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The Interrogators: Inside the Secret War Against al Qaeda
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The Interrogators: Inside the Secret War Against al Qaeda

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  143 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
An unprecedented look at the front line of the war against terror: the inside story of five American interrogators, thousands of prisoners, and the race for the truth. More than 3,000 prisoners in the war on terrorism have been captured, held, and interrogated in Afghanistan alone. But no one knows what transpired in those interactions between prisoner and interrogator--un ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published July 19th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2004)
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Paul Kobos
Feb 03, 2014 Paul Kobos rated it liked it
Conflicted review. Very thought provoking insider view read. But I know how they acquired some of the detainees. Dragnets scooping up every male 13 and up. That's how they made it to Chris Mackey. Let's be generous and say 90% of the detainees were "terrorist" 10% were not. And mr mackeys just another day at the office routine of incarcerating, lying and holding valued assets in cages, looks more like terrorism than freedom at work. His honesty about not giving a shit about prisoners made the bo ...more
Bruce Lyman
Oct 30, 2013 Bruce Lyman rated it liked it
Well written and a helpful contribution to the public's perception that intelligence operations really do operate according to a set of rules - and those are especially critical in the HUMINT world when dealing face to face with potential or actual enemy. Despite that, there is something vaguely unsettling about the work which proves more a sanitised journal of the author's work in Afghanistan rather than an expose of what is actually done. But then that is one of the rules - "Don't tell' or we ...more
Nathan Sherman
Jan 08, 2017 Nathan Sherman rated it it was amazing
This book is an incredible inside account of the role that the Army's interrogators, MOS: 35(M) play in the war on terror. Told from the perspective of the enlisted side of the job, (most notably the hardest working side too) these individuals train to legally extract valuable information from suspected terrorist subjects in an effort to proliferate it to intelligence agencies. Though not combat oriented in the trigger-pulling sense, the stress levels shown throughout these pages seems nearly e ...more
May 12, 2010 Ice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This fascinating memoir reports from one of the most crucial and controversial fronts in the war on terror. The pseudonymous Mackey was an interrogator at military prisons in Afghanistan, tasked with sussing out the secrets of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda members. He and journalist Miller take readers inside the prison cells and interrogation rooms, where interrogators choreograph elaborate mind games and fight epic battles of will with their often formidable captives. Their account's full of ...more
Aug 03, 2014 Tucker rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
A long story of interrogation in Afghanistan from the point of view of a U.S. interrogator. This focuses on the rules of the day-to-day job and doesn't have much political or ethical analysis. There is some good information about body language that indicates that someone is lying.

“You could tell the prisoner something like: ‘Do you know how many of your own people were killed at the end of World War II when the German prisons opened?’ But you couldn’t take that extra step and say, ‘If we send yo
Andrea Luhman
Sep 25, 2014 Andrea Luhman rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book. It is hard for me to look at it objectively since I felt a kind of kinship to the author. His complaints and problems while they may not have matched my experience, they were so very similar. There were jokes or situations described I think most soldiers who have worked in the Intel field will laugh at, especially if you ever spent any time in a reserve/guard unit.
I love how this book captures the pain of being one of the first units on the ground doing work that pla
Nov 14, 2012 Gary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: intelligence professionals, particularly those who do not routinely work in human intelligence
Recommended to Gary by: from the USMC Director of Intelligence's recommended reading list
This book showed me a lot about how human intelligence is done on the ground level, something I have not had much experience with in the past. I was continually impressed by the adaptability and innovativeness of the intterrogators portrayed in the book in order to try to tease some useful bit of information out of prisoners in Afghanistan while remaining on the right side of rules and conventions governing prisoners' treatment. In the end, I wonder what the motive of the author was in writing t ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Orion rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
So boring I had to fight just to finish it. Would have been a good story, but seemed that the author was too worried about looking bad, to really tell it. Im not talking about divulging anything classified. Just seemed that after all the media hype about mistreating prisoners, he was tip toeing around what happened. Tried way too hard to come off as the clean choir boy. I appreciate his wanting to tell his story, but there didn't seem he really had anything to tell. And god knows he didn't need ...more
Laura Hughes
Aug 04, 2013 Laura Hughes rated it really liked it
This was an interesting expose of the initial months of the War on Terror told on the front lines not by soldiers or political historians but by individuals delivering the intel. This took place before the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and GTMO and provides a gritty detailed day-in-the-life of an interrogator. For anyone wanting another POV on the reality of the post-9/11 "war" this was an excellent and easy read.
Jan 05, 2008 Donald rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
Very informative. Great stories and our guys doing good work around the world. This is a good picture of how this type of work is really done.
Sep 08, 2007 Alexandra rated it really liked it
I picked this up at the dollar store thinking it looked interesting. Actually it was really quite good.
Jon Holdaway
Jan 28, 2009 Jon Holdaway rated it it was amazing
Abu Ghraib was an abberation. Gitmo is a policy nightmare. This story is the real deal. Real interrogators working in a difficult environment, getting the mission done.
Ted Blockey
Ted Blockey rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2011
Irina Kebreau
Irina Kebreau rated it really liked it
May 22, 2009
Jun 13, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
Surprisingly well-written.
Steven A Garcia
Steven A Garcia rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2015
Matthew Keelty
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Joe rated it really liked it
May 18, 2009
Sarah Kranz
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Professor Wexler
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May 26, 2012
John Wimmer
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Sep 16, 2014
Carl Wells
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May 03, 2015
Bryan rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2012
Vf rated it it was ok
Dec 12, 2007
Joe rated it liked it
Oct 06, 2011
Jamie Morrall
Jamie Morrall rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2014
J.P. Freire
J.P. Freire rated it really liked it
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James Langham
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Matt Kawas
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Mark Perry
Mark Perry rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2011
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