Why The Dreyfus Affair Matters, By Louis Begley

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The Independent Culture

This work from an American lawyer and novelist probes the murky Dreyfus affair and draws parallels with Bush's Guantanamo solution. Begley points out the "analogous restrictions on access, recreation, correspondence, rations" and savage constraints of Devil's Island and Guantanamo.

Even more pertinent is the parallel between the journalists and lawyers who "took a stand against [the] torture and kangaroo courts" of the Bush administration and Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart, the French officer who risked his career in an investigation of the Dreyfus case. Begley concludes "it is not yet possible to tell... the damage done to America by the crimes and abuses of the Bush administration."