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Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231140522
ISBN-10: 8179141845
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Editorial Reviews


In gathering these truly telling documents Jaffer and Singh have distilled the essence of an evil that has shamed America. Exposing it can only help remove a terrible national stain.

(John W. Dean, Nixon White House counsel and author of Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches)

[An] extraordinarily important book

(Naomi Wolf The Huffington Post)

An immensely useful resource.

(David Cole New York Review of Books)

The definitive evidence of the Bush-Cheney war crimes.

(Nat Hentoff The Village Voice)


Administration of Torture is a powerful account of the devastating effects of deviating from longstanding legal prohibitions on the mistreatment of prisoners. Through government documents, Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh bring to light the grim reality of the torture and abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad. This book will serve as a historic reminder of the dangers of curtailing human rights protections in the name of national security.

(Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 1997-2002 and President of Ireland 1990-1997)

The issues raised in this book are too fundamental to be left unaddressed. The years ahead will continue to test our security, and we will again be tempted to violate our values in the mistaken belief that we will be made more secure by doing so. Jaffer and Singh remind us that when that test comes, we must find the courage to defend our principles more firmly. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this message.

(Alberto J. Mora, former U.S. Navy General Counsel)

After the Second World War, the United States played a leading role in developing the rules that govern the conduct of states during times of peace and war. Simply by letting the facts speak for themselves, Jaffer and Singh show how far the country has strayed from that tradition. They go on to present a compelling case for rebuilding what the Bush administration has torn down.

(George Soros, chairman, Open Society Institute)

Jaffer, Singh, and their colleagues at ACLU deserve congratulations on two counts: first for their assiduous use of the Freedom of Information Act that brought the documents in this shocking dossier to light, and second for making it easily accessible here. Introduced by their lucid commentary, this book will be an essential source for historians of one of the darkest episodes in American history.

(David Rose, contributing editor, Vanity Fair, and author of Guantanamo: The War on Human Rights)

This is an extraordinary book. The documents that the ACLU has been able to wrest from government control are harrowing and the authors' treatment of them is judicious, meticulously researched, and ultimately damning. For more than three years now, we've heard over and over that the abuses at Abu Ghraib took place despite the Bush administration's policies, not because of them. As Jaffer and Singh show, that claim could not be further from the truth.

(Rory Kennedy, director, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (October 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8179141845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231140522
  • ASIN: 0231140525
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,981,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas R. Hyden on December 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You won't find many of the usual right wing nut jobs reviewing this book, because it is very hard to libel documentary evidence. In law, we say "res ipsa loquitor," or "the thing speaks for itself." And this book has delivered the goods: documentary evidence in spades. If you don't come away from this book convinced that at the very least there is a prima facie case for indicting the US military high command, up to and including the shrub and Darth Cheney, on charges of aggravated war crimes and crimes against humanity, then you just haven't paid attention, or, worse, you are part of that portion of humanity--Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet, Pol Pot, etc.--that thinks there is nothing wrong with torture and that, in fact, we should use it more. If that is the case, you will find plenty to warm your heart here.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great collection of the records of the Bush administration's torture policy. Seeing as it is a collection of documents obtained through FOIA some of it is redacted. This redaction lends the book that air of "what are they trying to cover up." This book would be great for research.

The introduction sets it all out in a nice brief synopsis. Thus, this book has little author influence as to opinion. It allows you to see for yourself.
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Format: Paperback
It's amazing how people are ready to condemn torture by the Americans but are silent when it comes to the fact that those prisoners that were tortured killed many innocent people as well as my fellow warriors. They are vocal about America, the pig, but forget that the majority of Americans are a giving and loving people. But yet again--they are silent when it comes to the beheadings, burning of villages; rape of women and children.
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