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Tortured Logic

Reviewed by Neal Katyal
Sunday, February 20, 2005; Page BW10

HOW PATRIOTIC IS THE PATRIOT ACT?

Freedom Versus Security in the Age of Terrorism

By Amitai Etzioni. Routledge. 196 pp. $25

TORTURE AND TRUTH

America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror

By Mark Danner. New York Review. 580 pp. Paperback, $19.95

THE ABU GHRAIB INVESTIGATIONS

The Official Reports of the Independent Panel and the Pentagon on the Shocking Prisoner Abuse in Iraq

Edited by Steven Strasser. PublicAffairs. 175 pp. Paperback, $14

THE TORTURE PAPERS

The Road to Abu Ghraib

Edited by Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel. Cambridge Univ. 1,249 pp. $50

Despite the funereal events of Sept. 11 and their aftermath, there has been little serious thinking about how U.S. legal institutions should respond to the war on terror. Academics and think tanks have let us down, content to engage in sloganeering and caricatures of the other side's arguments. The sad result has been a politicized debate often devoid of fresh, sober thinking.

Into this climate come a book by George Washington University's Amitai Etzioni and three volumes of compiled documents -- one slim, one hefty, one massive. None of them purports to transform the parameters of the current debate, but all of them contain kernels that, if explored, can elevate the insipid discourse.


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