Magazine June 25, 2012, Issue

When the Good Cop Was Bad

What Ali Soufan does not teach us about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah

After Barack Obama shut down the CIA’s terrorist-interrogation program, the FBI retook the lead in the interrogation business. They have not had many subjects to work on in the last three years, since the Obama administration kills virtually every high-value terrorist it finds. But if Mitt Romney is elected this fall, chances are America will again be capturing and interrogating senior terrorist leaders — and the debate between the FBI’s “rapport building” techniques and the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques will come roaring back.

The most vocal advocate of the rapport-building approach has been former FBI agent Ali Soufan. In 2009, Soufan

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The Sticky Slope

The best way to give somebody bad news is, first, give him a doughnut. This is basically the idea behind what we in Hollywood call “craft services.” Craft services — also ...
Politics & Policy

A Real Race

We’ve gotta wake up,” James Carville wrote in a May 31 fundraising e-mail. “Everywhere I go, people are telling me that ‘Obama has it in the bag.’ Newsflash: nothing is ...
Politics & Policy

Conventional Unwisdom

Raleigh, N.C. – ‘Well you crazy people, is this the Democratic party or what?” That was David Parker, the embattled chairman of the North Carolina Democratic party, announcing on May ...
Politics & Policy

Black Studies 101

Back in May, conservative writer Naomi Schaefer Riley managed to get herself fired from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle had run a cover story about black-studies Ph.D. students ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Falling Bricks

Madrid — Just off the Plaza Mayor in the Spanish capital, there stands an abandoned Santander bank branch, shuttered, vandalized, and covered in graffiti. “Murderers!” is spray-painted on the edifice ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Poetry

CONVERSATION You are a lovely sky of autumn, clear and rose! But inside me, grief is rising, like the sea, Leaving as it ebbs upon my lip morose, Bitter culinary silts of memory. – Vainly ...
Happy Warrior

Gradus ad Narcissum

‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice.” It’s an old line, and perhaps an obsolescent one. I can’t recall the last time I heard anyone use it. Americans don’t ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Don’t Forget Payroll Taxes I was happily reading Arthur C. Brooks’s article in the May 28 edition, agreeing all the way, until I hit the point at which he picks up ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Why is Wisconsin like Eric Holder testifying before Congress? They both said, “I don’t recall.” ‐ The May job numbers were even worse than April’s, and came with a downward ...
Athwart

Agent Obama

Every so often you find yourself reading a gripping account of a super-secret government program designed to foil the plots of our foes, and you think: Why am I reading ...
The Long View

Wilson & Sterling

  Wilson & Sterling A professional corporation IN RE: CLINTON/CLINTON CONTINUATION OF MARRIAGE AGREEMENT 2000, AND ADDENDA, UPDATED JUNE 2012 Dear Steve: Many thanks for the phone call yesterday. I have received your e-mail and ...

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