The Least Worst Place : Guantanamo's First 100 Days
Named one of the Washington Post Book World's Best Books of 2009, The Least Worst Place offers a gripping narrative account of the first one hundred days of Guantanamo. Greenberg, one of America's leading experts on the Bush Administration's policies on terrorism, tells the story through a group of career officers who tried-and ultimately failed-to stymie the Pentagon's desire to implement harsh new policies in Guantanamo and bypass the Geneva Conventions. Peopled with genuine heroes and villains, this narrative of the earliest days of the post-9/11 era centers on the conflicts between Gitmo-based Marine officers intent on upholding the Geneva Accords and an intelligence unit set up under the Pentagon's aegis. The latter ultimately won out, replacing transparency with secrecy, military protocol with violations of basic operation procedures, and humane and legal detainee treatment with harsh interrogation methods and torture. Greenberg's riveting account puts a human face on this little-known story, revealing how America first lost its moral bearings in the wake of 9/11.
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 160.02 x 233.68 x 27.94mm | 521.63g
- 16 Mar 2009
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
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Table of contents
Preface ; Ch. 1 - World Gone Wrong ; Ch. 2- The Wrong Man ; Ch. 3 - The Void ; Ch. 4 - The Bad Guys First ; Ch. 5 - The Petting Zoo ; Ch. 6 - The General and the Chaplain ; Ch. 7- Missing Pieces ; Ch. 8 - A Political Animal ; Ch. 9 - Towels into Turbans ; Ch. 10 - Buried Alive ; Postscript
If you thought Guantanamo held no more surprises, this remarkable and timely book will change your mind. Karen Greenberg has unearthed a history we did not know we had, somehow persuading scores of military and intelligence officer and their former captives The consequences of Guantanamo on America's standing in the world have been well chronicled, but here, in heartbreaking detail, we learn the story of how it might have been different. Karen Greenberg's surprising and provocative history of the first hundred days of Guantanamo provides an invaluable comment on how the war on terror turned into a moral assault on our on values and institutions. Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower Greenberg has written an important and compelling work that others will turn to fruitfully in writing the full history of Guantanamo. The Washington Post Book World Karen Greenberg's deeply researched account of the early days of Guantanamo shows the legal, political and moral questions that plagued the prison camp from the outset: its dubious legal authority, the uncertain status of the prisoners, and the doubts of key officials who tried to uphold American and international law. The Least Worst Place, which is so well written that it reads in places like a prose poem, is going to be essential reading for anyone who is trying to understand the legal morass surrounding Guantanamo and detainee policy in the 'war on terror.' Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama bin Laden I Know Greenberg tells a gripping and vivid story of the first days of the Guantanamo detainee debacle. In a fast paced and well researched narrative, her characters come alive on this dusty island base as they struggle with the moral and professional dilemmas that are a microcosm of a bigger drama being played out in Washington. Policy was formulated by a small cabal of Pentagon and White House zealots who did not understand the fundamental nature of counterterrorism-and forced their ill-conceived policies on a reluctant but ultimately compliant military, judicial and diplomatic corps. Michael Sheehan, author of Crush the Cell Superior Reporting. Kirkus A remarkable book. Harpers.com An excellent book. Sacramento Book Review Indeed, we are unhappy to need her, but author Karen Greenberg is a hero of sorts, for having gained the trust of the people she interviewed, many of whom were no doubt skeptical of the press, and for her respectful treatment of the stories they entrusted to her. Human Rights Review The most important legal book I read this year was Karen Greenberg's The Least Worst Place... It's a detailed look at an unmined sliver of history...Greenberg provides a taxonomy of what went wrong and shows us that it could all have come out very differently. Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor, Slate An important and compelling work that others will turn to fruitfully in writing the full history of Guantanamo. Peter Finn, Washington Post Book World
About Karen Greenberg
Karen J. Greenberg is Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security, NYU School of Law. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, the Daily Beast, and the American Prospect.