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The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals Paperback – May 5 2009

5 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (May 5 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307456293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307456298
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.1 x 20.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This hard-hitting expose examines both the controversial excesses of the war on terror and the home-front struggle to circumvent legal obstacles to its prosecution. New Yorker correspondent Mayer (Strange Justice) details the battle within the Bush Administration over a new anti-terrorism policy of harsh interrogations, indefinite detentions without due process, extraordinary renditions, secret CIA prisons and warrantless wiretappings. Fighting with memos and legal briefs, Mayer reports, hard-liners led by Dick Cheney, his aide David Addingtion and then-Justice Department lawyer John Yoo rejected any constraints on the treatment of prisoners or limitations on presidential power in fighting terrorism, while less militant administration lawyers invoked the Constitution and international law to oppose their initiatives. As a counterpoint to the wrangling over the definition of torture and the Geneva Conventions, the author looks at the use of techniques like waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation against prisoners by the American military and CIA; her chilling account compellingly argues that this "enhanced interrogation" regimen constitutes torture. The result is a must-read: a meticulous behind-the-scenes reconstruction of policymaking that demonstrates how legal abstractions became an ugly reality.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Deeply troubling, but splendidly executed.... Mayer does invaluable work locking these reports into a coherent narrative framework and sketching in vital connective details and insights.... Superb.”—Los Angeles Times“A gripping, meticulously researched, and deeply disturbing book that vindicates the observation of the great Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis that 'the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.'” —Parameters (U.S. Army War College Quarterly)“Essential reading.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Gripping.... Chilling.... [A] vivid and comprehensive account.” —The New York Times “One of those rare books that should be read by every concerned American.” —Austin American-Statesman“Stunning.” —Slate “Powerful, brilliantly researched, and deeply unsettling.... Extraordinary and invaluable.” —The New York Times Book Review“Some of The Dark Side seems right out of “The Final Days,” minus Nixon's operatic boozing and weeping.... Nixon parallels take us only so far, however. The Dark Side is scarier than “The Final Days” because these final days aren't over yet and because the stakes are much higher.”—Frank Rich, The New York Times“In The Dark Side, Jane Mayer, a staff writer for the New Yorker, documents some of the ugliest allegations of wrongdoing charged against the Bush administration. To dismiss these as wild, anti-American ravings will not do. They are facts, which Mayer substantiates in persuasive detail, citing the testimony not of noted liberals like Noam Chomsky or Keith Olbermann but of military officers, intelligence professionals, "hard-line law-and-order stalwarts in the criminal justice system" and impeccably conservative Bush appointees who resisted the conspiracy from within the administration.” —The Washington Post Book World“Whatever it takes to get those bastards. The true nature of our Faustian bargain would not become clear until later, and maybe it needed a journalist as steely and tenacious as Jane Mayer to give us the full picture. The Dark Side is about how the war on terror became "a war on American ideals," and Mayer gives this story all the weight and sorrow it deserves. Many books get tagged with the word "essential"; hers actually is.” —Salon.com “In Jane Mayer's angry and important book The Dark Side, the tenacious New Yorker reporter takes us, step by step, through the process by which practices and methods we associate with tyrannies became official U.S. policy.”—Bloomberg“[In] The Dark Side, Jane Mayer's riveting and shocking new book, and not the least of the themes to emerge from it is that we've witnessed something new in American history: the imperial vice presidency.”—New York Observer“Essential reading for those who think they can stand the truth.”—Bob Herbert, New York Times“Like a good suspense novel…. Potent and disturbing stuff.”—San Diego Tribune

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a very well researched and argued book. Mayer exhaustively documents the moral bankruptcy of the Bush Administration's war on terror, exposing how it systematically violated core American principles of freedom and justice.
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Format: Paperback
This is a thoroughly researched piece of history. She has clearly interviewed many of the parties involved from the Bush Administration to the front line operatives. The revelations of the systematic violation of American values, international law, and the Geneva Convention are stunning. Ms. Mayer's writing reminds us that this happened at a time when those responsible for security in the US did not know if another attack was planned.
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Format: Paperback
Loved this book.

Carefully researched and gripping. The topic area is a tad dark, but the light it sheds on some of the issues surrounding the war on terror is a breath of fresh air. Totally worth the money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've seen Jane Mayer on numerous documentaries and thought her inputs were fair in a non partisan way. The book is an eye opener and sheds light on the inner workings of the Bush Jr and Obama Administrations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Extremely good book and good researched.
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