Will Byrnes's Reviews > Inside the Wire : A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo

Inside the Wire  by Erik Saar
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's review
Oct 04, 2008

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bookshelves: non-fiction, terrorism, military-and-intelligence-non-fic, the-bush-administration
Read in February, 2007

Erik Saar spent two years studying Arabic with the US military. Motivated by his patriotism and a desire to help fight the forces of evil, he was chomping at the bit to get down to Guantanamo and put to use the knowledge he had gained. This is his description of life at Gitmo, the things he heard and saw, and the concerns that grew within him as he witnessed the America he loved and served acting in a distinctly un-American manner. The story is not only about the cruelty of the tactics used at the base, but the incompetence of its managers, the bigotry of the MPs, the dysfunction of the military system in which he found it prudent to begin all manner of communications months before his expected time of release to make certain that the would actually be released at the end of his tour and not simply extended. It is clearly policy to extend tours as a matter of course. He only got stuck waiting two weeks, but that was because he went to everyone, including his congressman and his senior commanders. He describes a poorly run, morally bankrupt system that does not produce what it says it produces and is loath to admit even the possibility of error. This is a must read for anyone who wishes to hear first-hand information on how we treat our “non-combatants.”
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