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The Magic of Donald Trump

The New York Review of Books     |    May 11, 2016
 
Tags: Donald Trump | Election 2016 | Republicans | President | New York Review of Books | Mark Danner

Standing Their Ground: A View Inside a Ukrainian Revolution

Telluride FilmWatch     |    September 01, 2015

In November 2013, the Ukrainian government abruptly canceled plans to join the European Union, a shock for citizens who dreamed of escaping Russian domination to become part of the West. Thus began one of the most inspiring revolutions of modern times. Evgeny Afineevsky's documentary WINTER ON FIRE follows, from week one, the Ukrainian protests known as the Maidan. For three months, the Ukrainian people—800,000 at the demonstration’s heights—took to the streets to protest. The protestors stayed even as government forces turned to violence—on one day, the police killed 50 citizens—remaining until Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office in February 2014. Mark Danner  spoke to Afineevsky about the movement’s geopolitical implications and the film’s on-the-spot portrayal of revolution, political violence and deep cultural change.
 
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Double Blind

Telluride FilmWatch     |    September 01, 2015

When Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda terrorist with a $25 million bounty on his head, decided to show to the world videotapes of the planning and execution of his terror attacks, he delivered them to Michael Ware. Ware, a reporter for Time magazine and CNN, brought the grisly footage to the world’s attention, making it clear that for the U.S. any victory in Iraq was very far off.
At the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, Ware and co-director Bill Guttentag spoke with Mark Danner about the film.

 
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State of Siege: Their Torture, and Ours

The Criterion Collection     |    May 27, 2015

Screen_shot_2015-05-29_at_10.50.26_am 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.”
 
Tags: State of siege | Terror | Torture

‘Guantánamo Diary,’ by Mohamedou Ould Slahi

The New York Times     |    January 20, 2015

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"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.”

 
Tags: Guantanamo | Torture | Terror | CIA

The CIA: The Devastating Indictment

The New York Review of Books     |    2/5/2015

Screen_shot_2015-01-16_at_4.00.52_pm "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?"
 
Tags: CIA | Hugh Eakin | Torture | Terror

Mark Danner: Bush Lied About Torture of Prisoners

Democracy Now     |    January 03, 2015

Screen_shot_2015-02-06_at_2.07.22_pm "We move on to a breaking story, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluding in a secret report, yes, it was two years ago that the Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners “constituted torture” in violation of the Geneva Conventions—the findings based on interviews with prisoners once held in the CIA’s secret black sites."
 
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How Robert Gates Got Away With It

The New York Review of Books     |    August 14, 2014

Screen_shot_2015-01-16_at_4.08.24_pm "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..."
 
Tags: Robert Gates | Forever War

Cheney: ‘The More Ruthless the Better’

The New York Review of Books     |    05/08/2014

Nyrb050814 "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..."
 
Tags: Cheney | Bush | Guantanamo | Torture | Terror

He Remade Our World

The New York Review of Books     |    March 17, 2014

Nyrb040314 "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, and the near mass resignation of his senior Justice Department and law enforcement officials, to figure out exactly what it was..."
 
Tags: Mark Danner | Dick Cheney | nyrb | Terror

In the Darkness of Dick Cheney

The New York Review of Books     |    February 14, 2014

Nyrb030614_png_600x1292_q85 "And yet we live still in Cheney’s world. All around us are the consequences of those decisions: in Fallujah, Iraq, where al-Qaeda-allied jihadis who were nowhere to be found in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq have just again seized control; in Syria, where Iraqi jihadists play a prominent part in the rebellion against the Assad regime; in Afghanistan, where the Taliban, largely ignored after 2002 in the rush to turn American attention to Saddam Hussein, are resurgent. And then there is the other side of the “war on terror,” the darker story that Cheney, five days after the September 11 attacks, was able to describe so precisely for the country during an interview on Meet the Press..."
 
Tags: New York Review of Books | Dick Cheney | Cheney

Rumsfeld: Why We Live in His Ruins

The New York Review of Books     |    February 06, 2014

Nyrb020614 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.
 
Tags: Donald Rumsfeld | The Unknown Known | Errol Morris | Known and Unknown: A Memoir

Donald Rumsfeld Revealed

The New York Review of Books     |    January 09, 2014

Nyrb010914 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.”
 
Tags: Donald Rumsfeld | Known and Unknown: A Memoir | The Unknown Known | Errol Morris

Rumsfeld's War and Its Consequences Now

The New York Review of Books     |    December 19, 2013

Nyrb121913 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.

 
Tags: Donald Rumsfeld | The Unknown Known | Errol Morris

Das syrische Dilemma

Lettre International     |    December 2013

Zen_ninesixty_logo Mark Danner's article, "Syria: Is There a Solution?", originally published in The New York Review of Books, was reprinted in the German magazine, Lettre International.
 
Tags: Syria | Iraq | middle east

Syria: Is There a Solution?

The New York Review of Books     |    November 07, 2013

Nyrb110713 To many Americans, Iraq now seems little more than a bad dream, best left unmentioned. Still, as the debate in the United States has turned to “the Syria dilemma” next door—and, more recently, to the US’s obligation to “stand up…for the interests of all” by enforcing President Obama’s declared “red line” against the use of chemical weapons there—the shadow of Iraq falls darkly over the landscape.
 
Tags: Syria | Iraq | middle east

In Conversation: Robert Silvers

New York     |    April 07, 2013     |    INTERVIEW

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As the New York Review of Books turns 50, its founding editor speaks with Review contributor Mark Danner about the poetry of Twitter, hiding the Pentagon Papers, and how his journal of ideas emerged from the flood of "little magazines" as possibly the unlikeliest success story in publishing.

To read a New York Times piece by Janny Scott about Robert Silvers' legacy -- and Danner's relationship with Silvers -- click here.
 
Tags: NY Magazine | New York Review of Books | Robert Silvers

How, and What, Obama Won

The New York Review of Books     |    December 20, 2012     |    ESSAY

Nyrb122012_png_208x857_q85 Clamorous and overpowering, campaign images are vivid as dreams and vanish as quickly. Was it real, that huge white aircraft hangar in Columbus, Ohio, the night before the election? I'd raced there from downtown Columbus's Nationwide Arena, where President Obama, introduced by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, his voice hoarse and his face worn, had addressed fifteen thousand or so enthusiastic, mostly young supporters.
 
Tags: Karl Rove | Obama | Election

The Politics of Fear

The New York Review of Books     |    November 22, 2012     |    ESSAY

Nyrb112212_png_208x857_q85 Amid the clamorous controversies of this election campaign, what strikes one here on the West Bank of the Jordan is the silences. Though the issue of Palestine promises to have a much more vital part in the volatile, populist politics of the Middle East"s new democracies—whose vulnerable governments actually must take some account of what moves ordinary people—here in Ramallah we have heard virtually nothing substantive about it, apart, that is, from Mitt Romney"s repeated charge that President Obama, presumably in extracting from Israel a hard-fought ten-month freeze on settlement building early on in his administration, had "thrown Israel under the bus."
 
Tags: Barack Obama | Guantanamo | Election | U.S. Politics | Terrorism | Mitt Romney

Six Powerful Voices: Deep Inside Israel's Shin Bet

Telluride FilmWatch     |    September 02, 2012     |    INTERVIEW

Gatekeepers_01 The first duty of Shin Bet, Israel's feared internal intelligence service, is to be invisible. Its very motto, "Magen VeLo Yera'e," brands this shadowy organization as the "Defender that shall not be seen." So it is more than a bit startling to find a documentary film built around interviews with Shin Bet's surviving directors—not one but all six: Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri and Avraham Shalom. Persuading these feared professional spooks to sit for on-camera interviews was unprecedented; extracting the details they tell, not only about their shadow war with Palestinian terrorists but their bitter conflicts with Israeli politicians, was historical and, as the story unfolds, increasingly shocking. I sat down with Dror Moreh, director of The Gatekeepers, to ask him how he did it.
 
Tags: Dror Moreh | Telluride | The Gatekeepers
© 2016 Mark Danner