Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey Through Iraq

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Penguin, 2007 - History - 254 pages
4 Reviews
So begins Army interrogator Tony Lagouranis's first briefing at Abu Ghraib. When the U.S. went to war with Iraq, Lagouranis-who joined the Army prior to September 11-was tapped to be an interrogator in places like Abu Ghraib and Fallujah. He believed in his mission, but he soon discovered that pushing the legal limits of interrogation was encouraged. Under orders, he-along with numerous other soldiers-abused and terrorized hundreds of prisoners by adding "enhancements" to "Fear Up Harsh," an official tactic designed to terrify prisoners into revealing information.

This is an unflinching first-hand account of how one man struggled with his own conscience and ultimately broke the silence surrounding interrogation practices. The first Army interrogator to step forward and publicly denounce these tactics, Lagouranis reveals what went on in Iraqi prisons-raising crucial questions about American conduct abroad.

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When no intel makes us American Military look bad

User Review  - chicagosfinest - Overstock.com

Ive heard this story on NPR and other print medias for some time now but waited until the book hit paperback before I dished any money out for it. I think this book for those who are against this war ... Read full review

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Mr. Lagouranis' fine book is exceptional. Admittedly, this review comes a bit late, now that The America isn't quite so charged up about the ugliness to which she bore witness. Dig: The number of sensational injustices, iniquities, and injuries that we, as a nation-- no, as The Nation, can constantly remember to never forget is finite. I suspect the latest in the endless, vapid sea of Saturday Night Live casts has by now already given Mr. Lagouranis' story the same respect and dignity afforded the Unabomber or Rodney King, who recently entered a boxing match with an ex-cop on pay-per-view. Read this book, because, as gnarled and wizened as The American Spirit may be, it's worth noting that the souls who wove that sad tapestry did so at a personal cost. In this humble reviewer's opinion, Mr. Lagouranis' story is a result of a strange machine caught up in its own self-satisfying chutzpah, an enfeebled whisper in a din of ordered barking. And his book is really great. 


Abu GhraibJanuary to February 2004
AlAsad and MosulFebruary to May 2004
Abu Ghraib and LeaveMay to September 2004
North Babel September 2004 to January 2005
My Return and Lessons Learned

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About the author (2007)

Tony Lagouranis has appeared on Democracy Now, the PBS Frontline documentary "The Torture Question," and MSNBC's Hardball. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Allen Mikaelian is a doctoral fellow in history at American University and author of the New York Times bestseller Medal of Honor.

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