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

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

In the days immediately following September 11th, the most powerful people in the country 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 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 to which White House officials took an oath to uphold, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. In gripping detail, acclaimed New Yorker writer and bestselling author, Jane Mayer, relates the impact of these decisions—U.S.-held prisoners, some of them completely innocent, were subjected to treatment more reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition than the twenty-first century.

The Dark Side will chronicle 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. In some instances, torture worked. In many more, it led to false information, sometimes with devastating results. For instance, 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 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.

Title:The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780385526395
Format Type:

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

  • Will Byrnes

    The title comes from Dick Cheney’s vow to go to the “Dark Side” in the battle against terrorism. There is a wealth here of drill-down detail about the mechanisms by which America abandoned the c...

  • brian

    there’s something i call ‘generational narcissism’ which is basically the naive belief that one’s generation is special and different and unique for no other reason than that one is part of it...

  • Max

    I was well aware of the excesses of the Bush administration’s war on terror, but still Mayer’s book was shocking. It’s been eleven years since we saw the first pictures of abuse in Abu Ghraib. M...

  • Maggie

    "He who does battle with monsters needs to watch out lest he in the process becomes a monster himself." - Friedrich NietzscheIn reaction to Britain's brutal treatment of American prisoners of war, Geo...

  • Map

    Required reading for every American. Jane Mayer documents how a handful of people in the Bush Administration changed the moral course of America and tarnished our global reputation in the name of "kee...

  • Andy

    Devastating critique of Bush/Cheney's deranged emotional response to 9/11. Clarifies not just the abject illegality and anti-Americanism of torture, but also its ineffectiveness and dangerous conseque...

  • Kathrynn

    Eyeopening! Glad I opted to read this as it explained a lot of what I'd picked up in bits in pieces from other media over the years, but I thought to myself, "No way! We have too many checks and balan...

  • Kurt

    No book has ever made me feel more disgusted and outraged. The fact that the highest leaders in the U.S. government had condoned and authorized torture was really not news to me after seeing the photo...

  • Bill

    John Adams famously described the American government as one of "laws, not of men." In eight years, the Bush Administration has reacted to the attacks of September 11, 2001, by turning that dictum on ...

  • Clif

    At the end of WW2, Europe was devastated, Germany in particular. It had reaped what it had sowed. German prestige was non-existent after the horrors of Nazism and the prestige of the United States cou...