The Dark Side By Jane Mayer
Review by : ilaxi patel
A highly gripping and suspense read by a staff writer of New Yorker, documents the nefarious deeds of George Bush Administration. The ‘Then and Now’ – well researched and shockingly revealing book for those who stand for the truth. Extraordinary stuff, however disturbing.
This book begins by making the case that al Qaeda was not on the Bush Administration’s radar screen prior to 9/11. After the attack, Dick Cheney filled a void of leadership with David Addington and greatly exaggerated the terrorist threat to the point of throwing overboard American ideals.
They worked through back channels to push through a legal authorization of military commissions. Then they proceeded to set in motion all the measures that resulted from what they conceived to be a full scale War on Terror. They got the President to sign off on bypassing the Geneva Conventions for al-Qaeda and the Taliban; they set up the legal authority to detain “illegal enemy combatants” indefinitely without habeas corpus rights; and they set the stage for using interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, sensory overload and deprivation, humiliation, sleep deprivation, etc – techniques that were subject to abuse and can only be called torture. Then, they threw aside the fourth amendment to enable spying on Americans. Jane Mayer shows how the administration basically ignored the Geneva Conventions, which the United States helped establish and long championed, to literally beat out false and useless information from terrorists. Water boarding being the most notable example, the book also details other methods used to obtain information and how many times the tricks used by the CIA resulted in incorrect information.
The accounts of torture are very disturbing. Some torture resulted in death from which no one has been held to account. Mayer specifies that some Government Lawyers and Personnel did fight against policies but they generally failed. An example is Alberto Mora, whom she mentions of risking his career in protesting the torture policies and was up against an array of forces.
Jane Mayer refers that Bush administration used the fear of extremists to drive through policies and new laws that served to weaken constitutional rights while at the same time expand policy powers. The Dark Side takes a blow to the Bush Administration and pulls away the loyal Bush supporters as it makes one wonder how a group of people in the White House can wreck havoc as Jane writes, “”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.”
Can you blame Bush and Blair? Bush administration had been a greater threat to American Constitution than Osama bin Laden. I recommend The Dark Side – a Must Read apart from another ‘The Prosecution of George Bush for Murder’ – Those who know the Truth, the facts remain true.