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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Enhanced Interrogation

When most people hear or read of “enhanced interrogation” they automatically think of waterboarding or Abu Ghraib  (Iraq) or torture.  And even of Guantánamo Bay.

James E. Mitchell, author of Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America, is a clinical psychologist, who, shortly after 9/11, served years in the CIA’s interrogation program of “debriefing” captured top al-Qa'ida leaders and terror suspects, held in “black sites,” to wheedle information from them about past acts of terrorism and those being planned.

Mitchell writes in his book that he has never been to Iraq or Guantánamo Bay. He does not identify the “black sites” where he interrogated prisoners; which is a good thing, for otherwise ISIS or some other terrorist organization would raid it.  But, to read Mitchell’s book, is to get the impression that he is some kind of peace-loving Quaker. He often intervened in interrogation sessions when the CIA interrogators resorted to physical abuse of the prisoners. However, Mitchell is nothing if not patriotic. He begins his book in its preface. Some time after 9/11, he got an urgent call:

“You need to leave your home immediately.” It was the chief of security for the CIA on the phone. “We have a credible death threat by ISIS against your life, and we want you to evacuate until we determine how viable it is.” ISIS had tweeted a request that a jihadist cut my head off, and according to the CIA, someone had just volunteered to do the job and the person was already en route.  It was December 2014 (p. 1)….

Over the next few years Mitchell and his co-interrogator, Bruce Jessen, also a psychologist, “interrogated” over a dozen captured terrorists and passed their appraisals and evaluations on to the CIA to have the information checked and double-checked against information garnered from other detainees elsewhere. When they dealt with a terrorist, it amounted to a mind game with the detainee. Mitchell and Jessen infrequently resorted to EITs Enhanced Interrogation Techniques), such  as waterboarding, “wall standing,” sleep deprivation, and stress positions, only and unless a detainee was known to be lying or had been especially difficult, all approved – by the DOJ as legitimate means of interrogation. Reading through Mitchell’s account, one is educated, first, that they are not “torture” in the Inquisition or auto-da-  sense, and that they are meant to persuade a terrorist to “squeal” the truth without actually harming him. Doctors were usually on hand to check on a detainee if it seemed he had been hurt.

Mitchell did not believe in torture for the sake of torture, but rather in securing information that would throw light on the details of a possible 9/11-sized terrorist attack. Often it was necessary to subject a detainee to an EIT to make him miserable and unconfident enough to talk or at least insinuate the details of a truth without revealing the whole truth. Such details included information on details of such suicide airplane attacks on tall buildings in Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles.

In one black site, Mitchell complained that the CIA chief interrogator and others were abusing the prisoners.  He threatened to report them to higher ups.  He was confined to the site for a week and not allowed to leave or communicate with anyone outside the site.  (pp.107-124)

KSM having a bad day
One thing Mitchell is convinced of is the absolute, unshakable belief in Allah by KSM the other, and the Muslim conviction that Islam is destined to rule the world.

Let me share a little of what KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of 9/11) and the others collectively told me…

KSM said that Allah has given True Muslims (their brand of Islam) dominion over the world and a holy mandate to invite infidels to convert to Islam or submit to subjugation. If the infidels refuse, True Muslims are mandated by Allah to fight an unending war until all unbelievers have converted, subjugated, or slaughtered. ….

KSM and the others said that offensive jihad is actually defensive jihad, because the only way to protect True Muslims from the spread of our unclean culture and the way of life led by the infidel s.

KSM insisted that violent jihad is the religious duty of every True Muslim in response to the spread of Western culture and American influence…True Muslims, he said, are more important than other people because they were chosen by Allah to rule of world….

KSM said the United States is the only major obstacle to True Islam assuming its rightful place of dominion over the world and imposing Sharia law. To him and the others it does not that we do not fight them. It does not matter that we believe in religious freedom. There are no innocent bystanders. No one in the West is innocent.

Killing women and children and men who are not actively fighting Islam is permissible because they pay taxes that fund those who do. It is permissible to kill babies and children because they bring comfort to infidels who resist True Islam…Allowing your enemy’s children to live replenishes their ranks. Killing children is a weapon Allah has provided to attack and undermine the will of their parents to continue resisting True Islam. (pp. 178-180)


Infidels dead at Bataclan
Etymologically, the term “infidel,” in Islamic parlance, is related to infidelity; according to Islam, all individuals are automatically born Muslim. If people stray from Islam, and become Jews or Christians, or atheists, they are being  “untrue” to Islam.

KSM revealed to Mitchell one key psychological insight to the mindset of Islam and Muslims, which I wish he persued:

“…I am free because I am not burdened by choices. The true path was laid out in the perfect life and deeds of the Prophet….” (p. 180)

Islam does not burden Muslims with choices. They do what they are expected to do; the path is set for them, whether they wage violent jihad or run a 7-11. They don’t have to think, don’t have to have values that are their own.  They will be halal from head to toe. Values are automatic in Islam and incontestable. Muslims are raised to become automatons. Observe, for example, how Hamas and the Palestinian Authority train Gazan children to play act attacking Jews and others, or how ISIS has them actually behead or execute the “enemy.”
London: free publicity for Allah

This is one reason why I often refer to them as “The Walking Dead.” In movies and fiction, a person who “turns” into a zombie automatically craves human flesh. There is no choice in his appetite.  It just is. Muslims, or “True Muslims,” regard themselves as superior to others because they have no personal values independent of Islam. Having values not dictated by Islam is not permitted. So, they hate anyone who has values; that person is an apostate, and must die. He “strayed” from Islam, and refuses to return. They regard themselves as “superior” because they have no first-hand values. They are consummate nihilists, second-handers of a creature that allegedly lived 1400 years ago. Independent values are forbidden, and must be erased  or destroyed.  


If you are amazed how Muslims who have lived in the West for years can use a truck or a car as a weapon, and callously mow down women and children on a street, or simply slaughter them as they did in Paris’s Bataclan, then KSM’s “no choice” argument is closer to the European rationalization that these killers are “mentally disturbed “ than the authorities choose to realize.  



Mitchell’s Enhanced Interrogation is an invaluable textbook of revelations of how the minds of terrorists work and how the minds of most American authorities and politicians tasked with protecting America against them fail to grasp the core nature of Islamic terrorists. Their minds need to be “enhanced “ in the push-button mechanics of jihadist “thought.”

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