On Oct. 24, UFPPC's Monday evening book discussion group will begin a new study circle on "The Road to Abu Ghraib," featuring three works on the background to this historic and ongoing scandal. -- The volumes: Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (New York Review Books, 2004); Karen J. Greenberg & Joshua L. Dratel, eds., The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press, 2005); Seymour M. Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (HarperCollins, 2004; Harper Perennial 2005). -- See below for more information and a link to a flyer....
WHAT: Study circle on 3 books relating to the Abu Ghraib scandal
WHO: Facilitated by members of United for Peace of Pierce County
WHEN: October 24 and November 7 & 14, 2005, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA
[Series flyer for printing (.pdf format).]
DIGGING DEEPER XI: THE ROAD TO ABU GHRAIB
United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
October 24 and November 7 & 14, 2005
For more than a year, United for Peace of Pierce County has been conducting Digging Deeper, a Monday night book discussion group, often in the form of a study circle around a group of books, copies of which participants read, pass around, and discuss. Topics have included peak oil, climate change, and the corporation, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, and social change. Continuing in this tradition, on October 24, 2005, Digging Deeper XI will begin a three-week study circle examining a number of diverse works touching on this theme: How are we to understand the willingness of the United States government to embrace the use of torture?
· Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (New York Review Books, 2004). Publisher's Weekly: This stout and valuable instant book presents a documentary history of the Abu Ghraib prisoner-torture scandal. The paper trail includes policy statements concerning prisoner treatment signed by Attorney General Ashcroft and President Bush, reports on prisoner mistreatment generated within the United States armed forces themselves and material (including photographs) from outside agencies. The sheer mass of data requires some background knowledge about the military and the situation, if only to free the reader from dependence on the author's commentary, although New Yorker staff writer Danner (The Massacre at El Mozote) was in Iraq during 2003, and his opinions, when they come to the fore, are backed up with observations. . . . [A] book of permanent value for the study of the Iraq war and of how apparently reasonable policies can be swept away by intense pressure, political or military, to produce a particular result.
· Karen J. Greenberg & Joshua L. Dratel, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Dana Priest, Washington Post : "With this superb collection of documents, we can begin to see the contours of our new post 9-11 world: from the reinterpretation of laws and treaties that once seemed immutable, to the pressure on soldiers and CIA officers in the field to set aside old rules in the hunt for useable intelligence. The papers speak for themselves and readers can decide whether the trade-offs are worth it or not." John D. Hudson (Rear Adm. Ret.) Dean and President, Franklin Pierce Law Center: "This book is a must read for anyone who cares about the role the United States plays on the world scene. It describes the steps in an ominous path leading from the high road down to the low road in the words of those who took that journey. Throughout our history, the United States has taken justifiable pride in our adherence to the Rule of Law and our strong advocacy for human rights. Read The Torture Papers and see for yourself if that is still true. If we do not have the courage and wisdom to confront this shameful episode, then we are bound to repeat it." Ted Rall, San Diego Union-Tribune : "The Torture Papers then, is no historical artifact. It's why we do what we're (still) doing. It's a monument to denial, arrogance and hypocrisy. It's why they hate us."
· Seymour M. Hersh, Chain of Command (HarperCollins, 2004 [Harper Perennial, 2005]). Publishers Weekly: Publishers Weekly : Based on previously published articles and supplemented by fresh revelations, this book by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Hersh, who writes for the New Yorker and has authored several books (The Dark Side of Camelot, etc.), charges the Bush administration with being propelled by ideology and hamstrung by incompetence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas. One former intelligence official observes that the Bush administration staffers behaved as if they were on a mission from God, while another laments, The guys at the top are as ignorant as they could be. . . . According to Hersh, the dire conditions that enemy combatants suffered at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, presaged detainee abuses at Baghdads Abu Ghraib prison. Hersh reveals the depravities purportedly occurring at Guantánamo and argues that Donald Rumsfeld wasnt the only one responsible for what happened at Abu Ghraib: the President and Vice President had been in it, and with him, all the way. . . . Hersh reserves his sharpest words for President Bush, suggesting the terrifying possibility that words have no meaning for this President beyond the immediate moment, and so he believes that his mere utterance of the phrases makes them real. Hershs critics may dismiss these explosive, less than objective conclusions. For others, however, this sobering book is the closest anyone without a security clearance will get to operatives in the inner sanctums of Americas intelligence, military, political and diplomatic worlds..
MEETING SCHEDULE -- Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on October 24 and November 7 & 14 at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.
United for Peace of Pierce County meets at 7:00 p.m. on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at First United Methodist Church, 423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, WA
Digging Deeper, UFPPCs book discussion series, has been meeting weekly since July 2004. We have considered these books bearing on matters related to UFPPCs mission statement: "We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy": Kevin Phillips, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (Viking, 2004); Craig Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties (Scribner, 2004); Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (Simon and Schuster, 2004); Evan Wright, Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War (Putnam, 2004); Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies (Free Press, 2004); David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (Interlink, 2004); James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (Viking, 2004); Dana Priest, The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military (Norton, 2003); Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (Metropolitan Books, 2004); Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004); Catherine Lutz, Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century (Beacon, 2001); Robert McChesney, The Problem of the Media: US Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Monthly Review Press, 2004); Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Columbia, and Indochina (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); Rahul Mahajan, Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond (Seven Stories Press, 2003); Anonymous [Michael Scheuer], Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror (Brassey's, 2004); Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (Simon & Schuster, 1991); Michael T. Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004); Ross Gelbspan, Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis -- and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster (Basic Books, 2004); Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation (Three Rivers Press, 1999); Richard Heinberg, The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (New Society, 2003); Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Hubberts Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage (Princeton UP, 2001); Amory Lovins et al., Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profit, Jobs, and Security (Rocky Mountain Institute, 2005); Mark Lynas, High Tide: The Truth about Our Climate Crisis (Picador, 2004); Brian M. Fagan, The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization (Basic Books, 2004); Patrick J. Michaels, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media (Cato Institute, 2004); Richard B. Alley, The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future (Princeton University Press, 2002); T.E. Graedel and Paul J. Crutzen, Atmospheric Change: An Earth System Perspective (W.H. Freeman, 1992); Spencer R. Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming (Harvard University Press, 2003); Douglas V. Hoyt & Kenneth H. Schatten, The Role of the Sun in Climate Change (Oxford University Press, 1997); Jim Wallis, God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005); Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2004); Ted Nace, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (Berret-Koehler, 2001); P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003); Roland Marchand, Creating the Corporate Soul: The Rise of Public Relations and Corporate Imagery in American Big Business (University of California Press, 1998); Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Back Bay Books, 2000); Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, The Selling of Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-1960 (University of Illinois Press, 1994); David C. Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd ed., (Berret-Koehler, 2001); Elliott D. Sclar and Richard C. Leone, You Dont Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization (Cornell University Press, 2001); Ezra N. Suleiman, Dismantling Democratic States (Princeton University Press, 2003); Naomi Klein, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (Picador, 2002; orig. ed. 1999); John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Berrett-Koehler, 2004); Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Broadway Books, 2002); Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire (South End Press, 2004); Lester R. Brown, Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures (W.W. Norton, 2005); Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2005); Ron Hira & Anil Hira, Outsourcing America: What's Behind Our National Crisis And How We Can Reclaim American Jobs (AMOCOM, 2005); Bruce Lincoln, Holy Terrors: Thinking about Religion after September 11 (University of Chicago Press, 2003); Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide (Basic Books, 2002; paperback edition by Perennial, 2005); Geraldine Brooks, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (Anchor, 1995); Kalle Lasn, Culture Jam: How to Reverse Americas Suicidal Consumer Binge -- And Why We Must (Perennial, 2000); Derrick Jensen, The Culture of Make Believe (Chelsea Green, 2004; orig. ed. 2002); Emma Larkin, Finding George Orwell in Burma (Penguin, 2005); Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House, 2005); Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (Wiley, 2005); Andrew Gumbel, Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America; George Lakoff, Dont Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate The Essential Guide for Progressives (Chelsea Green, 2004; orig. ed. 2002); V.S. Ramachandran, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers (Pi Press, 2004); William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, revised ed. (Pluto Press, 2004); Chris Hedges, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (Anchor, 2002); Chris Hedges, Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America (Free Press, 2005).