Friday, September 9, 2011

DECADE OF FEAR - Reporting from the Terrorism's Grey Zone


"Michelle Shephard hauntingly describes the rage that followed
September 11, and how fear affected the many victims of the
decade of terror. Through her outstanding reporting, Michelle
recounts how the 'war on terror' has yet to be won and bears
witness to the consequences of a decade in which justice was not
blind, and the world was only viewed through the prism of fear."

LT.General (Ret) Senator Romeo Dallaire - author of "Shake Hands
with the Devil" and "They Fight Like Soldiers. They Die Like

"Reading Decade of Fear is essential to understanding the
post-9/11 world. Well-written, intelligent and informative - I
couldn't put it down. If you care about the world you live in and
can only read one book this year, this should be it."

Marina Nemat - author of "Prisoner of Tehran and After Tehran."

"Decade of Fear is so thrilling and terrific I wish it wasn't
true. You know any book that opens with an ex-ClA director using
beer nuts to illustrate torture techniques is going to be wild,
and it only gets more gripping from there. Michelle Shepherd is a
rock'm-sock'm storyteller and an absolutely heroic reporter."

Christopher McDougall - author of "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe.
Superathlete, and the greatest Race the World Has Never Seen."

"Michelle Shephard is one of the great national security
reporters of our time. In this age of 'journalists' embedded in
their air-conditioned offices, she is a rare exception: a real
reporter, guided by that old-fashioned idea that the job of a
journalist is simple: being there. And in her case, 'there' is
often the most violent, hellish places the world has to offer."

Jeremy Scahill - author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's
Most Powerful Mercenary Army."

"Michelle Shephard has delivered a wide-ranging, well-written,
witty account of the war that began on 9/11 that is also a
serious, knowledgeable and empathetic journey through many of the
countries in the Muslim world where that war has been fought. She
takes the reader on quite a ride. My advice: Go along!"

Peter L. Bergen - author of "The Longest War: The Enduring
Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda."


DECADE OF FEAR is a darkly entertaining journey through the
complicated, often bizarre world of national security since 9/11.
On that night, Toronto Star journalist Michelle Shephard watched
the remains of New York's World Trade Center fall from the sky,
wondering what much of the world was asking: "Why?" So began a
ten-year search for answers that took her through the streets of
Mogadishu and Karachi, into the mountains of Waziristan and
behind the wire of Guantanamo Bay two dozen times.
Shephard conducted hundreds of interviews across the globe, and
with sharp insight and an appreciation for the absurd, she weaves
together stories of war-lords, presidents, spies, grieving widows
and global terrorists, to describe the historic decade where all
too often the West's "solutions" for terrorism only served to
exacerbate the problem. She meets Somali radical Hassan Dahir
Aweys, who denies having any ties to al Qaeda before
complimenting her on her beat-up Blundstone boots. She cruises
with former CIA bosses, meets victims of terrorism who leave her
devastated and earns enough stamps on her Gitmo Starbucks card
for a free latte. One of only a handful of journalists to
experience the Arab Spring from the streets of Sanaa, she runs
alongside student protestors to escape fire from Yemen's security
A gripping non-fiction tale that is both heartbreaking and
infuriating, Decade of Fear broadens our understanding of a
decade that was all too often described through panicked

MICHELLE SHEPHARD is the Toronto Star's national security
correspondent. She has won Canada's top journalism honours: the
National Newspaper Award for investigations and beats and the
Governor General's Michener Award for Public Service Journalism.
Her first book, "Guantanamo's Child: The Untold Story of Omar
Khadr," was voted by Embassy magazine as one of the twenty most
influential books of the year.

I was driving home and listening to the half hour interview on
CBC with Michelle and her book. I drove straight to our local large
book store and bought her book. It sounds like it will be a
block-buster and an eye-opener. I will bring you my comments on
the book down the road, as I read through it.

It's a book that you may want to purchase, just as I did.

Keith Hunt

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