“This is a book about the genesis of a single memorandum authorising what I would call torture. It was called the Rumsfeld Memo and it was issued to the American military at Guantanamo in December of 2002; the draft was begun in October 2002 and Rumsfeld rescinded it in January of 2003. What is wonderful about this book is that it’s written like a detective mystery – how was this memorandum composed, how did people come to write a memorandum which authorised torture? But it also is a legal analysis that implicitly identifies and pins responsibility on different actors within the Bush administration. It is written by a very sharp member of the Queen’s Council. I can’t imagine any of the Bush administration officials he interviewed knew QCs were among the elite of the barristers in Britain and, in Sands’s case, very knowledgeable in international law. Had they, they might never have talked with him.” Read more...
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