A seasoned military interrogator who had direct experience in Iraq, Tony Camerino joins Media Mayhem to discuss the misrepresentation of “enhanced interrogation” tactics, torture, and effective ways of extracting information from enemy combatants.
Tony is incredibly insightful in shedding light on the roots of prisoner interrogation in WWII, and how the Bush administration misrepresented the data gathered from water-boarding and other harsh methods. He also unveils the greatest tool of an interrogator: Empathy.
Tony Camerino is a former senior military interrogator and author of Kill or Capture: How a Special Operations Task Force Took Down a Notorious Al Qaeda Terrorist and the acclaimed How to Break a Terrorist (both written under the pen name Matthew Alexander). He has conducted or supervised over 1,300 interrogations and led the interrogation team in Iraq that located Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaeda leader who was subsequently killed in an airstrike.
00:01 Media Mayhem Intro.
00:41 Introducing Tony Camerino
03:01 “Did you use any of the enhanced techniques in Iraq?”
04:43 Why interrogators oppose ‘enhanced techniques.’
06:43 The difficulty in breaking the rules to save lives, and the definition of leadership.
08:18 How rules were manipulated post-Abu Ghraib.
09:24 The connection between torture and prejudice.
10:40 Tony’s background that led him to Iraq.
11:51 The basis for the interrogation techniques used by the military.
13:03 The background of interrogators then and now.
15:08 Culture training for soldiers and a gulf between perspectives.
17:04 What would be the best preparation for interrogators?
18:50 The ‘ticking timebomb’ scenario: Dick Cheney and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
23:17 The resistance techniques of Al Qaeda and shoplifters.
23:48 Finding empathy with the insurgents.
27:24 Telling the truth to insurgents, and the real reason the surge had success.
30:27 Manipulating the language of torture and the motivations behind the Shia insurgency.
32:41 Reaction to the media coverage of the Iraq War.
34:57 Reinforcing the idea of the religious war.
36:52 The impetus for suicide bombing in Iraq.
38:17 The Jack Bauer model of interrogation and politicians.
40:01 How to convince politicians to be reasonable about torture.
43:54 Opposing torture vs. demanding accountability.
46:07 The line defining torture.
48:29 A publicized primer for interrogation and recognizing techniques of interrogation used on you.
52:20 Thanks and Goodbye!