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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The White House brass knuckled quest for information, 4 Mar 2005
By 
Bert Ruiz "author/journalist" (Pleasantville, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (Hardcover)
"Chain of Command," by Seymour M. Hersh is a tier-one journalistic examination of the Bush/Chaney/Rumsfeld post 9/11 brass knuckled quest for information. In essence, Hersh documents how the White House is fighting terror with terror. Moreover, the author directs a glaring spotlight on the White House eye for an eye retribution that prompted the authorization of "Black Programs," with an above the law, "grab who you want...do what you want," operational doctrine.
Hersh gives a blow by blow account of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's impatience with military protocol and details his public disdain for the internationally accepted rules of the Geneva Convention. He also reports that the Secretary of Defense wanted the civilian leadership of the Pentagon...not the CIA to lead the fight on terrorism. Consequently, Hersh expertly exposes how the subsequent "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses," at Abu Ghraib prison took place. It also documents the wrongdoing in the main interrogation center in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The heavy-handed approach in Guantanamo which was based on coercion instead of persuasion was considered evil and stupid by senior Pentagon terror experts. Human Rights Watch reported that President Bush was, "dead wrong in proclaiming that international law did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo." Additionally, senior JAG lawyers in the Judge-Advocat General's Corps protested the "extraordinary means" used on prisoners. This book paves the way to understanding how the White House created conditions that allowed transgressions to take place all over the world. Recommended.
Bert Ruiz
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anti-Bushery at its best, 14 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (Hardcover)
There is, no doubt, an enourmous amount of Bush-bashing being proliferated in the media, particularly in the run-up to the US elections. However, few of the President's detractors have the pedigree of Hersh - and few will have taken the systematic and thorough approach that he applies to deconstructing the Bush-machine.

The revelations concerning Bush's 'hawks' which Hersh brings to light should leave any reader - cynical, wide-eyed, or simply well-grounded - reeling in distain for the current US governmental regime. The catalogue of systematic undermining of accepted moral behaviour that Hersh is able to lay at Bush's doorstep is enough to make one feel utterly dismayed and appalled that such policies and persons should be existent in the greatest economic, military and polical player in the world.

The fact that the Defence Department have issued a formal statement denying the allegations of Hersh's book, surely, is enough to convince anyone that this gun just keeps smoking.

Essential reading for anyone who wishes to step behind the spin.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb study of the current US/British wars, 8 Nov 2004
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (Hardcover)
In this unusually useful book, the American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh presents some vital new information on the US and British states' current wars.
Torture, which is invariably counterproductive, is of course illegal, under the Geneva Convention, US federal anti-torture statutes and the UN Convention Against Torture, ratified by the USA in 1994. Yet in 2001 President Bush secretly ruled, "I ... determine that none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout the world."
This contempt for law resulted directly in systematic abuse, torture and murders in US prisons. Abu Ghraib was unusual only because it became notorious. The US state organises torture tourism: it kidnaps suspects then takes them to Egypt for intensive torture, or to the many secret CIA prisons in Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore, etc.
In November 2001, Bush approved a Pakistani airlift out of northern Afghanistan. 5000 people escaped, Pakistani army officers and intelligence agents, and an unknown number of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
Since 1997, the Labour government has consistently spread false information about Iraq. A member of the UN inspection team passed dozens of unverified intelligence 'reports' to MI6, who passed these dodgy tips discreetly to the press.
Ehud Barak, an ex-Prime Minister of Israel, told Vice-President Dick Cheney late last year that the USA had lost in Iraq. He said that Israel 'had learned that there's no way to win an occupation'. The only issue now was 'choosing the size of your humiliation'.
The Israeli government has also concluded that the occupation cannot bring stability or democracy to Iraq. As a former Israeli military intelligence officer said, "it doesn't add up. It's over. Not militarily ... but politically." So Israel is not depending on the USA. It is further destabilising the Middle East by training Kurdish commando units in northern Iraq and running covert operations in Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. This has provoked a new alliance against Israel, of Iran, Syria and Turkey.
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Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib by Seymour M. Hersh (Hardcover - 13 Sep 2004)
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