itself from prosecution, and how we can still hold the perpetrators accountable.”—Katha Pollitt, author of Subject to Debate
“Holtzman’s book indicting the Cheney-Bush administration is passionate and persuasive. Whether it will be in a court of law or a truth commission, history demands a reckoning so that future administrations don’t also routinely act above the law. When that happens, Cheating Justice will be among the bill of particulars. Going from Nixon to Bush, Liz Holtzman has been a progressive patriot dedicated to the rule of law.”—Mark Green, coauthor of The Book on Bush
“Elizabeth Holtzman and I were in Congress at the same time: no one I know is more vigilant in holding those in power accountable for upholding our Constitution and the justice it demands. In Cheating Justice, she recaps the incredible misdeeds of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their team. Her cry for the rule of law to be applied to them is a cry every citizen should heed; if we don’t, our democracy’s future is in peril.”—Former congresswoman Patricia Schroeder