SLAUGHTER ON THE AMERICAN IDEA. Former Prospect intern Asheesh Siddique's review of The Idea That Is America by Anne-Marie Slaughter over at Campus Progress is worth a look. He captures the essence of the book here:

Most important for Slaughter, by engaging in the torture of "enemy combatants" suspected of association with Al Qaeda at the Guantanamo military base, the Bush administration has not merely reneged upon America's commitment to the Geneva Conventions but also abandoned the fundamentally American principal of "liberty and justice for all." [Slaughter's emphasis.] She passionately argues that the president's "sweeping claims of absolute power," especially to deny detained terrorists fair trials in court and to violently interrogate them, undermines our ability to fight terrorism by producing bad intelligence, alienating our allies, and mocking our values.

His review isn't all glowing, faulting Slaughter's penchant for using idealized rhetoric of bipartisan and pan-ideological unity. He's not entirely sold on her glossy language (David Reiff offers some far more combative critiques in this vein at TPMCafe), but from what Siddique says, the book could be worth a read.

--Kay Steiger

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