America's Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees, and the "War on Terror"
$12.95 $9.71
  • Paperback
  • 128
  • June 2004
  • 9781583226452

America's Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees, and the "War on Terror"

Rachel Meeropol

Featuring detainee testimonies and analysis by Reed Brody, Barbara Olshansky, Michael Ratner, and Steven Macpherson Watt

America's Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees and the "War on Terror" features first person accounts by individuals who have experienced the horrors of executive detention, including former Guantnamo detainees Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal; Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen the United States sent to Syria to be interrogated and tortured for nearly a year; and many other non-citizens who were wrongly swept up in the post-9/11 terrorism investigations. These narratives appear alongside political and legal analysis of the Bush Administrations controversial post-9/11 detention practices.

The confirmation proceedings for Alberto R. Gonzales and Condeleeza Rice, like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, have triggered a national debate about the U.S. government's controversial treatment of detainees and its practice of torture. At the heart of the debate is the question, "Is the United States undermining democracy, freedom, and human rights in its effort to protect its citizens from terrorism?" The authors of America's Disappeared answer, "Yes."

America's Disappeared describes how the U.S. government, in response to the events of 9/11, launched an unprecedented campaign of racial profiling, detentions, and deportations so grievous as to evoke the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Thousands have been imprisoned without trial or any kind of judicial hearing. Thousands remain indefinitely detained without charges being brought against them. Some are tortured; others are shipped off to other countries to be tortured. This book brings together, for the first time, detainees own testimonies along with analysis by the leading constitutional attorneys and human rights advocates. In addition to a detailed exploration of detention—the forms currently in use, and the conditions of each—the book challenges the Bush administrations justifications for violating the Geneva Conventions and the most basic definitions of human rights.


"To read America's Disappeared is to be moved by the personal stories of human beings plucked out of our midst, tortured, kept away from family, from legal counsel, from the world. To read these stories is to be shocked by the way our constitutional rights have been violated again and again, with the government justifying this as a 'war on terrorism'. The essays in this collection not only confront us with the human reality of the detentions at Guantnamo and the tortures of Abu Ghraib. They also scrutinize and dissect the legal arguments of the government, as it tries to defend the indefensible. This volume informs us as it angers us, and provokes us to act in whatever way we can to bring democracy alive in our country." —Howard Zinn

"America's Disappeared is a strong, eloquent and necessary book, one that presents its readers with a challenge and a charge to not sit by and allow the juggernaut of the Bush Administration to roll over our Constitution, our human rights, and our fellow human beings." —Lewis H. Lapham, Editor of Harper's Magazine

"Here are further proofs, as though any more were needed, of what a loathsome nation we've become." —Kurt Vonnegut

About Rachel Meeropol

RACHEL MEEROPOL is a fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City. CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ever since the Attica Rebellion in 1971, CCR has been involved in litigation and political organizing in opposition to the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment and the denial of equal protection behind bars. Rachel’s interest in prisoners’ rights work stems from her family’s firsthand experience with the destructive impact of the criminal "justice" system on communities and individuals. With CCR, Rachel has developed a three-pronged project to combat the oppressive state of corrections in this country. Her project combines education, prevention and litigation. Rachel is working with the National Lawyers Guild to revise and republish the out-of-date Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook, a guidebook for prisoners who, unable to find an attorney, must struggle to protect their rights while incarcerated. On the litigation side, Rachel is attacking the conditions of confinement and inadequate medical care at supermaximum security prisons and at facilities holding immigration detainees. This project is made all the more urgent in the face of what Rachel asserts is the egregious use of solitary confinement and other punitive conditions against post-9/11 and other immigration detainees.

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