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Military Interrogator: Criminal Investigative Techniques Are Even More Effective Than Military Ones

The following quote was emailed to me by Matthew Alexander, the pseudonym of a military interrogator and vocal torture opponent who helped track down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq killed in 2006. A veteran of three wars and the Special Forces community, Alexander claims to have conducted more than 300 interrogations and monitored 1,000. Here’s how he observes the debate over the efficacy of law enforcement techniques used against terrorists:

The interrogation methods in the Army Field Manual 2-22.3 are valid approaches and sometimes applicable for interrogating members of al-Qaida, but even more effective are the techniques that I learned as a criminal investigator. I used these techniques, permitted by the Army Manual under the terms “…psychological ploys, verbal trickery, or other nonviolent or non-coercive subterfuge…” to great success and I taught these techniques to other members of my interrogation team. Just one example of a commonly used criminal investigative technique that has been adopted into the Army Field Manual is the Good Cop/Bad Cop approach, but there are numerous others that are absent from both the manual and the Army’s interrogator training. The U.S. law enforcement community has much to add to the improvement of our interrogation methods and the United States Army would do well to consult with experienced criminal investigators from our police departments and federal law enforcement agencies.

But I’m sure Marc Thiessen, a former White House speechwriter, knows more than a man who took down Zarqawi.

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