Spy who refused to become the enemy

by gcarle 0 Comments

Glenn Carle came home the other day, to Brookline, to the house where he grew up, to the house where four generations of his family made their home.

His parents are dead, Carle and his siblings are scattered, and so the house will be sold.

It is, for Carle, a week to remember so much.

Like everybody else in this country who has a pulse, today means something to Glenn Carle. When you and I and everybody else were looking at the smoldering ruins in Lower Manhattan, horrified and saddened and angry and wondering what life would be like after all this, Carle was working, because he was a spy, a CIA agent, and it was his job to find out who made 9/11 happen.

From Boston.com, click to read more.

The CIA Interrogator – Interview with Glenn Carle (ZMAN Magazine)

The CIA Interrogator – Interview with Glenn Carle (ZMAN Magazine)

The 9/11 attacks changed America forever. No longer would it be enough to wait for terror to come to the US. It was time to take the battle to the terrorists themselves. Central to this effort was a campaign to identify and abduct terror suspects, whisking them off the street to secret locations and employing all methods necessary to extract information from them that might be used to save innocent lives.

 

Click to download the article

thestar.com reviews the interrogator

thestar.com reviews the interrogator

The plot goes like this: A CIA agent is given the task of interrogating a prisoner who is believed to be a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda and could lead the U.S. to Osama bin Laden. The prisoner has been kidnapped off the street in an unnamed Middle Eastern country.

The only problem? Over the course of the interrogation, the agent concludes the CIA has the wrong man. He advises his masters of his conclusions.

But the CIA doesn’t listen. It instructs the agent to press harder. The spy agency believes the prisoner’s refusal to answer certain questions is proof of his guilt.

When he still fails to reveal anything, the CIA sends both the prisoner, known as Captus, and his interrogator to Hotel California — the CIA’s most secret detention centre — where the prisoner is tortured.

A page-turner, right? Well, this tale is not the creation of a master of spy thrillers. Glenn Carle, a former CIA officer with 23 years in the service, lived it….

Read the entire review here

Uncle Sam’s secrets

Uncle Sam’s secrets

Truth, justice and the American way are subjective ideals – not absolutes – a lesson this spy-turned-author learnt, writes Steve Meacham.

It’s no secret Glenn Carle’s revealing autobiography, The Interrogator: A CIA Agent’s True Story, is unlike most books. Large parts of his 300-odd page account are blacked out. Sometimes it is just a word or two, sometimes it’s virtually an entire page.

The deletions – or ”redacted passages” in CIA-speak – were ordered by the Central Intelligence Agency. Although Carle retired in March 2007 after 23 years as a spy – or member of the agency’s ”Clandestine Service” – he had promised to publish nothing about his experiences without vigorous official vetting.

So the book comes with a warning: ”All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the CIA or any other US government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US government authentication of information or Agency endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.”

Read more at www.smh.com.au

Journey into the CIA’s heart of darkness: Ex-agent reveals ‘torture’ of terror suspect in secret prison dubbed ‘Hotel California’

From the Sunday London Times: A former CIA operative has described how he was torn between serving his country and refusing to ‘torture’ a man he believed was innocent.

Glenn Carle has written a shocking new tell-all memoir detailing his time with the agency in which he confessed that some people would call him a ‘torturer’.

Though the CIA has already redacted 40 per cent of his book in a two-year battle to get it published, Carle was still able to provide a vivid account of his journey to a CIA ‘black site’ or secret prison.

There, he said, he spent 10 intense days psychologically manipulating a man who the agency believed could hand them Osama Bin Laden – but who Carle believed was innocent.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2010485/I-psychologically-dislocate-detainee-Former-CIA-agent-reveals-torture-methods-secret-prison-memoir.html#ixzz1yjs6ZVhW

Salon.com Review

Salon.com Review

“The Interrogator:” A CIA insider’s crisis of conscience
In a secret prison, a true believer in the war on terror realized he was tormenting an innocent man
BY LAURA MILLER

“The situation had become Kafkaesque,” writes Glenn Carle toward the end of “The Interrogator: An Education,” his new memoir. Boy, he ain’t kidding; the author of “The Trial” and “The Metamorphosis” would have appreciated this narrative on any number of levels. Carle worked for the CIA for 23 years, in Africa, the Balkans and Latin America, among other locales, but the focus of his book is the several-month period he spent questioning a suspected leader of al-Qaida in two countries he is not permitted to name.

There’s quite a lot Carle isn’t allowed to say in “The Interrogator.” Many lines and words on these pages have been masked with black bars to indicate what “the Agency” forbade him to publish. “I have written this book literally a dozen times over,” the author notes in his afterword, explaining that he was willing to address “legitimate” CIA concerns when it came to revelations about its “sources and methods.”

But such objections were, as Carle makes abundantly clear, amply mixed with ludicrous pettifoggery and ass-covering. This annoyed him enough that he decided to leave in the redacted bits, complete with black bars, and add the occasional withering explanatory footnote, like one that reads: “Apparently the CIA fears that the redacted passage would either humiliate the organization for incompetence or expose its officers to ridicule; unless the Agency considers obtuse incompetence a secret intelligence method.”

Click here to read entire article on Salon.com

The Washington Post Article from July 13, 2008

The Washington Post Article from July 13, 2008

Overstating Our Fears

By Glenn L. Carle
Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sen. John McCain has repeatedly characterized the threat of “radical Islamic extremism” as “the absolute gravest threat . . . that we’re in against.” Before we simply accept this, we need to examine the nature of the terrorist threat facing our country. If we do so, we will see how we have allowed the specter of that threat to distort our lives and take our treasure.

The “Global War on Terror” has conjured the image of terrorists behind every bush, the bushes themselves burning and an angry god inciting its faithful to religious war. We have been called to arms, built fences, and compromised our laws and the practices that define us as a nation. The administration has focused on pursuing terrorists and countering an imminent and terrifying threat. Thousands of Americans have died as a result, as have tens of thousands of foreigners.

The inclination to trust our leaders when they warn of danger is compelling, particularly when the specters of mushroom clouds and jihadists haunt every debate. McCain, accepting this view of the threats, pledges to continue the Bush administration’s policy of few distinctions but ruthless actions.

I spent 23 years in the CIA. I drafted or was involved in many of the government’s most senior assessments of the threats facing our country. I have devoted years to understanding and combating the jihadist threat.

We rightly honor as heroes those who serve our nation and offer their lives to protect ours. We all “support the troops.” Yet the first step for any commander is to understand the enemy. The next commander in chief should base his counterterrorism policies on the following realities:

We do not face a global jihadist “movement” but a series of disparate ethnic and religious conflicts involving Muslim populations, each of which remains fundamentally regional in nature and almost all of which long predate the existence of al-Qaeda.

Osama bin Laden and his disciples are small men and secondary threats whose shadows are made large by our fears. Al-Qaeda is the only global jihadist organization and is the only Islamic terrorist organization that targets the U.S. homeland. Al-Qaeda remains capable of striking here and is plotting from its redoubt in Waziristan, Pakistan. The organization, however, has only a handful of individuals capable of planning, organizing and leading a terrorist operation. Al-Qaeda threatens to use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, but its capabilities are far inferior to its desires. Even the “loose nuke” threat, whose consequences would be horrific, has a very low probability. For the medium term, any attack is overwhelmingly likely to consist of creative uses of conventional explosives.



No other Islamic-based terrorist organization, from Mindanao to the Bekaa Valley to the Sahel, targets the U.S. homeland, is part of a “global jihadist movement” or has more than passing contact with al-Qaeda. These groups do and will, however, identify themselves with global jihadist rhetoric and may bandy the bogey-phrase of “al-Qaeda.” They are motivated by hostility toward the West and fear of the irresistible changes that education, trade, and economic and social development are causing in their cultures. These regional terrorist organizations may target U.S. interests or persons in the groups’ historic areas of interest and operations. None of these groups is likely to succeed in seizing power or in destabilizing the societies they attack, though they may succeed in killing numerous people through sporadic attacks such as the Madrid train bombings.

There are and will continue to be small numbers of Muslims in certain Western countries — in the dozens, perhaps — who seek to commit terrorist acts, along the lines of the British citizens behind the 2005 London bus bombings. Some may have irregular contact with al-Qaeda central in Waziristan; more will act as free agents for their imagined cause. They represent an Islamic-tinged version of the anarchists of the late 19th century: dupes of “true belief,” the flotsam of revolutionary cultural change and destruction in Islam, and of personal anomie. We need to catch and neutralize these people. But they do not represent a global movement or a global threat.

The threat from Islamic terrorism is no larger now than it was before Sept. 11, 2001. Islamic societies the world over are in turmoil and will continue for years to produce small numbers of dedicated killers, whom we must stop. U.S. and allied intelligence do a good job at that; these efforts, however, will never succeed in neutralizing every terrorist, everywhere.

Why are these views so starkly at odds with what the Bush administration has said since the beginning of the “Global War on Terror”? This administration has heard what it has wished to hear, pressured the intelligence community to verify preconceptions, undermined or sidetracked opposing voices, and both instituted and been victim of procedures that guaranteed that the slightest terrorist threat reporting would receive disproportionate weight — thereby comforting the administration’s preconceptions and policy inclinations.

We must not delude ourselves about the nature of the terrorist threat to our country. We must not take fright at the specter our leaders have exaggerated. In fact, we must see jihadists for the small, lethal, disjointed and miserable opponents that they are.

The writer was a member of the CIA’s Clandestine Service for 23 years and retired in March 2007 as deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/11/AR2008071102710.html

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