Within days of Madeleine Albright’s confirmation as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1993, she instructed David Scheffer to spearhead the historic mission to create a war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. As senior adviser to Albright and then as President Clinton’s ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Scheffer was at the forefront of the efforts that led to criminal tribunals for the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia, and that resulted in the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court. All the Missing Souls is Scheffer’s gripping insider’s account of the international gamble to prosecute those responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and to redress some of the bloodiest human rights atrocities in our time.
Scheffer reveals the truth behind Washington’s failures during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the anemic hunt for notorious war criminals, how American exceptionalism undercut his diplomacy, and the perilous quests for accountability in Kosovo and Cambodia. He takes readers from the killing fields of Sierra Leone to the political back rooms of the U.N. Security Council, providing candid portraits of major figures such as Madeleine Albright, Anthony Lake, Richard Goldstone, Louise Arbour, Samuel “Sandy” Berger, Richard Holbrooke, and Wesley Clark, among others.
A stirring personal account of an important historical chapter, All the Missing Souls provides new insights into the continuing struggle for international justice.
About David Scheffer
David Scheffer is the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law and director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law. He served as the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues (1997-2001) and led American initiatives on war crimes tribunals during the 1990s. He has published widely on international law and politics.
Pioneering. . . . From the indictment of Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo to the trial of Charles Taylor in Sierra Leone, Scheffer recounts the highlights of this ‘truly international counterattack on impunity for the worst possible crimes.’ Reflecting after nearly a decade of battles, the author writes that international justice is the art of the possible and requires endless patience and persistence. . . . An important resource for scholars and specialists in international law. — Kirkus Reviews
Scheffer recounts the effort to extend the reach of international justice to war zones and collapsing societies. . . . This impeccably documented work stands as a condemnation not just of such Bush-era expediency but also of moral compromise at the expense of the powerless. It’s also the story of an attempt to attain the most strenuous of goals: upholding civilization in the face of monstrous evil. Scheffer is one of the very few people who can tell it. — Douglas Gillison, Time
Scheffer provides a fascinating insider’s account of the formation of the war crimes tribunals following atrocities in the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia. . . . Scheffer chronicles in captivating detail the diplomatic and political minefields that he and his colleagues navigated to help establish the International Criminal Court. . . . A superb account and unique perspective on the subject, complementing works such as Carla Del Ponte’s Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity. — Lynne F. Maxwell, Library Journal
“All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals,” by David Scheffer
The Washington Post Book Review – January 27, 2012 (Excerpt)
The years from 1993 to 2001, when Bill Clinton occupied the White House, were the formative period in the contemporary development of international justice. Before then, there had been no international war crimes tribunals since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials in the aftermath of World War II. By the end of this time, international courts were hearing cases on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, negotiations on tribunals for Sierra Leone and Cambodia were far advanced, and the International Criminal Court was nearing its launch.
Throughout this time, David Scheffer was the Clinton administration’s point man on international justice. His book “All the Missing Souls” is a revealing and valuable record of the U.S. role in the effort to entrench accountability for mass atrocities as a central principle in international affairs.
During Clinton’s first term, Scheffer was senior adviser and counsel to Madeleine Albright, who was then ambassador to the United Nations. After Albright became secretary of state in 1997, Scheffer was appointed as the first U.S. ambassador for war crimes issues. The creation of this position testifies to the growing profile that the prevention and punishment of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes came to assume in U.S. foreign policy during the 1990s. But, as Scheffer shows in his detailed account, the process of getting the world’s great powers to make a real effort to enforce accountability for international crimes was anything but smooth. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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