So begins Army interrogator Tony Lagouranis's first briefing at Abu Ghraib. When the U.S. went to war with Iraq, Lagouranis-who joined the Army prior to September 11-was tapped to be an interrogator in places like Abu Ghraib and Fallujah. He believed in his mission, but he soon discovered that pushing the legal limits of interrogation was encouraged. Under orders, he-along with numerous other soldiers-abused and terrorized hundreds of prisoners by adding "enhancements" to "Fear Up Harsh," an official tactic designed to terrify prisoners into revealing information.
This is an unflinching first-hand account of how one man struggled with his own conscience and ultimately broke the silence surrounding interrogation practices. The first Army interrogator to step forward and publicly denounce these tactics, Lagouranis reveals what went on in Iraqi prisons-raising crucial questions about American conduct abroad.
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Tony Lagouranis has appeared on Democracy Now, the PBS Frontline documentary "The Torture Question," and MSNBC's Hardball. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Allen Mikaelian is a doctoral fellow in history at American University and author of the New York Times bestseller Medal of Honor.From Publishers Weekly:
Written with bestselling military writer Allen Mikaelian, this is a developed version of a story widely available in the media and on the Internet. Lagouranis became a central figure to Iraq war opponents by describing his role as an army interrogator at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. Official policy may have stressed observing the Geneva Conventions, but in the field and out of sight, he says, the policy rapidly became "anything goes." "Fear up harsh" in principle meant verbally intimidating a prisoner, but came to include sleep deprivation, induced hypothermia and binding, with all levels of command complicit. Convinced such methods did not work and disturbed by his own behavior, Lagouranis felt "the feeble voice of my deeply suppressed morality trying to be heard." Increasingly identifying with prisoners, he began interpreting the war as corrupting and brutalizing of the institutions and individuals involved. On returning to the U.S., Lagouranis had intensifying stress reactions that prompted him to go public about the way the war had led him to "discover and indulge my own evil." To date, his moving account has been accepted rather than investigated [...] (June)
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