So, to cheer ourselves up, my husband is reading that enthralling and oh-so-upbeat book, The Dark Side, by Jane Mayer. He reads bits to me. It's horrible. Not the book--that's excellent--but what she's written about. Here's a few reviews: From Tim Rutten, of the Los Angeles Times:
[I]f you intend to vote in November and read only one book between now and then, this should be it. ...[W]hat Mayer makes abundantly clear is how much more perilous the domestic situation might have become had there not been the modest degree of push back the White House has received from Congress and other rather courageous members of the executive branch. Former Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), for example, tells Mayer how George W. Bush's then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales sought a last-minute congressional resolution that "would give President Bush the authority to round up American citizens as enemy combatants, potentially stripping them of their civil liberties."From Alan Brinkley, the New York Times:
There is no happy ending to this sordid and shameful story. Despite growing political pressure, despite Supreme Court decisions challenging the detainment policy, despite increasing revelations of the once-hidden program that have shocked the conscience of the world, there is little evidence that the secret camps and the torture programs have been abandoned or even much diminished. New heads of the Defense and Justice Departments have resisted addressing the torture issue, aware that dozens of their colleagues would face legal jeopardy should they do so. And the presidential candidates of both parties have so far shown little interest in confronting the use of torture or recommitting the country to the Geneva Conventions and to America’s own laws and traditions.Interesting, isn't it? Our leaders just don't care. Why not? And why is this not screaming from the top of every newspaper, every radio station, every presidential campaign stop? I mean, I know that this isn't all one can talk about, being a newspaper publisher myself, but I do come back to this theme again and again. But not enough.
Here's an interview on Democracy Now! with the author, too.
Another review, from Salon, by Louis Bayard:
But who exactly was being interrogated? Mayer's big find is a classified CIA report from the summer of 2002, in which a senior analyst concludes that one-third of the camp's 600 prisoners have no connection to terrorism whatsoever. That figure was later amended by an FBI counterterrorism expert, who argued that no more than 50 of the detainees were worth holding. These findings directly contradicted administration assertions that Guantánamo harbored only "the worst of the worst." Not surprisingly, the administration refused to review the detainees' cases, with the result that many of them are still there, years after their initial incarceration -- and still without legal recourse because they have never been charged with a crime.Yet, this could have been us. And our Congresspeople ALL voted to support the administration on these kinds of horrors.
So yeah, we're feeling cheery and sunny and optimistic and Happy!