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

Jane Mayer

Language: English

Pages: 432

ISBN: 0307456293

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

National Bestseller

With a New Afterword


National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

A Best Book of the Year: Salon, Slate, The Economist, The Washington Post, Cleveland Plain-Dealer


The Dark Side is a dramatic, riveting, and definitive narrative account of how the United States made self-destructive decisions in the pursuit of terrorists around the world—decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. In spellbinding detail, Jane Mayer relates the impact of these decisions by which key players, namely Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser David Addington, exploited September 11 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.



















them very clear,” he recounted Black as saying. “I have discussed this with the President, and he is in full agreement. Your mission is to find Osama Bin Laden and his senior lieutenants, and kill them.” Schroen said Black paused then to let his words sink in. “I don’t want Bin Laden and his thugs captured. I want them dead. Alive and in prison here in the United States and they’ll become a symbol, a rallying point for other terrorists. They have planned and carried out the murder of thousands of

used the President’s reasoning, you could shut down Congress for leaking too much. His war powers allow him to declare anyone an illegal combatant. All the world’s a battlefield—according to this view, he could kill someone in Lafayette Park if he wants! It’s got the sense of Louis XIV: ‘I am the State.’ ” 5 DETAINEE 001 The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime president. —President Franklin Roosevelt’s Attorney General Francis Biddle, writing in 1962 O blivious to the legal

there for the next week as Northern Alliance soldiers tried to expel them with gunfire, grenades, bombs, diesel fuel—which they ignited—and then freezing water, which flooded the basement by several feet. Anyone who couldn’t stand drowned. Lindh leaned on a stick to stay upright, but slipped on a body at one point, falling and swallowing some water, which was contaminated with blood, human remains, and waste. On December 1, Lindh and eighty-five other survivors crawled out THE DARK SIDE 79 to

warrants—came to include the wide and ill-defined population that the administration termed “illegal enemy combatants.” Many of them had never been publicly charged with any crime. Before September 11, the program was aimed at rendering criminal suspects to justice, but afterward it was used to render suspects outside the reach of the law. Instead of holding suspects accountable for previously committed crimes, it was used to gather evidence of future crimes not yet committed—for which there was

or entirely imaginary plots to blow up American banks, supermarkets, malls, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, and nuclear power plants. Federal law-enforcement officials were dispatched to unlikely locations across the country in an effort to follow these false leads. “The Agency was putting on a show for the top political people— for the White House—in the daily briefing,” Coleman asserted. “Who knows if they really got any intelligence. There’s nothing in the way

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