Small Publisher of the Year 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006 

‘[A] thoroughly documented insider’s view of illegal activities undertaken on the ‘dark side’ of the global war on terror … Firsthand knowledge of what many have already suspected about the American intelligence community’s methods.’

Kirkus Reviews

This is the never-before-told story of the ‘dark side’ of the Bush administration’s war on terror, and of one of the CIA’s biggest failures — the kidnapping, rendition, and torture of the wrong man — as told by a person who conducted the interrogation. It is an indictment of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation from the inside, from a very senior operative. It is also the story of a patriot — Glenn Carle — and his struggle to do the right thing. And, of course, to some of his ex-colleagues he is regarded as a traitor for revealing the truth.

The book is Carle’s affirmation that only the truth can lead us from the dark. He had years of training and experience leading up to his encounter with the captive who the CIA believed might hold the key to finding bin Laden. This was his apotheosis as a career spook in the Directorate of Operations, yet Carle immediately struggled to reconcile his orders to make his captive talk with the oath he had sworn to uphold the letter and the spirit of the law. Furthermore, as the interrogation began and he built rapport with his subject, another problem started to gnaw at him. This man wasn’t who he was alleged to be; he was low level at best. But while Carle’s scepticism grew, his superiors continued to insist that they had the right man. The suspect was moved to one of the CIA’s most notorious black sites, and subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

Initially enthusiastic about his role at the CIA, Carle eventually began to question the policies of the war on terror because of his involvement in this interrogation. Throughout the operation he had to grapple with the most difficult question a patriot can face: what do you do when your government tells you to do something that is morally abhorrent?

Carle’s journey often reads like an international thriller, but it is a true tale of international intrigue, deceit, and betrayal. It is also an extraordinary and intimate portrait of the war on terror.


‘Carle captures the spirit of the CIA – its bureaucracy, dedication, machismo – in a voice that manages to be descriptive, analytical, reflective, and philosophical in turn. Despite the CIA’s numerous redactions (the author notes that the CAPTUS story is even darker than he can say), the narrative raises pointed, timely, and important questions about the policies of the CIA and the U.S. government as they ramped up the global war on terror.’

Publishers Weekly, starred review

‘This fascinating insider narrative of GWOT is one of the best assessments I have ever read on the major discrepancy between the jihadi challenge and the US response.’

Gilles Kepel, Professor and Chair, Middle East and Mediterranean Studies, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; author of Beyond Terror and Martydom: The Future of the Middle East

‘Glenn Carle’s The Interrogator is a remarkable memoir—for its searing personal honesty, for its portrait of the amoral secret bureaucracy of the CIA, and most of all for its revelation of how a decent American became part of a process that we can only call torture.’

David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post and author of Body of Lies
» All reviews for this title

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