FPIF Review: The Interrogator
Glenn Carle has spent his whole professional life operating in the grey world of intelligence. As a case officer for the CIA for over two decades, he spent time in many of the Agency’s most critical outposts, from Nicaragua to Lebanon to Iraq. The world he operated in was complex and obscure, a world that lacks certainty.
Yet at the end of his career, when he was “surged” to direct the interrogation of a suspected high-level member of al-Qaeda, he was confronted with the policies of an administration that even in the grey world crossed a line that made him certain that he must stand up against what he knew to be wrong.
Through 300 pages of sometimes heavily redacted material, Carle recounts his intimate involvement in the interrogation of the High-Value Target, CAPTUS. Rendered from the streets of an unnamed Middle Eastern country and spirited to one of the dozens of appropriately termed CIA “black sites,” CAPTUS is thought to have detailed information regarding al-Qaeda, perhaps even the location of bin Laden and his closest associates, information that Carle has been instructed to extract by whatever means necessary.
The Agency and others might want to dismiss Carle as a malcontent airing sordid internal affairs. However this is clearly not the case. Carle’s book reveals the level to which the Agency has become corrupted or simply apathetic. What was the life of one man when balanced against the safety and security of the people the Agency was sworn to protect? By entering into this Faustian bargain in the hopes of securing itself from external threat, the Bush administration and the Agency were willing to compromise the core values and ideals they were meant to protect.