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What does Eric Fair bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I really liked that Eric Fair read his own story. I think it worked well with his writing style, and this was a story I definitely wanted to hear in his own voice. I'm not sure simply reading the book would have had the same impact.
Any additional comments?
Eric Fair wrote an Op-ed piece in the New York Times a little over a year ago, the day the Senate released its torture report. At the end of the piece he says "Most Americans haven't read the report. Most never will. But it stands as a permanent reminder of the country we once were." He says in the future students will be assigned portions of the Senate torture report, and "[t]he students will come to know that this country isn't always something to be proud of."
I think this memoir serves as a very similar reminder. Fair does not feign innocence in this book. He is by his own admission a torturer, having served as a contract interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq during the same time the photographs were taken showing abuse of the detainees. He is frank and honest about the things he had knowledge of and the things that he participated in. What I found so important about this book, was that Fair could have easily let himself off the hook. He did not take part in interrogation at the "hard site" in Abu Ghraib, he did not take part in the photographed abuse, he never participated in water boarding. Everything he did was legal. But to Fair there is no distinction, the terms "enhanced interrogation" and "approved techniques" are just other words for torture.
Fair does not try to justify his actions or debate the effectiveness of the techniques. Instead this is a story of a man trying to come to terms with his actions. To accept that he may not believe he is worthy of forgiveness, and figure out how to move forward in his life. Fair's honest portrayal of events is an important read as we as a country must evaluate our actions. At a time when a presidential candidate advocates for water boarding, as a country we must evaluate what we are willing to justify during times of war. Neither Fair nor anyone from CACI were ever prosecuted. They "tortured people in the right way". This book forces the reader to acknowledge the abuse that occurred and ask if these consequences are we are willing to accept in the name of national security?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Eric Fair did a great job reading this book. This book has a great pace. I found it engaging. I feel now that I have a greater and deeper understanding of the war in Iraq and the men and women that come backs with PTSD.