From: Democracy Now

We speak with a former special intelligence operations officer who led an interrogations team in Iraq two years ago. His nonviolent interrogation methods led Special Forces to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq. He has written a new book, How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq. The publication date for the book was delayed for six weeks due to the Pentagon’s vetting of it. The soldier wrote it under the pseudonym, Matthew Alexander, for security reasons. He says the US military’s use of torture is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers by inspiring foreign fighters to kill Americans.


AMY GOODMAN: Were you subjected to SERE techniques? I mean, did you go through that training?

MATTHEW ALEXANDER: I did go through SERE training. And I remember this moment I’ll never forget at the end of SERE training.

AMY GOODMAN: Where were you?

MATTHEW ALEXANDER: I was in Spokane, Washington. It was very cold. It was the first week of February, subzero temperatures. And it’s very challenging training. You know, it’s a prisoner of war environment. And at the end of the training, I remember, we stood in formation, and we were very exhausted, and they played the national anthem. And afterwards, an instructor gave a speech, and he told us about how some American prisoners of war in Korea had been tortured to death and refused to give up information. And I remember taking great pride in the fact that our country did not torture, that we did not resort to such practices. And that’s why I felt such an obligation to write this book and to get the word out that we’ve got to return to that. We’ve got to return to a place where we do not conduct torture in any organization within our government.

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