The Dark Side: The Inside Story of how the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals

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Scribe Publications, 2008 - Military interrogation - 392 pages
17 Reviews
'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 the days immediately following September 11th, the most powerful people in the United States were panic-stricken. The radical decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of utter chaos and fear; but the key players, Vice President Dick 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.
The Dark Side chronicles real, specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of what was happening in Washington, looking at the intelligence gained—or not—and the price paid. There is the stunning admission of one of the detainees, Sheikh Ibn al-Libi, that the confession he gave under duress—which provided a key piece of evidence buttressing congressional support of going to war against Iraq-—was in fact fabricated, to make the torture stop.
In all cases, whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, and the US's place in the world, and its sense of itself. The Dark Side chronicles one of the most disturbing chapters in American history, one that will serve as the lasting legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

This detailed account of the Bush Administration's decisions on rendition, torture and other unpleasant matters is a must read book. What I find most disturbing, after the revelations of the last ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 06nwingert - LibraryThing

Jane Mayer's chilling descriptions of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath are eerily good. She notes that Bush Co. knew about the attacks and did nothing about them, as they wanted a pretext for war ... Read full review

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