Q&A: JANE MAYER, New Yorker Correspondent and Author

Written on July 1st, 2009


Aired 06/30/09

JANE MAYER, one of our nation's foremost investigative journalists will join us for at least the last half hour, maybe a bit more. Her best-selling 2008 book, THE DARK SIDE, was chosen by the New New York Times, The Economist, Salon, Slate, and Bloomberg as one of the best books of the year.

In THE DARK SIDE, MAYER reported (to quote a review by Andrew Basevich), "Since embarking upon its global war on terror, the United States has blatantly disregarded the Geneva Conventions. It has imprisoned suspects, including U.S. citizens, without charge, holding them indefinitely and denying them due process. It has created an American gulag in which thousands of detainees, including many innocent of any wrongdoing, have been subjected to ritual abuse and humiliation. It has delivered suspected terrorists into the hands of foreign torturers. Under the guise of 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' it has succeeded, in Mayer's words, in 'making torture the official law of the land in all but name.' Further, it has done all these things as a direct result of policy decisions made at the highest levels of government."

The country learned about all this and rejected Bush's Republican successor, John McCain, in favor of former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama. So has everything changed for the good?

I'd say not nearly enough.

Just in the two months since President Obama released the torture memos, a former FBI interrogator testified to the failures of the CIA's so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, a former aide to Colin Powell said the interrogations were aimed at building the case for the Iraq war, a coalition of advocacy groups has launched a campaign to disbar twelve former Bush administration attorneys.

The Obama response? While continuing to preach "move forward, don't look back" when it comes to investigating or prosecuting possible crimes committed in pursuit of the above listed policies, the Obama administration has withheld photos of detainee abuse, defended the military tribunal system, and floated plans for a system of "preventive detention" for accused Terrorists.

We will talk with JANE MAYER about the past, the present, and the future of actions and crimes committed by the US government to defend us from terror.