Select Bibliography of Key Restorative Justice Works

May 16, 2017
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May 16, 2017 Editor

Select Bibliography of Key Restorative Justice Works

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Select Bibliography of Key Restorative Justice Works

Compiled by Wayne Northey

WN: Today, I updated a bibliography, especially weighted towards theological and generally academic works, that I have appreciated. Compilation of this list began decades ago. I think most are still discoverable, the links current.

It is copied below, and there is a link to the PDF version.



[NOTE: I have asterisked (*) and annotated some of the really important works.]

 A Life for A Life?: The Death Penalty on Trial, Vernon W. Redekop, Herald Press, Scottdale, 1990.

Abolitionism: Towards A Non-Repressive Approach to Crime, Herman Bianchi and René van Swaaningen, Editors, Free University Press, Amsterdam, 1986.

Against the Death Penalty: Christian and Secular Arguments Against the Death Penalty, Gardner C. Hanks, Herald Press, Scottdale, 1997.

*A Restorative Justice Reader: texts, sources, context, edited by Gerry Johnstone, Willan Publishing, Portland, 2003. The best anthology to dateThe main aim of this book is to bring together a selection of extracts from the most important and influential contributions to the restorative justice literature and its emergent philosophy, accompanying these with an informative commentary providing context and explanation where necessary. The book includes work by both well known proponents of restorative justice, and work by some of the key critics of the restorative justice movement, along with work from a number of writers not directly involved in either advocacy or critique of restorative justice, but whose work is crucial to an understanding of it.”  See:

Beyond Institutions (I & II), David Cayley, Ideas, CBC Radio Works, Box 500, Station A, Toronto Ont., M5W  1E6, 1994 (audio tapes and transcript).

*Beyond Retribution: A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime, and  Punishment, Christopher D. Marshall, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2001. The best theology to date on Restorative Justice. See also Compassionate Justice below.

 Building Community Justice Partnerships: Community Peacemaking Circles, Barry D, Stuart, Aboriginal Justice Section, Department of Justice, Ottawa, 1997; phone: (613)941-4105.

 Can Prisons Work? The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections, Stephen Duguid, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2000.

 Captivity in Exile: A Biblical reflection on criminal justice for church groups, National Working Group on Criminal Justice (The United Church of Canada, 85 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1M8), 1987.

 *Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice, Howard Zehr, Herald Press, Scottdale, 1990. The classic on Restorative Justice.  Written by a Mennonite Christian, with a Christian perspective.

Christ and the Judgment of God: Divine Retribution in the New Testament, Stephen H. Travis, Marshall Pickering, London, 1986.

*Christian Faith and Criminal Justice: Toward a Christian Response to Crime and Punishment, Gerald Austin McHugh, Paulist Press, New York, 1978. The first theological book published, pointing in a Restorative Justice direction.

*Compassionate Justice: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue with Two Gospel Parables on Law, Crime, and Restorative Justice, Christopher D. Marshall, Eugene Oregon: Cascade Books, 2012. If you want the two finest theological treatments in English, this and Marshall’s previous Beyond Retribution (see above) are what to read. The finest German publication is Siegfried Meurer’s Das Recht im Dienst der Versöhnung und des Friedens (see below).

 *Contemporary Justice Review: Issues in Criminal, Social, and Restorative Justice (Journal: beginning in 1998), Dennis Sullivan, Editor, Institute for Economic and Restorative Justice, PO Box 262, Vorheesville, NY, 12186, USA; e-mail:; Routledge Publishers. Consistently high quality articles and reviews in the only journal dedicated to criminal, social and restorative justice.

 Convictions on Trial, Max Allen, Ideas, CBC Radio Works, Box 500, Station A, Toronto Ont., M5W  1E6, 1994 (audio tapes and transcript).

Crime and Its Victims: What We Can Do, Daniel W. Van Ness, Inter Varsity Press, Downers Grove, 1986.

*Crime Control as Industry: Towards GULAGS, Western Style, Nils Christie, Routledge, London, 1995/2000. A classic on how the Criminal Justice Systems of Western democracies model after totalitarian régimes.

Crime, Shame and Reintegration, John Braithwaite, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989.

 Criminology as Peacemaking, Ed. by Harold E. Pepinsky and Richard Quinney, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1991.

 Das Recht im Dienst der Versöhnung und des Friedens: Studie zur Frage des Rechts nach dem Neuen Testament. Siegfried Meurer, Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 1972. The finest New Testament theological study in German.

‘Everybody Does It!’: Crime By the Public’, Thomas Gabor, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1994.

 Family Conferencing and Juvenile Justice: The Way Forward or Misplaced Optimism?, Christine Alder and Joy Wundersitz, Australia Institute of Criminology, Canberra, 1994.

 Family Group Conferences: Perspectives on Policy and Practice, Ed. by Joe Hudson, Allison Morris, Gabrielle Maxwell, and Burt Galaway, Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, 1996.

 Forgiveness & Reconciliation: And Other New Testament Themes, C.F.D. Moule, S.P.C.K., London, 1998.

 From Restorative Justice to Transformative Justice: Discussion Paper, Law Reform Commission of Canada, 1998. NOTE: The body was created in 1971 as the Law Reform Commission of Canada and was disbanded in 1992. The body was reestablished as the Law Commission of Canada in 1996. On September 26, 2006, the Conservative government announced it was cutting the LCC’s funding. [So short-sighted!] Law Commission of Canada – Wikipedia

*God and the Victim: Theological Reflections on Evil, Victimization, Justice, andForgiveness, Lisa Barnes Lampman, editor; Michelle D. Shattuck, associate editor, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1999. A superb collection of papers on Restorative Justice and the victim.

 *God and the Victim: Traumatic Intrusions on Grace and Freedom, Jennifer Erin Beste, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Offering crucial insights that lead to a more adequate understanding of the relation between God’s grace and human freedom, Beste’s important theory reconfigures our visions of God and humanity and alters our perceptions of what it means to truly love one’s neighbor.

 *God, Justice, and Society: Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible, Jonathan Burnside, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Explores the subject of biblical law, which is foundational for understanding Western civilization and the history of Western law.

*God’s Just Vengeance: Crime, violence and the rhetoric of salvation, Timothy Gorringe, Cambridge University Press, 1996. An outstanding theological treatment of Restorative Justice, in particular with reference to the “satisfaction theory” of the atonement, and its consequent “cultural affect”.

  *Have You Seen Candace?: A true story of faith and forgiveness, Wilma Derksen, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, 1991. A powerful story of faith and forgiveness, that gave rise to the Canada-wideVictims’ Voice”, producer of the Pathways periodical, edited by Wilma Derksen (see below).

 Instead of Prisons: A Handbook for Abolitionists, Prison Research Education Action Project, Syracuse, 1976.

 *Journey of Hope… From Violence to Healing, Bill Pelke, Xlibris Corporation, Anchorage, 2003. A remarkable story of healing and mission in response to the violent murder of the author’s grandmother.  Sister Helen Prejean writes: Not all will identify with the religious zeal that fires Bill Pelke, but we all know passion when we meet it, and we can all pray to be consumed by such a lofty passion that frees us from ego and self-serving.  This is a refreshing adventure story.  Fasten your seat belt.  You’re in for quite a ride.”

  *Justice as Sanctuary, David Cayley, Ideas, CBC Radio Works, Box 500, Station A, Toronto Ont., M5W  1E6, 1997 (audio tapes and transcript). Excellent interviews with Herman Bianchi, true grandfather of restorative justice. See:  Justice as Sanctuary.

*Justice as Sanctuary: Toward a New System of Crime Control, Herman Bianchi, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1994. Some highly original interaction with the Bible, in particular the Old Testament,from a “non-religious” perspective.

 Justice for Victims and Offenders: a restorative response to crime, Martin Wright, Open University Press, Philadelphia, 1991.

*Justice Reflections:Worldwide Papers Linking Christian Ideas with Matters of Justice, Editor, The Reverend Canon Alan R. Dice, 2 Temple Garden, Lincoln LNP 1NP, United Kingdom; Fax:++44 (0)1522-514831; E-mail:; Each issue contains about half a dozen articles by writers from around the world on justice issues.  “It is an ecumenical collection of theological papers incorporating ethical, pastoral and restorative themes in the domain of justice.  It aims to support everyone around the world who works alongside offenders.

 Justice That Heals: A Biblical Vision for Victims and Offenders, Arthur Paul Boers, Faith and Life Press, Newton, 1992.

Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Harold J. Berman, Harvard University Press, Cambridge and London, 1983.

Limits to Pain, Nils Christie, Martin Robertson, Oxford, 1981.

Mediation Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, Spring 1995, “Victim and Offender Mediation: International Perspectives on Theory, Research, and Practice”, Jossey-Bass Publishers.

 New Perspectives on Crime and Justice: Occasional Papers of the MCC Canada Victim Offender Ministries Program and the MCC U.S. Office of Criminal Justice, Issues 1 – 14, April, 1984 to February, 1994.

 *No Future Without Forgiveness, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, New York: Doubleday, 1999. A restorative justice classic, based on Tutu’s experience as chairperson of the South African Truth ands Reconciliation Commission.  Silent nonetheless about the world’s major human rights abuser – ask me for a review.

*Pathways: A Journal of Hope and Healing for Victims of Violent Crime, Wilma Derksen, Editor, Victims’ Voice, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, bimonthly publication (now ended) (Circulation Secretary, Pathways, 134 Plaza Dr., Winnipeg MB, R3T 5K9, Phone: (204)261-6381; Fax: (204)269-9875; e-mail: pathways@mennonitecc.caNo longer produced.  Outstanding content.  Ask for back issues, if possible.

 Penal Abolition The Practical Choice: A Practical Manual on Penal Abolition, Ruth Morris, Canadian Scholars’ Press, Toronto, 1995

 Prison On Trial: A Critical Assessment, Thomas Mathiesen, SAGE Publications, London, 1990.

Prison and Its Alternatives, David Cayley, Ideas, CBC Radio Works, Box 500, Station A, Toronto Ont., M5W  1E6, 1996 (audio tapes and transcript).

Punishment in the Bible, J. Arthur Hoyles, Epworth Press, London, 1986.

 Punishment In the Scripture and Tradition of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, The Rev. Virginia Mackey, National Interreligious Task Force on Criminal Justice, 1983.

 Race to Incarcerate, Marc Mauer, The Sentencing Project, The New Press, New York, 1999.

 *“Rediscovering Spiritual Roots: The Judeo-Christian Tradition and Criminal Justice”, Wayne Northey, The Justice Professional, “Criminology as Peacemaking” (double issue), guest editors, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft, Gordon and Breach publishers, 1998. Points to the undergirding of an alternative biblical vision of justice from thedominant one for a millennium.

 Relational Justice: Repairing the Breach, Ed. by Jonathan Burnside and Nicola Baker, Waterside Press, Winchester, 1994.

Release To Those in Prison, William Klassen, Herald Press, Scottdale, 1977.

Repairing the Breach and Reconciling the Discordant: Mediation in the Criminal Justice System, Mark William Bakker, North Carolina Law Review, Volume 72, Number 6, September 1994.

 *Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates, Gerry Johnstone, Willan Publishing, Devon, 2002. “Despite the attention it has attracted the phenomenon of restorative justice is little understood, and there is often confusion as to what is meant by it.  The main aim of this book is to meet the need for a clear and accessible introduction to the ideas and values underlying restorative justice, and to the debates which are taking place around it.”  Excellent.

 *Restorative Justice: Bibliographies, Mennonite Central Committee US, Office of Criminal Justice, 21 South 12th Street, PO Box 500, Akron Pennsylvania, USA 17501-0500; Phone: (717)859-3889; Fax: (717)859-3875.

 Restorative Justice: A Conceptual Framework, Jennifer J. Llewellyn & Robert Howse, Ottawa: Law Reform Commission of Canada, 1998. (See: Restorative Justice)  NOTE: The body was created in 1971 as the Law Reform Commission of Canada and was disbanded in 1992. The body was reestablished as the Law Commission of Canada in 1996. On September 26, 2006, the Conservative government announced it was cutting the LCC’s funding. [So short-sighted!] Law Commission of Canada – Wikipedia

 *Restorative Justice: An Annotated Bibliography, Paul McCold, Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, 1997. Comprehensive.

 *Restorative Justice: A Vision for Healing and Change, Susan Sharpe, Edmonton Victim Offender Mediation Society, 1998. A  superb Canadian contribution that gives the theory, the practice, and the  practical “how-to” of Restorative Justice.

 *Restorative Justice: Healing the Effects of Crime, Jim Consedine, Ploughshares Publications, Christchurch, 1995. From a Christian (Roman Catholic) perspective.  Excellent.

*Restorative Justice: Healing the Foundations of our Everyday Lives, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft, Monsey, Willow Tree Press, 2001. Reading the book is a journey in itself.  The authors offer us not only an alternative to criminal justice – a transformation of criminal justice – but furnish each one of us with the possibility of a transformation in our own lives.” – Prof. Richard Quinney (Criminology as Peacemaking)

Restorative Justice: International Perspectives, Ed. by Burt Galaway and Joe Hudson, Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, 1996.

Restorative Justice Journal, Bernie DeCastro, Editor, Restorative Justice Ministry Network, P.O. Box 819, Ocala, Florida, USA, 34478; Phone: (352)369-5055; Toll Free: (888)256-6895; Fax: (352)351-8213; WEB:; e-mail:

 Restorative Justice on Trial: Pitfalls and Potentials of Victim-Offender Mediation – International Research Perspectives, ed. by Heinz Messmer and Hans-Uwe Otto, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1992.

*Restorative Justice: Toward Nonviolence, Rev. Virginia Mackey, Presbyterian Criminal Justice Program, Louisville, 1990. From a Christian perspective.  Very practical and challenging.

*Restoring Justice, Daniel Van Ness and Karen Heetderks Strong, Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing Company, 1997. About the finest presentation for criminal justice professionals. Also from a Christian perspective.

 Return to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice, Rupert Ross, Penguin Books, 1996.

 Rittenhouse Pamphlet Series (11 different pamphlets), Ruth Morris, Rittenhouse, A New Vision, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2R4; Phone: (416)538-6900; (416)630-7581.

 *Satisfying Justice: A compendium of initiatives, programs and legislative measures, The Church Council on Justice and Corrections, Ottawa, 1996. Full of case studies and stories, and some excellent essays.

 Shalom: The Bible’s Word for salvation, justice, and peace, Perry B. Yoder, Faith and Life Press, Newton, 1987.

 *Stories of Transformative Justice, Ruth Morris, Canadian Scholars’ Press, Toronto, 2000. Excellent stories and commentary by a fearless justice trailblazer for many decades.

 The Bible and Law: Occasional Papers No. 3, Willard M. Swartley, Editor, Council of Mennonite Seminaries, Institute of Mennonite Studies, Elkhart, 1982.

 The Case for Penal Abolition, W. Gordon West and Ruth Morris, editors, Canadian Scholars’ Press, Inc. Toronto, 2000.

The Christian and Jury Duty, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower, Herald Press, Scottdale, 1991.

 The End of Punishment: Christian Perspectives on the Crisis in Criminal Justice, Chris Wood, The Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh, Saint Andrew Press,  1991.

 *The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America, Mark Lewis     Taylor, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2001. “Mark Lewis Taylor’s Executed God reads as a radical Christian manifesto.”, says reviewer Richard C. Goode. He calls for the way of the cross as “theatre of counterterror”, part of the “age-old adversarial lineage [of] Christianity’s revolutionary tradition.”

 *The Expanding Prison: The Crisis in Crime and Punishment and the Search for Alternatives, David Cayley, Anansi: Toronto, 1998. Grew out of his 10-part CBC Ideas series, “Prison and Its Alternatives” (see above).  The most comprehensive vision of all the publications.

  *The Death Penalty: An Historical and Theological Survey, James J. Megivern,       Paulist Press, New York, 1997. The decisive book on the history and theology of the death penalty.

*The Fall of the Prison: Biblical Perspectives on Prison Abolition, Lee Griffith, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1993. A disturbing book, compelling and irrefutable.

*The Justice Professional, “Criminology as Peacemaking” (double issue), guest editors, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft, Gordon and Breach publishers, 1998. Excellent collection of essays that present a peacemaking as opposed to a warmaking model of justice.

*The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Howard Zehr, Good Books, Intercourse, 2002. The book encapsulates an Overview, the Principles, the Practices, and the option of Restorative Justice – all in 71 pages!

 The Lost Child, Marietta Jaeger, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1983.

The Practice of Punishment: Towards a theory of restorative justice, Wesley Cragg, Routledge, London and New York, 1992.

 *The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Punishment, T. Richard Snyder, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2001. Good theological work here, though no reference to Howard Zehr’s Changing Lenses, nor to Christopher Marshall’s Beyond Retribution.

 *The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice, Hadley, Michael, ed., New York, SUNY Press, 2001. An outstanding collection of essays on the topic, covering most of the major worldspiritualities.

The Vengeance of God: The Meaning of the Root NQM & the Function of the NQM-Texts in the Context of Divine Revelation in the Old Testament, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1995.

 The Youth Court in New Zealand: A New Model of Justice: Four Papers, Ed. by BJ Brown and FWM McElrea, Legal Research Foundation, Publication No 34, Auckland, 1993.

 To Hurt or to Heal, David Cayley, Ideas, CBC Radio Works, Box 500, Station A, Toronto Ont., M5W  1E6, 2000 (audio tapes and transcript).

 Toward a Justice that Heals: the church’s response to crime, Morton MacCallum-Paterson,  The United Church Publishing House, 1988.

“Transformation of Justice: From Moses to Jesus”, Millard Lind, Monotheism, Power, Justice: Collected Old Testament Essays, Institute of Mennonite Studies, Elkhart, 1990.

*Update/À jour, Church Council on Justice and Corrections, quarterly newsletter (  Excellent newsletter by a trailblazing agency.

*Victim Meets Offender: The Impact of Restorative Justice and Mediation, Mark S. Umbreit, Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, 1994. Best studies on, “But does it work?” issues.

*Victim Policies and Criminal Justice on the Road to Restorative Justice: Essays in Honour of Tony Peters, E. Fattah and S. Parmentier, editors, Leuven University Press, 2001. Several outstanding essays by academics on victims and restorative justice.

VORP Organizing: A Foundation in the Church, Ron Claassen and Howard Zehr with Duane Ruth-Heffelbower, Mennonite Central Committee US, Office of Criminal Justice, 1989.

 *Video Resources:

 Glimmer of Hope, National Film Board, PO Box 6100, Station Centreville, Montréal, PQ, H3C  3H5; Phone: (800)267-7710; 52 minutesIncredible story of one family’s encountering the two men who raped and murdered their daughter/sister.

 Restorative Justice: Making Things Right, Mennonite Central Committee, 21 South 12th Street, PO Box 500, Akron PA, 17501-0500; Phone: (717)859-3889; Fax: (717)859-1151; 22 minutesExcellent for Sunday School classes, etc.

 Restorative Justice, U.S. Dept. of Justice (videoconference); two hoursFirst ever North American videoconference.

Restoring Justice, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY, 40202; Phone: (800)524-2612; Fax: (502)569-8030; 50 minutesIn four sections.  Excellent content.


Justice Reflections – Worldwide Papers Linking Christian Ideas With Matters of Justice:

Restorative Justice Consortium:

Restorative Justice Online:

Sixth International Conference on Restorative Justice (papers):

The Centre for Restorative Justice:

VOMA Restorative Justice Bibliography:

Restorative Justice Links:

Please click on: Bibliography

  1. [1]Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:
    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below.
  2. [2]It continued:
    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions.
  3. [3]Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).
    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.
  4. [5]
  5. [4] The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". [5]He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
  6. [6]A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.
    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
    To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.


Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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