Here are the confessions of a senior CIA operative who ran the interrogation of one of the highest profile al-Qaeda captives. Carle’s journey is a tale of international intrigue, deceit, and betrayal—and an extraordinary and intimate portrait of our war on terror.To his friends and neighbors, Glenn L. Carle was a wholesome, stereotypical New England Yankee, a former athlete struggling against incipient middle age, someone always with his nose in an abstruse book. But for two decades, Carle broke laws, stole, and lied on a daily basis about nearly everything. He was a CIA spy. He thrived in an environment of duplicity and ambiguity, flourishing in the gray areas of policy.The Interrogator is the story of Carle’s most serious assignment, when he was “surged” into the global war on terror to interrogate a top level detainee at one of the CIA’s notorious black sites overseas. It tells of his encounter with one of the most senior al-Qaeda detainees the United States captured after 9/11, a “ghost detainee” who, the CIA believed, might hold the key to finding Osama bin Laden.But as Carle’s interrogation sessions progressed, he began to seriously doubt the operation. Was this man, kidnapped in the Middle East, really the senior al-Qaeda official the CIA believed he was? Headquarters viewed Carle’s misgivings as naïve troublemaking. Carle found himself isolated, progressively at odds with his institution and his orders. He struggled over how far to push the interrogation, wrestling with whether his actions constituted torture and with what defined his real duty to his country. Then, in a dramatic twist, headquarters spirited the detainee and Carle to the CIA’s harshest interrogation facility, a place of darkness and fear, which even CIA officers dared mention only in whispers.A haunting tale of sadness, confusion, and determination, The Interrogator is a shocking and intimate look at the world of espionage.
The author attempts to convey his story of a CIA officer and his interrogation of a highly placed member of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and his coming around to the opinion that CIA has actually captured someone of much less importance than they think and the unsuccessful attempts to make headquarters see the error.
This might have made a very interesting book on interrogation and the relationship that evolves as well as giving insight to the Al-Qaeda mindset and modern interrogation techniques in general. However there is an enormous number of redaction's required of the author feels like about a hundred of them. They come fast and furious at the points in the story of most interest to the reader. At times the redactions seem to be done capriciously rather than to truly keep sensitive facts out of the public domain, a point that the author makes himself in several of the comments he makes on redacted passages.
The constant redactions leave the book nearly incoherent and are a constant jarring irritation that leaves the reader with a better understanding of the author's trip through the foreign lands he travels in than of the interrogation itself. I have sympathy for the author and his frustrations with CIA censorship, I feel he has done the best he can and the book he wanted to write would have been a good one, but I can not recommend this book to anyone in it's present form and regret having bought it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed parts of the book, and think the author brings up some great points in the end. For me, however, all the "redacted" passages were distracting. I understand that this is not the author's fault, but it certainly takes from the story. I wanted to hear about the interrogation and what was said; instead, I learned about his trips to the desert in an unknown country and his wife's struggles with alcohol. As stated, it was an interesting story, but not what I was hoping for.
Narrator conveyed the author perfectly. I thought it began to get a bit repetitive at the end. Thus, 4 stars instead of 5. Wonderful still!
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in non-fiction and the US Intelligence Community. If you have any previous knowledge about the CIA or any other Gov't Agency that interrogates, debriefs, or interviews HVTs, this book will be of interest.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The most interesting parts of this book were in the little details in the authors observations. They were very revealing of his character and motivation. The least interesting was his over-indulgent, self-aggrandizing. Although, that is to be expected from a CIA Case Officer.
Which character – as performed by Malcolm Hillgartner – was your favorite?
Hillgartner did a fine job narrating all the characters.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listened to this book while traveling for work. I appreciated the breaks required when I had to turn off the iPod for various reasons. The book was interesting but not necessarily one I could not put down.