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The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The…
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The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War… (2008. Auflage)

von Jane Mayer

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In the days immediately following September 11th, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. Radical decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, used the crisis to further a long-held agenda to enhance presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history, and obliterate Constitutional protections that define the very essence of the American experiment. This is a dramatic account of how the United States made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world--decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. Whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.--From publisher description.… (mehr)
Mitglied:flaneurgirl
Titel:The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals
Autoren:Jane Mayer
Info:Doubleday (2008), Hardcover, 400 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals von Jane Mayer

Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonWestBranch, piononus, FEBeyer, tchaudhary, petarus, cschloem
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Vice President Cheney indicated that the U.S. might have to cross over to "the dark side" in order to fight terrorism effectively. This book provides a good in-depth review of those decisions, their effects and effectiveness. We've all heard and read a lot about the effectivenss of torture in questioning prisoners, and whether the enhanced interrogation techniques that had been used in Iraq and Guantanamo, or in secret renditions to other nations, have been legal or effective. Many of our Nations leaders, especially military men like John McCain and Colin Powell have stated that the enhanced interrogation techniques used in questioning prisoners by the CIA constitute torture, and are both illegal and ineffective. Other in the administration, especially non-military men like Dick Cheney and his staff and President Bush, disagree. Bush has stated our interrogation techniques are "legal".
This book provides the insights on how "legal" became defined within his administration, and just how many, or how few, individuals were involved in those decisions and policies. Many conservative staunch Republicans are described as rebelling and resigning their administration posts in protests to the decisions being made. And there are excellent examples discussed describing the type of information extracted using waterboarding or other techniques, including obtaining pre-Iraq invasion information which supported the decision to go to war. The victim told interviewers what they wanted to hear just to stop the interrogations, and later admitted fabricating information just to get them to stop. John Yoo, David Addington, and Dick Cheney in particular are identified as the key players in this administrations policies, and much of what is presented is disturbing to say the least. I found the book well written, well documented, and worth pondering.

Note:
[March, 2012 update: For an extremely informative and interesting view on the contrasting interrogation techniques used, by an FBI terrorist investigator, look at the September, 2011 book by Ali Soufan, "The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda"].


( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
In depth and detailed account of the use of torture and various legal justifications post-9/11 (up to 2008). Fairly comprehensive but harder to follow than it should have been because of the excessive detail in certain areas and lack of detail in others, but part of that is due to difficulties sourcing information as everything was classified (and the book was written essentially at the same time or shortly after the events). Makes a strong case that the Bush I regime in particular behaved maybe reasonably for the first year or so in 2001/2002 but got worse and worse.

Doesn't include anything about domestic civil liberties (PATRIOT, etc.) which would have been a useful parallel, with the same kind of tortured reasoning applied to justifying unconstitutional actions.

Overall, a good source for interrogation/torture programs of DOD and CIA and the legal justifications applied to them in 2001-2008. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
It is interesting to read this book ten years on after two changes of administration. It puts into context the world as we live in under the Trump America. Is it worse than Bush? Is it better to have dirty deeds done in secret or on Twitter? And despite the loud opposition to Guantanamo, how did it manage to last during the eight year Obama government? He had two years of total control in which to correct this injustice. It is remarkable that when I searched Wikipedia for some of the names in this book, many were still in Cuba.

This book was well written, thought provoking, and a great example of investigative journalism. ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
In the concluding chapter, author Jane Mayer states, "...it is clear that what began on September 11, 2001, as a battle for America's security became, and continues to be, a battle for the country's soul." I feel she has failed to give herself full credit for the skill with which she reports on her subject. This is much more than just a difference of opinion on how to protect America. The book does an extraordinary job of showing power manipulation at work. I invite any readers of this book to also read the early part of William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich or Joel Brinkley's more contemporary book, Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land, then tell me that the approaches to managing governmental powers are not similar to the actions of the Chaney administration (was Bush ever really in control?) I would offer that Chaney victim, Phillip Zelikow offers a better summary of the book: "Fear and anxiety were exploited by zealots and fools." This is a must read for anyone serious about understanding government at work. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
I had probably heard all of these stories before - but here the facts and general knowledge is presented clearly and without much commentary - the facts speak for themselves. I'm horrified to think that anything in this book could be true, but it is. Also informative to read the sections about US interactions with Egypt, in light of current events there. The rules surrounding the "war on terror" are being defined as we go along, and there's no winning when we stoop to such tactics that compromise our very humanity. I'd recommend this book highly, as we should all be more informed as to how these decisions continue to be made and influence our standing around the globe, and with ourselves. ( )
  quakerkathleen | Apr 23, 2016 |
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America should go "not abroad in search of monsters to destroy...She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."
John Quincy Adams...the Fourth of July 1821

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This book is for my parents, Meredith and William Mayer, and my grandparents Mary and Allan Nevins, who passed on to me a love of American history and an admiration for those who have fought to fulfill the promise of the country's ideals.
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If anyone in America should have been prepared to respond to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it ought to have been Vice President Dick Cheney. For decades before the planes hit the Pentagon and World Trade Center, Cheney had been secretly practicing for doomsday.
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In the days immediately following September 11th, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. Radical decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, used the crisis to further a long-held agenda to enhance presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history, and obliterate Constitutional protections that define the very essence of the American experiment. This is a dramatic account of how the United States made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world--decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. Whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.--From publisher description.

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