2007's Best Memories and Recovered Years (More To Come)

What's New on the Battlefield?
Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862, Edward Cunningham, Gary D. Joiner and Timothy B. Smith, 2007.

What Was the Game Plan?
Retreat to Victory: Confederate Strategy Reconsidered, Robert G. Tanner, Scholarly Resource, 2002.

Why Did They Fight?
What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War, Chandra Manning, New York, Knopf, 2007

What Were The Soldiers Like?
The View From The Ground:Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, editor, University of Kentucky Press, 2007.

For What? Your Rats?
Why Confederates Fought: Family & Nation in Civil War Virginia, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

Meteor of the War?
Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America, Evan Carton, Free Press, 2006.

What Kept Them Fighting? Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility, Jason Phillips, University of Georgia Press, 2007.

Who Freed The Slaves?
A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, David W. Blight, ed., Harcourt, 2007.

What Late Arrival in 2007 Is Still To Be Read?
What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, Daniel W. Howe, Oxford University Press, 2007.

Some good things to look forward to in the first half of 2008:

January-Drew G. Faust, The Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War,

February-William Lee Miller, President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman,

March-Joseph Glatthaar, General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse,

May-Kent Gramm, Battle: The Nature and Consequences of Civil War Combat,

June-Andrew Ward, The Slaves' War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves

July-William Marvel, Lincoln's Darkest Year: The War in 1862
Stephan Ash, Firebrand of Liberty: The Story of Two Black Regiments that Changed the Course of the Civil War,

August-Noah Andrew Trudeau, Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea

CWL---The Confederates, The Crater, and Their Recollections

Is Not The Glory Enough To Give Us A Share?: An Analysis of Competing Memories fo the Battle of the Crater, Kevin M. Levin, in The View From the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, editor, University of Kentucky Press, 2007, pp. 227-248.

On July 30, 1864 four divisions of the Federal 9th Corps assaulted a crevasse that was 200 feet long, 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep that had been created by the explosion of 4 tons of gunpowder under a Confederate fort in the Petersburg, Virginia line. Their assault was countered by a brigade of South and North Carolinians and three brigades of Virginians. The Rebels won the battle and the Virginians won the history.

In 1936 the National Park Service acquired the Crater's site and relied upon the Virginians' accounts to tell the story of the battle. The debates between the Carolinians and the Virginians were part of the collective debate among veterans over the causes and the glory of the war. A national narrative that ignored the importance of slavery and emancipation and elevated the brotherhood of war was constructed from the 1870s through the 1940s. The Southern veterans argued over their battlefield accomplishments and revolved around the states since their CSA had dissolved. State and local history were developed by the frictions of state rubbing against state for domination of the process of memorializing, history writing, and memory construction of the war.

The earliest interpretations of war were authored by the veterans. Personal, unit, and state pride were developed and, to a degree, historical accuracy was sacrificed. Edward Pollard, wartime editor of the Daily Richmond Examiner, produced The Lost Cause in 1866. The Southern Historical Society Papers, first issued in 1876, gave those outside of Virginia a forum for marking their place in the War of the Rebellion. The Confederate Veteran appeared in 1893 and a wedge between Virginians and other Confederates were again driven between Confederate veterans.

Kevin Levin, who offers the weblog Civil War Memory, develops these themes through a discussion of how the Battle of the Crater has been written and rewritten in the course of the 150 years since the end of the war. His essay is a case study of Civil War memory that, in the past decade, has been addressed by David Blight, Fritzhugh Bundage, David Goldfield, Carol Reardon and others have developed. Kevin Levin's weblog is located at http://civilwarmemory.typepad.com/civil_war_memory

Year-end 2007: Not all about us

Yesterday I spent the day in Washington, DC with a friend who I’d last seen when I stayed with her in Kinshasa in 2006. When I asked her what had been striking to her about coming back to the US after two years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she cited a few of the things that always stand out to me as well when I come home, like the national obsession with personal safety, a tendency to overreact to minor inconveniences as if they were breaches of fundamental rights, and – notably for this blog – an at times maudlin fixation on individual American deaths as tragedies while millions suffer and die elsewhere unnoted. In 2007, many of the entries in this blog have been devoted to taking note of the fact that it’s not all about us, including as just one example, Diane Amann’s periodic “…and counting…” post on all the deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts (not just the American deaths reported by the Department of Defense).
The Democratic Republic of Congo gets my vote as the most under-recognized “it’s not all about us” international crisis point (notwithstanding a much-appreciated series of New York Times articles in recent months). At least 3.8 million people have died since “Africa’s World War” began, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II. In spite of a formal peace agreement, resurgent fighting in eastern Congo continues to cost tens of thousands of lives each month, not to mention the many more refugees, internally displaced people, and women and girls suffering from crippling sexual assaults.
As 2007 comes to a close, who else has been forgotten on the world stage? Feel free to add your comments below…

On December 31, ...

... 1992 (15 years ago today), at midnight, a country that had been designated a "Soviet Socialist Republic" for decades ceased to exist. Succeeding Czechoslovakia were 2 independents states, Slovakia and the Czech Republic (flags at left).
... 2000, then-President Bill Clinton ordered the United States' signature added to the International Criminal Court treaty. The action was taken just hours before the signature period closed; Israel followed suit in this last window of time. Little more than a year later, the administration of new U.S. President George W. Bush repudiated the country's signature; again, Israel followed suit. I've written about these developments here and here.

CWL---Popular Sovereignty Among the Privates! The Texas Brigade Tosses Officers Out of Camp!

Popular Sovereignty In The Confederate Army: The Case of Colonel John Marshall and the Fourth Texas Infantry Regiment, Charles E. Brooks, in The View From the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, Sheehan-Dean, Aaron, editor, University of Kentucky Press, 2007, pp. 199-226.

Texans, like many soldiers South and North in 1861, voted for their regimental officers. Hood's Texas Brigade compiled an impressive record of driving Yankees and their own Richmond appointed officers off the field. Brooks cites several instances of Texas regiments dismissing their officers from their commands. 'Popular Sovereignty' a 1850s political sentiment that held that local voters should choose whether their territory or state would institute slavery, also applied to the selection of officers.

Colonels, lieutenant-colonels, captains, surgeons and chaplains served at the pleasure of the rank-and-file; those officers who were placed over them by the governor or central government had be be accepted by the troops or they would be dismissed by the privates, corporals, sergeants and captains. The 1st, 4th and 5th Texas infantry regiments and the 13th Texas cavalry regiment sought to dismiss officers by a variety of means. Written petitions, shaving the commander's horse's tail, cutting saddle parts, hooting and jeering, walking away from drill were used to show the rank-and-file's sentiment. One regiment went so far as to grab an officer, hoist him on to his saddled horse, lead it out of camp and then set it off at a gallop.

As volunteer regiments organized, soldiers held a distinct spirit of democratic sovereignty. A volunteer had right to pick officers and had a right to 'secede' and transfer out of one company or regiment and join another if they were unhappy is the current officer. Non-slaving holding enlisted men fought loyally in the slave-holders' war. In the movie Gettysburg the question is asked, "What are you Rebs fighting for?" The answer is "My rights (rats)." The fundamental issue of selecting local leaders were among the rights for which the CSA enlisted man was fight.

Above is a photo of the memorial to Texas Civil War soldiers that is located in Dallas, Texas.

Secure or surveilled?

Trade and human rights are once again at odds as US firms seek to provide surveillance equipment to China for the Beijing Olympics. Following the Tiananmen Square killings in 1989, Congress banned the export of “crime control or detection instruments or equipment” to China. In providing surveillance equipment designed to keep athletes as well as spectators safe from terrorist attacks during the Olympics, US companies may be violating the spirit, if not the letter of the law. The Commerce Department doesn’t agree: equipment that serves only law enforcement purposes, such as devices that detect fingerprints at crime scenes, are banned, but video systems that have broader uses, such as alarms, movement control devices or counting systems, are allowed. Companies like Honeywell, IBM and United Technologies are supplying not just cameras, but systems capable of analyzing and cataloging people and behavior. Once the Olympics are over, these systems will almost certainly be converted to use in China’s recently embraced program to render more than 600 cities “safe” through video surveillance. Cameras may be trained not only on criminals, but dissidents. As Steve Vickers, a former Hong Kong criminal intelligence officer said,
I don’t know of an intelligence-gathering operation in the world that, when given a new toy, doesn’t use it.

On December 30, ...

... 1964, in Resolution 199, the U.N. Security Council called upon states not to intervene in internal affairs of, and for a ceasefire in, Congo. It further encouraged the Organization of African Unity to press for reconciliation of the conflict. The vote was 10 in favor, with France abstaining.
... 1960, U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, was born in Keene, New Hampshire.
... 533, foundational works of law, the Digest and the Institutes, or Elements, of the Roman Law, came into effect. Complementing the the Code of Justinian, or Corpus Juris Civilis, the works were the result of a multiyear effort to codify the law of the Roman Empire.

Crimen Sine Lege

One of the most fundamental defenses to a criminal prosecution is that of nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege (“no crime without law, no punishment without law”), also known by the acronym NCSL. Notwithstanding that respect for NCSL is a hallmark of modern national legal systems and a recurrent refrain in the omnibus human rights instruments, many jurists have argued that international criminal law (ICL) has to date failed to fully implement this principle. Having just finished a casebook in the field with Ron Slye of University of Seattle School of Law, I have been exploring that question.
The absence of a rigorous manifestation of NCSL within ICL can be traced to the dawn of the field. In the post-WWII period, NCSL was at the heart of the defendants’ challenge to the legality of the near-identical Charters governing the international military tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo. The Allied representatives drafting the Charters could have easily relied solely on the well-established constellation of war crimes to prosecute the WWII defendants. Instead, they opted to innovate and assert jurisdiction over two additional crimes, not theretofore codified: crimes against the peace (the crime of aggression in today’s lexicon) and crimes against humanity. War crimes, while deserving of opprobrium, did not fully capture the Nazi atrocities, which radiated outward in acts of aggression and penetrated inward as persecutory pogroms against compatriots.
The judges of the Nuremberg Tribunal (above left), in reasoning that was to be later echoed by their brethren on the Tokyo Tribunal, rejected the defense with a troika of analytical claims:
► The first move qualified the very application of the maxim, which the Tribunal argued is “not a limitation on sovereignty, but is in general a principle of justice.” This implied, of course, that states could override the principle in the collective exercise of their executive, legislative, or judicial powers.
► Second, having assigned the defense to the more flexible realm of equity, the Tribunal concluded that prosecution was justified, because the defendants could not have reasonably thought their conduct was lawful and it would be unjust to exonerate malefactors:

To assert that it is unjust to punish those who in defiance of treaties and assurances have attacked neighboring states without warning is obviously untrue, for in such circumstances, the attacker must know that he is doing wrong, and so far from it being unjust to punish him, it would be unjust if his wrong were allowed to go unpunished.

► Third, the Tribunal ruled that the Charter was an “expression of international law existing at the time of its creation.” With the NCSL defense neutralized, the Tribunal rendered judgment on all counts in the Indictment.
Proving that there is nothing new under the sun, these arguments are repeated in the modern ICL jurisprudence. Where states have failed to enact comprehensive ICL, judicial institutions have engaged in a full-scale refashioning of ICL through jurisprudence addressed to their own jurisdiction, the elements of international crimes, and applicable forms of responsibility. Along the way, courts have updated and expanded historical treaties and customary prohibitions, upset arrangements carefully negotiated between states, rejected political compromises made by states during multilateral drafting conferences, and added content to vaguely worded provisions that were conceived more as retrospective condemnations of past horrors than as detailed codes for prospective penal enforcement. By reviewing these cases, it is possible to construct a taxonomy of analytical claims made by tribunals adjudicating international criminal law to evade or neutralize the defense of NCSL. These arguments turn on a complex interplay of immorality, illegality, and criminality and depend in large part on the multiplicitous sources of international law.
Collectively, these cases -- in which defendants have been made subject to new or expanded criminal law rules -- have the potential to raise acute concerns about the rights of criminal defendants before today’s international criminal tribunals. Nonetheless, the methodology developed by the European Court of Human Rights (right) to enforce the articulation of the NCSL principle in its constitutive document, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, suggests that the NCSL jurisprudence has not compromised the fundamental fairness of ICL. Indeed, defendants were on sufficient notice of the foreseeability of such jurisprudential innovations in light of:
► extant domestic penal law;
► universal moral values expressed in international human rights law;
► developments in international humanitarian law and the circumstances in which it has been invoked; and
other dramatic changes to the international order brought about in the post-World War II period.
I am exploring these ideas in a paper I posted here. I welcome your comments.

David Hicks goes home free

The only detainee ever convicted by a military commission at Guantánamo -- by guilty plea, not by trial -- is no longer in custody.
Australia let David Hicks out of prison yesterday, 7 months after he'd been transferred to serve out the balance of the 9-months' suspended sentence received at Gitmo.
Having agreed in his plea bargain not to speak to the media for another 4 months (prior posts here), on release Hicks, 32, said only, through his attorney:

I would like to recognise the huge debt of gratitude that I owe the Australian public for getting me home.
I will not forget, or let you down.

Zoe's Ark crew home, but not free

Half a world way from the Adelaide prison where David Hicks went free yesterday (see above), 6 French nationals arrived in Paris to serve sentences they'd received earlier in the week in Chad.
As we've posted, the 6 workers for L'Arche de Zoé (Zoe's Ark), and were arrested in October as they tried to leave Chad with 103 children who they claimed were Darfurian orphans destined for adoption in Europe. The children turned out, however, be Chadian non-orphans.
The 6 workers were convicted and sentenced to 8 years' hard labor. (A Sudanese and Chadian convicted of complicity remained in Chad.) The sentences of the 6 are expected to be "adjusted" in France, which also may open its own investigation into the incident.
As for the children, they remain in orphanages in Chad, and have yet to be reunited with their families.

On December 29, ...

... 1893, Vera Brittain was born at Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. When World War I broke out, she urged her brother and his best friend, with whom she'd fallen in love, to enlist. Even before both were killed in that conflict, Brittain began to turn away from war and toward pacifism. In 1993, she published her memoir of that time, Testament of Youth. She has been an inspiration to IntLawGrrl Elizabeth Hillman.
... 1972 (35 years ago today), a 5-year moratorium that had been placed on executions in Canada ended. In that period support for the death penalty seemed to have increased. By a narrow vote the country abolished capital punishment in 1976. The penalty continues in Canada's neighbor to the south, of course, although abolition by New Jersey just this month (the global consequences of which our Opinio Juris colleague Peggy McGuinness posted here and here) reduced the number of U.S. retentionist jurisdictions to 38 -- 37 states plus the federal government -- though compared with prior years there were fewer executions in 2007. A reporter's even envisioned what a United States without the death penalty would look like.

Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)

Posted just a few short months ago about an essay that Benazir Bhutto had published in Huffington Post. We posted yesterday on her assassination, at age 54, in Rawalpindi, the city where her father was executed in 1979. He too had been Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Efforts to try to process this news have recalled parts of her essay. She wrote:

Pakistan is truly at a turning point. Almost a decade of military dictatorship has devastated the basic infrastructure of democracy. Political parties have been assaulted, political leaders arrested, and the judicial system manipulated to force party leaders into exile. NGOs have been under constant attack, especially those that deal with human rights, democratic values and women's rights. ... And in the battle against terrorism, we look on with dismay as the government of Pakistan ceded sections of our nation that previously had been governed by the rule of law to Taliban sympathizers and to Al Qaeda ....

She wrote of

a growing sense of hopelessness of the people of Pakistan, and a total disillusionment with the political system's ability to address their daily problems.

She worried

that extremism has been making inroads against moderation amongst the Pakistani polity. I have always believed that the battle between extremism and moderation is the underlying battle for the very soul of Pakistan. Yet moderation can prevail against the extremists only if democracy flourishes and the social sector improves the quality of life of the people.

She wrote of relations with incumbent President Pervez Musharraf:

I had a choice. Engage in dialogue, or turn toward the streets. I knew that street protests against the Musharraf dictatorship could lead to the deaths of hundreds. I thought about the choice before me very carefully. I chose dialogue; I chose negotiation; I chose to find a common ground that would unite all the moderate elements of Pakistan for a peaceful transfer to a workable political system ....

She asked:

Are we making progress towards that goal? I still am unable to say.

She returned to her country, and persevered despite immediate violence, despite Musharraf's declaration of a state of emergency in which human rights lawyers were among those detained. Before returning, she recalled her father's fate:

When my democratically elected father, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested in 1977 and subsequently murdered, the mantle of leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party, our nation's largest, nationwide grassroots political structure, was suddenly thrust upon me. It was not the life I planned, but it is the life I have. My husband and children accept and understand that my political responsibilities to the people of Pakistan come first, as painful as that personally is to all of us.

She concluded:

I didn't choose this life. It chose me.

Not nearly enough said by this woman, who in 1988 had become "the first woman to lead a modern Muslim country."

On December 28, ...

... 1967 (40 years ago today), after "passionate debates," France's National Assembly approved a law authorizing the use of contraceptives, though it did not permit reimbursement for contraceptives by the government's social security agency. The new law, dubbed Loi Neuwirth after the Assembly member who proposed it, displaced a 1920 law that had banned all contraception. Abortion would remain illegal in France until 1975. Here and here are Le Monde's retrospectives on the law that it says made "2 children, 3 years apart" the French standard.
... 1694, England's Queen Mary II died from smallpox in London, where she'd been born 32 years earlier. Brought up as a Protestant notwithstanding her parents' conversion to Catholicism, at age 15 Mary (right) married her cousin, William of Orange, and lived with him in Holland. After William invaded England and deposed her father, she and her husband became co-rulers of England. The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was chartered by the couple in 1693.

Bhutto Assassinated

Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan and leading opponent of President Musharraf, was assassinated at a rally today. See our recent discussions of Bhutto here, here, here and here, explaining her return from exile and attempts by opponents to silence her. May she rest in peace.

On December 27, ...

... 1979, fighters aided by the troops from the Soviet Union deposed and executed Hafizullah Amin, President of Afghanistan. "The Afghan radio announced in a broadcast monitored here that Mr. Amin had been sentenced to death at a revolutionary trial for 'crimes against the state,'" according to the New York Times. The coup marked the beginning of Soviet involvement the Central Asian country that would last for a decade, ending in 1989 when "[t]he last Soviet soldier came home from Afghanistan ... leaving behind a war that had become a domestic burden and an international embarrassment for Moscow."
... 1985, a few weeks before she would have turned 54, the San Francisco-born woman who had devoted her life to the study and preservation of the mountain gorillas, Dr. Dian Fossey, was found dead from machete wounds in her cabin in Karisoke, Rwanda. The crime never was solved. A Fund continues the work of Fossey, pictured above with the gorilla she named Puck.

Climate Change and Interdisciplinarity

The New York Times reported today that climate change is such a big threat that academics are being forced to collaborate across disciplines. The starting point of the article, that “rarely do researchers cross disciplinary lines” seems fundamentally inaccurate. From the vantage point of international legal academia, I see so many people involved in interdisciplinary efforts, the vast majority of whom do not work on the problem of climate change. And, of course, interdisciplinary centers are not a particularly new phenomenon. In the 1920s and 1930s, many leading U.S. universities developed interdisciplinary centers focused on the social sciences, many of which included law. The New York Times article even includes a quote comparing the current centers to those focused on “ethics, innovation, or globalization” fifteen years ago.
Moreover, interdisciplinary work on the issue of climate change (and other environmental issues for that matter) is not a recent development. The IPCC has for many years brought together interdisciplinary work on climate change in its series of reports, and few would question that this problem requires serious collaborative work. From the science to the policymaking, climate change involves multiple scales--from the individual to the global—and a vast array of vexing intellectual quandaries. As the just-concluded dialogue in Bali reflected, meaningful conversations about emissions and impacts require a fluency in science, social science, and law/politics that it’s difficult for people to individually attain.
And yet the article has a point that there’s clearly something unusual happening around the issue of climate change right now which is reinforcing interdisciplinarity. I often marvel at the sudden explosion of new public, private, and academic attention. Only two years ago, I had someone question the relevance of studying climate change litigation during a faculty workshop. It was hard to imagine Al Gore and the IPCC collaborators winning a Nobel Peace Prize, not to mention the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. As universities establish sustainability institutes and leading law schools expand their environmental faculties, my hope is that this energy translates into the innovative solutions and political will that climate change and many other challenging multiscalar environmental problems demand.

"Women, Peace, Security"

Check out this ASIL Insight on the recent U.N. open debate on issues close to IntLawGrrls' hearts, "Women, Peace, and Security."
The occasion for the debate was the 7th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 on that subject, Harvard Law Lecturer Cora True-Frost (left) writes. Adopted unanimously in October 2000, the resolution
recognizes women's role in preventing and resolving conflict, and calls for the equal participation and full involvement of women in efforts to maintain and promote peace and security.

Among the resolution's good effects:

► [T]he Council’s situation-specific resolutions increasingly address issues relating to women’s involvement in conflict and peace operations.
► [S]ome UN Member States have developed national action plans to monitor implementation ... including by tying aid delivery to the goals of 1325.

As might be expected, though, implementation has not been 100%. True-Frost suggests that "new 'soft law' norms regarding women in armed conflict may be developing," but that that development's "likely to remain controversial."

On December 26, ...

... 2007 (today), is celebrated the 1st day of Kwanzaa, which lasts through January 1. Founded in 1966 by California-based Professor Maulana Karenga, it's an "African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture"; "its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name." This year's theme: "Creating a Shared Good in the World."
... 1996, 90 days after receipt of the 50th ratification, the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification entered into force. From its home in Bonn, Germany, the Convention Secretariat works "with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies and conventions," such as the "Framework Convention on Climate Change," as well as "the Convention on Biological Diversity," to fight "the problem of land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas."

Other Voices---Slaves, Runaways, And Freedmen: Two Men Tell Their Stories

Freedom Just Ahead: The War Within the Civil War , a review of A Slave No More, review by William Grimes , New York Times, December 5, 2007.

A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation David W. Blight, Harcourt Press, illustrated, index, $25.00.

The chaos of Civil War meant only one thing to America’s four million slaves: hope. With armies on the march, and the old social order crumbling, men like John Washington and Wallace Turnage seized the moment and made a break for freedom, issuing their own emancipation proclamations before the fact. They were “quiet heroes of a war within the war to destroy slavery,” as David W. Blight puts it in A Slave No More. Both Washington and Turnage, near contemporaries, wrote vivid accounts of their lives as slaves and the bold bids for freedom that took them across Confederate lines and into the waiting arms of Union soldiers. Recently discovered, both texts have been reproduced by Mr. Blight as written, with misspellings and grammatical errors intact.

Mr. Blight, a professor of American history at Yale and the author of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,” has also provided an extended preface that provides historical context, fills in biographical gaps and extends the life stories of both men past the Civil War, when their manuscripts break off abruptly, to their deaths in the early 20th century. Two remarkable lives, previously lost, emerge with startling clarity, largely through the words of the principal actors themselves. Washington, born in 1838, grew up in Fredericksburg, Va., and stayed there, in servitude to the widow of his master, after being separated from his mother and four younger siblings at 12. Unlike Turnage, who labored on an Alabama plantation and suffered constant whippings, Washington lived a town life, running errands or enduring hours of enforced idleness and staring longingly out the window.

In 1861 he was hired out to a tobacco factory in Richmond and got his first glimpse of Confederate troops, so many, he wrote, “that it appeard to be an impossiability, to us, colored people, that they could ever be conquord.” Soon, though, he began hearing of slaves making their way to the Union lines and freedom. Once back in Fredericksburg, where he worked as a hotel steward and barkeep, he decided to join their number. Washington’s narrative captures both turmoil and nervous excitement as Union forces closed in on Fredericksburg, bayonets glinting across the Rappahannock River, their movements eagerly watched by black residents. Washington, in a characteristically sardonic aside, notes: “No one could be seen on the street but the colored people. and every one of them seemed to be in the best of humors.”

In the confusion Washington escaped to the Union lines. “I told them I was most happy to see them all that I had been looking for them for a long time,” he writes. When a Union soldier asks if he wants to be free, Washington answers simply, “by all means.” In Alabama, Turnage met his oppressors with open defiance. He fought with bullwhip-wielding overseers, suffered repeated whippings and beatings and lit out for freedom repeatedly. Running for miles across creeks and through fields, cleverly talking his way out of tight spots and, more than once, fighting off enraged dogs, Turnage, a mere teenager, evaded pursuers for weeks at a time, enduring extreme deprivation.

"I went as long as four days without anything to eat but one hickery nut that the squirrels did not get,” he writes of one escapade. Among other things, Turnage’s testimony sheds light on the support network among slaves, nearly all more than willing to feed or conceal a runaway, or provide information on how to evade capture on the road ahead. “They gloried in my spunk,” Turnage writes of a group of slaves who hid him at one plantation. His final flight, from Mobile to the Union ships anchored offshore, caps his thrilling tale. After nonchalantly walking straight through a Confederate camp and wading barefoot through snake-infested swamps, he reaches an impasse, with Confederate pickets behind him and a broad expanse of water ahead of him.

“It was death to go back and it was death to stay there and freedom was before me,” he writes. He pressed forward and, by luck, found a rickety little boat on the shore. I now dreaded the gun, and handcuffs and pistols no more,” he writes of his moment of deliverance, when Yankee sailors plucked him from Mobile Bay. “Nor the blewing of horns and the running of hounds; nor the threats of death from the rebel’s authority. I could now speak my opinion to men of all grades and colors, and no one to question my right to speak.” Washington made his way to Washington, where he and his wife, whom he took from Fredericksburg, rose to middle-class prosperity. He died in 1918. Turnage worked, at various times, as a janitor, sign painter, watchman and glass blower in New York. Eventually he moved to Jersey City, where he died in 1916.
By that time, slavery and the war were distant memories. In their all-too-brief narratives, Washington and Turnage, as Mr. Blight notes, offer a precious commodity: “unfiltered access to the process and the moment of emancipation."

'Nuff said

On December 25, ...

... 2007 (today), many in the world, including this IntLawGrrl, celebrate Christmas. 'Nuff said.

Accountability - perhaps. Deterrence - no.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court chose as his first case to bring charges against Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader, for the war crime of recruiting and using child soldiers. These charges were intended to demonstrate the seriousness of this crime and to deter others from continuing the practice – the Rome Statute commits the court to prosecute the perpetrators of international crimes in order to “contribute to the prevention of such crimes.” But the Lubanga trial is not the most salient fact on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Even as the prosecution moves forward (the trial is currently scheduled to begin on March 31, 2008), the British charity Save the Children reported that since the DRC government began a new military offensive, Congolese militias have been kidnapping increasing numbers of children and forcing them “to fight, carry ammunition, or become their sex slaves.” In light of the exigencies of combat situations, should supporters of the ICC even hope for its prosecutions to have any deterrent effect? And when abuses are so widespread, can the prosecution of a single militia leader have any impact on the public perception of impunity? At least in the short term, it seems that the most the ICC can hope for is individual accountability for Thomas Lubanga alone.

On December 24, ...

... 1914, in Europe, troops took a pause from the global conflict launched a couple months earlier to declare what's now known as the "Christmas Truce." This pause from the bloodshed of World War I has become the stuff of myth and film, among them Joyeux Noël. Though on many battlefields the truce was in fact less than complete, one commentator writes:
In the public's mind the facts have become irrevocably mythologized, and perhaps this is the most important legacy of the Christmas Truce today. In our age of uncertainty, it comforting to believe, regardless of the real reasoning and motives, that soldiers and officers told to hate, loathe and kill, could still lower their guns and extend the hand of goodwill, peace, love and Christmas cheer.

... 1943, Tarja Halonen (left), President of the Republic of Finland since 2000, and its Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995-2000, was born in Helsinki. In naming her the world's 50th most powerful woman this year, Forbes pointed to her support in drafting a new European treaty, and added that she
backs policies that focus on human rights and 'international solidarity.' She also opposes Nato membership and has called herself a 'relative pacifist,' where she is against disarmament but is still for a strong military.
Though Halonen was the 1st woman to lead her country or its foreign affairs department, there's been a sea change there, according to Forbes:
In April, Finland appointed the world's most female-dominated cabinet; 60%, or 12 of the 20 ministers, are women.

Other Voices--- Uncle Sam Santa Visits Gettysburg NMP

Congress Just Keeps Throwing Money At Park Service, Scot Pitzer, Gettysburg Times Staff Writer, December 23, 2008.

Congress intends to give another $3.8 million to Gettysburg National Military Park to finish the Cyclorama painting restoration — even though National Park Service leaders testified before federal legislators that no taxpayer money would be needed to fund the project. The painting restoration is part of a comprehensive $125 million effort undertaken by the park and its non profit partner, the Gettysburg Foundation, to build a new Civil War museum and visitor center along the Baltimore Pike, demolish the antiquated facilities currently positioned near the Taneytown Road, and restore that area to its 1863 Battle of Gettysburg appearance.

“Thanks to the generosity and entrepreneurial spirit of private sector partners, the National Park Service can accomplish this (project) at no cost to the taxpayers,” former NPS Deputy Director Denis Galvin testified before Congress in a Feb. 1999 hearing. The total federal spending on the restoration of artist Paul Philippoteaux’s painting of Pickett’s Charge, with the additional $3.8 million, now stands at $15.7 million. “Galvin testified under oath that they did not need, and wouldn’t accept, taxpayer funds,” said Franklin Silbey, a private consultant and historic preservationist.

“Here you have a total of $16 million in public money that is being spent, or has been spent, for this picture restoration. Has there ever been an audit on how this money has been spent?” Investigators from the Government Accountability Office visited the Gettysburg Battlefield earlier this month to see if fund-raising efforts by the Gettysburg Foundation are compliant with government standards, but the agency’s findings won’t be made public for several months.

“Maybe there is finally some oversight to this project, because it’s long overdue,” said Steinwehr Avenue business owner Eric Uberman. The House Appropriations Committee and U.S. Rep. John Murtha, R-Pa., of Johnstown, were behind Congress’ $3.8 million allocation. Murtha was recently given a tour of the battlefield by park and Gettysburg Foundation officials.

“He wanted to know how much more money was needed to finish the Cyclorama painting restoration. The Gettysburg Foundation told him $3.8 million,” GNMP spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said regarding the 1884 artwork. “Congressman Murtha has been a longstanding supporter of the project.” When GNMP and what was then the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation united several years ago, the alliance was branded as an ideal private-public partnership, with NPS leaders claiming that they could accomplish the project fundraising goal — then an estimated $40 million — without acquiring state or federal funds. Project officials maintain that they’ve never asked for the tax monies.

“We want to make it clear that Congress has made these decisions,” Gettysburg Foundation spokeswoman Dru Anne Neil said. The Gettysburg Foundation has collected more than $30 million in taxpayer dollars to cover project costs. In addition to the Congressional money, state coffers have pledged about $20 million to fund the Baltimore Pike visitor center and museum construction. “It’s all been their choice,” Neil explained. “We’ve never asked for the money.”

During the Congressional hearings in 1999, when federal legislators contemplated whether to back the Gettysburg project, lawmakers were skeptical of the park’s claim that all of the funds could be raised without acquiring public monies. “I always hear these pie in the sky ideas of a park… then what happens is they turn around and ask us for (the money),” Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands Chairman James Hansen told Galvin. “Now give me a straight answer. Do you really think you can raise this money?”

At the time, the estimate for the facility and the acquisition of the land was $40.4 million. Park officials thought $22 million could be raised through grants and nonprofit fundraising, and the remaining costs would be covered by a non-recourse commercial loan. “Yes,” Galvin replied to Hansen’s inquiry. “And it seems to me if we can protect Gettysburg National Military Park without spending taxpayer dollars, that means $40 million is going to go someplace (else) in the system and do some good… and I don’t see frankly why we wouldn’t pursue it.”

According to recent press announcements, the Gettysburg Foundation has now raised more than $95 million, with one-third of that total being public monies, and a portion of that sum being loans. The Gettysburg Foundation plans to use the $3.8 million to install and hang the artwork’s 27 individual panels within the new gallery, fabricate related exhibits, and install exhibit lighting. Slightly more than $11 million has already been spent to doctor the 377-foot long, 27-foot high painting. Originally, the project was budgeted to cost $1 million.

“This project is the first of its kind ever undertaken in North America,” Neil said. “No one really knew exactly what it would cost.” For years, the painting hung within the present-day Cyclorama building, erected in 1962 along the Taneytown Road beside the current park visitor center. But both facilities have become antiquated — the visitor center building was built in 1921 and was actually a private dwelling — and fires, floods and roof leaks have damaged the once tear-inducing painting. Complicating matters is another key factor: the visitor facility is sized to accommodate 450,000 people a year, but handles about 1.5 million tourists annually.

When the new 139,000 square-foot visitor center opens in April, and the adjoining Cyclorama building opens in the fall, the park plans to raze the current facilities. But the demolition probably won’t occur until 2009-2010. The land was the scene of the high water mark struggle between the Union and Confederate armies on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

“It’s a ground-breaking project. It’s never been done before,” Lawhon said regarding the $125 million price-tag. “The whole scale has gone up and the costs have gone up as well.” The $3.8 million being given by Congress, Gettysburg Foundation officials assert, are the last funds needed to pay for the artwork project. The allocation is marked on the federal spending plan in a specific fashion: “complete Cyclorama restoration.”

“Every year, committees come up here to visit and see where we are on the project,” Neil said regarding the construction effort that began 24 months ago. “They asked us what we needed, and that ($3.8 million) was the number we gave them.”
Source: Contact Scot Pitzer at 334-1131, ext. 247 or spitzer@gburgtimes.com.<

Nepalese news break

A petition filed by the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s primary gay rights association, resulted Friday in the Supreme Court ordering the government to guarantee the equal rights of gay and transgendered people. The government apparently has a certain degree of latitude in interpreting the ruling, but theoretically, transgendered people should now be able to identify themselves as members of a “third sex” on job applications or ID cards, for example. It’s unclear whether the Court’s ruling will result in the decriminalization of homosexuality or in recognition of same-sex marriages, but in conservative Nepal, an important step has been taken.

On December 23, ...

... 1867 (140 years ago today) , Sarah Breedlove was born to former slaves still living on a plantation in Delta, Louisiana. Orphaned at age 7, she worked cotton fields with her older sister and married at age 14; by age 20 she was a widow with 1 small daughter. A scalp ailment led her to hair products made by Annie Malone, for whom she became a sales agent in 1905. After marrying a St. Louis newspaperman, Charles Joseph Walker, and renaming herself "Madam C.J. Walker," she used $1.25 in capital to launch what would become a cosmetics megabusiness, based in Indianapolis. Walker was, as her New York Times obituary noted, a philanthropist:

She said herself two years ago that she was not yet a millionaire, but hoped to be some time, not that she wanted the money for herself, but for the good she could do with it. She spent $10,000 every year for the education of young negro men and women in Southern colleges and sent six youths to Tuskegee Institute every year. She recently gave $5,000 to the National Conference on Lynching.

... 1982 (25 years ago today), the United States' Centers for Disease Control recommended that all the 2,000 residents of Times Beach, near St. Louis, leave their homes on account of dioxin contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency had just confirmed the problem, attributed to the city's spraying 10 years earlier of waste oil, which unbeknownst to anyone contained the killer chemical, onto unpaved roads. The U.S. government ended up purchasing the land, cleaning it at a cost of $200 million, and opening it in 1997 as a state park.


That's "Iowa-minus-12" days, for anyone who's not yet been following the U.S.
presidential election cycle closely.
Very soon, on January 3, 2008, Iowans will kick off the New Year by caucusing to choose their top candidate in each of the 2 main political parties. A handful of states will follow up with primaries the same month, as detailed in this calendar. Then comes so-called Super-Tuesday, February 5, when the following states hold primaries or caucuses: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. It's likely that the nominations well may be sewn up on that date, even though the national conventions at which nominees formally are chosen won't take place till summer 2008.
Seems high time, then, to highlight some election resources.
The American Society of International Law has compiled the candidates' views on international law and foreign policy. Included are responses to candidate surveys (kudos to the 4 Democratic candidates who took time to respond (no Republican did so)) and, from ASIL officers and Executive Council members, thoughts on U.S. restoration of global status (note that more than half the "ASIL Leaders" respondents are women).
Keep an eye out at ImmigrationProf blog, which has started to post on immigrant roots of various candidates (2 posts already, here, here, here, and here; more to come).
Opinio Juris wants to hear from academics who've been giving IntLaw advice this cycle. (We IntLawGrrls would, too.)
And here at IntLawGrrls, we've posted a number of times on various candidates:
We've posted on 'em all: Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, and Bill Richardson.
We've posted on Rudoph W. Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney. (Not a word in IntLawGrrls, till today, on Alan Keyes or Fred Thompson.)

On December 22, ...

... 2007 (today), at 1:08 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, begins the Northern Hemisphere's Winter Solstice. At dawn, light seeps into a specially made, 5,000-year-old chamber at Newgrange, Ireland. For 14 minutes the shaft of light illuminates stone carvings like that at left. Then it disappears for another year.
... 1812 (195 years ago today), at age 25, the Native American woman who guided Lewis & Clark through the American West, Sacagawea, died after giving birth to her 2d child at at Fort Manuel, fur-trading post in what is now South Dakota. With her was Toussaint Charbonneau, the French-Canadian soldier to whom she was sold as a slave, at about age 12, and claimed as wife. Selling her was a band of Indians who had kidnapped her from her people, the Shoshones. She is inspiration to IntLawGrrls' Kristine A. Huskey.

Schengen Expands Eastwards

The big news in Europe today is that the European Union has expanded its passport-free "Schengen zone" to include nine countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia. The Schengen acquis takes two steps to increase mobility within the European Union: it removes internal border checks between member states and "harmonizes" entry conditions for individuals crossing borders with non-member states. After today, all individuals travelling between these countries will no longer face immigration and customs controls and land and sea borders (with air border controls to follow in 3/08), and a Schengen visa will allow entry into nine additional countries. The agreement also includes the nine newbies in the Schengen Information System, a shared security and law enforcement information database accessible to law enforcement and judicial authorities of member states. Austria and Slovakia launched the Schengen expansion ceremonies yesterday by cutting down a frontier barrier between their two countries. Their festivities mark an enormous step -- the fifteen current Schengen participants of Western Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden) are bringing over half as many former Eastern-bloc countries into the fold. Opposition to the expansion has come from all fronts -- a recent poll found that 75% of Austrians were opposed to the lifting of barriers, concerned about an increase in crime. The Slovaks, of course, think that criminals will enter their country from Austria, and the Poles worry about increased illegal immigration. And German border police demonstrated against the border opening due to concerns that "the Eastern European states did not have the same security standards as Germany and had problems with corruption, equipment and police cooperation." Moreover, higher external borders may increase friction with neighboring states and force immigrants from elsewhere into unsafe migration routes. On the positive side, analysts argue that increased labor mobility should help to address unemployment in former communist countries and labor shortages in Western Europe. Not only is this a huge step for international migration law, but it presents an interesting test of the EU's ability to harmonize standards while expanding into countries with less robust infrastructure (will the rising tide lift all boats or will it be a race to the bottom?) and about the EU's authority to govern from the top down (will the expansion lead to greater unity or will it result in planned future expansion going the way of the EU constitution?).

On December 21, ...

... 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 crashed in Lockerbie, in southern Scotland. The death toll was 270, including persons aboard the flight and 11 on the ground. Decades later 2 Libyan nationals were put on trial before Scottish judges sitting specially in a courtroom at a former military base in the Netherlands; one was acquitted, the other convicted.
... 1937 (70 years ago today), movie icons like Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, John Barrymore, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard converged at Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles for world premiere of Walt Disney Co.'s 1st-ever feature-length animated film, "Snow White." Disney recounts:
[C]hildren were paying a dime to get into the theaters in 1937, and the film, of course, had great appeal to that age group. The original worldwide gross was $8.5 million, a figure that would translate into several hundreds of millions of dollars today. In England, the film was deemed too scary for children, and those under 16 had to be accompanied by a parent.

... 1947 (60 years ago today), U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.) was born in San Mateo, California.

(Sort Of) Off Topic Novel--- Something From Down Under

Damnation Falls, Edward Wright, Orion Press, 320 pp., U.S. hardcover $24.95, Australian paperback $20.20

Damnation Falls, Sue Turnbull, reviewer, Sydney (Australia) Chronicle, December 21, 2007.

It begins with a button and a prophecy. Tramping the Tennessee backwoods with his dad, Randall Wilkes turns up an American Civil War relic. His historian father, typically withholding and impassive in the face of his young son's enthusiasm, comes over all doom-laden about the potential significance of the find. "Whatever's here," he intones with patriarchal pomposity, "one day the earth will give up."

Fast forward a few decades and the earth is giving up a whole closet full of skeletons with which Randall has to deal, as does his now aged father who has since won a Pulitzer Prize for his Civil War histories. Much is at stake chez Wilkes and the truth will out, whatever the consequences.

Edward Wright, author of Damnation Falls, already has a swag of real-life awards over the shoulder. His first three crime novels - set in 1940s Los Angeles and featuring B-movie western alumnus John Ray Horn and his native American sidekick, Joseph Mad Crow - have garnered in sequence the British Crime Writers' Association Debut Award, a Shamus Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the British association's Ellis Peters Historical Award. If you missed them, it may be time for a rewind.

Meanwhile, clearly not overawed by past success, Wright has stepped out of series with Damnation Falls, a stand-alone crime novel that dramatises American history by means of contemporary small-town relationships depicted with the kind of hothouse intensity writers from the American south seem manifestly destined to portray but with rather more restraint. Wright is a much less flamboyant and more subtle prose stylist than James Lee Burke, for instance.

Like Wright himself, the character of Randall Wilkes is a former newspaper man but one whose departure from the newsfront is precipitated by an ill-judged substitution of fiction for fact while working on a Chicago newspaper. Disgraced and out of a job, Randall returns to Nashville at his old friend Sonny's behest to embark on what he suspects is a piece of puffery, Sonny's memoirs. Given that Sonny is a former governor of Tennessee, what Randall wants to know is whether this will be a "summing-up kind of book or a curtain-raising kind of book".

Whatever Sonny's original intention, the invitation initiates both a kind of curtain raising and a kind of reckoning, with Wright setting things up carefully from the start, so that what unfolds as Wilkes sets about his task of memorialising Sonny is both shocking and inevitable. There are some nice narrative symmetries.

And an intriguing footnote: Wright was born in the same Arkansas town of Hot Springs as erstwhile American president Bill Clinton. Comparisons may be odorous (as Mrs Malaprop once said) but Sonny McMahan, the fictional former governor of Tennessee, is a man so charismatic that when he walks into a Nashville restaurant all the diners turn to watch his progress, "lifting their faces as if towards the sun". Further allusions to Clinton's Arkansas days and the Whitewater property scandal are never spelled out but lurk suggestively in the background as McMahan is revealed to be up to his clean-cut jaw in something not entirely kosher.

The action converges on the fictional small town of Pilgrim's Rest, established on the Cumberland plateau during the 19th century by a breakaway religious sect on a water source they christened Redemption Spring, just above the eponymous Damnation Falls. Wright draws attention to the religious foundations of America's political present, as well as the bitterness wrought by civil war. It's paradise well and truly lost.

Pilgrim's Rest is where Randall and McMahan began their friendship, united in the adolescent crime of pot-shotting at a neighbour's cats with their Daisy Red Ryder BB guns (some kind of American rite of passage, predictably involving firearms). And Pilgrim's Rest is the place to which they return as the victims of the past begin to emerge, forcing Randall, Sonny and the whole community finally to come to terms with the legacy of that darn button. Complex, layered but never laboured, Damnation Falls weaves between fact and fiction, the past and the present, truth and lies, without ever missing a beat. Nice work.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/12/21/1198175290385.html

CWL---From Amazon.com it appears that the U.S. release date for the hardcover is August 5, 2008. What is for sale at Amazon.com is the Australian hardcover and tradepaper editions. The top illustration is of the U.S. harcover. The bottom illustration is of the Australian trade paperback.

The Australian hardcover retails for $35 but available from AmazonZshops for $17.
The Australian trade paper retails for $20 but is available from Amazon.com for $16.
The U.S. hardcover will retail for $24.95 and Amazon is offering it for $16.50.

Check the Amazon.com site:

CWL---A Short History of Jackson Studies Plus Five Essays

Whatever You Resolve To Be: Essays on Stonewall Jackson, A. Wilson Greene, University of Tennessee Press, 2005, 186pp., b/w illustrations, maps, index, paperback, $19.95.

I have the luxury of ordering inter-library loans and having them delivered to my desk. I frequently request a new book and read a few chapters before I order it for myself. Having encountered A. Wilson Greene's recent history of Civil War era Petersburg, Virginia and appreciating it, I requested an inter-library loan of Whatever You Resolve To Be. I read Robertson's biography of Stonewall Jackson when it came out in 1997 and decided I had covered Jackson thoroughly. I thought I would spend two hours on Greene's 2005 update of his 1991 work and send it back the same week I received it. Upon reading the Preface to the 2005 edition, I ordered a copy from AmazonZshops; it was $10.61 and that included $3.99 for shipping.

What convinced me to own the book was the preface to the 2005 edition; the 36 page review of Jackson studies from 1991 to 2005 is clear, concise and complete. Robertson's 1997 biography took its place at the center of Jackson studies. The understanding of Jackson which the public held from 1991 through 1996 is brief and illustrated by the author's effort to rename the Jackson Shrine, where 'The Arm' is buried to the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. The change was necessary in order to inform Andrew Jackson, Reggie Jackson, and Michael Jackson fans to keep moving on.

Robertson's conclusions regarding Jackson, Ron Maxwell's interpretations of them in Gods and Generals and those writers whose biographies found 'different Jackson's' are presented in an intriguing fashion by Greene. In a nutshell, much of Maxwell's Jackson behavior is plausible, if undocumented according to Robertson. Relying on his own understanding of Jackson, Greene sees Maxwell's Jackson as acting politically correct towards blacks but not necessarily historically accurate in 1862. Although, 'a more accurate Jackson emerged when Maxwell took his story to Moss Neck in the winter of 1863.' The films depiction of the May 1863 death are historically accurate. (xxxvi-xxxviii)

Other Jackson scholars produced efforts since the appearance of the Robertson biography. Byron Farwell's interpretation of Jackson 'judged Jackson more harshly that did his predecessors and his interpretations conflict with Vandiver, Henderson and Chambers pre-1960 and Centennial era biographies. Like Farwell, Paul Casdorph takes the biographies of that era to task for imagining from primary sources instead of letting the sources speak. Of course, some of those primary sources do romanticize Jackson. So, what is an historian to do with a host of mishandled primary sources that have thoroughly entered the popular culture in the course of 140 years?

Hot topics in Jackson studies in the last decade have been the Jackson-Lee relationship. In the past 20 years, Lee has had his detractors and their writings have fed the interpretation of Jackson. Some writers see Jackson as the stronger partner in the relationship. Also, the Lost Cause school of interpretation has handled primary sources in such a way that may have tilted the interpretation of the partnership in favor of Lee. Greene looks to Peter Carmichael's work as addressing the issue of Gettysburg without Jackson and the writings of Henry Kyd Douglas, staff officier of the Army of Norhern Virginia. Ethan Rafuse's work on First Manassas receives high marks for putting the battle within the context of the 1861 mentality of the generals. The major works on the 1862 Valley Campaign are reviewed with the work of Saurer, Tanner, Ecelbarger and Krick being favorably appreciated. Sears and Burton on the Peninsula Campaign, Krick on Cedar Mountain, Hennessey on Second Manassas. The Battle of Chantilly/Ox Hill received two studies, both of which are well researched and written notes Greene. Contested terrain, the Sharpsburg Campaign, is covered by Sears, Harsh and Hearn; each contributes different understandings of Jackson's efforts in the campaign.

Recently, two landmark studies of Fredericksburg have appeared; Rable and O'Reilly has offered thorough and complete works on the battle. Rable has developed Fredericksburg in the context of fall and winter of 1862 and O'Reilly was developed Fredericksburg in the context of boots-on-the-ground. On Chancellorsville, Sears and Furgurson offered two books; Sears finds luck playing a huge part in CSA success and Furgurson sees the Lee-Jackson relationship at its height.

Conflicting studies address Tom Jackson and his health issues; the mid-19th century context of health is reviewed and the stereotype of Jackson the hypochondriac is rejected. Jackson's education, his maxims, and his teaching style are reviewed in separate scholarly articles. All of these works prompted Greene to review with five essays, written in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He sets forth 12 pages of agreements and disagreements with the literature he reviews in his 2005 preface.
It was on the strength of this 2005 preface/essay that I purchased the book. In particular I am looking forward to the Fredericksburg essay in which he addresses the breakthrough of Meade's Division of Jackson's lines on December 13th.

In Argentina, at least, justice

"Looks like justice has arrived in Argentina, at least."
This was my mother's response to articles yesterday, by the Associated Press and Página/12, reporting that an Argentine court had convicted 7 former military officers and one ex-police official of crimes against humanity for acts of kidnapping, torture, and disappearances committed during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military regime. The men were sentenced to 20-25 years in prison.
Not sure if she meant it that way, but I took the “at least” as a reference to my own quixotic quest for accountability in the United States of today. The comparison may seem severe to some – but probably not to many Latin Americans. Having been born under that dictatorship and raised hearing stories of torture, disappearances, habeas suspension, surveillance, secret trials of subversives, and (of course) amnesty laws, I have never found the association so far-fetched. (For a more developed comparison between 1970s Argentina and today’s US, see Charles H. Brower II, Nunca Más or Déjà Vu?, 47 Virginia Journal of International Law 525 (2007).)
So maybe this is a preview of the justice that we, too, might see 30 years from now – but only if we lay the groundwork now. As is always the case, we will have no transition because (haven’t you heard?) we are already a democracy. We will get no truth commission because those are reserved for the brown people south of the equator, not civilized societies like ours. Instead, we get Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, soon, maybe, Hillary Clinton – or, if we’re “really” lucky, Barack Obama. And life will go on as it used to in the Bill Clinton years, easy to ignore the torture neatly tucked away under the rug. Mainstream Democrats play nice and ignore the crimes they now reserve the power to commit, clumsily trying (and failing) to win political points by pursuing petty misdemeanors instead. (Proof of their pusillanimity's here, here, here, and here.)
As advocates, we fight the legal battles and sweat hard for the New York Times coverage. These are important, but not nearly enough. Without protest, without emotion, without people, we get nowhere. The Argentine courts did not wake up one day and realize that amnesty was unconstitutional. It took politics to change the courts, and it took people to change politics. In Argentina, a generation of angry youth took to the streets, organized communities, and raised a collective voice to shame the torturers when the law fell silent. Those youths played a small but tangible part to wake the country from its stupor.
To translate, roughly, Pascual Guerrieri, the words of one of the convicted officers:

' I reject the term repressor. We were soldiers paid by the people, those who stand behind me and around me. We went out there to restore order. We do not look like murderers. We look like soldiers who fulfilled their duty.'

I’m eerily reminded of John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent whom the Times described as a "43-year-old father of four," and of all those nice-looking torturing CIA agents and lawyers whose reputations and careers Professor Jack Goldsmith, in the same article, mourns in advance.

The choice is yours, mine, all of ours: Will we be agents of change? Or the ones whom the torturer thinks he serves?

(See below for details on today's guest blogger, Deborah Popowski.)

Bloggers Team