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Law's DetourJustice Displaced in the Bush Administration$
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Peter Margulies

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814795590

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814795590.001.0001

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(p.53) 3 The Architecture of Impunity

(p.53) 3 The Architecture of Impunity

(p.53) 3 The Architecture of Impunity
Law's Detour

Peter Margulies

NYU Press

This chapter examines the Bush administration's efforts to orchestrate impunity—to insulate themselves from the sanctions established under domestic and international law. It first considers the machinations of Dick Cheney, David Addington, and other Bush officials to arrange impunity before and after the fact, from the selection of sites for detention outside the United States as “law-free zones” and claims of immunity from lawsuits. It then discusses the Bush administration's attempts to frustrate accountability by advancing arguments based on geography and exigency, along with its use of the Department of Justice to shield itself from accountability for coercive interrogation. It also explores how the White House negotiated the conflict between sound legal advice and its pursuit of impunity and concludes with an analysis of the government's invocation of executive privilege and the campaign of selective amnesia to cover up evidence of political influence in the United States Attorney firings of 2006.

Keywords:   impunity, Dick Cheney, detention, law-free zones, immunity, coercive interrogation, legal advice, executive privilege, selective amnesia, United States Attorney firings

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