Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Torture Team

Torture Team

Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values

Philippe Sands

St. Martin's Press

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On December 2, 2002 the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed his name at the bottom of a document that listed eighteen techniques of interrogation--techniques that defied international definitions of torture. The Rumsfeld Memo authorized the controversial interrogation practices that later migrated to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition. From a behind-the-scenes vantage point, Phillipe Sands investigates how the Rumsfeld Memo set the stage for a divergence from the Geneva Convention and the Torture Convention and holds the individual gatekeepers in the Bush administration accountable for their failure to safeguard international law.

The Torture Team delves deep into the Bush administration to reveal:
- How the policy of abuse originated with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, and was promoted by their most senior lawyers
- Personal accounts, through interview, of those most closely involved in the decisions
- How the Joint Chiefs and normal military decision-making processes were circumvented
- How Fox TV's 24 contributed to torture planning
- How interrogation techniques were approved for use
- How the new techniques were used on Mohammed Al Qahtani, alleged to be "the 20th highjacker"
- How the senior lawyers who crafted the policy of abuse exposed themselves to the risk of war crimes charges

Reviews

Praise for Torture Team

“Rigorous, honest, devastating; I couldn't put it down.” —Vanessa Redgrave

“Gripping, furious and very serious indeed.” —John le Carré

“Sands has written a page-turning investigation into one of the darkest mysteries in American history: how a country that has led the world on human rights came to embrace a policy of barbaric abuse. One by one, he corners the suspects and sifts the clues, shedding new light at each step along the way.” —Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker Magazine

“Philippe Sands has uncovered the proper assignment of responsibility for torture and cruel and unusual punishment administered by the U.S. in the so-called Global War on Terror. Read this book to learn who made these decisions. More importantly, read it to learn how under George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney America abandoned its strongest pillar of power--its own integrity.” —Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell

“A remorseless, shocking, forensic narrative, Torture Team leads us from Rumsfeld's office in the Pentagon, via a score of eager-to-please lawyers and bureaucrats, and shows us the brutal consequences for one detainee. The parallel with Nazi Germany's descent into immorality is impossible to escape. This may well be the most important book to emerge since 9/11.” —Robert Harris, journalist and bestselling author of Pompeii, Imperium and The Ghost

“Sands's...book put[s] "the torture team" - the group of more than a half dozen Bush Administration lawyers who gave the green light for the introduction of torture - into sharp focus.” —Scott Horton, Harper's Magazine

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World and is frequently a commentator on news and current affairs programs including CNN, MSNBC, and BBC World Service. He has been involved in many leading international cases, including the World Court trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He lives in London, England.

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands faculty page

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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