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The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals [Kindle Edition]

Jane Mayer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year National BestsellerWith a New AfterwordNational Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A Best Book of the Year: Salon, Slate, The Economist, The Washington Post, Cleveland Plain-DealerThe Dark Side is a dramatic, riveting, and definitive narrative 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. In spellbinding detail, Jane Mayer relates the impact of these decisions by which key players, namely Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, exploited September 11 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

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.

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 con...

Product Details

  • File Size: 708 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (May 8, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKYEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,557 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
487 of 536 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Of the nearly two dozen books published so far that describe and document the nefarious deeds of George Bush's administration, Jane Mayer's book, "The Dark Side" , is perhaps the most thoroughly researched, meticulous, impressive, and deeply disturbing. It is also gripping and highly readable.

I am convinced that what Woodward and Bernstein's book "All the President's Men" did to the Nixon administration, Jane Mayer's book "The Dark Side" will do to George Bush's administration: blow away, like a piece of straw, the last sliver of credibility that the few remaining supporters of George Bush desperately cling to. "We don't torture", said the President, and Jane Mayer has responded with this book, as if to say: "That is a lie".

Although many of the incidents and details narrated in this book have been well known for quite some time, what is remarkable is the thorough and painstaking manner in which the author has arranged them together, as if she were connecting the haphazard dots and linking them together, to create a clear, convincing, and devastating picture. She has included a significant amount of new information also. Reading this book will make the hair on your nape stand up, as if electrified, and shock you to the very core, and leave you speechless.

The book is full of passages based on well-documented facts that will stun the readers and shake their conscience. For example, she has written that: "For the first time in its history, the United States sanctioned government officials to physically and psychologically torment U.S.-held captives, making torture the official law of the land in all but name.
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96 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without Liberty and Justice for All September 5, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
History is supposed to teach us lessons from the past. From the Alien and Sedition Act, the "Red Scare" of 1919, the detention of thousands of Americans during World War II because of their Japanese ancestry, we were supposed to learn that even through the most dire threat to our safety, the rule of law ennobles us and protects us from tyranny. In "The Dark Side," Jane Mayer explains how easy it is for history to repeat itself in the name of security.

By September 11, 2001, the President of the United States had already spent fifty days of his first eight months in office on vacation. Despite several warnings of an impending attack from foreign intelligence sources as well as our own, the administration never quite understands the threat.

The attack on a clear summer morning changes that, and it changes things for worse. The subsequent invasion of Afghanistan allows the military and the C.I.A. to round up hundreds of Taliban prisoners. An offer of a $5,000 bounty for the capture of al-Qaeda and Taliban nets them hundreds more. The administration screams for actionable intelligence from these detainees, but sorting them out and interrogating them is another matter. The assumption is that "enhanced interrogation techniques" will bring more accurate results in a shorter period of time. It also has to be justified.

That comes from John Yoo, the legal counsel for the Justice Department who provides just the argument Dick Cheney and his attorney, Dick Addington are looking for. It says the president can do essentially anything he wants, and ignore Congress, if it is for the security of the country. Yoo also states that such interrogation methods are not torture unless it results in organ failure or death.
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115 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This might be too scary for you to read... July 26, 2008
Format:Hardcover
As of late, I've read three books on the Bush Administration. The first was What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, the next wasThe Bush Tragedy, and now this. With Bush's administration finally ending (I'll willingly admit to being a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat), I thought it was time to read some early "look backs" of this presidency gone so wrong. The first book allowed me to see the inner workings of the White House, while allowing me to see, if briefly, the human Bush. The second book explained some possible patterns and trends in Bush's psyche by examining his family tree. Out of all three, the one that has absolutely scared the politico out of me is Jane Mayer's astounding new book "The Dark Side".

This book is an examination of how the Bush presidency, in many ways, used the war on terror as a subversive tool to start to undermine the basic civil rights we had in this country up until then. Starting with that horrible day we all remember, we see Cheney in action, who apparently had been expecting some country wide issue that would require him to work from a "shadow government" base near Camp David. As the World Trade Center buildings came down, Cheney was stationed in the White House bunker, commanding everything as well as he could. Fear instantly pervaded the adminstration, deservedly so. Anthrax popping up in letters and people dying from it made Cheney sure that America was under attack and it wouldn't stop.
As Americans, we turn to our government in times of crisis to quickly handle the problem.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!!!!!!!
You have to read this to really understand the shamefullness of the W. Bush torture policy.
Published 1 month ago by Robert A. Busillo
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
This well researched exploration into the American wars over the past generation offers readers a look back at the bush years and a look into American foreign policy and it's... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrew Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent. Well-written, thorough research.
Published 2 months ago by EclecticCollector
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side
Painfully hard to read, for anyone who wants to feel that the democratic republic we all cherish could have been so easily subverted. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kate
4.0 out of 5 stars This is what America gets when we don't know as ...
This is what America gets when we don't know as much as we should about the people we elect to office.
Published 3 months ago by David R. Carlstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking beyond belief!!!
A must read for every American who cares about justice! I cannot believe our administration Under Bush and Cheney got away with this. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chris Waterman
3.0 out of 5 stars DOG COLLAR
FAR TOO MANY TIMES WHILE READING THIS BOOK I FELT THE AUTHOR WAS LEADING ME TO A CONCLUSION AS THOUGH I WAS WEARING THE DOG COLLAR. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sandra L. Pfister
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
received
Published 8 months ago by Sheila Flynn
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
O.K.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Harrowing and Tragic Look at the Legal Justifications of Torture...
Jane Mayer provides a terrifying look at the lengths the Bush administration went to in its "war on terror" after 9/11, as it saw itself bound by no legal or moral... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Zach
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Sourcing of this book is rather doubtful
I agree it is tough to study an organization or process when no one is allowed to communicate outside of approved channels.

May I ask: how would you go about investigating this government, when it is so closed to anything that may be construed as criticism?

I think that the cloak of secrecy... Read More
Jul 15, 2008 by no zune for me |  See all 43 posts
Book only mildly hints at how bad Abu Ghraib was under Saddam---READ!!!!!!
I'm confused; does this mean that when Saddam tortures and executes people it's bad, but when we do so its good? Or do we have have to wait until we execute thousands of people before it becomes bad? Or do we have to execute thousands of people in a single year before it becomes bad? Please... Read More
Aug 25, 2008 by Owen Hatteras |  See all 6 posts
Will a kindle edition of Jane Mayer's book the Dark Side be out soon?
I second this question! I've had a kindle for a week now... the device sems pretty good, but the uncertainty about what will be made available is unfortunate indeed...does one sit around and wait to read this important new book, (hoping a K edition is forthcoming), or do I order the present... Read More
Jul 15, 2008 by Dr. Jeff |  See all 5 posts
Book only mildly hints at how bad Abu Ghraib was under Saddam---READ!!!!!!
Is Saddam supposed to be a role model for the US government? And what did Saddam have to do with terrorism? The charge against him was having nuclear weapons not attacking the World Trade Center.
Jul 26, 2008 by E. Moore |  See all 5 posts
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