POLITICAL SCIENCE

A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantánamo

Beacon. Nov. 2019. 296p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780807026984. $28.95; ebk. ISBN ;. POL SCI
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With the military trial of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed set for January 2021 at Guantanámo Bay, this book by Honigsberg (founder & director, Witness to Guantánamo; Univ. of San Francisco Sch. of Law) is well timed. The book consists of profiles taken over the span of ten years, including prison guards, interrogators, interpreters, journalists, and attorneys. Honigsberg harshly criticizes the military criminal justice system as being beyond domestic or international regulations. Other titles have made similar points, such as Rosa Brooks’s How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything. As for detainee accounts, Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary is a comprehensive, albeit censored, account of detention, while Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc’s Guantánamo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani presents a moving memoir in the graphic novel format. What sets Honigsberg’s portrait apart is his focus on the lasting effects of isolation and controversial legal process on all involved. The author concludes that the United States broke the rule of law, and is the worse for it.
VERDICT A sobering book for audiences interested in law and current affairs.

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