"The Least Worst Place" is a gripping narrative account of the first 100 days of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and reveals how America first ...Show synopsis"The Least Worst Place" is a gripping narrative account of the first 100 days of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and reveals how America first lost its moral bearings in the wake of 9/11.Hide synopsis
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I come to this book from a very different standpoint to that of Karen Greenberg because I have served in the armed forces, and I am a practising lawyer.
For anyone involved in law enforcement and custodial systems, certain rules must be followed in a civilised society- they weren't here.
Greenberg, from her perspective, outlines (with edge) the initial phase of this 'custodial operation' beginning with the concept of confinement which gives the public a rest from these alleged terrorists' acivities, to outright torture...without trial.
The 'T' word (torture, not trial) must be used sparingly but the evidence which Greenberg assembles from observers and participants between December 21, 2001 to March 31, 2002 is compelling...and damning.
The book makes disturbing reading, especially for Obama supporters who now see some idea of the measure of responsibility and the task set for the new President to make amends.
There is only one conclusion to this book- it mustn't happen again. And how many times have we heard that before?
The title 'The Least Worst Place' is just the start of the twisting and the bending of policies which Allies and supporters had trustingly placed in Bush's administration.
To say the US has lost its moral bearings with this camp is strong but just when Greenberg provides excellent footnotes to justify her assertions albeit it from her left wing perspective which I have no quarrel with here as this is not about 'left' or 'right' wing to me.
This book should be read to remind people of how not to behave when we are the 'good guys' for fear of turning us into the 'bad guys'...which is exactly what has happened with Guantanamo.
As a lawyer, my basic creed, like that of saving life with a doctor, is to try people fairly, telling them what they are accused of- not to lock people up without trial and throw away the key whilst the inmates suffer serious violence. The behaviour at this prison was not acceptable and I find no words in mitigation.
I am glad Karen Greenberg has written this book- she ends it with 'what goes around comes around'- the conclusion of the man on the Clapham Omnibus is that the circle must be stopped in the 21st century, and there are no excuses in a civilised society.
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