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How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq epub

by Mark Bowden,Matthew Alexander


How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq epub

ISBN: 0312675119

ISBN13: 978-0312675110

Author: Mark Bowden,Matthew Alexander

Category: Memoris

Subcategory: Leaders & Notable People

Language: English

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (July 19, 2011)

Pages: 304 pages

ePUB book: 1232 kb

FB2 book: 1253 kb

Rating: 4.6

Votes: 566

Other Formats: docx lrf mbr azw





How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq is a book written by an American airman who played a key role in tracking down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq is a book written by an American airman who played a key role in tracking down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The interrogator who wrote the book published it under the pen name Matthew Alexander, for security reasons. The author wrote the book as a pseudonymous officer in the US Air Force who had served for fourteen years

How to Break a Terrorist:. has been added to your Cart. I read this book to understand better how to ask questions that get a the real substance of the parties position

How to Break a Terrorist:. He arrived in Iraq in March 2006, a month after al-Qaeda bombed the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra in an effort to incite sectarian violence, and Zarqawi became the most wanted man in Iraq and the primary focus of . intelligence efforts. I read this book to understand better how to ask questions that get a the real substance of the parties position.

How to Break a Terrorist book. How to Break a Terrorist: The . Start by marking How to Break a Terrorist: The . Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq. by. Matthew Alexander (Goodreads Author)

MATTHEW ALEXANDER served for fourteen years in the . I read this book to understand better how to ask questions that get a the real substance of the parties position

MATTHEW ALEXANDER served for fourteen years in the . He has personally conducted more than three hundred interrogations and supervised more than a thousand. Alexander realizes this man has traded his life for the chance to make things right with his wife and essentially send her one final love letter. The bomb-maker is taken off to face execution at Abu Ghraib, and Alexander has to decide whether or not to mail the letter. I would not recommend the book to learn the dark arts, but to know if someone is trying to use the ark arts against you.

How to Break a Terrorist: The . interrogators who used brains, not brutality, to take down the deadliest man in Iraq, Matthew Alexander with John R. Bruning. p. cm. 1. Terrorists. 2. Zarqawi, Abu Mus’ab, 1966–2006. 3. Qaida (Organization) 4. Alexander, Matthew. 5. Military interrogation. I. Bruning, John R. II. Title. M52A54 2008 95. 044'3-dc22.

Matthew Alexander, a former criminal investigator and head of a handpicked interrogation team, gives us the first inside look at the .

Read unlimited books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Matthew Alexander, a former criminal investigator and head of a handpicked interrogation team, gives us the first inside look at the . military's attempt at more civilized interrogation techniques - and their astounding success. The intelligence coup that enabled the June 7, 2006, air strike onZarqawi's rural safe house was the result of several keenly strategized interrogations, none of which involved torture or even "control" tactics.

book by John R. Finding Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, had long been the . No brutality was spared in trying to squeeze intelligence from Zarqawi's suspected associates. But these "force on force" techniques yielded exactly nothing, and, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the military rushed a new breed of interrogator to Iraq.  . Matthew and his team decided to get to know their opponents. Who were these monsters?

Matthew Alexander, a former criminal investigator and head of a handpicked interrogation team, gives us the first inside look at the . military's attempt at more civilized interrogation techniques-and their astounding success. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the De. Sharon Lanier.

How to Break a Terrorist. Last updated October 26, 2019. He was sometimes known as "Sheikh of the slaughterers". How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq. Matthew Alexander (pseudonym). The author wrote the book as a pseudonymous officer in the US Air Force who had served for fourteen years.

Finding Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, had long been the U.S. military's top priority―trumping even the search for Osama bin Laden. No brutality was spared in trying to squeeze intelligence from Zarqawi's suspected associates. But these "force on force" techniques yielded exactly nothing, and, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the military rushed a new breed of interrogator to Iraq. Matthew Alexander, a former criminal investigator and head of a handpicked interrogation team, gives us the first inside look at the U.S. military's attempt at more civilized interrogation techniques―and their astounding success.

Matthew and his team decided to get to know their opponents. Who were these monsters? Who were they working for? Every day the "‘gators" matched wits with a rogues' gallery of suspects brought in by Special Forces: egomaniacs, bloodthirsty adolescents, opportunistic stereo repairmen, Sunni clerics horrified by the sectarian bloodbath, al Qaeda fanatics, and good people in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This account is an unputdownable thriller―more of a psychological suspense story than a war memoir―and a reminder that we don't have to become our enemy to defeat him.

This was fascinating not only for what the author put on the page, but for what he didn't intend to convey. An intelligent soldier trained in and devoted to non-coercive interrogation techniques is sent in under heavy pressure to find a dangerous man driving Iraq into civil war. He arrives to find that humane, legal methods are the only ones being used, but they are not believed in universally or being applied effectively; in other words, he's still fighting an uphill battle.

The first interesting (from a human nature standpoint) contrast is with the writings of, say Ali Soufan. Soufan is an ethical and compassionate human being who isn't reluctant to admit to crying and feeling sincere grief for the sailors killed aboard the USS Cole, for his adored boss who died in the WTC, or feeling empathy for a terrorist or his family. He's also one of our most effective interrogators. Alexander, like Soufan, is firmly opposed to torture. But you can read his combat background and the intolerance of his working situation plainly, even down to the harsh title of the book. He feels he's a good guy, and compared to many, he is.

But he tells the story of successfully interrogating a man who built bombs to financially support his second wife, while deeply in love with his first wife. Alexander gains his cooperation by giving him fake divorce papers from his second wife, and the opportunity to write a letter, which Alexander assumes will be to the second wife. The bomb-builder knows his confession will lead to his execution. He writes the letter, which turns out to be a deeply loving message to his first wife. Alexander realizes this man has traded his life for the chance to make things right with his wife and essentially send her one final love letter. The bomb-maker is taken off to face execution at Abu Ghraib, and Alexander has to decide whether or not to mail the letter. Thinking of the horrific photos and videos he's seen of the victims of suicide bombers, he decides not to grant this man his redemption, and destroys the letter. It's a petty and spiteful move that hurts only the innocent wife who could have learned that her husband loved her and gave his life for her.

In another instance, he interrogates a young man whose car was followed to his house after being used in a crime. It seems open and shut, as the car was followed by helicopters. The young man vehemently denies any wrongdoing, which angers Alexander. Alexander tells him that he and his two brothers are going to be executed at Abu Ghraib, but if he cooperates maybe the brothers can be spared. The sobbing suspect insists he's innocent. The next day, Alexander tells him that now only one brother can be spared. He hands the suspect photos of his two brothers and tells him to choose one. He has the guy sobbing in emotional anguish, begging to be believed, saying they're innocent and he can't pick one of his brothers to live and the other to die. Spoiler: They're all innocent. The neighbor with a similar car did it.

Alexander, to his credit, feels horrible about what he did and personally apologizes. He feels even worse when the suspect sincerely forgives him. But ....here's a guy who's talking about not believing in torture, and he put an innocent man through brutal psychological torture without even thinking about it in those terms. He writes about how upsetting the content of the videos of terrorist acts he has to watch are, and presents his disgust with those evil acts as the reasoning behind his utter lack of empathy with the men he questions. He fakes empathy remorselessly, but stomps down his kinder side when it tries to emerge and tell him to feel for people and believe in their humanity. Again I can't help but contrast his attitude with Soufan's; Soufan lost people he cared about deeply and personally to terrorism, walked into ghastly scenes of wreckage that made him cry, but brings none of the forced hatred to the table that Alexander does as a result of the videos he's seen.

This isn't just a story of the ultimate success of the author in using noncoercive interrogation and personal courage and determination to catch a vicious terrorist. It's also a telling insight into what happens when we tell people they're not allowed to feel empathy. You can almost see the author forcing himself to think in lines of black and white, good and evil, even as he navigates far greyer areas. He saved many, many lives, but his work also took many lives, of the men who were executed after talking to him, and the people including children who died in missile strikes launched on the basis of information he obtained. He promised a suspect the life of his best friend would be protected. Zero effort was made to spare the man's life in the US attack, and the cooperating terrorist breaks down sobbing when he learns that his best friend has just been killed as a result of information he provided Alexander. There's great deal of emotional brutality, and a great deal of missing the point.

"We don't torture" isn't just an abstract ideal It's a component of a bigger message: we, as the good guys, will not stoop to cruelty, brutality, emotional revenge, and other acts that feel wrong to decent men. Despite the evil of our enemies. And that's the point a good man misses here, quite possibly due to the military culture around him.
This book is a lively read about the experiences of an interrogator who does not believe in the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (aka torture).

Alexander was effective at extracting more accurate data more quickly than other interrogators using more questionable techniques.

Certainly the author has a point of view, but his years of experience in the field and his history of successful interrogations give him much more credibility than a bunch of blowhard chickenhawk politicians.

Wherever you stand on the issues of national security and the importance of human rights, you should read this book. It is a quick read, and the information is well worth the time.
I needed to know how to get through a strong-self-willed and powerful leader for a novel I was writing about a first-century lawyer in the Roman Empire. It was exactly what I needed.
If I could give it 3.5 stars, I would - for me it was somewhere between "It's OK" and "I like it." I know you can't judge a book by it's cover (or title for that matter), but considering the title alluded to "breaking" a terrorist, I was expecting it to be more thrilling or exciting. Instead, I found it to be somewhat anticlimactic. Not a bad read, all in all, but not what I expected.
A real page turner. Outlined the dark arts of interrogation. I read this book to understand better how to ask questions that get a the real substance of the parties position. I would not recommend the book to learn the dark arts, but to know if someone is trying to use the ark arts against you.
Contrary to popular myth, most U.S. military detention facilities did not employ brutal interrogation methods during the first few years of the so-called "War on Terrorism." Far from it. But there were certainly facilities which did employ such methods, most infamously, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. In Iraq, many of the facilities employing so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques were special operations facilities. Incredibly, even after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, the facility run by the elite Special Mission Unit in Iraq continued to permit more of these techniques than had been previously allowed at Abu Ghraib.

It was into a facility run by this Special Mission Unit that a U.S. Air Force major, Matthew Alexander, strode in early 2006. Although torture-lite techniques were no longer a matter of official policy for this unit, many of its interrogators had faith in these techniques, causing them to routinely employ the harshest possible variants of doctrinal approaches. Alexander knew that the unit's interrogators had it wrong, and he set out to teach them the moral and practical value of traditional, rapport-based interrogation approaches.

Alexander's challenge was immense. His interrogators were set in their ways, and they had little desire to learn rapport-based approaches--approaches that require far more work, skill, and cultural understanding than fear-based approaches. There was also a credibility gap. Unlike most other U.S. military officers (who may be trained to manage interrogators but who are seldom trained to conduct interrogations themselves), Alexander was a trained interrogator. But he was also a new interrogator. To receive the respect of his combat-experienced team, he would have to earn it.

Alexander was more than up to the challenge. The story of how he earned his team's respect and led them to military success is one of the great leadership stories of America's recent wars. Using the power of personal example, he showed his team that they could be far more effective if they convinced (rather than coerced) their sources to talk. Thanks to his good efforts--and those he led--his unit quickly began to produce more and better intelligence. Most notably, as grippingly recounted in "How to Break a Terrorist," his team coaxed intelligence from sources that led to the successful U.S. air strike against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi's death would prove a great boost for coalition efforts in Iraq. As head of the terrorist organization, al Qaeda in Iraq, Zarqawi had been at the top of coalition forces' most wanted list, having repeatedly demonstrated a madman's capacity for outdoing even Bin Ladin in acts of callous, wanton cruelty. Due to his escaping death or capture by coalition forces numerous times, the terrorist leader had cultivated a reputation for invincibility among his followers. His death therefore proved a terrible psychological blow to the violent organization.

As important as Zarqawi's death was to the coalition cause, more important to history are the lessons Alexander's story teaches all Americans. One lesson is that harsh interrogation methods produce inferior intelligence, and those who claim that such methods work well are dangerously ignorant. Skilled, professional interrogators understand that prisoners are not machines that can be forced to tell the truth if only the right, scientifically measurable lever is found and pulled. Instead, prisoners are human beings who, even under great physical duress, retain the power within their private mental realms to choose to tell the truth or not. To get people to tell the truth, you have to convince them that they should tell the truth. Herein lies the real art and skill of interrogation.

An even more important lesson of Alexander's story is the practical need for American governmental agencies and military forces to keep to the moral high ground. Our nation's flirtation with torture nearly cost us success in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the ultimate success of our military campaigns in these two countries (especially in Afghanistan) remains uncertain. Not only did scandals such as Abu Ghraib and Gitmo decrease support for America's foreign wars at home, but these scandals were recruitment boons for America's jihadist enemies--enemies whose undiscriminating bombs continue to kill thousands of civilians and coalition servicemembers.

But the cost may run deeper still than this. Under the questionable "legal" cover provided by well-intentioned (but profoundly ignorant) policy-makers and lawyers, America tortured many of its enemies, and by so doing, endangered its very soul. Our collective understanding of who we are as a nation--the core belief that America sets a positive moral example for others to follow--has been gravely damaged. As Alexander teaches us: "Murderers like Zarqawi can kill us, but they can't force us to change who we are. We can only do that to ourselves." Is this grave damage permanent? Only future generations will know with certainty, an understanding which they will further demonstrate through their own actions.

"How to Break a Terrorist" is already a classic military memoir. Any leader or interrogator who wants to be good at what they do should (and probably will) read this book. But Alexander's story contains valuable lessons for all students of war, history, and the American experience. Indeed, all Americans could profit from reading this book, not just for the lessons it offers, but because it is a sheer pleasure to read. Although a historical work, the book reads as quickly and easily as a page-turning suspense novel.

In short, read "How to Break a Terrorist." You will enjoy it, and be better for the experience.

--Douglas A. Pryer, Author, The Fight for the High Ground: The U.S. Army and Interrogation During Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003 - April 2004