Author(s): Chris Mackey
A timely contribution to the debate engulfing the US military about whether ends can ever justify means. The methods of the US military in conducting the War on Terror have recently come under intense international scrutiny and criticism. But there is much that remains unclear about the realities on the ground, in those cramped cells in the midst of combat zones where terrorist suspects come head-to-head with trained interrogators. Now, for the first time, the inside story of this secret war is uncovered by Chris Mackey, a senior US Army interrogator in Afghanistan, who interviewed thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, many of whom he sent to Guantanamo Bay. In Afghanistan the interrogators faced an enemy who, with tactics like sleeper cells and suicide bombers, were unlike any other they had seen. Working round the clock, Mackey and his team had to discard outmoded Cold War interrogation techniques and evolve breakthrough psychological strategies and complex mind games. But the interrogators too were under immense pressure; relentlessly pitching their wits against suspected fanatics, ever fearful that their prisoners might know of another 9/11, but constrained from unleashing their tempers by the Geneva Convention, it was not always just the prisoners who cracked. Mackey
'The most powerful thriller-like passages of an impressive book reconstruct specific mental duels with terrorist suspects.' -- Guardian 20050430
Chris Mackey joined the army at seventeen and was assigned to the intelligence corps as an interrogator. After 9/11, he was recalled to the United States, assigned to Task Force 500, and subsequently sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He ultimately supervised all military interrogations conducted at the theatre-wide detention facility at Bagram airfield.