Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values [NOOK Book]

Overview


On December 2, 2002 the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed his name at the bottom of a document that listed eighteen techniques of interrogation--techniques that defied international definitions of torture. The Rumsfeld Memo authorized the controversial interrogation practices that later migrated to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition. From a behind-the-scenes vantage point, Phillipe Sands investigates how ...

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

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Overview


On December 2, 2002 the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed his name at the bottom of a document that listed eighteen techniques of interrogation--techniques that defied international definitions of torture. The Rumsfeld Memo authorized the controversial interrogation practices that later migrated to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition. From a behind-the-scenes vantage point, Phillipe Sands investigates how the Rumsfeld Memo set the stage for a divergence from the Geneva Convention and the Torture Convention and holds the individual gatekeepers in the Bush administration accountable for their failure to safeguard international law.

The Torture Team delves deep into the Bush administration to reveal: ·        How the policy of abuse originated with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, and was promoted by their most senior lawyers ·        Personal accounts, through interview, of those most closely involved in the decisions  ·        How the Joint Chiefs and normal military decision-making processes were circumvented·        How Fox TV’s 24 contributed to torture planning·        How interrogation techniques were approved for use ·        How the new techniques were used on Mohammed Al Qahtani, alleged to be “the 20th highjacker” ·        How the senior lawyers who crafted the policy of abuse exposed themselves to the risk of war crimes charges

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rigorous, honest, devastating; I couldn't put it down." — Vanessa Redgrave

"Gripping, furious and very serious indeed". — John le Carré

"Sands has written a page-turning investigation into one of the darkest mysteries in American history: how a country that has led the world on human rights came to embrace a policy of barbaric abuse. One by one, he corners the suspects and sifts the clues, shedding new light at each step along the way." — Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker Magazine

"Philippe Sands has uncovered the proper assignment of responsibility for torture and cruel and unusual punishment administered by the U.S. in the so-called Global War on Terror. Read this book to learn who made these decisions. More importantly, read it to learn how under George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney America abandoned its strongest pillar of power—its own integrity." —Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell

"A remorseless, shocking, forensic narrative, Torture Team leads us from Rumsfeld's office in the Pentagon, via a score of eager-to-please lawyers and bureaucrats, and shows us the brutal consequences for one detainee. The parallel with Nazi Germany's descent into immorality is impossible to escape. This may well be the most important book to emerge since 9/11."

— Robert Harris, journalist and bestselling author of Pompeii, Imperium and The Ghost

"Sands's...book put[s] "the torture team" - the group of more than a half dozen Bush Administration lawyers who gave the green light for the introduction of torture - into sharp focus." - Scott Horton, Harper's Magazine

"Torture Team, Sands’s book...may well be the best bit of contemporary investigative journalism you will read: it is right up there with Woodward and Bernstein, a tour de force of relentlessly dogged pursuit, of interviews with guilty men acquired against all the odds, a beautifully told and humane narrative that follows a paper trail and nails the truth." — The Sunday Times (London)

“Philippe Sands uses extensive interviews and documents to portray with painstaking accuracy what occurred in the White House – and that it did so because lawyers at the highest levels of government enabled it to happen…Torture Team’s purpose is not solely to ascribe blame, however, though it does so with clarity and precision. Sands’ other goal is to consider redress for these crimes.” – The Financial Times

"No wonder the former Rumsfeld capo, Douglas Feith, is trying to discredit a damaging interview he gave to the British lawyer Philippe Sands for another recent and essential book on what happened, Torture Team." — Frank Rich, The New York Times

"Most of the participants in the chain of command were interviewed, some more willingly than others, and good portraits of their characters come through...Sands draws broad sweeping conclusions on the complicity of many levels of the U.S. government and its advocates and advisors....a valuable and strongly researched work." —Palestine Chronicle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230612167
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)
  • File size: 677 KB

Meet the Author


Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World and is frequently a commentator on news and current affairs programs including CNN, MSNBC, and BBC World Service. He has been involved in many leading international cases, including the World Court trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He lives in London, England.


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Table of Contents

Kick-Off

• The Path Comeback

• Responsibility

• Chronology of Events

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • 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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