Mass Atrocity, Ordinary Evil, and Hannah Arendt: Criminal Consciousness in Argentina's Dirty War
Is it possible that the soldiers of mass atrocities--Adolph Eichmann in Nazi Germany and Alfredo Astiz in Argentina’s Dirty War, for example--act under conditions that prevent them from recognizing their crimes? In the aftermath of catastrophic, state-sponsored mass murder, how are criminal courts to respond to those who either gave or carried out the military orders that seem unequivocally criminal?
This important book addresses Hannah Arendt’s controversial argument that perpetrators of mass crimes are completely unaware of their wrongdoing, and therefore existing criminal laws do not adequately address these defendants. Mark Osiel applies Arendt’s ideas about the kind of people who implement bureaucratized large-scale atrocities to Argentina’s Dirty War of the 1970s, and he also delves into the social conditions that could elicit such reprehensible conduct. He focuses on Argentine navy captain Astiz, who led one of the most notorious abduction squads, to discover how he and other junior officers could justify the murders of more than ten thousand suspected "subversives.”
Osiel concludes that legal stipulations labeling certain deeds as manifestly illegal are indefensible. He calls for a significant change in the laws of war to preserve both justice and the possibility of dialogue between factions in such sharply divided societies as Argentina. Osiel’s proposals have profound implications for future prosecutions of Pinochet’s lieutenants, Milosevic’s henchmen, the willing executioners of Rwanda and East Timor, and other perpetrators of state-endorsed murder and torture.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
acts administrative massacre Alfonsín Alfredo Astiz Argentina’s Dirty Argentine ofﬁcers argument authoritarian authority Buenos Aires Carapintada Carlos Catholic character Children of Cain Church civilian claim committed conception conclusion conduct conﬂict conventional courts crimes criminal law cultural David Luban defendant’s defendants deﬁned difﬁcult Dirty War dirty warriors doctrine Dossier Secreto duty excuse fact ﬁnd ﬁrst Genta guerrillas Guillermo O'Donnell Hannah Arendt Hence Horacio human rights Ibid inﬂuence Jacobo Timerman Jorge Videla judges junior ofﬁcers junta members juntas Justice justiﬁed law’s legal positivism liability liberal Malamud-Goti manifest illegality manifestly mass atrocity mass murder mental military rule mistake Montoneros moral motives Nazi Nazism Nino normal Obeying Orders ofﬁcer corps ofﬁcers ofﬁcial one’s Origins of Totalitarianism Osiel particular perpetrators person policies political positive law prosecution quoted reasonable reﬂect regimes repressive require responsibility Rosenberg signiﬁcant social society soldiers speciﬁc subordinates subversion superior orders theory tion torture totalitarian trial victims wrongfulness