Reporter Carey Shenkman's 3-part segment on torture featuring former U.S. Air Force interrogator Matthew Alexander and former U.S. Army interrogator Eric Maddox. Alexander and Maddox came to UCLA to speak at the Burkle Center on April 24, 2009.
Published: Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This 3-part segment was originally aired by UCLA News Radio on May 26, 2009.
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"CIA Agent" Carey Shenkman, Saddam Hussein uncoverer Eric Maddox and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi uncoverer Matthew Alexander interrogate... you.
With Barack Obama's exposition of CIA waterboardings of Al-Qaeda operatives years back, torture has been brought to the public scrutiny once more. Particularly in Iraq, its use has slipped under the table with the argument that it is somehow 'helpful' to the United States.
Eric and Matthew managed to reach their big targets- without it.
Sometimes when you're told a story, you need to ask yourself if it's too good to be true. Especially if it's a story about ticking time bombs.
Many people I spoke with regarding these interviews were skeptical that nobody was tortured. This speaks volumes about trust in the Armed Forces. "It could be a cover up," is a reaction that both Eric Maddox and Matthew Alexander get more than they'd like.
In a brief intermission, we'll talk about the stickier side of the torture issue: the ticking time bomb scenarios, and extreme cases when even you and I might consider using it to save lives.
When military men copy their violent heroes on TV in the field, it leads to human rights organizations finding producers in Hollywood... and trying to fix things.
Shows like 24, Lost, and The Shield depict torture in ways that certainly boost ratings but are questionably helpful in conveying the consequences of torture in real life.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
David Danzig is Deputy Program Director of Primetime Torture with Human Rights First, a NYC-based NGO. Learn more about David, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/about_us/staff/danzig_d.aspx
Matthew Alexander (a pseudonym), a former U.S. Air Force interrogator, developed the intelligence that led U.S. forces to Al Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the mastermind behind a campaign of beheadings and suicide bombings in Iraq. Alexander recently released a book about his experiences in Iraq entitled, How to Break a Terrorist.
Eric Maddox, a former U.S. Army interrogator, interrogated hundreds of Iraqis in Tikrit, Iraq and developed the intelligence that led U.S. forces to Saddam Hussein. Maddox wrote a book about his experiences chasing Saddam called, Mission: Blacklist #1.