Jane Mayer's new book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, is an account of the secret CIA detention program and the strategies White House officials used in the campaign against Al Qaeda. She argues that while agency techniques produced information, the price was high: the techniques were not only unconstitutional, but they in many cases produced bad information, which only hampered efforts to pursue Al Qaeda. For more, see a recent NYT article.
Jane Mayer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the coauthor of two bestselling books, Landslide and Strange Justice. Based in Washington, D.C., she writes about politics for the magazine, and has been covering the war on terror. Recent subjects include Alberto Mora and the Pentagon’s secret torture policy, how the United States outsources torture (rendition), the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the legality of C.I.A. interrogations. She has also written about George W. Bush, the bin Laden family, Karl Rove, and the television show “24.”
Before joining The New Yorker, Mayer was for twelve years a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. In 1984, she became the Journal’s first female White House correspondent. She was also a war correspondent and a foreign correspondent for the paper. Among other stories, she covered the bombing of the American barracks in Beruit, the Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the final days of Communism in the Soviet Union. She was nominated twice by the Journal for a Pulitzer Prize in the feature-writing category.
Mayer, who was born in New York, graduated from Yale in 1977 and continued her studies at Oxford. She lives in Washington with her husband and daughter.