Matthew Alexander

I’m Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq


Matthew Alexander, former U.S. military interrogator and author of the opinion piece “I’m Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq” published in the Washington Post, discusses how information gleaned from ethical interrogations enabled the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the relatively moderate views of most Iraqi Al-Qaeda members who joined for practical rather than ideological reasons, the moral and operational failure of torture and the enduring legacy of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as a recruiting aid for violent extremists.

MP3 here. (29:09)

Matthew Alexander led an interrogations team assigned to a Special Operations task force in Iraq in 2006. He is the author of How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq. He is writing under a pseudonym for security reasons.

8 thoughts on “Matthew Alexander”

  1. The shooting at the CIA HQ stoplight was done by someone who was from Afghanistan and worked with the CIA. He was working with a private intelligence company not related to the CIA at the time – in fact they were critics of the CIA – and supposedly flipped out due to personal reasons. In other words he was just crazy.

  2. That was the worst interview I've heard heard here. Come on Scott the guy was 'interrogating' people who had the audacity to resist a brutal, destructive occupation of their country. By what goddamn right to this asshole have to go half way round the world and do that. Never did you push him to justify his criminal actions there. What next – The same kid-glove style interview for an ex-Gestapo of occupied France?

    Did you really have to let him plug his book so many times, help him profit from the misery of the Iraqi people.

    A sad day in the history of, and that guy should be sent to Guantanamo with the rest.

  3. Unfortunately,i second the above comment (antizionista),100%! this is the 1st bad interview ive heard on,this guy needed one of those crafty interrogations he was talking about,but coming from you! he was in the heart of darkness and must have known about the routine torture,if he didnt see it,he must have heard the cries from those unlucky iraqis or overheard soldiers boasting about what they did! (iv noticed,americans love to confess to crimes they get away with,they just have to tell someone,anyone,theirs a clip on Youtube with some guy (a ex-soldier according to him and definately effing trailer trash) who says he was in iraq,and while he was there,him and his trailer trash buddies routinely raped iraqi girls in their homes and in detention centres,i havent researched the clip so i dont know if its true) Anyhu,this guy IS trying to make money out of his experiences in Iraq,why didnt he kick up a fuss when it mattered,he said he volunteered to go,why not resign when he knew about the torture,write a book and do the rounds in the media?? i think,without the name of the 3rd biggest boogeyman of our times,Zarqawi (1st Osama,2nd Zawahiri) this guy has nothing to say !!

  4. Unfortunately, Scott became enamored with the sound of his own knowledge about the weedy details of Iraq when in the presence of another detail-devotee — leading him to forget about the principles of I’m sure he’ll keep his eye on the ball in the future — or so I hope.

  5. To be more helpful (to Scott), I was surprised that Scott didn’t question the motivations of Mr. Alexander in joining the effort in Iraq, knowing that the Iraqi people posed no threat to us and that the basis of the war was a lie and that we were the aggressors, not the Iraqis. This and other more aggressive questions were needed.

  6. I have several problems with recent articles in the media about Matthew Alexander’s book, especially the inflammatory quote by a writer who doesn’t even have the courage to use his real name, allegedly because he fears for the safety of his family. I truly question who Matthew Alexander really is and if he was even in the military, and if he actually interrogated anyone. This should be investigated. Maybe he is a complete military phoney.

    To state that “The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001” is absurd. Where is the evidence to support such a ridiculous, inflammatory statement? There is none, and it’s not “fair to say,” or imply, there is.

    I will go even further and say that OUR interrogations saved thousands and maybe even tens of thousands of American lives. Of course I have no more evidence to support my opinion than M.A. has to support his.

    This guy is just trying to sell books, hoping that many people will accept everything he says as fact.

    Additionally, it was Jordanian intelligence forces that arrested and questioned the Iraqi customs agent, Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouli, who is credited with giving up the whereabouts of Zarqawi’s safe houses, leading to the final demise of one of Iraq’s most feared terrorists.

    You can bet your last dollar the Jordanians didn’t sweet talk this guy into giving up the location of Zarqawi. And he didn’t get the $25M reward, either.

    My parents taught me 40 years ago to believe only half of what I see and none of what I read. This is good advice that is even more relevant today, when news media try to pass off book reviews as factual truth and the Internet abounds with urban legends and lies.

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