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Recounts the investigation and trial of Oliver North, examines how government lawyers build a case, and reveals a young lawyer's training
In January of 1987 Jeffrey Toobin is fresh out of Harvard Law School, and appointed the youngest lawyer on Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh's team to investigate and try the leading figure in the Iran-Contra affair--Oliver North. For twenty-eight thrilling months, Toobin served on Walsh's staff and came of age into his profession. Toobin's first book and immersive account of that period is the story of a young man's awakening to the realities of law and a policial, legal and moral drama on a grand stage. Through this defining case of the 1980s--which featured obstruction of justice, diversion of funds, and personal corruption--Opening Arguments shows the judicial process at work. The Congressional Iran-Contra committees granted the key figures of the trial immunity, so Toobin and his colleagues had to work in the dark, without accesss to newspapers or television for weeks at a time. The Reagan Justice Department provided difficulties too. On page after page, Toobin illuminates these battles against long odds, portraying the climactic North trial itself with the eye of a novelist. Like a morality tale with few losers and no real winners, Bill Moyers calls Opening Arguments "a valuable account of how politics and law entwined in the Iran-Contra trials... Reading it can be a citizen's education, too."
A former federal prosecutor who served on the justice department's Enron task force traces his contributions to high-profile cases involving organized crime leaders, drug kingpins, and other dangerous criminals, in a career marked by ethical conflicts and his witness to flaws in the nation's legal system.
This book highlights historical explanations to and roots of present phenomena of violence, insecurity, and law enforcement in Central America. Violence and crime are among the most discussed topics in Central America today, and sensationalism and fear of crime is as present as the increase of private security, the re-militarization of law enforcement, political populism, and mano dura policies. The contributors to this volume discuss historical forms, paths, continuities, and changes of violence and its public and political discussion in the region. This book thus offers in-depth analysis of different patterns of violence, their reproduction over time, their articulation in the present, and finally their discursive mobilization.
Few presidents have sparked as much interest in recent years as Ronald Reagan, already the subject of a large number of biographies and specialized subjects. This biography, based on recent research into the Reagan archives and synthesis of the large memoir literature, explores the shaping of his values and beliefs during his childhood in the American heartland, his leadership of the American conservative movement, and his successful political career culminating in the first two-term presidency since Dwight Eisenhower. Pemberton finds Reagan's personal career and ability to understand and communicate with the American people admirable, but finds many of the long-term effects of his presidency harmful.
A central player's account of the clash between the rule of law and the necessity of defending America. Jack Goldsmith's duty as head of the Office of Legal Counsel was to advise President Bush what he could and could not do...legally. Goldsmith took the job in October 2003 and began to review the work of his predecessors. Their opinions were the legal framework governing the conduct of the military and intelligence agencies in the war on terror, and he found many—especially those regulating the treatment and interrogation of prisoners—that were deeply flawed. Goldsmith is a conservative lawyer who understands the imperative of averting another 9/11. But his unflinching insistence that we abide by the law put him on a collision course with powerful figures in the administration. Goldsmith's fascinating analysis of parallel legal crises in the Lincoln and Roosevelt administrations shows why Bush's apparent indifference to human rights has damaged his presidency and, perhaps, his standing in history.

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