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Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and The Betrayal of American Values

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2008

    An eye opener

    I first heard of this book while listening to C-Span. It was mentioned during a Judiciary Com hearing of the lawyers that participated in writing the Law that would justify this type of interrogation. I highly recommend this book if you wish to find out what some have done to legalize these illegal acts by this Administration and how the detainees at Gitmo where treated.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2008

    Brilliant study of how the US government reintroduced torture

    Philippe Sands QC, Professor of Law at University College London, wrote the acclaimed Lawless World. In this new book he investigates how the US state introduced aggressive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo and elsewhere. He interviewed key figures in the US Department of Defense, including Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Major General Michael Dunlavey, Commanding Officer of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo until 8 November 2002, General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General James Hill, Commander of US Southern Command. Sands shows that the highest US authorities authorised criminal acts. As Abraham Lincoln said in 1863, ¿military necessity does not admit of cruelty ¿ nor of torture to extract confessions.¿ Aggressive interrogation techniques, as well as being immoral, are unnecessary because they are unreliable, and they are also counter-productive because they discredit the user, undermine the user side¿s war effort and increase the risks to the user side¿s POWs. A National Defense Intelligence College study of 2006 concluded that there was almost no scientific evidence to support their use. Yet in February 2002, President George W. Bush ruled that none of the Guantanamo detainees could rely on any of the protections granted by the Geneva Conventions. This ruling was intended to remove all constraints on interrogation, as Douglas Feith confirmed to Sands. On 2 December 2002 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed an `Action Memo¿ one of whose four attachments authorised the use of eighteen interrogation techniques. These all contravened US Army Field Manual 34-52, the rule book for military interrogation, and broke Common Article 3 of the Conventions, which prohibits cruel or inhumane treatment and `outrages upon personal dignity¿, without exceptions for `necessity¿ or national security. Further, as former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger concluded in his report, ¿the augmented techniques for Guantanamo migrated to Afghanistan and Iraq where they were neither limited nor safeguarded.¿ US pressure also led British forces in Iraq to adopt more aggressive interrogation techniques, as Brigadier Ewan Duncan, responsible for British HUMINT operations, acknowledged to Sands. In June 2006 the US Supreme Court ruled that Bush¿s decision was unlawful and that Common Article 3 applied to all Guantanamo detainees. As Justice Anthony Kennedy said, ¿violations of Common Article 3 are considered `war crimes¿.¿ All acts of torture and all acts of complicity or participation in torture are criminal offences.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    Recommend this book

    International human rights lawyer Sands does a good job in showing the flaws of torture tactics, which gravitate the suffering community to get more fired up about joining their cause. This is clearly demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am simply shocked to see how the Bush Administration fell for this criminal tactic, ignoring experiences gathered earlier in dealing with IRA violence. Such tortures can definitely make a sane person become insane and turn into a terrorist, which he/she was not in the beginning. The world community must demand trying guys like Rumsfeld, Rice, Bush and Cheney as war criminals for authorizing such tactics, which are outlawed according to international law.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    don't bother

    Decently written but incredibly sensationalist for anyone who follows this stuff.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    head in the sands

    unoriginal as it is careless. don't torture yourself.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    Facts? ..or Sensationalism?

    The title blares 'Torture Team', ..yet on the book's main issue of Guantanamo, the author backs off and allows that America has NOT run a systemic practice of torture. Last week, one of the recently released Guantanamo detainees went back to Iraq and killed seven people. Hmmm, I have to ask: 'How many of the 'tortured' detainees have died in our custody?' This story overlooks that consideration.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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