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

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Dec 2, 2008 - Political Science - 352 pages
31 Reviews
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. 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.

Matthew and his team decided instead to get to know their opponents. Who were these monsters? Who were they working for? What were they trying to protect? Every day the "'gators" matched wits with a rogues' gallery of suspects brought in by Special Forces ("door kickers"): 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. With most prisoners, negotiation was possible and psychological manipulation stunningly effective. But Matthew's commitment to cracking the case with these methods sometimes isolated his superiors and put his own career at risk.

This account is an unputdownable thriller -- more of a psychological suspense story than a war memoir. And indeed, the story reaches far past the current conflict in Iraq with a reminder that we don't have to become our enemy to defeat him. Matthew Alexander and his ilk, subtle enough and flexible enough to adapt to the challenges of modern, asymmetrical warfare, have proved to be our best weapons against terrorists all over the world.
  

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Review: How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq

User Review  - Phoenix - Goodreads

Matthew Alexander is an Air Force officer and Interrogator. He has to confront the hard nosed hard school ingrained methods current at the time. This is his journal, his story. An interesting and ... Read full review

Review: How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq

User Review  - Caleb - Goodreads

This book is a fascinating take on a virtually unknown subject - military intelligence. Matthew Alexander is an interrogator for the US military and this book is the story of how he and his team ... Read full review

Contents

The Golden Dome
5
The Gator Pit
17
The skeleton
29
The Jovial Imam
40
Love of Family
44
The Convenient Car Bomb
50
The Burning House
61
CoMing into FoCus
69
Fault Lines
183
TheeyesofFatima
192
The return to the Other side of the House
201
Terrorist Follies
203
The Media Man
212
A Visit from the Boss
219
A slip
222
DiCe roll
229

Fractures
73
The Other side of the House
84
The Group of Five
88
The second wife
106
A Life for redemption
121
Preacher of Hate
140
The Blue BMw
149
The Devils Choice
160
going in CirCles
169
Cat and Mouse
173
The Leader
178
A single empty Hand
233
six Hours
241
The Duel
248
A Chance for Unity
258
Treason
262
The secret Deal
266
stasis
271
The Unknown Imam
275
The seventh of June
277
Killing the Hydra
280
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Matthew Alexander spent fourteen years in the U.S. Air Force and is now part of the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He has personally conducted more than 300 interrogations in Iraq and supervised more than 1,000.  Matthews was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his achievement in Iraq, has two advanced degrees, and speaks three languages. When he's not chasing the world's most wanted, he goes surfing.

John Bruning is the author or co-author of eight books including House to House by David Bellavia, Bruining has been a writer and historian for seventeen years.

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