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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

Robert Silvers: Interviews

New York     |    April 10, 2013
Tags: Robert Silvers | New York Magazine | New York Book Review | Interviews | Journalism | Reporting

In Conversation: Robert Silvers

New York     |    April 07, 2013     |    INTERVIEW

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

The Twilight of Responsibility: Torture and the Higher Deniability

Houston Law Review     |    April 08, 2012


"A riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma" — Churchill's comment about Soviet motivations floated into my mind as I read Philip Zelikow's elegant and powerful analysis of American "Codes of Conduct" during our Twilight War. We as Americans stand today before a terrible and indisputable fact—that, as Mr. Zelikow puts it, "for the first time in American history, leaders of the U.S. government carefully devised ways and means to torment enemy captives." And though we know an immense amount about how this came to happen—the plot lines of who did what to whom, who wrote the memos and who was "tormented" and how, who was smashed repeatedly against walls, who was crushed into tiny confinement boxes, who was waterboarded and how many times—we know relatively little about how the momentous decision came to be made.

Tags: Houston Law Review | Frankel Lecture | Torture

Now That We've Tortured: Image, Guilt, Consequence

Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body (book)     |    December 01, 2011     |    ESSAY

Torture_power Let me begin with what today has been a key word: amnesia. It is a striking word, and it makes a provocative point. When it comes to torture as practiced by the United States during the war on terror, there is certainly amnesia and an ongoing quest on the part of some to encourage and cultivate it.
Tags: Torture

After September 11: Our State of Exception

The New York Review of Books     |    September 11, 2011

13 We are living in the State of Exception. We don't know when it will end, as we don't know when the War on Terror will end. But we all know when it began.
Tags: September 11th

Torture: Once anathema, now a choice

New York     |    August 27, 2011
Tags: Torture | NY Magazine

40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering

August 23, 2011
Tags: Chez Panisse | Alice Waters | Berkeley

To Heal Haiti, Look to History, Not Nature

The New York Times     |    January 21, 2010

Recovery can come only with vital, even heroic, outside help; but such help will do little to restore Haiti unless it addresses the manmade causes that lie beneath the Haitian malady.
Tags: Haiti

The Red Cross Torture Report: What it Means

The New York Review of Books     |    April 30, 2009     |    ESSAY

01c_nyrb043009 When it comes to torture, it is not what we did but what we are doing. It is not what happened but what is happening and what will happen.  In our politics, torture is not about whether or not our polity can "let the past be past"—whether or not we can "get beyond it and look forward."
Tags: Torture | ICRC | middle east | Black Sites

Paradoxes of Torture and Scandal

The Washington Post     |    April 26, 2009

Bush1 The first paradox of the torture scandal is that it is not about things we didn't know but about things we did know and did nothing about. Beginning more than a half-dozen years ago, Bush administration officials broke the law and did repugnant things to detainees under their control. But if you think that the remedy is simple and clear -- that all officials who broke the law should be tried and punished -- then ask yourself what exactly the political elite of the country has been doing for the last five years. Or what it has not been doing. And why.
Tags: Torture | CIA | War on Terror

US-Folter: Stimmen von dunklen Orten     |    April 20, 2009     |    REPORT

Bush1 Wir glauben, dass Zeit und Wahlen unsere gefallene Welt reinwaschen werden, aber das werden sie nicht.  Seit November scheinen sich George W. Bush und seine Regierung mit zunehmender Geschwindigkeit von uns entfernt zu haben, ein dunkler Komet auf dem Weg zum Ende des Universums.
Tags: IKRK | | middle east | Folter | German
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