In the dark days immediately after 9/11, the CIA turned to Dr. James Mitchell to help craft an interrogation program designed to elicit intelligence from just-captured top al-Qa'ida leaders and terror suspects. A civilian contractor who had spent years training US military members to resist interrogation should they be captured, Mitchell, aware of the urgent need to prevent impending catastrophic attacks, worked with the CIA to implement "enhanced interrogation techniques" - which included waterboarding.
In Enhanced Interrogation, Mitchell now offers a first-person account of the EIT program, providing a contribution to our historical understanding of one of the most controversial elements of America's ongoing war on terror. Listeners will follow him inside the secretive "black sites" and cells of terrorists and terror suspects where he personally applied enhanced interrogation techniques. Mitchell personally questioned 13 of the most senior high-value detainees in US custody - including Abu Zubaydah; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the amir or "commander" of the USS Cole bombing; and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terror attacks - obtaining information that he maintains remains essential to winning the war against al-Qa'ida and informing our strategy to defeat ISIS and all of radical Islam.
From the interrogation program's earliest moments to its darkest hours, Mitchell also lifts the curtain on its immediate effects, the controversy surrounding its methods, and its downfall. He shares his view that EIT, when applied correctly, was useful in drawing detainees to cooperate and that when applied incorrectly it was counterproductive. He also chronicles what it is like to undertake a several-years-long critical mission at the request of the government only to be hounded for nearly a decade afterward by congressional investigations and Justice Department prosecutors.
Gripping in its detail and deeply illuminating, Enhanced Interrogation argues that it is necessary for America to take strong measures to defend itself from its enemies and that the country is less safe now without them than it was before 9/11.
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Informative, and easy to listen to.
- Bobby Ackerman
Part curtain pull, part self defense
- Tim Hairston