Ex-Interrogators Are Mad as Hell About Torture, and They're Not Gonna Take Cheney Anymore

MoveOn, VoteVets, and Brave New Foundation amplify testimonies of former interrogators.

More and more former interrogators and counterinsurgency experts are using Dick Cheney’s recent ubiquity to expose his iniquity regarding the torture and abuse of detainees. Earlier this week, I wrote about Major Matthew Alexander, the former Senior Interrogator who conducted over 300 interrogations in Iraq and supervised 1,000 more. Alexander relied upon conventional means of interrogation, and his efforts led to the capture and killing of al-Qaeda leader Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi. Yet Alexander also witnessed the perilous consequences of Cheney’s torture policy.

In an exclusive interview with Brave New Foundation, Alexander said, “At the prison where I conducted interrogations, we heard day in and day out foreign fighters who had been captured state that the number one reason they had come to fight in Iraq was because of torture and abuse, what had happened at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.”

Today, and joined the growing movement to amplify the testimonies of former interrogators and reveal the repercussions of treating prisoners inhumanely. Their joint campaign features a video with Jay Bagwell, an Afghanistan veteran and counterintelligence agent, who reaffirmed Alexander’s assessment of Cheney’s torture policy. According to Bagwell, “Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture creates terrorists. It’s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan. All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at Guantanamo.”

ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.