Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (P.S.)
Seymour M. Hersh
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Since September 11, 2001, Seymour M. Hersh has riveted readers -- and outraged the Bush Administration -- with his explosive stories in The New Yorker, including his headline-making pieces on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Now, Hersh brings together what he has learned, along with new reporting, to answer the critical question of the last four years: How did America get from the clear morning when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center to a divisive and dirty war in Iraq?
In Chain of Command, Hersh takes an unflinching look behind the public story of the war on terror and into the lies and obsessions that led America into Iraq. Hersh draws on sources at the highest levels of the American government and intelligence community, in foreign capitals, and on the battlefield for an unparalleled view of a critical chapter in America's recent history. In a new afterword, he critiques the government's failure to adequately investigate prisoner abuse -- at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere -- and punish those responsible. With an introduction by The New Yorker's editor, David Remnick, Chain of Command is a devastating portrait of an administration blinded by ideology and of a president whose decisions have made the world a more dangerous place for America.
military police ofﬁcers and enlisted soldiers be relieved of command and formally reprimanded. No criminal proceedings were suggested for Karpinski; apparently, the loss of promotion and the indignity of a public rebuke were seen as enough punishment. Taguba submitted his report on February 26, 2004. By then, according to testimony before the Senate by General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, people “inside our building” had discussed the photographs. Myers, by his own
investigation. “Once the crisis in Iraq is passed, somebody is going to start blowing the whistle. The good people are beginning to realize what they don’t know.” On December 18, 2001, American operatives participated in what amounted to the kidnapping of two Egyptians, Ahmed Agiza and Muhammed al-Zery, who had sought asylum in Sweden. The Egyptians, believed by American intelligence to be linked to Islamic militant groups, were abruptly seized in the late afternoon and ﬂown out of Sweden a few
much about them.” Initially, these investigators suspected that the suicide teams were simply lucky. “In your wildest dreams, do you think they thought they’d be able to pull off four hijackings?” the ofﬁcial asked. “Just taking out one jet and getting it into the ground would have been a success. These are not supermen.” He argued that the most important advantage the hijackers had had, aside from the element of surprise, was history: in the past, most hijackings had ended up landing safely at a
director, Duane (“Dewey”) Clarridge. In his memoir, See No Evil, published in January 2002, Baer depicts what happened after he arrived, fresh from an assignment as a case ofﬁcer in Khartoum: The ﬁrst few months serving as a foot soldier in Dewey’s war against terrorism were about as exhilarating as the spy business gets. . . . Dewey had a new presidential ﬁnding—authority to pretty much do anything he wanted against the terrorists. He had all the money he wanted. . . . It wasn’t long before the
which in December 2001, was still in the planning stages. An Air Force consultant told me that the I.N.C. was not included in that planning, adding, “Everything is going to happen inside Iraq, and Chalabi is going to be on the outside.” Generals and admirals were among the most outspoken critics of Chalabi’s proposals. In his years of planning at CENTCOM, General Zinni concluded, according to a Clinton Administration ofﬁcial, that a prudent and successful invasion of Iraq would involve the