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View Diary: Interrogator who Located Zarqawi Rips U.S. Torture Policy (224 comments)

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  •  Brandon--Pull all references to this jackass .... (0+ / 0-)

    locating Zarqaqi.  Trust me, his contribution, if any, was so minimal that no one who was really involved would think of even mentioning him.

    It's like me claiming I'm responsible for creating Daily Kos by writing this comment.  

    He makes good points on interrogation and torture.  He's so exaggerated his role in the capture of Zarqawi that it's going to leave people in the JSOC community seething.  Don't be part of it.  

    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

    by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:12:31 AM PST

    •  No........... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, cotterperson, llbear

      With what he wrote it should bring More of them out into the Debate as to what We Really Are as a Nation, and if Accepting these policies are We Going To Also Accept The Consequences, not only as to our Military in Deployments but also our Citizens no matter where they might be, and Citizens of our Allies!!!!!

      "For all the GOP's patriotic imagery and testosterone-infused rhetoric,Results: Failed Policies Across the Spectrum

      by jimstaro on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:19:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not objecting to what he wrote on interrogati (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luvmovies2000, NavyConservative

        ons.  I'm objecting to his bald-faced lies on his role in the killing of Zarqawi.  I can tell you, without compromising anything, that his location was absolutely not learned through an interrogation.  It's a lie.  Screw this guy.  

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:26:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We can't resolve this disagreement here (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattman, jimstaro, NonnyO, Polacolor, ibonewits

          because neither of you will be allowed to provide evidence to prove your positions.

          That's the problem scientists have with classified information. Anyone can claim anything when critical information is secret.

          You would do best to contact Brandon directly.

          "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:33:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll give you the unclassified version. And this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            andrewj54

            is generic, not a description of the events leading to the house getting bombed.  Interrogators like this guy, working back at the compounds, don't get access to prisoners until hours after capture... best case.  He was not a battlefield interrogator, he was a booth interrogator.

            Locational information on individuals moving all the time, like AMZ, goes bad incredibly quickly.  Battlefield interrogations often lead to follow-on targeting, but it's usually either about another house in the immediate vicinity or about the physical location of another permanent compound that can be followed up after additional intelligence disciplines (sigint/ imint/ humint ) are layered on.  

            This guy's a fucking liar.  I don't need to contact Brandon directly to know that.  

            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

            by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:46:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  We can't resolve this disagreement here (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO, ibonewits, FishOutofWater

            .....because neither of you will be allowed to provide evidence to prove your positions. That's the problem scientists have with classified information. Anyone can claim anything when critical information is secret.....

            Probably why The Hague will end up handling it.  

            "No one is above the law and no one is outside the reach of international justice".....Carla del Ponte, former Chief Prosecutor, The Hague

    •  Gee, Joesig, You Sound Upset (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro, Jacob Bartle

      Maybe you didn't go to any funerals either.  

      •  Trust me, I've been to plenty. (0+ / 0-)

        And yes, I'm upset.  This guy is collecting blood money, by profiting on the work of others and lying and exaggerating his own role.  

        Brandon should be ashamed.  And if this is the kind of thing their shared agent encourages, I would question what is in Brandon's book as well.  

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:34:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How do you know that? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, cotterperson, jimstaro

      Mathew Alexander is a pseudonym.

      •  I know it because his location was not derived (0+ / 0-)

        directly through an interrogation.  It doesn't matter if it's a pseudonym--it's absolutely factually incorrect.   It's not even close to the truth.  The guy is like one of those asshats wearing fake medals to pick up chicks and impress the locals in his bar.  

        He deserves to be called out, and exposed as a liar.  

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:37:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why did the DOD delay publication (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, joanneleon

          of his book if what he says is not true?

          No offense but why is what you claim any more credible than what he claims in his book? How do you know what he says isn't true?

          •  His implication is that an interrogation led.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matthias

            directly to the bombing of the building.  It's a lie.  All I'm willing to say is that we were "following" a number of individuals that we thought might eventually lead to AMZ.  Following them over days, and weeks.  

            One of them eventually led us directly to him.  The call then went out to bomb the building.  End of Zarqawi.  

            I wrote a few comments above, in a more generic sense, how battlefield interrogations lead to follow-on targeting.  Booth interrogations, in my experience, never lead to direct locational information on individuals.  It might lead to contacts, it might lead to historic locational data, it might lead to money or comms or vehicles used.  But locational data is too perishable to be obtained in the booth.  

            And I sympathize with you in the difficulty in deciding who to believe.  Much of the info on the capture of AMZ is not only classified, but it is in special access programs.  

            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

            by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 06:15:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He said he developed a team (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cotterperson, ibonewits

              Do you think he was dishonest when he wrote:

              I refused to participate in such practices, and a month later, I extended that prohibition to the team of interrogators I was assigned to lead. I taught the members of my unit a new methodology -- one based on building rapport with suspects, showing cultural understanding and using good old-fashioned brainpower to tease out information. I personally conducted more than 300 interrogations, and I supervised more than 1,000. The methods my team used are not classified (they're listed in the unclassified Field Manual), but the way we used them was, I like to think, unique. We got to know our enemies, we learned to negotiate with them, and we adapted criminal investigative techniques to our work (something that the Field Manual permits, under the concept of "ruses and trickery"). It worked. Our efforts started a chain of successes that ultimately led to Zarqawi.

              ?

              It seems to me he is taking credit for being a team leader that had a successful approach. He is not claiming his personal interrogations led to Z's killing.

              "It's the planet, stupid."

              by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 07:09:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Brandon's title: Interrogator who located Zarqawi (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                luvmovies2000

                The fraud wrote:

                My team of interrogators had successfully hunted down one of the most notorious mass murderers of our generation, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the mastermind of the campaign of suicide bombings that had helped plunge Iraq into civil war. But instead of celebrating our success....

                .

                He also wrote:

                We convinced one of Zarqawi's associates to give up the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader's location...

                Also a lie.

                As for your question, and related paragraph: yes, I think he was being dishonest.  
                By mid-2006, when he showed up for his five month stint, the interrogation pendulum had swung way back over to the cautious side.  This was post abu G, post- publicity, and post-threats of prosecution for abuse.  He is taking credit for things that had already happened, completely without his input.  I guarantee he is not citing individuals he worked with as having committed abuse during the time he was there. If he was there... that part is not entirely clear to me.  

                He's a fraud, at minimum a huge self-aggrandiser, and Brandon does not have enough high level military experience to have recognized it.  He was a conventional guy, not involved in JSOC efforts.  The connection of their agent in common really makes this thing suck.  He should have asked someone who actually knows what the fuck they're talking about before he posted this garbage.    

                To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 08:32:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How, exactly? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lotlizard, FishOutofWater, saildude

                  He should have asked someone who actually knows what the fuck they're talking about before he posted this garbage.

                  Does Brandon know that there are people here at Kos with accurate knowledge of the situation?

                  Does he know that he can trust you more than "Alexander"?

                  Do we know that we can trust you more than "Alexander"?

                  Unfortunately, all either you or "Alexander" have to offer is assertions of truthfulness. That's the nature of military and intelligence secrecy.

                  Won't it be nice to have a SMART President?

                  by ibonewits on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 09:13:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Excellent question. And here's your answer: (0+ / 0-)

                    I think it's telling that Brandon has not taken part in this thread.  But maybe he's been away all day, like I've been.  He can comment here at any time, and he can, at any time, ask for my credentials and ask me to prove them.   I would be happy to do that, offline, for him.  Then he can maybe write a brief diary, either exposing me, or this Alexander guy as a fraud.  I think that's fair.  

                    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                    by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 04:37:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How about you just tell us how it went down? (0+ / 0-)

                      If you know the whole story tell us without disclosing classified info. I mean I'm sure it took more than one piece to put the puzzle together.

                      Just blurting out that it is a bullshit diary without backing it up somehow makes it hard to follow your reasoning.

                      •  Read the entire thread. I commented more below. (0+ / 0-)

                        Read the Atlantic article... it's mostly accurate, as far as it goes.  Here's what I can tell you:
                        What turned out to be the key lead, from an interrogation, was the name of the spiritual advisor who met with AMZ.  There was no locational data.

                        There were a number of names, and a number of promising leads.  All were followed to the extent possible, and it involved an enormous amount of "assets".

                        And I like the juxtaposition of "the whole story" and "without disclosing classified information."  

                        Again, as I offered to Brandon below, I'll happily figure out ways we can communicate in greater detail.  All he has to do is denounce this fraud, or me, when I'm done.  

                        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                        by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:40:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for giving a clear answer (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joesig

                  I hope we can agree that torture produces untrustworthy results.

                  "It's the planet, stupid."

                  by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 03:41:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We do. As an example, the governor of VA is... (0+ / 0-)

                    currently being asked to pardon 4 Navy guys convicted of rape years ago, and serving ever since.  They had the screws put to them by the police and "confessed" to make it stop.   The guilty guy has since actually confessed, the DNA evidence on scene only matches him.... and still the convictions stand... because of the "confessions".

                    Apply enough pain and anyone will say anything to make it stop.  It's just that simple.  

                    And I've spent enough time overseas, in hinky situations, to selfishly hope that my country is on the right side on this issue.  

                    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                    by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 04:43:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Ha ha. You should probably read (0+ / 0-)

      this before you make a complete fool of yourself.

      And, of course, I wasn't there for this operation, and much of it is classified, so I don't know what happened.  That said, as soon as the Pentagon or anyone else involved in the operation comes out to refute this, come talk to me.

      VetVoice: The blog for troops and veterans | My book on Amazon

      by Brandon Friedman on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 11:04:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read the article? Actually read it? (0+ / 0-)

        And thanks for the link; I enjoyed it, I hadn't seen it before, and it's mostly accurate, as opposed to the nonsense of your friend.  A couple quick points.  From the Atlantic article:

        But after the prisoner-abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib came to light in April 2004, the military cracked down on such practices.

        But your buddy writes  that in 2006:
        I

        refused to participate in such practices, and a month later, I extended that prohibition to the team of interrogators I was assigned to lead. I taught the members of my unit a new methodology -

        Also from the Atlantic, and again it's mostly accurate, they list the interrogators involved and the female J-2 in charge.  Don't see a team of AF CI-guys mentioned as key players, but maybe I missed it.   Bowden and the article also emphasize that the interrogation and analysis breakthrough was the name of the spiritual advisor.  There was no locational data involved.  But your friend the liar says:

        Our new interrogation methods led to one of the war's biggest breakthroughs: We convinced one of Zarqawi's associates to give up the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader's location

        Complete and total fabrication.  And the idea that this genius came up with "new interrogation methods" is both laughable and a clear indicator of an ego completely out of control.  

        I'll happily prove my bona fides to you, and bring you an assortment of guys who were fucking there to talk to you if you need more proof before you continue to embarrass yourself.  Your end of the deal is that once convinced you need to convince your fucking agent to drop this fraud and also write a diary denouncing him.   I can provide an email address, and I'll be in DC next week.  Your move.  

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 05:27:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm really not interested in the drama (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon

          you're trying instigate.  If you have evidence to prove Alexander is lying, present it.  If you won't do it publicly, my email address is readily available in my profile.  If you don't have--or won't provide--evidence, then your assertions are ridiculous.

          Also, rather than debating me about it on Daily Kos, if this guy is lying and you have inside information, then maybe you should contact someone at the Pentagon since they cleared the book.

          VetVoice: The blog for troops and veterans | My book on Amazon

          by Brandon Friedman on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 07:24:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No drama. (0+ / 0-)

            Just fyi, Pentagon clears for classified disclosure, not truth.

            Here's my problem, and I'll also address you separately at your email address.

            1.  I believe the guy's lying, and you're inadvertently promoting his lies.
            1.  I believe he's accusing other interrogators of using illegal or immoral methods in 2006, before he got there to clean things up, at least with his AF team.
            1.  If you don't want debate at Daily Kos, don't write in Daily Kos.  

            All for now.  And I'm old fashioned.  I think if you've contributed to a mess, or a lie, you have an obligation to help clean it up.  Maybe you don't.

            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

            by joesig on Sun Nov 30, 2008 at 08:13:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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