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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 AmericaSince 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....

Title : Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
Author :
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ISBN : 9780061807657
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib Reviews

  • AnaVlădescu
    2018-11-23 07:44

    Hersh is the investigative journalist who broke the story on the My Lai massacre in 1969. That tells you a lot about his pedigree. He could've stopped there and been a hero. Except he kept going for the nexts decades, in an attempt to expose the systemic failures and cover ups of the American government and military in all of their domestic and foreign decisions/scandals. This book talks about the issues of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the American mistakes of involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and just how many errors can pile upon each other in the chain of command so that you end up with an operational failure. Very interesting read, would highly recommend.

  • Al
    2018-11-16 08:11

    Depressing as hell. I'd heard an interview with Hersh at the time who said that there was more video taped evidence that would make the Abu Ghraib stuff look like child's play. But it sounds like the CIA has disposed of those to avoid any further "embarrassment." This book is both stomach-turning and necessary. And as long as large numbers of people get their opinions from Fox News and Country and Western songs, books like this are inconsequential in the near term.But historians will (hopefully) put more emphasis on Seymour Hersh than Toby Keith, and future generations will understand what this country was like at its worst.

  • John
    2018-12-10 10:01

    Hersh actually does journalism. This is the book that should be assigned years from now in the history classes teaching this travesty of a war. Again, I am horrified at the willful incompetence of the Bush Administration's foreign policy. If anyone doubted the idea of a cabal attempting to fashion world events in their favor, they should read more about the NeoCons at the heart of the post-9/11 landscape. Terrible people making others suffer and die. This book is a good overall primer on how the Iraq War came about - the manipulation of the intelligence, the role of Cheney/Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld's power grab and attempted reformation of the military. The first part details how the occupation culture and the shift from CIA to Pentagon created a climate where Abu Ghraib was an inevitable outgrowth - almost going so far as to say an encouraged outcome.Hersh makes a compelling case for the fact that the USA invaded and punished the wrong countries. Before Afghanistan was targeted, the US should have gone into Saudi Arabia or Pakistan (where Bin Laden was actually hiding with government support). Both those countries actually fostered and encouraged the 9/11 terrorists. But the US attacked Afghanistan to make a point to Iran, before going into it's main target Iraq. Recent news proves Hersh right about the role of Pakistan in Anti-American terror. A scary vindication, which underlines the fine research and reporting he does throughout this enlightening and insightful book.

  • Tom Schulte
    2018-12-04 08:43

    Seymour (Sy) Myron Hersh is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. His 2004 reports on the US military's mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison gained much attention and this is his book on that. Like with My Lai, the audiobook explorers the culture that make the atrocity possible and the reaction of (Rumsefld's) dysfunctional institution. Hersh also suggests to me the thought that asymmetric war has successfully been done by Alexander in Afghanistan, Cortes in Mexico, Caesar in Gaul, etc. In each case soft intelligence with hard military technology fractured the enemy along natural fault lines of mistrust and division, bringing allies and opportunity to the invaders and sapping the strength of the insurgency. In Afghanistan and Iraq (and all the way back to Vietnam?), the U.S. blunders in like a juggernaut, forging a disjointed enemy into a united front with heavy-handed tactics that smack of prejudice and racism.This audio book includes an epilog read by the author as well as interview with him.

  • Samy seddiq
    2018-12-05 09:51

    بدءاً المجد للصحافة الأستقصائية ..الحقيقة المجردة من كل ما عداها هي المحراب الذي يتوجب علي كل صحفي وبالأحري كل أنسان على وجه الأرض ،لان الحقيقة للأسف أصبحت عزيزة المنال وسط عتمة أكاذيب السياسين والحكام وغيرهم ،لدينا هنا كتاب لصحفي شهير قرر أن يفتش عن الحقيقة ويسير عكس التيار السائد فى بلد هو اقوي قوة على مدار التاريخ ، قرر أن يكشف أكاذيب أدارة أمريكية هي ربما الأسوء والأكثر إنحطاطاً عبر قرن كامل ،سيمور هيرش نجم الصحافة الأستقصائية , هو الصحفي الشهير الذي فضح فظائع الجيش الأمريكي فى فيتنام عندما قام بذبح347 شخص أعزل ومسالم عام 1968 ونال عن هذا التحقيق جائزة بولتزر الشهيرة .الكتاب يتحدث عن امريكا بعد 11/9 وما تلاها من حرب على أفغانستان والعراق، لكن الحدث الأكثر اهمية هو ما ذكره عن فضيحة سجن ابو غريب وكشفه لزيف ما يسمي بقيم الجيش الأمريكي عبر نشره صور ألتقطها مجندين أمريكيين يقومون بتعذيب وأذلال لمعتقلين عراقيين وهو ما أثار غضب الأدارة الأمريكية على سيمور هيرش ،القصة الأخري هي اكاذيب الأدارة الأمريكية عن وجود أسلحة دمار شامل بحوزة العراق وتزوير وثائق تثبت هذا الأدعاء ،الكتاب قيم جداً وهو نتاج بحث سنوات لهذا الصحفي الدءوب والذي لا يكل ولا يمل من البحث عن الحقيقة

  • Mehwish Mughal
    2018-11-20 06:06

    There are always multiples sides to every story; Hersh, through his fearless, investigative journalism has brought one such "other" story to light. 1) Torture at Abu Ghraib - The gross violations of Human Rights.Evidence of the traumatic impact of the abuses was conveyed to me by a senior Iraqi weapons scientist, now living abroad, in the spring of 2004. He told me that several women detained at Abu Ghraib had "passed messages to their families imploring them to smuggle poison to them to end their lives, while others have passed similar messages insisting that they must be killed immediately upon release from prison," the senior scientist reported. "Such is the code of honor in most parts of the Middle East. Innocent lives will be lost [so] their families can survive the shame." 2) Intelligence failure How the American intelligence was not up to the task. Lack of resources, "The F.B.I.'s computer systems, for example, have been in disarray for more than a decade, making it difficult, if not possible, for analysts and agents to correlate and interpret intelligence. In March 2002, [...] that photographs of nineteen hijackers could not be sent electronically in the days immediately after September 11 to the F.B.I [...] because the F.B.I.'s computer systems weren't compatible", failure to take effective action when, "Throughout the spring and early summer of 2001, intelligence agencies flooded the government with warnings of possible terrorist attacks against American targets, including commercial aircraft, by Al Qaeda and other groups" and the "becoming" of the 20th hijacker.3) The Other War - The goal of American policy in Afghanistan "was not to set up a better regime for the Afghan people", Rubin wrote. "The goal was to get rid of the terrorist threat against America". Siege of Kunduz - How Pakistan managed to airlift Pakistanis and "other special leaders" just before the capture.4) The Iraq Hawks - Saddam, Chalabi, Trireme Partners L.P. "There is no question that Perle believed that removing Saddam from power was the right thing to do. At the same time, he set up a company that stood to gain from a war. In doing so, he ammunition not only to the Saudis but to his other ideological opponents as well."5) Who lied to whom? - The story of the Niger documents,identified Niger as the seller of the nuclear materials [to Iraq]and how they were analyzed to be ungenuine, repeatedly. "Forged documents and false accusations have been an element in U.S. and British policy toward Iraq at least since the fall of 1997, after an impasse over U.N. inspections put the British and the Americans on the losing side in the battle for international public opinion."and the ghost-hunt of W.M.D.'s as a pretense to a war that was planned years ahead of 9/11.6) The Secretary and the Generals REMF 7) A most dangerous Friend - That will be PakistanWhile U.S. was concerned with ousting the Soviets from Afghanistan, Pakistan was becoming a nuclear power (right under their noses). By the time, U.S. turned the attention towards Pakistan, A.Q. Khan had already been "dealing" in a nuclear black market, providing blueprints to N.Korea, Iran and Libya. 8) The Middle East after 9/11Saudi Arabia: Sponsorer of terrorism AND an important ally of the U.S.Israel and Kurds: "Israeli involvement in Kurdistan was not new. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Israel actively supported a Kurdish rebellion against Iraq, as part of its strategic policy of seeking alliances with non-Arabs in the Middle East."In conclusion, Hersh asks more questions, "some of the most important questions are not even being asked. How did they do it? How did eight or nine neoconservatives who believed that a war in Iraq was the answer to international terrorism get their way? How did they redirect the government and rearrange long-standing American priorities and policies with such ease? How did they overcome the bureaucracy, intimidate the press, misled the Congress, and dominate the military? Is our democracy that fragile?"That is another part of the story. Final comment: It was not an easy read but nonetheless a very important one. I think I am privileged enough to take books out of the library in order to attempt to learn more and not just believe in what our television shows us. A very scary thought!

  • The American Conservative
    2018-12-07 11:09

    'Of all the critical analyses of Seymour Hersh’s latest book, the best and most telling review appeared before Chain of Command came off the press. The Pentagon press office, in a pre-emptive strike designed to neutralize a blow they knew was coming, had this to say:Based on media inquiries, it appears that Mr. Seymour Hersh’s upcoming book apparently contains many of the numerous unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies which he has made in the past based upon unnamed sources.The release goes on to claim that it was the Department of Defense, “and not Mr. Hersh,” that “first publicized the facts of the abuses at Abu Ghraib”—a complete fiction. The reality is that it was a lone military policeman, Specialist Joseph M. Darby, who exposed the horrors of Abu Ghraib and without whom it would still be a giant sore festering in the darkness. It was Hersh who broke this story and first exposed the details—and origins—of what the government claims was an isolated incident. As Hersh shows, what happened at Abu Ghraib was part and parcel of a larger plan, the work of a secret army of assassins and torturers designed to break the back of the Iraqi insurgency.'Read the full review, "How We Got to Abu Ghraib," on our website:http://www.theamericanconservative.co...

  • Christine
    2018-11-30 08:50

    interesting insight into how the us government used selective intelligence to escalate the war on terror. excellent content, but a bit long. probably would have enjoyed reading his pieces in the new yorker.

  • Erik Graff
    2018-11-25 07:52

    This book consists of revised magazine articles most pertaining to the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush administration, about which author Hersh has a very low opinion. Loosely connected, the articles all reflect the kind of serious investigative journalism for which Hersh is so well known.

  • Carol Storm
    2018-11-29 04:54

    Classic reporting, but needs more on the troops on the ground!

  • Jerome
    2018-11-29 09:44

    It was OK. Reading it in 2012, most of the contents are essentially old hat."Chain of Command" is a political rant with a lot of claims, but not much support. He rarely supports his claims with facts, and his arguments are clearly not-logical. He begins his book by claiming that the Interrogations at Guantanamo have had no results, that the intelligence wasn't satisfying the needs of the Pentagon. This obviously isn't taking the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into account. He pushes forth the idea that the "Failing to Gain Intelligence" from Guantanamo, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld decided to solve the problem by spreading the practice of abuse to Iraq. That is illogical.By simply doing your own resarch you will find that this, and many other claims made by Hersh in this novel are exaggerated, falsified, misquoted, misinterpreted, etc. This book is libel against the soldiers who have fought or are fighting in the War on Terror. Anyone who ever took a prisoner is touched by this calumny.The vast bulk of Chain of Command was distilled from around 20 articles Mr. Hersh wrote for the New Yorker, though editors updated a few subjects and juggled the order a bit, most obviously to emphasize new reporting regarding Abu Ghraib. I would have argued in favor of printing the original articles as they were published, in chronological order and with dates on them -- something that would have elegantly presented the material without begging the question of what was known when. The updated information could have easily been presented in a short epilogue to each chapter or to the whole book.Additionally, Mr. Hersh on a few occasions threatens to undermine some of his credibility by relying on speculation on subjects like prison conditions at Guantánamo, and by making only passing references to minor evidence that could weaken his arguments, on subjects such as troop movements between Afghanistan and Iraq. But he never crosses the line in a way that has damned many similar books, thanks in a large part to his solid reputation launched when he broke the story about the My Lai massacre in Vietnam 35 years ago.The largest difficulty is in terms of consistency. Hersh is a muckraker, and that means he rakes all the muck he can find, regardless of its content. This leads to some rather silly things, if you read the pieces that he wrote, back to back. In one piece on Afghanistan, an unnamed Air Force officer (the book is full of unnamed sources) tells Hersh that Rumsfeld and the Pentagon don't understand air power, and should have let the Air Force flatten the Taliban and Al Quaeda. A few pages later, in the next piece, an unnamed Marine officer says essentially the exact opposite--the Pentagon was stupid, and allowed the Air Force to spray ordnance around Afghanistan with no regard for the collateral damage or effectiveness. Hersh's perspective is to include everyone who's critical of the Administration, regardless of what it is that they say. So he's essentially deaf to the interservice and historical aspects of these quotes: Marines have despised the Air Force and their habit of trying to bomb everyone into oblivion at least as far back as Viet Nam, and the Air Force has been protesting that no one understands how important they are ever since Billy Mitchell was court martialled for saying essentially that back in the 20s.There are other inconsistencies. The war in Afghanistan is dismissed as a complete failure that's been hidden from the American public by an elaborate coverup, but the planners of the war were made overconfident by their success there (I thought they failed?) when they turned to Iraq. Rumsfeld and the White House are criticized for relying on the CIA for intelligence prior to 9/11, then Rumsfeld is criticized for trying to create a new intelligence capability within the Pentagon. It goes on like this for almost 400 pages.But I finished the book troubled by Hersh's refusal to discuss the other side of the debate. He seems to me to acting as a well-briefed tabloid journalist, building up the strongest story he can and ignoring mitigating factors.One example is where he rips into Donald Rumsfeld for repeatedly pushing the Pentagon to reduce the number of soldiers to be used on the Iraqi invasion. The Defense Secretary "insisted on micromanaging the war's operational details", Hersh writes."On at least six occasions, the planner told me, when Rumsfeld and his deputies were presented with operational plans, he insisted that the number of ground troops be sharply reduced. Rumsfeld's faith in precision bombing and his insistence on streamlined military operations has had profound consequences for the ability of the Armed Forces to fight effectively overseas. `They've got no resources,' a former high-level intelligence official said. `He was so focused on proving his point - that the Iraqis were going to fall apart.' (At the time, Rumsfeld did not respond to a request for comment.)"It seems to me (and I'm no Republican) that it is appropriate for a country's political leadership to determine how many soldiers should be committed to war. I do not see a debate over troop levels as micromanaging. I see it as Rumsfeld doing his job. Hersh has a different view and that's his right, but why not consider the possibility Rumsfeld's behavior was reasonable?Rumsfeld proved to be right and wrong. Fewer troops were successful at toppling Saddam Hussein's regime than were used in the first Gulf War. But he underestimated the number needed for the occupation. Hersh fails to make this important point. I finished this book unconvinced he is a balanced reporter.Also, Hersh claims that Lieutenant General William Boykin, Steve Cambone's military assistant and deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, was involved in setting the "policies" that "led" to the Abu Ghraib incident. This is categorically false. In sworn congressional testimony, Major General Geoffrey Miller, head of Camp X-Ray, stated that he neither spoke to Boykin before he went to Iraq nor after he returned. In fact, the decision to send Miller to Iraq occurreed before Boykin ever even arrived at the Pentagon.I'd also like to say one more thing about the scale of the abuses: There were 66 allegations out of 300 that were substantiated. These substantiated allegations have been or are in the process of being investigated and prosecuted. Those numbers represent such a small fraction of the people who have fought and are fighting this war, it is tempting to say it is negligible. But it's not. It's a redundant proof that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are not war criminals. With very few exceptions these young people are true to American values even in the worst and most dangerous circumstances.

  • Matthew
    2018-11-11 10:04

    It's been well over a decade since publication but Hersch remains the gold standard for reporting on he machinations that led to US involvement in Iraq.

  • Brad Lucht
    2018-11-24 11:05

    Listed below is a very small representative sample of what you will learn from this book that you didn't learn from your local newspaper or television station.--------------------"After September 11, the Syrian leader, Bashar Assad, initiated the delivery of Syrian intelligence to the United States. The Syrians had compiled hundreds of files on Al Qaeda, including dossiers on the men who participated -- and others who wanted to participate -- in the September 11th attacks. Syria also penetrated Al Qaeda cells throughout the Middle East and in Arab exile communities throughout Europe."A former State Department official told me that the C.I.A., ecstatic about the high level of cooperation with Syrian intelligence, "didn't want to destroy the 'happy talk' about Al Qaeda by dealing with all the other troubling issues in the back channel." The State Department, he added, did not like the agency having access to U.S.-Syrian diplomatic correspondence. And the Pentagon, preoccupied with he Iraq war and ideologically hostile to Syria, vehemently opposed a back channel."The collapse of the liaison relationship has left many C.I.A. operatives especially frustrated. "The guys are unbelievable pissed that we're blowing this away," a former high-level intelligence official told me. "There was a great channel at Aleppo. The Syrians were a lot more willing to help us, but they" -- Rumsfeld and his colleagues -- "want to to in there (Syria) next."There is no relationship now," a Syrian foreign ministry official told me at the time. "It saddens us as much as it saddens you. We could give you information on organizations that we don't think should exist. If we help you on Al Qaeda, we are helping ourselves." He added, almost plaintively, that if Washington had agreed to discuss certain key issues in a back channel, "we'd have given you more. But when you publicly try to humiliate a country it'll become stubborn."A Defense Department official who has been involved in Iraq policy told me that the Syrians, despite their differences with Washington, had kept Hezbollah quiet during the war in Iraq. This was, he said, "a signal to us, and we're throwing it away. The Syrians are trying to communicate, and were not listening."--------------"In 1997, Israeli intelligence officials estimated that Iran was three to five years away from having launchable warheads." [The Israelis have been crying wolf every since.]----------------------------"There is so much about this (Bush) presidency that we don't know, and may never know. Some of the most important questions are not even being asked. How did they do it? How did eight or nine neo-conservatives who believed that a war in Iraq was the anser to international terrorism get their way? How did they redirect the government and rearrange long-standing American priorities and policies with so much ease? How did they overcome the bureaucracy, intidmidate the press, mislead the Congress, and dominate the military? IS OUR DEMOCRACY THAT FRAGILE?"

  • Ollie
    2018-11-15 09:55

    You don't have to be a genius, or even up on current news, to know that America fucked up in Iraq. To learn the intricacies of America's mistakes, however -- the sheer lack of competence and vision -- is enough to fry anyone's braincells and leave them cowering in the corner like a psychiatric ward patient. Hersh, a Pulitzer-prize winnining journalist, exposes the turmoil many countries have been thrust into since 9/11 and how directly it is related to the Neo-cons close to Bush. The picture that emerges is a horrifying one: instability has grown in the Middle East since 9/11; nobody with power seems to have a vision; thousands of innocents are being killed and tortured, with no end in sight; and the American public continues to be lied and patronised by a small enclave of powerful men and women who absolutely don't hold their best interests to heart.My question after reading this book was: why has nobody stormed the White House yet and overthrown Bush? Similarly, why are the British so apathetic to the Labour government? Is it because we are democracies and we will punish them next time an election comes around (like the recent Senate/Congress elections in America?)And this book's scariest news: Pakistan has been selling nuclear weapon know-how across the Islamic world and we are ever closer to the point when extremists will have a warhead in their hands."There are many who believe George Bush is a liar, a President who knowingly and deliberately twists facts for political gain. But lying would indicate an understanding of what is desired, what is possible, and how best to get there. A more plausible explanation is that words have no meaning for this President beyond the immediate moment, and so he believes that his mere utterances of the phrases makes them real. It is a terrifying possibility." (p.367)

  • Parker Griffith
    2018-12-06 04:56

    I really enjoyed this book, but at the same time I was shocked. For years now, our government has tried to cover up all its corruptions around the time President Bush was in office. We went from 9/11 to a brutal war in Iraq that carries on ‘till this day. The author, Seymour M. Hersh, uncovered and dug out so much about the government’s corruption at that time. Our government made foolish mistakes like attacking Afghanistan instead of Pakistan. Pakistan actually encourages terrorism against the US and was a hideout for Osama Bin Laden. Instead, the US attacked Afghanistan that fostered much less terrorists. Back to the book, I would rate it a 4/5 because it taught me a lot about some of our terrible government systems and how corrupt it can be but it had some confusing parts. A good quote from this book would be, “The last thing we want to do is hit Baghdad and have Al Qaeda hit Chicago. We'd look real bad” (184). This quote explained how if the US Forces weren’t careful in their plans (Eliminating Al Qaeda) Chicago could turn out like another 9/11. Luckily, Al Qaeda didn’t get a chance to do that. Overall, I liked this book a lot because I learned a lot about our governments problems in the past and what happened after 9/11.

  • Graham Mcmillan
    2018-11-28 11:09

    Somewhat dated now, since it deals primarily in the Iraq war - its buildup and mistakes in planning and (mis)management. The book goes a great way towards explaining what went wrong in the "WMD" debate - how did we get it so wrong. According to the author, Rumsfeld and Cheney openly disrespected the Intelligence professionals because they often refused to stake a claim based on partial or imperfect information. So Rumsfeld and Cheney basically formed their own Intelligence system, based on selected individuals who fed them info they wanted to hear. But the info was raw and not properly vetted by skeptical minds in the Intelligence community, who were struggling to catch up and were seeking to get back into the good graces of the President.The author also goes on to show the nexus between Gitmo and the eventual road to Abu Greib, claiming the White House set up a system open to abuse, and without checks and balances. The unfortunates at the bottom were prosecuted as scapegoats and sacrificial lambs while the higher ups went free.Overall a sad and depressing commentary on a sad and depressing war, and presidency.

  • Sinistmer
    2018-12-05 11:03

    This was a difficult book to read; Hersh begins with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and goes on to address the decisions and actions of the Bush administration following 9/11. He touches on the actions of the administration as they tried to find intelligence (which wasn't usually good) and wrangled the system in order to get the military to do what they wanted. I was shocked at their actions to "stovepipe" intelligence and their complete unwillingness to consider views that did not suit them. Hersh makes excellent use of a wide variety of sources to tell this story; he cites American military and intelligence members, as well as foreign diplomats, and even tries to bring in the administration itself. The story he unfolds is told well. While I don't think I had enough background information to understand the political relationships in the Middle East, I think this work is a good one to consult. Chain of Command isn't a pleasant story by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it's one that is definitely worth reading.

  • Neil Crossan
    2018-11-10 06:00

    Hersh has earned his investigative stripes decades ago when be broke the story regarding the massacre at My Lai. Far from a one-hit wonder, he was at the forefront of the Abu Ghraib story. This book is a collection of reports ranging from 9/11 to Turkey. As Iraq … continues, this book assists in understanding why it has gone as it has. Do we really want Donald Rumsfeld making decisions about battle field tactics? Should we be concerned that military officials who offered contrasting opinions (like we need more troops to stabilize a post war Iraq) on the Iraq consequences were replaced? When the Bush administration okays the evacuation of Pakistani intelligence officers out of Afghanistan even though we suspect that there are Al Queda operatives with them, should we question? Are we just mindless lemmings who bear no responsibility to how our troops are deployed? This book is worth reading (9/10)

  • James
    2018-12-10 06:59

    Sadly the questions raised in this book published in 2004 remain unanswered - it's probably believed by far too many people that there was a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. The policy mistakes and violence of this illegal war will haunt the region and our role in the world for decades. Beyond this, the own damage to our own democracy: from efforts to subvert and gut legal standards and treaties to the drone wars and the the expanded, practically police state level, of surveillance on our own citizens and others will be even harder to rid ourselves of. Nothing is more permanent than something done on a temporary basis and conveniently a war on "terrorism" has no real definable "end." Especially if the intelligence is being cooked to make sure the outcome on the policy end is the one desired in the first place, rather than one conceived on good, honest data and long term strategic interests of the nation. Depressing.

  • severyn
    2018-11-14 08:04

    A fine companion to Weisberg's 'The Bush Tragedy', giving the straight up investigative journalist story behind Weisberg's emotional play.Hersh's dispassionate reporting eventually gives way to an impassioned bewilderment at the things he has reported. Towards the end of the book, written in 2004:'There is so much about this presidency that we don't know, and may never learn... How did they do it? How did eight or nine neoconservatives who believed that a war in Iraq was the answer to international terrorism get their way? How did they redirect the government and rearrange long-standing priorities and policies with such ease? How did they overcome the bureaucracy, intimidate the press, mislead the Congress, and dominate the military? Is our democracy that fragile?'

  • David Mccracken
    2018-11-13 08:58

    This book shows all of the flaws of Hersh's writing, but it also could only be written by Hersh and it needed to be written. Hersh has an amazing eye and ear for cover-ups and hidden information that needs to be revealed. As part of the same energy, he also can jump to conclusions and jump to positions of outrage/censure that don't always age well. (I think part of this disjointed feel comes from the way the book was formed out of previous New Yorker articles and the raw energy of the initial reporting is not always rewritten to take into account new information available during the book publication process.)Overall, this book feels very 2004, but 2005 and after would be very different without this book (and others) revealing the emptiness and horror behind Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld.

  • Ray
    2018-11-13 08:06

    Written in 2004, shortly after the wars in Afghanistan and then Iraq, Hersch takes a critical look at the wars, and especially the civilian leaders in the Pentagon. Hersch spent a lifetime writing about the U.S. Military, and has established numerous contacts of people in the know. As a trusted writer, he has access to a significant number of high level officials, and his story seems to have stood the test of time. It provides a very different perspective than some of the books released after Bush left office, especially Donald Rumsfeld's memoir, and is probably a more accurate summary of those war years and decisions.

  • Andrew
    2018-12-06 12:07

    For anyone that can no longer stand the immense effort required to distill real information out of the various sources where it is available (administration press conferences, talk radio, newspapers, tv news, etc.), this book is highly recommended. The information, which represents an outrage on the part of the US govt. more often than not, is clearly presented and solid analysis is presented. When several conclusions could be reasonably arrived at, Hersh presents them all. The book is excellent, while the story it tells is one of the most cynical use of deception and fraud.

  • Scott
    2018-11-28 10:50

    When I first read Hersh's article about Abu Ghraib in the New Yorker, I was also reading a comic book about rogue CIA agents fighting against Halliburton. It was hard to say which story seemed more incredible. Hersh is an absolutely amazing reporter, but not the best writer. How he manages to learn this stuff is mindblowing, especially since everything he wrote almost 4 years ago is now just about gospel. The book is pretty close to a collection of his New Yorker articles, however, so no need to read it again if you are witty and urbane enough to regularly read the New Yorker.

  • Will Byrnes
    2018-12-05 10:07

    CoC is a compilation of pieces Hersh wrote for the New Yorker about the Bush administration’s conduct of foreign policy. It is a devastating look at the details of what occurred, with a considerable quantity of named sources. For obvious reasons, it was impossible for all his sources to allow their names to be used. We know how vengeful the Bushies are. This is one of the must-read books about the worst administration in American history.

  • Klaus Metzger
    2018-12-04 08:49

    Hershs Enthüllungen machen Schlagzeilen in aller Welt. In diesem Buch zeigt akribisch und mit Hilfe neuen Materials, wie es möglich war, dass die USA nach dem grauenvollen Terroranschlägen vom 11. September selbst einen Weg des Unrechts beschreiten konnten(sehr gute Buchkritik in DIE ZEIT Nr. 44 vom 21. Oktober 2004).Ein sehr spannendes Buch - ich habe es verschlungen. Die Nachrichten der kürzlich vergangenen Zeit liess ich noch einmal aus einer anderen Sicht Revue passieren.

  • Adam
    2018-12-02 06:11

    Seymour Hersh, brilliant journalist and regular contributor to The New Yorker, writes about his investigations of the events of 9/11, the Abu Ghraib scandal, and everything in between. Just like the cover says, really. Important book to read if you truly want to understand what's going on in American politics and in the Middle East.

  • Stacy Lewis
    2018-11-27 11:51

    Amazing account of the workings of the Bush presidency and the tunnel vision with which they operate. Hersh says it best at the end "...There are many who believe George Bush is a liar...but lying would indicate an understanding...A more plausible explanation is that words have no meaning for this President.... and so he believes that his mere utterance ... makes them real."

  • Anita
    2018-12-01 04:48

    The American Armed Forces and politicians are guilty of appalling crimes - torture on a grand scale, false imprisonments, mass murders... Why are they so often portrayed in the media as the 'good guys' and not held accountable? The well-researched 'Chain of Command' goes into great detail to explain why.

  • Adam Stauthamer
    2018-11-23 09:01

    Hersh has done a great service by bringing to light that what was done in our name. It is difficult to reconcile all our government does with our values as Americans. But that such criticism is possible is testament to our continued ability to try and get it right and improve how we get things done. Silence kills the revolution.