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In Time of War: Hitler's Terrorist Attack on America
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In Time of War: Hitler's Terrorist Attack on America

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
It's a true story that reads like gripping fiction: in 1942, eight German terrorists landed by submarine on American shores on a sabotage mission devised by Hitler. When one of them, a hapless US citizen, betrayed the mission to the FBI, Roosevelt appointed a special military tribunal to authorize the death penalty omitting proper legal procedure. Army Colonel Kenneth Roya ...more
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Published July 1st 2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published June 13th 2005)
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It's difficult to rate this book because its title is so misleading. Don't get me wrong, the details of Operation Pastorius (the titular “terrorist attack”) are covered. However, this book is decidedly more constitutional law than military history/true tales of spycraft. It's about civil liberties (or lack thereof), the justice system and executive power “in times of war,” featuring a case study of the Nazi saboteur trial . Published in 2005, the author gives a comparative analysis of FDR's ...more
John Kaufmann
Enjoyable, well-written book. Unfortunately I expected more. I don't attribute that to the author but to the story. Smuggling eight Nazis into the US to execute some terrorist attacks sounds like the makings of a great story. The author builds it well, describing the Nazis who hatched the plot and their intent, as well as the background of the eight men who were recruited to implement it. The story builds as they land in the US, narrowly escape detection, and melt into the population. Then it go ...more
Sep 22, 2008 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timely book. The first third was historical, discussing the eight German sabeteurs landed in NY and in Florida at the beginning of WW II. In the next third, O'Donnell discusses the parallels with the President Roosevelt decision to try them under a Military tribunal, and the precident that decision set for President Bush to follow in using Military tribunals to try prisoners at Guantanamo. He also reviews the Supreme Court review of the legality of using a Military tribunal for the trial and exe ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Jaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting account of the 8 Nazi saboteurs tried in 1942. Pierce O'Donnell gave an excellent description of the background of each player in the trial (the saboteurs, lawyers, Roosevelt, and J. Edgar Hoover). He also gave an excellent, but easily understandable explanation of the military commission and the Supreme Court legal workings that were involved in the case. You could tell that O'Donnell felt that Kenneth Royall was the abused hero in the whole case. He described all the ac ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Marc94 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I learned some new things in this book, found the story of the Nazi saboteurs intriguing, and felt like the book was written pretty well- initially.
The reason I gave this book two stars is because it seemed to drag on towards the end and I felt like the writing got sloppier. It definitely could have been a little bit shorter. I found myself wanting to get it over with by part 3, but kept reading. The last part was really the same few points stated over and over again in different ways, with some
5 stars for Importance and Thought-Provocation
2-1/2 stars for dry and artless narrative

For those of us who were alarmed at the extra-judicial tendencies of Bush/Cheney in the name of a war on terror, and in light of Obama's own troubling excesses, this is a sobering dissection of a war tribunal micromanaged by the FDR administration under dubious Constitutional legality. Taken together with Lincoln's suspension of habias corpus and current-day short-cutting (Guantánamo, Drones, etc.), this book
Oct 18, 2011 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book relates a story from WWII of Americanized Germans who Hitler sent to the US for sabatage missions. The teams were so Americanized that they turned themselves in and despsite promises from Hoover they were tried and six were sent to the chair. The decisions were all made by a very biased military commission and the case became precedent setting for violations of the laws of war by Bush and even Obama.

Freedom is always at risk and the pressures of war tempt presidents to waive habeas co
Brent Schultz
Nov 02, 2014 Brent Schultz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The title does not describe the book. This is nothing more than a bash of the Bush administration. Guantanamo Bay is still open. The released are joining ISIS and want US dead.

The Book would have been a good subject if it were truly about WWII and not about releasing evil people to kill good people.

Dec 01, 2009 Garnett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting historical thriller. Main point is the link between G.W. Bush's decision to invoke military tribunals after 9/11 and FDR's decision to do the same during WWII. Both were rooted in faulty logic and ignore the spirit of the law. Not just a legal history, this book is exciting and well written.
Adam Christian Smith
Been really looking forward to this book.

This book is a must read to understand how we got to where we are as our civil rights and Constitutional rights have slowly been stripped away in the poor swap for "security" over "privacy".
Jan 06, 2009 Rod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mandatory reading to understand current detainment policy
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