Real enemies will whisper about you. The murmurs and hisses to discredit Ali Soufan have echoed through the community of opinion makers and terrorism experts, and have even reached me. Shortly before Soufan’s book, The Black Banners, was published, a producer from a major media outlet spoke with me. “Was it true that Soufan had been a low-level FBI employee, who could not speak with authority about the nature of the terrorist threats to the United States because he lacked the necessary senior-level perspective? Wasn’t he exaggerating his knowledge and role? Wasn’t he a bit of a self-promoter?” the producer asked.
I could not help but smile to myself as I listened; the same character assassination had happened to me when my own book on interrogation and the War on Terror came out. I had been kept off a number of programs as a result. I also knew that Soufan already had been targeted this way several years earlier when his name first became public.I told the producer that Soufan’s career and mine had overlapped on many occasions, and although we had never to my knowledge met, in many instances I knew first-hand that Soufan’s description of events and policies were accurate.