Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State


The day after September 11, President Bush tasked Attorney General John Ashcroft with preventing another terrorist attack on the United States. Karen J. Greenberg, director of the Law School’s Center on National Security, begins Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State (Crown) at this pivotal moment in recent American history. Her deeply reported account tells the full story of what happened next, as law and policy were fundamentally reshaped to serve the war on terror. The Department of Justice was given license to engage in activities that had previously been unthinkable—from the NSA’s spying on U.S. citizens to indefinite detention and torture. When President Obama took office, many observers expected a reversal of these encroachments upon civil liberties and justice, but the new administration found the rogue policies to be deeply entrenched and, at times, worth preserving. Obama ramped up targeted killings, held fast to aggressive surveillance policies, and fell short on bringing reform to detention and interrogation.

Based on years of research and countless interviews with insiders at the highest levels of government, Rogue Justice tells the stories of surveillance, interrogation, detention, targeted killings, prosecution, and military commissions, showing that time and again, when liberty and security have clashed, justice has been the victim.

Reviewer Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Thirteen Days in September, said, “This invaluable book shows how close we came to losing many of the basic principles that underlie our system of justice—and how much we still have to do to protect the basic principles that make our country a beacon for human rights.” Peter Bergen, author of United States of Jihad and Manhunt, said, “Karen Greenberg expertly guides us through the thicket of thorny legal questions generated by the ‘war on terror,’ laying out with great clarity the stakes involved and painting deft portraits of the key players who set the nation down a path we associate more with banana republics than with American ideals. Rogue Justice is the definitive account of the legal machinations behind the war on terror.”


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