Thu August 5, 2010
"When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things"
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this edition of our program, a discussion of recent U.S. military history that some might regard as unsettling, perplexing, contradictory, woefully tragic, or worse. We speak with the investigative journalist Justine Sharrock about her new book, "Tortured: When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things." This book (which grew out of a series of articles for Mother Jones magazine) reveals a huge divide --- a gaping and ongoing disconnect --- between what media headlines say about America's torture program and what actually happened. In writing this book, Sharrock traveled around the country, talking to the young, low-ranking soldiers who worked at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo --- and what we see in "Tortured" are, quite simply, their accounts of what really went on. As Thomas B. Edsall, a political editor at The Huffington Post, has noted: "[This is] an extraordinary book that explores the ugliest underbelly of war. Sharrock takes the discussion of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo into new territory, delving into the lives of the soldiers on the ground assigned these brutal tasks. Throughout the book, Sharrock maintains a balance between empathy and tough reporting as she examines the anguish and denial of men who participated in what can only be described as acts of evil but who do not believe themselves to be evil."