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Plausible Legality – Legal Culture and Political Imperative in the Global War on Terror - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Plausible Legality: Legal Culture and Political Imperative in the Global War on Terror

Rebecca Sanders


After 9/11, American officials authorized numerous contentious counterterrorism practices including torture, extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, trial by military commission, targeted killing, and mass surveillance. While these policies sparked global outrage, the Bush administration defended them as legally legitimate. Government lawyers produced memoranda deeming enhanced interrogation techniques, denial of habeas corpus, drone strikes, and warrantless wiretapping lawful. Although it rejected torture, the Obama administration made similar claims and declined to prosecute abuses. T ... More

Keywords: 9/11, global war on terror, torture, indefinite detention, Guantánamo Bay, targeted killing, surveillance, human rights, international law, legal culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190870553
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190870553.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rebecca Sanders, author
Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Cincinnati