Alternative Sites of Accountability for Torture: The Publication of War on Terror Books as 'Memory-Justice'

Cynthia Banham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article examines alternative sites of accountability for torture carried out in the war on terror, where the Obama Administration refused to engage in official accountability. It is concerned with a less examined feature of civil society's efforts at seeking accountability: The publication of key documents from the war on terror as books. I focus on two, one based on a congressional report on torture and the other on the diary of a current Guantánamo Bay detainee. I argue that through publishing these already existing texts as books, civil society actors helped amplify, circulate, and make more permanent evidence of post-9.11 torture. In doing so they contributed to the creation of a 'counterpublic', reforming what is publicly thinkable about the torture policies of the Bush Administration, and achieved a form of 'memory-justice', morally grounding past crimes in the present and taking responsibility as a political community for righting past wrongs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-397
    JournalInternational Criminal Law Review
    Volume17
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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