This book is an examination of American army legal proceedings that resulted from a series of moments when soldiers in a war zone crossed a line between performing their legitimate functions and committing crimes against civilians, or atrocities.
Using individual judicial proceedings held within war-time Southeast Asia, Louise Barnett analyses how the American military legal system handled crimes against civilians and determines what these cases reveal about the way that war produces atrocity against civilians. Presenting these atrocities and subsequent trials in a way that considers both the personal and the institutional the author considers how and why atrocity happens, the terrain of justification, and the degree to which the army and American society have been willing to take military crimes against civilians seriously.
Atrocity and American Military Justice in Southeast Asia will be of interest to students, scholars and professionals interested in Military Justice, Military history and Southeast Asian History more generally.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: War in the Philippines 1. Mr. Root’s Atrocity Trials 2. The Real Atrocity Trials Part 2: American Prosecution of Japanese War Crimes in the Philippines 3. MacArthur and Yamashita Part 3: From Lanang to Danang: The Philippine War Writ Large in Vietnam 4. Anatomy of an Atrocity: Captain Vincent Hartmann and the Trial that Wasn’t 5. My Lai: Crossing the Line
Louise Barnett is Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA. Her research interests are military culture and history. She is the author of Touched by Fire, a biography of George Armstrong Custer, and Ungentlemanly Acts: The Army’s Notorious Incest Trial.