State of Siege: Their Torture, and Ours
The Criterion Collection | Published: 05/27/15
Revolutionary times are times of revelation: they uncover and flood with light what has long been darkly buried. Implicit in the above exchange between a kidnapped Philip Michael Santore (Yves Montand) and his masked Tupamaro inquisitor, Hugo (Jacques Weber), in Costa-Gavras’s State of Siege (1972) is the unassailable conviction that politics forms the hidden skeleton of our world. Anyone who can be bothered to dig beneath the surface quickly strikes his shovel against these grim, intractable bones, the ossified determinants of who holds power and who does not. Looming invisibly over the interrogation is Costa-Gavras, supremely aware that he wields in his lens a uniquely effective kind of shovel. Indeed, this to him is what the cinema is: “a way of showing, exposing the political processes in our everyday life.”
‘Guantánamo Diary,’ by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
The New York Times | Published: 01/20/15
On or about Sept. 11, 2001, American character changed. What Americans had proudly flaunted as “our highest values” were now judged to be luxuries that in a new time of peril the country could ill afford. Justice, and its cardinal principle of innocent until proven guilty, became a risk, its indulgence a weakness. Asked recently about an innocent man who had been tortured to death in an American “black site” in Afghanistan, former Vice President Dick Cheney did not hesitate. “I’m more concerned,” he said, “with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.” In this new era in which all would be sacrificed to protect the country, torture and even murder of the innocent must be counted simply “collateral damage.”
The CIA: The Devastating Indictment
The New York Review of Books | Published: 01/16/15
"Hugh Eakin: Nearly six years ago, you published the secret report by the International Committee of the Red Cross documenting the CIA’s torture of more than a dozen “high-value” detainees. And now we have the Senate’s extensive investigation of the torture program itself. What are some of the most revealing findings of the Senate report?"
How Robert Gates Got Away With It
The New York Review of Books | Published: 08/14/14
Early 2007: American troops are pinned down in the fourth year of a losing war in Iraq and in the fifth of an increasingly desperate one in Afghanistan, crises that still loom over the country and its foreign policy more than half a dozen years later, as Iraq, beset by a jihadist insurgency that sprang from the American invasion, splinters into pieces...
Cheney: ‘The More Ruthless the Better’
The New York Review of Books | Published: 04/21/14
"Self-directed, restrained, disciplined, Cheney was concerned not with words but with power and what it brought. In the aftermath of September 11, the silent vice-president, serving a fledgling president who had won half a million fewer votes than his Democratic opponent, who knew little of the workings of government and less of the world, and who had just failed to prevent the most damaging attack on the homeland in the history of the United States..."
He Remade Our World
The New York Review of Books | Published: 03/17/14
"Almost exactly a decade ago, Vice President Dick Cheney greeted President George W. Bush one morning in the Oval Office with the news that his administration was about to implode. Or not quite: Cheney let the president know that something was deeply wrong, though it would take Bush two more days of increasingly surprising revelations.."
In the Darkness of Dick Cheney
The New York Review of Books | Published: 02/14/14
No turning back would be a good slogan for Dick Cheney. His memoirs are remarkable—and he shares this with Rumsfeld—for an almost perfect lack of second-guessing, regret, or even the mildest reconsideration. Decisions are now as they were then. If the Mission Accomplished moment in 2003 seemed at the time to be the height of American power and authority, then so it will remain—unquestioned, unaltered, uninflected by subsequent public events that show it quite clearly to have been nothing of the kind. “If I had to do it over again,” says Cheney, “I’d do it in a minute.”
Rumsfeld: Why We Live in His Ruins
The New York Review of Books | Published: 02/06/14
On a lovely morning in May 2004, as occupied Iraq slipped deeper into a chaos of suicide bombings, improvised explosive attacks, and sectarian warfare, the American commander in Baghdad, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, together with his superior, General John Abizaid of Central Command, arrived at the White House for an appointment with the president.
Donald Rumsfeld Revealed
The New York Review of Books | Published: 01/09/14
It is a striking thought: night after night, the secretary of defense of the world’s most powerful country retires to his bed haunted not by some threatening, well-armed foe but by “a failure of imagining what might happen in the world.”
Rumsfeld's War and Its Consequences Now
The New York Review of Books | Published: 12/19/13
Trust brings trust, confidence builds on confidence: the young inexperienced president, days before American bombs begin falling on Afghanistan, wants a “creative” plan to invade Iraq, developed “outside the normal channels”; the old veteran defense secretary, in a rare moment of weakness, craves human comfort and understanding. And yet they’d hardly known one another, these two, before George W. Bush chose him for his secretary of defense nine months before.
Original Version: The Struggle for a Democratic Haiti
The New York Times Magazine | Published: 06/01/87
This is the first draft of Mark Danner's first feature article about Haiti, written in 1987 for The New York Times Magazine.
Warring with Words: Narrative and Metaphor in Politics
The Best American Magazine Writing 2012
Columbia Journalism Review | Published: 01/13/13
Moderated by the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, our experts will assess the extent of threats to American liberty presented by today’s alarmingly-shrouded surveillance state, and the precarious yet critical role of journalists in this context.
Though terrorism has a destructive effect on almost all our lives – if not with direct violence, injury or death, then by eroding peace, community life and civil liberties – public discourse around it is often shallow and manipulative. It’s time for a deeper look at this issue: what is terrorism and what should we do about it?
Your Call: Democracy vs National Security
Mark Danner and Carlotta Gall discuss coverage of "the USA Freedom Act" limiting the NSA's domestic surveillance powers, and the declassified interviews with a former Guantanamo Bay detainee on KALW's Your Call.
Oakland Book Festival: Fiction and War
Panel discussion with Mark Danner and fiction writers Anthony Marra and Nayomi Munaweera as part of the first annual Oakland Book Festival at Oakland City Hall.
How the US Created the Islamic State
In this collaboration with VICE News and the New York Review of Books Mark Danner discusses the US role in the development of ISIS.
Rosewater Conversation at the Telluride Film Festival
Mark Danner discusses the film, Rosewater with Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahrani and Gael Garcia Bernal at the Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, CO.
As Iraq Unravels the Neocons are Revived
Mark Danner on Background Briefing with Ian Masters, June 22nd 2014.
Dialogue on Reporting and El Mozote
A dialogue on reporting and El Mozote with Agnieszka Wojcinska in Warsaw, Poland.
Wars, Terror and the Limits of Reportage
Mark Danner spoke at the Warsaw Book Fair on May 24, 2014, Warsaw, Poland.
On Ryszard Kapuscinski: Thoughts at the Kapuscinski Prize in Warsaw
Mark Danner speaking in Warsaw, Poland for the Kapuscinski Prize.
After the Wars of Terror: The US 'Light Footprint' in the Post-9/11 World
Lecture: "After the Wars of Terror: The US 'Light Footprint' in the Post-9/11 World," Smolny Institute, St Petersburg, Russia. Introduced by Artemy Magun, Professor of Democratic Theory.
Mark Danner on Oppenheimer's 'The Act of Killing'
Mark Danner discusses Joshua Oppenheimer's 'The Act of Killing' documentary at the Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkeley.
Kronos Quartet Symposium: Centennial Anniversary of WWI
Cal Performances Kronos Quartet Symposium on the Centennial Anniversary of WWI at UC Berkeley. Historian and Journalist Mark Danner offered thoughts on the historical impact of the Great War and the human costs of warfare in the following century.
Iraq: What’s Known, What’s Unknown, What We Don’t Want to Know
"The journalist Mark Danner, who covered the war and is now covering the aftermath, says the inconvenient truth here is that the public doesn’t want to reconsider it either, because we’re all implicated in the shame".
Friday Media Roundtable: Protests in Turkey and the CIA's torture program
"We’ll discuss media coverage of Senator Dianne Feinstein accusing the CIA of spying on a Senate panel. How are the media linking the latest revelations to the NSA’s mass surveillance program? We’ll also discuss the renewed protests in Turkey. We’ll be joined by McClatchy’s Mark Seibel, investigative journalist and author Mark Danner and the Times of London’s Turkey correspondent Alex Christie-Miller".
Mark Danner on "Rumsfeld's War and Its Consequences Now"
Mark Danner discusses "Rumsfeld's War and Its Consequences Now," his provocative recent article in The New York Review of Books, with Ian Masters for "Background Briefing," KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles.
Q&A with Errol Morris: The Unknown Known
Mark Danner speaks with Errol Morris after the screening of his film, The Unknown Known, at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival. The film explores the years that Donald Rumsfeld influenced American policy, from the Vietnam War to the Iraq War.
Danner, DeLillo, and Morris on the Kennedy Assassination
Mark Danner in conversation with Don DeLillo and Errol Morris at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival. DeLillo reads an excerpt from his novel, Underworld, and screens the iconic 26-second Zapruder film. Danner, DeLillo, and Morris discuss the film as well as Errol Morris' The Umbrella Man, a short video that explores the story behind the man standing under an open umbrella at the scene of the assassination.
A Tribute to Mohammad Rasoulof
Mark Danner leads a tribute to Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival. Rasoulof's films present a bold critique, often at his own risk, of Iran's systematic oppression of individuals. Listen to Danner's introduction to Rasoulof's work and watch a video of the Q&A following the screening. Translation by Mishana Hosseinioun.