Mrs. GOP Sees the Light Jan 3, 2011
by Jan S
One of my friends recently retired from the Army as a Colonel who had served in Iraq during both of the "Bush" campaigns. I bought this book to garner some insight into his world while he served. Also, to try to understand why he does not want to discuss his experiences in this horrible war and why he feels the actions of a few soldiers at Abu Ghraib reflected so badly on us as Americans.
As the LAST of my "ladies who lunch" circle who would ever be interested in such a book, it was a real stretch to stray from my typical gardening, antiques, decorating, or fashion subjects. However, this man is very important to me and I wanted to understand the aspect of this war which has captured our headlines so much in recent years.
In my circle we do not discuss war. Do not get me wrong. We fervently support our troops! We would do anything to help them. It is just not appropriate for our kinder, gentler sex to discuss this dark, dreadful part of our life.
My opinions on interrogation and how intelligence is gathered were far from intelligently formed. My heart and emotional side felt that I would like the opportunity to hook-up various parts of the male anatomy to a battery and do whatever it is you do to inflict the greatest pain in order to garner anything he/she knows to save lives of our troops, or the innocents. Honestly, I thought we should give our Interrogators carte blanch. Whatever, they need to do, let them do it! Beatings, cutting off fingers, pulling out fingernails, or any technique used through history! Geneva Convention be damned? Who cares? These people have brutally killed innocent men, women, and children, etc?Well, this devout Republican Women?s Club member has seen the light!
While reading this book, I grew to love Chris Mackey. He explained in a logical manner the history of interrogation, the training he received, the importance of the Geneva Convention, and why torture does not work!
The training he received left no doubt about the Army?s rules on the use of torture on prisoners!!! Torture is PROHIBITED. The Army gives our soldiers adequate training on how ?to break? prisoners without resorting to violence. The guidelines set in the Geneva Convention are to our Interrogator, what the Ten Commandments are to Christians.
Mackey?s stories about the individuals he met were fascinating. While he put a face and name on these prisoners, he gave them humanity without losing track of the fact that these are bad people he is dealing with on a day to day basis.
I must admit I found my attitudes toward the use of ?batteries? or dogs, or any of the other brutal forms of torture we think about when we consider interrogation, changing. By the end of the book, I had become a believer, and now understood why my friend, the Colonel, felt so strongly that the incidents at Abu Ghraib were so despicable!
Any reader will be challenged to reflect on his/her beliefs about what interrogation is and how it should be done. This book covers Iraqi culture, history, and laws. It gives us details about what it was like to be a soldier during that time in this conflict. And, it reinforces the many reasons I am proud of our soldiers. Chris Mackey is an excellent example of a great interrogator!
This book met and exceeded the reasons I purchased it and studied it like a college text!