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[82 words redacted] While he was an important facilitator, he did not attract recruits or have his own following.

Abu Zubaydah went on to explain [86 words redacted]

[74 words redacted]

[80 words redacted]

[74 words redacted]

[6 words redacted] Mozzam Begg, the Pakistani from the UK. Begg had trained in camps in Afghanistan. [26 words redacted]. [1 word redacted] was familiar with Begg from counterterrorism operations in the UK: how he had been picked up in Britain in the summer of 2001 by MI5 and SO12, his store raided, his belongings searched. [1 word redacted] mentally reviewed the case: SO13 had not been briefed on the raid and was not prepared to build a terrorism case against him. Upon his release, Begg had fled to Kabul.

[49 words redacted] Begg today is a free man in Britain.

21. The Contractors Take Over

This period of cooperation with Abu Zubaydah [5 words redacted] in the hospital and [1 word redacted] when the CTC finally arrived in the country from Washington, DC. The CIA group included their chief operational psychologist, [3 words redacted]; an interrogator, Ed; and a polygrapher, Frank. There were other CIA personneclass="underline" analysts, support staff, security personnel. With them was a psychologist, Boris—a contractor hired by the CIA.

At first [1 word redacted] was pleased when the CTC group arrived. Although [1 word redacted] was meeting Frank for the first time, [1 word redacted] knew [1 word redacted] and Ed well. [34 words redacted], and found [1 word redacted] had similar views on issues back then. Ed and [1 word redacted] had worked together a few times. [1 word redacted] had first met in [1 word redacted] investigating the USS Cole bombing, and [1 word redacted] partnered a few times in interrogations [2 words redacted]. [1 word redacted] respected him. With the two of them present, [1 word redacted] assumed that [1 word redacted] would all work together as [1 word redacted] had done [3 words redacted] elsewhere, and that it would be a smooth operation.

While Abu Zubaydah was in the hospital, [3 words redacted], along with local CIA officers, stayed in a nearby hotel. When [1 word redacted] and the CTC team arrived at the hotel, [1 word redacted] asked [1 word redacted] and [1 word redacted] to join them for a meeting. After greeting [1 word redacted] and exchanging pleasantries, [1 word redacted] said to [1 word redacted], “Washington wants to do something new with the interrogation.” He introduced [1 word redacted] to Boris, who he said had developed the new method of interrogation.

“Why is a [1 word redacted] needed?” [1 word redacted] asked [1 word redacted]. “[9 words redacted], but so far it’s been a series of successful interrogations.”

[1 word redacted] was visibly annoyed. “I’ve interviewed terrorists before. It’s a process. This guy is cooperating, [9 words redacted]?”

“I know,” [1 word redacted] said, “but Washington feels that Abu Zubaydah knows much more than he’s telling you, and Boris here has a method that will get that information quickly.”

“What’s your method?” [1 word redacted] asked Boris, turning to him. He said that he would force Abu Zubaydah into submission. His idea was to make Abu Zubaydah see his interrogator as a god who controls his suffering. [1 word redacted] would be taken away from Abu Zubaydah: [6 words redacted] his clothes. If he cooperated he would be given these things back, and if he failed to cooperate, harsher and harsher techniques would be used. “Pretty quickly you’ll see Abu Zubaydah buckle and become compliant,” Boris declared.

“For my technique to work,” he said, “we need to send the message to Abu Zubaydah that until now he had the chance to cooperate, but he blew it. He has to understand that we know he was playing games, and that the game is now over.” He finished by telling [1 word redacted]: “[2 words redacted] will only see Abu Zubaydah one final time. You will tell him that your ‘boss’ will take over. He alone will speak to Abu Zubaydah. He will determine when Abu Zubaydah [3 words redacted], and whether he lives or dies. After that you will never see him again.” Boris added that the boss would be the CTC interrogator, Ed.

As Boris explained his plan, [3 words redacted] looked at each other in surprise. “Why is this necessary,” [1 word redacted] asked, turning to [1 word redacted] and Frank, “given that Abu Zubaydah is cooperating [8 words redacted]?”

Boris interrupted. “You may have gotten results, [14 words redacted], while my method is more effective. He’ll become fully compliant without us having to do any work.”

[1 word redacted] had heard enough. Boris clearly didn’t understand the nature of ideologically motivated Islamic terrorists like Abu Zubaydah. “These things won’t work on people committed to dying for their cause,” [1 word redacted] warned him. “People like Abu Zubaydah are prepared to blow themselves up and die. People like him are prepared to be tortured and severely beaten. They expect to be sodomized and to have family members raped in front of them! Do you really think stripping him naked and taking away his chair will make him cooperate? Do you know who you’re dealing with?”

“This is science,” was Boris’s response. He seemed shocked to have someone challenging him. Former colleagues of his later told me that he always viewed himself as the smartest person in any room and disliked anyone who questioned him. But [1 word redacted] wasn’t finished.

“So why are you going down a path that can jeopardize the endgame?”

“We don’t need to go down the path,” Boris replied. “It’s easy. He’ll fold quickly.”

“Don’t you realize that if you try to humiliate him, you’re just reinforcing what he expects us to do and what he’s trained to resist?” [1 word redacted] had no idea at that point that Boris’s plans would warp into what later became known as EITs.

“You’ll see,” said Boris. “It’s human nature to react to these things. You’ll soon see how quickly he folds. Human beings always want to make life better for themselves. You’ll see.”

“He’s not a prostitute or a common criminal,” [1 word redacted] replied. “His life getting better involves us all being killed or converting to his brand of Islam. This won’t work.”

“You’ll see,” Boris responded. He had a condescending look on his face, as if he couldn’t be bothered with speaking to such simpletons.

“Have you ever questioned an Islamic terrorist before?” [1 word redacted] asked him.


“Have you ever conducted any interrogations?”

“No,” he said again, “but I know human nature.” [1 word redacted] was taken aback by his response. [1 word redacted] couldn’t believe that someone with no interrogation or terrorism experience had been sent by the CIA on this mission.

[1 word redacted] spoke to [1 word redacted] and Frank privately and asked, “Is this a joke? What’s going on? The guy has no experience. This is ridiculous.”

“Give him a chance,” [1 word redacted] said. “His ideas might work.” Frank told [1 word redacted] that Boris was very well known in his field: psychology. He added that [1 word redacted] had no choice but to go along with his methods.

“He is in charge,” Frank added.

[1 word redacted] then said, “You know what, [1 word redacted], he’s meant to be an expert. Let’s just give this guy a chance.” [1 word redacted] seemed to hope that Boris’s technique would work. [3 words redacted] had no choice. The CIA was in charge and [1 word redacted] orders were to assist the CIA officers.

[3 words redacted] went into Abu Zubaydah’s hospital room. [36 words redacted]

[98 words redacted]

Abu Zubaydah was taken out of the hospital and brought back to [1 word redacted] original location. It had been transformed in [1 word redacted] absence. An actual cell had been built for him, monitored by hidden cameras and microphones. It took [1 word redacted] a long time to fall asleep that night. [1 word redacted] stared at the ceiling, struggling to understand why a contractor with no interrogation or Islamic terrorism experience was running our nation’s high-value detainee interrogation program. It didn’t make sense.



2011 - 2018