Deep breaths, that’s what I keep taking to try and keep my rage under control. Rage at actions the Bush administration took 3 years ago to release the fake letter tying Iraq to Mohammad Atta under the direct order of Bush to George Tenet to his CIA underlings. Rage at actions the Bush administration took 6 years ago before the Iraq War, gathering intelligence about WMDs and running away from the stories that there weren’t weapons. Impeachable offenses.
Suskind’s book comes in three acts, expertly weaving stories of Afghan exchange students, Pakastani ex-pats, Benazir Bhutto, Guantanamo Bay detainees and top US diplomatic officials. Act I: Other People’s Shoes, Act II: The Armageddon Test, and Act III: The Human Solution. Of all the acts, Act 2 was the least enjoyable– whenever Suskind inserted himself into the story, it bizarrely lost its personal touch for me.
Usman, the Pakistani emigrant who moved to America to go to college, lives in DC and works as a data analyst, is stopped by Secret Service one morning on his way to work after he stops to adjust his iPod. Racially profiled, he’s swept into the car and taken to a basement of the White House, interrogated for hours, then released after giving up the names of everyone he’s ever met in America. This begins to set into motion his days of true-american-ness, hard drinking and partying. Then one night a fellow Pakistani has friends in town who end up wanting to kill Usman because if they kill a lapsed Muslim, they earn a ticket to heaven. Usman quickly rethinks his life in the US, kicks around the idea of returning to Pakistan to work from that side to change the world.
This only a portion of the goodness inside– read it!
sub=A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism