Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America

Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America

by James E. Mitchell Ph.D., Bill Harlow

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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 U.S. 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.  Readers 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 thirteen of the most senior high-value detainees in U.S. 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, were useful in drawing detainees to cooperate, and that, when applied incorrectly, they were counter-productive.  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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101906859
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/29/2016
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 94,070
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

DR. JAMES E. MITCHELL has a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida. He served twenty-two years in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a lieutenant colonel. From August 2002 through January 2009, Dr. Mitchell was involved in the development of the CIA's enhanced interrogation program and served as one of their interrogators from its inception until it was shut down by executive order on January 22, 2009.

BILL HARLOW is a writer, consultant, and public relations specialist with more than thirty years of experience. He spent seven years as the top spokesman for the CIA and four years at the White House handling national security media matters for two presidents. He has coauthored three New York Times bestsellers on intelligence.

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Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The real story, from the guy in the room, not some so called reporter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regardless of whether this is the whole truth of what happened, this is a great read into the actions of the CIA during these two wars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an affirmation of what the American people feel about or politicians, government agencies and most important the distortions that we are being bombarded with by the elite media in this country.
EPClark More than 1 year ago
In this interesting if highly disturbing read, James E. Mitchell, one of the chief architects of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program and introducer of waterboarding to the program, gives his side of the story and describes the techniques used, the interrogations conducted, and the intelligence gathered as a result. Mitchell brings up a number of issues that warrant serious consideration. It is true that there are bad people out there in the world actively planning to do bad things, and they're not going to stop or reveal their plans just because their enemies ask them nicely. It is true that torture, like terrorism, does sometime achieve its aims, especially in the short term. And it may very well be true that a carefully organized and controlled program of coercion is better than a bunch of haphazard violence--certainly Eric Fair's account of how a bunch of untrained interrogators, under intense pressure from above, totally went off the rails at Abu Ghraib and other sites in Iraq and committed a number of unacceptable atrocities, not because they were intentionally evil, but because they didn't know what else to do, should be a warning to us all. On the other hand, Mitchell's accounts of the calm deliberations that he and others went through over exactly what techniques were and were not legal are perhaps even more chilling, and certainly provoked my gag reflex more than stories of almost any amount of casual beatings. Furthermore, Mitchell's account has only strengthened my own personal belief that waterboarding is unacceptable, although I frankly confess that I can't 100% promise that I myself wouldn't do that or something equally bad under the right circumstances. Still, waterboarding is unequivocally, undeniably torture, as Christopher Hitchens recounted after experiencing it first-hand. Mitchell argues that America must take decisive steps to protect itself against the terrorists who seek to destroy it, and even includes as further justification some conversations he had with his interrogation subjects, who (he says) did not hold the waterboarding and other techniques (e.g., "walling"--throwing the detainee repeatedly against a special flexible wall) he used on them against him, but instead told him that it enabled them to confess without sinning against Allah, since Allah sees into each person's heart and knows just how much they can bear. In fact, there are a number of ironic or even creepy parallels in the book between Mitchell and the people he interrogates, although Mitchell himself seems to be largely unaware of them. Indeed, it must be said that while the book is competently written, it is probably not a great work of nonfiction--Mitchell seems to lack the kind of introspection that elevates the simple memoir or autobiography into art. But going back to the parallels, Mitchell admits that the interrogators and their subjects often developed a strange kind of rapport, and they would often spend a fair amount of time hanging out with them and keeping their spirits up, as well as defending them against what they considered predatory or abusive behavior from higher-ups. Mitchell himself, he claims in the book, eventually refused to carry out more waterboarding and spoke up against other behaviors he considered inappropriate or abusive, which led--oh irony!--to accusations that he was a "bleeding-heart liberal *****".
B-loNY More than 1 year ago
Pretty interesting book, if you are a football fan.
m-creek More than 1 year ago
The worst book of all time. The line "I spent thousands of hours with the subject" must have been used a dozen times. Nothing more than his interaction with government employees. Maybe 10 pages of interesting information.