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by Joshua E.S. Phillips

Free eBook None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture download ISBN: 1844675998
Author: Joshua E.S. Phillips
Publisher: Verso; 1st edition (June 14, 2010)
Language: English
Pages: 256
Category: Social Sciences
Subcategory: Politics and Government
Size MP3: 1401 mb
Size FLAC: 1376 mb
Rating: 4.5
Format: lit rtf lrf mbr


Joshua . I also like that Phillips tells us when and why he was unable to get a full story.

Phillips begins his work with the story of Sgt. Adam Gray, a young man who was deployed in Iraq as a tanker, returned home suffering from unknown but obvious mental afflictions and ends up dying an "accidental" death (arguably, a suicide) during further training at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The fact that many former detainees refuse to talk to reporters, and that many individuals and organizations which work with former detainees refuse to facilitate such meetings, and the reasons why, tells us an important story - the detainees' story as well as the story of war in general - in itself.

What Phillips uncovered was a story of American veterans psychologically scarred by the abuse they had meted out to. .

What Phillips uncovered was a story of American veterans psychologically scarred by the abuse they had meted out to Iraqi prisoners. How did US forces Sergeant Adam Gray made it home from Iraq only to die in his barracks. For more than three years, reporter Joshua E. S. Phillips-with the support of Adam’s mother and several of his Army Adam’s death. 11/19/11 - Journalist and author Joshua Phillips has written a book about torture entitled None of Us Were Like This Before: Reflections on American Soldiers and Torture. He delivered a lecture on 11/16 at the UW Tacoma campus, sponsored in part by VFP.

While US officials closed cases on torture and abuse by American soldiers when the investigation reached a dead . Joshua Phillips tells these brave Americans’ stories with compassion and vivid detail

While US officials closed cases on torture and abuse by American soldiers when the investigation reached a dead end, Joshua E. Philips didn’t quit. His personal journey and journalistic investigation is a shocking read about a hidden chapter of the . involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joshua Phillips tells these brave Americans’ stories with compassion and vivid detail. None of Us Were Like This Before reminds us why, on some bedrock issues of American values, there should never be any room for compromise. Senator John F. Kerry.

American Soldiers and Torture. Joshua Phillips brings much needed close reporting to the question of American torture

American Soldiers and Torture. None of Us Were Like This Before. An important and revealing book. Joshua Phillips brings much needed close reporting to the question of American torture. He reveals much about the interaction of ‘lower down’ and ‘higher up’ behavior, always including permission or encouragement from above. What Joshua Phillips makes shockingly clear is that the misbehavior of some of our best soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan came about because of a failure of military leadership and because political leaders lacked the courage to admit the word ‘torture’. Richard Rodriguez, author of Brown: The Last Discovery of America.

Phillips’s message is that we most need the rules banning torture when we most . This shattering book is a journey into the heart of American darkness

Phillips’s message is that we most need the rules banning torture when we most want to break them. Oliver Bullough, Independent. He reveals much about the interaction of 'lower down' and 'higher up' behavior, always including permission or encouragement from above. This shattering book is a journey into the heart of American darkness.

Mobile version (beta). None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture. Joshua E. Phillips. Download (epub, 316 Kb). FB2 PDF MOBI TXT RTF.

Fortunately, there are investigative journalists like Joshua Phillips who have taken great pains to preserve the memories of veterans whose lives have been ravaged-and cut short-by the wars

Fortunately, there are investigative journalists like Joshua Phillips who have taken great pains to preserve the memories of veterans whose lives have been ravaged-and cut short-by the wars. Phillips is the author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture, a harrowing book about the systematic torture of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan and the deep psychological scars it left on some members of a tank battalion who tormented their captives. Adam Gray was one of the soldiers traumatized by his role in detainee abuse and torture during his deployment in Iraq in 2003.

How did US forces turn to torture? Phillips' narrative recounts the journey .

How did US forces turn to torture? Phillips' narrative recounts the journey of a tank battalion - trained for conventional combat - as its focus switches to guerrilla war and prisoner detention. It tells of how a group of ordinary soldiers, ill trained for the responsibilities foisted upon them, descended into the degradations of abuse. One is that these soldiers were afraid to report what they had seen and done. but without reporting it they couldn't receive any medical help for their trauma. -Darius Rejali, author of Torture and Democracy.

Journalist & author of: NONE OF US WERE LIKE THIS BEFORE: American Soldiers and Torture. ISBN13: 9781844675999.

Sergeant Adam Gray made it home from Iraq only to die in his barracks. For more than three years, reporter Joshua E. S. Phillips—with the support of Adam’s mother and several of his Army buddies—investigated Adam’s death. What Phillips uncovered was a story of American veterans psychologically scarred by the abuse they had meted out to Iraqi prisoners.How did US forces turn to torture? Phillips’s narrative recounts the journey of a tank battalion—trained for conventional combat—as its focus switches to guerrilla war and prisoner detention. It tells of how a group of ordinary soldiers, ill trained for the responsibilities foisted upon them, descended into the degradation of abuse. The location is far from CIA prisons and Guantanamo, but the story captures the widespread use and nature of torture in the US armed forces. Based on firsthand reporting from the Middle East, as well as interviews with soldiers, their families and friends, military officials, and the victims of torture, None of Us Were Like This Before reveals how soldiers, senior officials, and the US public came to believe that torture was both effective and necessary. The book illustrates that the damaging legacy of torture is not only borne by the detainees, but also by American soldiers and the country to which they’ve returned.
User reviews
Little Devil
This is the kind of book that you'll wish you could force people (especially certain loudmouth politicians) to read in its entirety before spouting the usual insensitive nonsense about how far any country and its soldiers should go to get information. Phillips takes a hard, engaging and human look at a side of the equation that most don't even allow themselves to consider: the psychological and emotional repercussions for the soldiers who engaged in abuse and/or torture. The sometimes fatal, and certainly long-lasting effects on the psyches of our own American soldiers ordered or encouraged to treat other human beings horribly in the name of national security are harrowingly detailed in this book. For this reason, it is difficult to read (while still a gripping story), and equally necessary.
Centrizius
"They didn't leave me any killing, those bastards."
--Sergeant Adam Gray (quoted on p. 52)

I really wanted to love this book. It's gotten such good reviews and it's such an important topic. But unfortunately, it didn't live up to my hopes. Yet still, it should be required reading.

Joshua E.S. Phillips begins his work with the story of Sgt. Adam Gray, a young man who was deployed in Iraq as a tanker, returned home suffering from unknown but obvious mental afflictions and ends up dying an "accidental" death (arguably, a suicide) during further training at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Adam's mother, Cindy Chavez, asks Phillips to investigate "what happened to" her son while in Iraq. In the course of his investigation, Phillips interviews many soldiers, their families, military officials, human rights workers, and former detainees to get at some of the roots and branches of the broad issue of "enhanced interrogation"/detainee abuse/torture (for ease, and because I think it speaks to a greater truth, I will lump all of those categories into "torture").

First, the positive. Phillips is a consummate reporter. He goes where the story takes him. He seeks out many different relevant sources. He listens to what they have to say, and he allows them to speak for themselves in all their grim and gory detail. He doesn't shy away hard topics, nor does he feel the need to wrap everything up into a tidy box for us (although, admittedly, the tidy box part of myself found this frustrating). The people he interviewed were real people, often simultaneously sympathetic and detestable, much like ourselves.

I also like that Phillips tells us when and why he was unable to get a full story. The fact that many former detainees refuse to talk to reporters, and that many individuals and organizations which work with former detainees refuse to facilitate such meetings, and the reasons why, tells us an important story - the detainees' story as well as the story of war in general - in itself.

But the book isn't perfect. First, it lacks focus. At various times, Phillips seems to be trying to address various overarching questions: "How did we get here?", "What are the effects of torture on the former detainees who were tortured?" and "What are the effects of torture on those soldiers who did the torturing?" While all of those are important, relevant and related topics, they are far too broad to all be addressed in one 200 page book. Because Phillips seems to jump from one focus to another, the book felt a bit choppy and unfocused. As such, I felt it lost a bit of the edge it could have had.

My other big concern about the book is that it doesn't appear that Phillips worked in conjunction with a therapist or other mental health expert well versed in issues of trauma, especially war related trauma. Both talking about and listening to experiences of inflicting or receiving abuse and torture is itself traumatizing. In approaching a project like this, it is crucial to think about how that trauma is going to affect both the reporter and the interview subjects, but it doesn't appear that Phillips adequately prepared for this. While I can't know whether or not his work has traumatized him, there is evidence that it might have further traumatized at least one of his subjects. I read the account of Jonathan Millantz with a growing sense of dread like a rock in my stomach, knowing where it was headed. While Millantz was legally an adult and willingly shared his experiences, I can't help feeling that Phillips' inexperience with the effects of trauma made him unable to see the effects of re-opening these wounds was having on Millantz, or knowing quite what to do about it. The involvement of an experienced trauma expert might, repeat, might, have saved Millantz's life.

If this were any other book, I'd probably give it three stars (three and a half if Amazon would let me), but I feel that the topic of this book is so important that I'm giving it four stars. It blows apart the common notion that the torture was short-lived and that it was all ordered from the top-down and/or that it was only done by a "few bad apples". That sort of mischaracterization allows us to - erroneously - put those episodes into a discrete box as if it were all just a fluke. But the reality is much darker than that. War, by definition, is legalized killing. When you send young men and women into war with license to kill and without strict oversight to keep such killing within the narrow confines of the battlefield (especially in modern conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan where the battlefield is pretty much limitless), then human nature is going to take over and atrocities will happen. This book shows, in blunt and brutal terms, exactly what the cost is for what the men and women we send to do such dirty work, as well as the cost to our enemies, our allies, our image, our country, and our own humanity.
Flocton
I wasn't sure I wanted to read a book about detainee abuse and interrogators. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo happened years ago and Iraq is winding down. Nearly a decade after 9/11, I thought it would have all been covered already in the press. I was wrong and this book provides a lot of insight by talking with soldiers who have been involved in detainee abuse and some of the victims of that abuse. Family members of both are also interviewed.

This book doesn't shy away from the brutality of American torture and the author's accounts from victims of torture is searing. It's impossible to not to be angry at the injustices suffered. But this book is not a "hit piece" on the military or soldiers and the author has a surprising amount of empathy for the sufferings of both the victim and victimizer. It alternately made me very sad and very mad for all the persons affected by it.

Understanding the situation that some of our soldiers found themselves in and what some of them did to detainees and what they went through after really forced me to give sympathy to persons I had previously thought of only as "bad apples" guilty of monstrous crimes. The truth is much more complicated.

Other parts of the book give overviews on the subject matter, the history or detainee abuse, the decision-making of the higher ups and so on. Much of the book is written in the first person which helps give a lighter touch to a very heavy subject matter.

I learned a lot from this book and highly recommend it. You'll think about it not only around the issue of torture but generally on any story about soldiers returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder.
MrRipper
We often think that the only danger in which we put soldiers is physical danger. But we ignore the mental and emotional dangers of asking them to do horrible, morally repugnant acts. Those who felt they had to participate in torture have come back to the US with minds and souls that can barely deal with what they did.
Sadly, a lot of what they did was echoes of their own training, taken to the nth degree.
Want to know why so many people don't trust the US...read this. Our participation in torture changed the attitude of many former allies.
I strongly recommend that people understand some of the hidden costs and the prices we ask our soldiers to pay for our military decisions and strategies.
The author is not anti-military, just trying to find out why suicides and post traumatic stress syndrome was happening after the war in Iraq.
sunrise bird
This book is engaging and affecting from the first to last page. The book is not dry policy discussion, overly graphic, or accusatory in tone. Phillips focuses instead on the personal stories of U.S. soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. His empathy for those he profiles shines through the pages. Phillips does not offer simple answers to why torture happens, but instead explores the many influences -- personal, governmental, and cultural -- that lead to it and to the tragedies it produces both for the tortured and the torturer. This is a revelatory book, well written and deserving of a wide audience. It is first-rate, first-hand reporting with a conscience.