In April 2004, the Abu Ghraib photographs set off an international scandal. Yet until now, the full story has never been told. Tara McKelvey — the first U.S.journalist to speak with female prisoners from Abu Ghraib — traveled to the Middle East and across the United States to seek out victims and perpetrators. McKelvey tells how soldiers, acting in an atmosphere that encouraged abuse and sadism, were unleashed on a prison population of which the vast majority, according to army documents, were innocent civilians. Drawing upon critical sources, she discloses a series of explosive revelations: An exclusive jailhouse interview with Lynndie England connects the Abu Ghraib pictures to lewd vacation photos taken by England's boyfriend Charles Graner; formerly undisclosed videotapes show soldiers "Robotripping" on cocktails of over-the-counter drugs while pretending to stab detainees; new material sheds light on accusations against an American suspected of raping an Iraqi child; and first-hand accounts suggest the use of high-voltage devises, sexual humiliation and pharmaceutical drugs on Iraqi prisoners. She also provides an inside look at Justice Department theories of presidential power to show how the many abuses were licensed by the government.
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Tara McKelvey is a senior editor at The American Prospect, and a contributing editor at Marie Claire magazine. She is also a research fellow at the NYU School of Law's Center on Law and Security and has writen for The New York Times Book Review and The Nation among other publications. She lives in Washington, DC.Review:
"Embraces the scope of the tragedy and reminds us of the cost of war." -- Errol Morris, filmmaker, Fog of War
"Monstering takes the reader into a hellish world and advances the story, disclosing revelations of power gone wrong." -- David Corn, co-author, Hubris
"Must-reading for those who seek to understand the sordid side of the terror war." -- Karen Greenberg, co-editor, The Torture Papers
"Tara McKelvey is an extraordinarily gifted writer and Monstering is an extraordinary book." -- James Bamford, author, Pretext for War
"This is a powerful account of the most shameful behavior by an American government in recent memory." -- Anthony Lewis, former New York Times columnist
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