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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dark Side

The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer

This is the latest book I want to read. We'll see if it happens. It seems like I only read a small fraction of the ones I want to read. Some of it is due to the fact that a lot of the books are political and become less relevant 5 or so years down the line. Part of the joy of reading things like the Bush Tragedy is seeing researched and in print what was dismissed as fiction by the neocon right for the longest time (poor Cheney still hangs on to much of it).

This one is great. It's the story of the interrogation debacle(s) and the evolution of policy on these issues. What the intel agencies/Bush admin did was use a program (SEER) designed during the Cold War for our people to resist interrogations and use it in reverse to interrogate "suspects". Torture is known to produce forced confessions. Cold War Soviet use of the tactics wasn't even designed to gain real intel; false confessions were fine with them--and we are using and have used these same tactics!

Also interesting is 1/3 in Gitmo were mistakenly picked up. One anecdote is a student identified his teacher as a terrorist for giving him a bad grade. Since we got rid of the Geneva Conventions, we no longer had to check into or even ask about such things. Half of those held are thought to be guilty.

Terror And The Unraveling Of America's Moral Fabric

Fresh Air- NPR 7/15/08- awesome interview

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