The Dark Side is a riveting narrative account of how the U.S. made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists, decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda.
In gripping detail, acclaimed New Yorker writer and best-selling author Jane Mayer relates specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of Washington, looking at the intelligence gained - or not - and the price paid. In all cases, whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country'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.
©2008 Jane Meyer; (P)2008 Random House
"A powerful, brilliantly researched and deeply unsettling book....extraordinary and invaluable." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Like a good suspense novel....potent and disturbing stuff." (San Diego Tribune)
"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)
This was, from start to finish, one of the most engaging audio books I've listened to. Mayer covers the Bush administration from the eve of 9/11 until the end of its tenure with a focus on its manipulation of the law for political ends, especially as it related to executive power and the right to redefine how captured enemy combatants are treated. Far from being a critique of President Bush himself, she underlines his willingness to acquiesce to Cheney and his legal counsel, David Addington, in all matters regarding the treatment of prisoners and the methods by which intelligence was being extracted from them. It is a damning indictment of the unelected bureaucrats who cared more for their own peculiar and idiosyncratic dogmas than for the constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, or the will of the American people.
My only caution is - don't listen to it while you're trying to fall asleep; it will make you so angry, you won't get any.
A very well crafted account of our country's recent decent into torture and the fearmongering politics of the Bush Administration. Although a very long-winded book, the author leaves no detail or accusation unexplained. Mayer clearly did her homework on this subject, as this book should be mandatory reading for every civics class in American schools.
Thank you Jane Mayer for a chilling and detailed account of Cheney, David Addington and John Yoo's reign of terror. This is an important book that tells the story of how we became torturers and how a few courageous republican lawyers -- Jack Goldsmith and James Comey -- spoke truth to power and put in motion the eventual outing of this outrageous criminality. This is not a democrat v. republican book. THis is a book about principled v. unprincipled people -- courage v. cowardice and sanity v. insanity. It is a must read ("listen").
This is a frightening--hair-raising--book that every American should read. Unfortunately, the narration is monotone and sluggish, to my ear. But the content is so compelling that this hardly gets in the way.
Well researched and presented in a ballanced and cogent way. Where sources were available to be named these were cited so can be checked and where sources could not be named the appropriate caviat was in place
The detail and disturbing justification of the use of torture, which as has been correctly pointed up is counterproductive as well as morally indefensible
I got this hoping for a balanced critique of what most agree has been fairly unhealthy eight years for the USA (and the world) after 9/11. 20 minutes into this book its purpose became clear. It is to vindicate and lionize Dick Cheney who is mentioned in nearly every paragraph of the part I heard. Anything evil, such as justifying torture, was ALL the fault of some lawyers (good scapegoats, but who hired them... Dick?) This faux "critique" is nothing of the sort. The theme I gathered (I couldn't get past the first 30 minutes the author's bias became so blatant I just couldn't stand to hear Cheney) made out to be a hero of some sort, Cheney the ultimate long time Washington inside adviser.) But ... hey we had good reasons for still doing evil things to innocent people. The ends always justify the means right?
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