None of Us Were Like this Before: American Soldiers and Torture

Front Cover
Verso, 2010 - History - 237 pages
9 Reviews
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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
1

Review: None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture

User Review  - Justin Norman - Goodreads

I've read a lot of books about US torture and there is a lot of overlap between them, but each one has their own unique information, and this one had an interesting focus on the effects of torture on ... Read full review

Review: None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture

User Review  - Sally Ooms - Goodreads

A reporter's account of torture inflicted on Iraqi prisoners by members of the American military who were inconceivably transformed from regular soldiers to “detention specialists.” The scars were not ... Read full review

Contents

The Story Begins in Afghanistan
18
We werent in the CIAwe were soldiers
50
Shock the Conscience
68
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Joshua E. S. Phillips is based in New York City and has reported from Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Atlanta Journal–Constitution, among other publications. His radio features have been broadcast on NPR and the BBC. In 2009, Phillips received the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Newspaper Guild's Heywood Broun Award of Substantial Distinction for his American Radio Works documentary What Killed Sergeant Gray.

Bibliographic information