Barry Eisler


Barry Eisler, political thriller novelist and author of Inside Out, discusses how his previous CIA employment influenced his style of fiction writing, the degradation of US political conservatism, why the government’s response to terrorism has been more damaging than the terrorism itself and how 9/11 triggered the irrational primitive survival instincts of many Americans.

MP3 here. (18:41)

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.

4 thoughts on “Barry Eisler”

  1. This is an excellent interview. Barry Eisler is another ex-CIA man who “gets it.” (The others are Ray McGovern and Philip Giraldi.)

    Best regards to him.

  2. The show Burn Notice also does this given that the main character has said using torture is like shopping for groceries with a flamethrower. It doesn’t work and it makes a mess.

  3. Orville, thanks for putting me in such good company. Kyle, I sometimes compare torture to using a flamethrower to kill a fly in your house. Yes, it can "work" in that you'll sometimes incinerate the fly. But you'll also burn down your house in the process. So even apart from torture's illegality and immorality, even just on simple efficacy grounds there is always a better way.

    Unless, of course, burning down the house is part of the plan.

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