Cover image for The interrogators : inside the secret war against al Qaeda
The interrogators : inside the secret war against al Qaeda
Mackey, Chris.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 484 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
pt. 1. Training -- DLI -- Huachuca -- British school -- Sept. 11 -- Fort Bragg -- pt. 2. Reports editor -- Meet the Beatles -- Under attack -- Somali Bob -- Prisoner 140 -- Reports -- The ratmaster -- Other government agency -- Taliban minister -- Hasegawa and Davis -- Guantanamo -- The training manual -- Interrogators' games -- The exodus -- Missiles in the basement -- Al Qaeda's doctor -- Kandahar shuts down -- pt. 3. Bagram -- Numbers -- Task force hatchet -- How far to go -- Our allies -- Snitches and rumors -- Prisoner 237 -- The kid -- The Arab colonel -- Ricin -- The bearded ladies.
Personal Subject:
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS371.414 .M33 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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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 no one 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.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved