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The Interrogators: Inside the Secret War Against Al Qaedaby Chris Mackey and Greg Miller
Synopses & Reviews
An unprecedented look at the front line of the war against terror: the inside story of five American interrogators, thousands of prisoners, and the race for the truth.
More than 3,000 prisoners in the war on terrorism have been captured, held, and interrogated in Afghanistan alone. But noone knows what transpired in those interactions between prisoner and interrogator — until now.
In The Interrogators, Chris Mackey, the senior interrogator at Bagram Air Base and in Kandahar, where al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners were first detained and questioned, lifts the curtain. Soldiers specially trained in the art of interrogation went face-to-face with the enemy. These mental and psychological battles were as grueling, dramatic, and important as any in the war on terrorism. We learn how, under Mackey's command, his small group of "soldier spies" engineered a breakthrough in interrogation strategy, rewriting techniques and tactics grounded in the Cold War. Mackey reveals the tricks of the trade, and we see how his team — four men and one woman — responded to the pressure and the prisoners. By the time Mackey's group was finished, virtually no prisoner went unbroken.
Christopher Mackey, after completing his duty in Afghanistan, rejoined KPMG in Europe. Greg Miller is a national securitycorrespondent for the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Washington, DC
"This fascinating memoir reports from one of the most crucial and controversial fronts in the war on terror. The pseudonymous Mackey was an interrogator at military prisons in Afghanistan, tasked with sussing out the secrets of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda members. He and journalist Miller take readers inside the prison cells and interrogation rooms, where interrogators choreograph elaborate mind games and fight epic battles of will with their often formidable captives. Their account's full of the engrossing lore and procedure of interrogation, the thrust and parry of baited queries and cagey half-truths, and the occasional dramatic breakthrough when a prisoner cracks. But it also reveals the squalor and drudgery of the prison camps, the exhaustion, bad temper and frequent ineptitude of the interrogators and the many lapses in the American intelligence effort, especially by the CIA, which Mackey regards as an arrogant, secretive and incompetent organization. Mackey deplores the Abu Ghraib abuses and insists that his unit never violated the Geneva Conventions. They flirted, he acknowledges, with stress positions and sleep deprivation, but this was nothing, he claims, beyond what army recruits and the interrogators themselves routinely endured; their main weapons seem to have been veiled threats to return Arab prisoners to their homelands, where they would face real torture. The book, which was vetted by the Pentagon, will not settle the questions surrounding American treatment of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. But it does give a vivid, gritty look at the pressures and compromises attendant on this unconventional war. Agent, Rafe Sagalyn. (July 19)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Mackey and Miller--senior interrogator in Kandahar and a reporter with access to the interrogations--offer an illuminating examination of the psychology and physiology of lying and determining whether someone is telling the truth.
Only the handful of Americans who participate directly in the interrogations of prisoners can describe these battles of psychology and intellect, of will instead of weaponry — battles that the public never sees. Chris Mackey was senior interrogator at Bagram Air Base in Kandahar. Greg Miller was the only American reporter granted access to U.S. interrogators. Mackey and Miller offer an illuminating examination of the psychology and physiology of lying and determining whether someone is telling the truth.- The Interrogators will appeal to the audience of The Cell.
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