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

    How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq (Other book format) By (author) Matthew Alexander, By (author) John R. Bruning

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    DescriptionIn the wake of the torture scandals at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the government has rushed to Iraq a new breed of interrogator. Matthew Alexander, a former criminal investigator and head of a crack interrogation team, tells the story of how he and his team used psychological warfare to track down Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The interrogator's job is simple: get the right information in a timely fashion. Finding Abu Musab Zarqawi had long been the US military's top priority--even trumping the search for Osama Bin Laden. No brutality was spared in trying to squeeze information from detainees. But when the Military brought in Matthew the exertions of Special Forces had yielded exactly nothing. So Matthew and his team decided to sit down and get to know their opponents. Who were these monsters so impervious to violence? Who were they fighting for? What were they trying to protect? The intelligence coup that enabled the June 7, 2006 air strike on Zarqawi's rural safe house northeast of Baghdad was the result of a painstaking and dramatic manhunt, but it was not the result of what Matthew calls "force on force" interactions. First featured in an Atlantic cover story by Mark Bowden, this is more of a true-crime or psychological suspense story than a war memoir.


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  • Full bibliographic data for How to Break a Terrorist

    Title
    How to Break a Terrorist
    Subtitle
    The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Matthew Alexander, By (author) John R. Bruning
    Physical properties
    Format: Other book format
    Number of pages: 304
    Width: 142 mm
    Height: 221 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 295 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781416573159
    ISBN 10: 1416573151
    Classifications

    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KBB
    BIC E4L: POL
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.5
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JPWL
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15590
    LC subject heading:
    Libri: I-PL
    Ingram Subject Code: PL
    DC22: 956.70443
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST
    B&T General Subject: 650
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 47
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/21CNTY
    LC subject heading: ,
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 07
    B&T Approval Code: A44100000
    BISAC V2.8: HIS027170
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 52
    BISAC V2.8: POL037000, POL036000
    DC22: 956.7044/3
    B&T Approval Code: A40555400
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    LC classification: HV6433.M52 A54 2008
    Thema V1.0: NHWR9, JPWL
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations, frontispiece, black & white plates
    Publisher
    SIMON & SCHUSTER
    Imprint name
    The Free Press
    Publication date
    06 December 2008
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Review quote
    "[T]his is an excellent account of a high-profile victory in the often-hidden intelligence war that is at the heart of the U.S. effort in Iraq.... It is generally agreed that the Global War on Terrorism is first and foremost an intelligence war. Alexander's story offers us an absorbing behind-the=scenes look at the secret intelligence war within a war." -- www.military.com
    Review text
    We don't have to become our enemies to defeat them," declares a U.S. Air Force officer who led a team of interrogators in Iraq.After the Abu Ghraib scandal, American interrogators adopted a gentler approach, writes the pseudonymous author, using respect, rapport, hope, cunning and deception to obtain information. His slow-moving book profiles a group of special agents and criminal investigators who introduced the new violence-free approach in questioning that ultimately led to the death in 2006 of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq. Assisted by veteran co-author Bruning (House to House, 2007, etc.), the officer conveys a vivid sense of the intense pressures facing those interrogators, who had to quickly apply the six weeks of training they received at "the Schoolhouse" (Fort Huachuca in Arizona) to ferret out the master terrorist behind a rash of suicide bombings. Much of the book focuses on the questioning of five well-dressed men, captured at a farmhouse "wedding," who turned out to be senior-level al-Qaeda leaders. Facing trial and imprisonment, each detainee was painstakingly cajoled, flattered and manipulated with favors and promises ("I'll take care of you. I'll try to help you as best I can") into revealing fellow terrorists' locations, which were promptly attacked by Special Forces. The Geneva Conventions were respected, although nothing was done to determine who was present at targeted sites before they were destroyed by bombing. The fact that two young children died along with Zarqawi prompts no more than a verbal shrug from the author: "Innocent people get hurt." A surprising number of the detainees were not religious zealots but simply Iraqis who went along with al-Qaeda to make ends meet; Abu Gamal, an electrician with two wives to support, made hundreds of roadside bombs to earn extra money ($50 per job). The author's gung-ho tone and such melodramatic lines as "we could change history" fail to boost a flat narrative.Fascinating and informative content, poorly delivered. (Kirkus Reviews)