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Democracy's Blameless LeadersFrom Dresden to Abu Ghraib, How Leaders Evade Accountability for Abuse, Atrocity, and Killing$
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Neil James Mitchell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814761441

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814761441.001.0001

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The Theory of the Fall Guy

The Theory of the Fall Guy

(p.13) 2 The Theory of the Fall Guy
Democracy's Blameless Leaders

Neil James Mitchell

NYU Press

This chapter presents the case of Baha Mousa, who died by being beaten to death by British soldiers in 2003, in which no British officer was held responsible. In relation to this, the chapter explains that the way blame is attributed is connected to three underlying motives for violation. The first is Machiavelli's motive or the intention to get and secure power. The second is the Inquisitor's motive which springs from the leader's intolerant belief system. The last refers to the motive of the agent who administers the violence. These motives lead to violations committed either on the initiative of government leaders or on the initiative of individual agents.

Keywords:   Baha Mousa, violence, motive, Machiavelli's motive, Inquisitor's motive

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