The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals Paperback – May 5 2009
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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.
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“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 TribuneSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most recent customer reviews
21st century Fanaticism without accountability at the highest levels of the most powerful nation on earth, makes one wonder how these apprentice tyrants sleep at night.... Read morePublished 4 months ago by fkpp
I've seen Jane Mayer on numerous documentaries and thought her inputs were fair in a non partisan way. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Richard Thomas
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