Category Archives: The Clapper Memo

Note to Megyn Kelly: No Need For So Much Hype

One week ago today, I shared a Vice.com video interview of Dr. James Mitchell (a.k.a., “The Architect” of enhanced interrogation techniques) about his role in interrogating terrorists, terror suspects and other detainees in U.S. custody. Today, I share another interview of the man that reveals as much about the interviewer as it does about the guest.

One thing that stands out to me in the video is that Dr. Mitchell seems humble and content to avoid the spotlight. On the flip side, I was disappointed by something I heard come out of the mouth of Megyn Kelly, host of “The Kelly Files” on Fox News Channel:

“I want to tell our audience that, up until tonight, you have not fully told your story, because you’ve been under a nondisclosure agreement that’s been loosened over the weekend, and now this is the first chance you’ve had to really respond directly to this Senate report that was really put out by the Senate Dems — no Republicans — so this is an extraordinary moment for you to be able to come on camera and tell this story.”

Most viewers probably didn’t notice, but Kelly’s “first chance” statement — about Dr. Mitchell’s interview on her show being his first on the subject of interrogations — simply wasn’t true.

I know, because I shared the Vice.com interview video days after it was released on the news outlet’s website. She was, at a minimum, six days behind.

With that explained, what advice do I have to offer Kelly and her crew?  There’s no need for so much hype. Let the facts “sell” the stories instead of resorting to sensationalizing and issuing false claims of exclusivity.

And, while I’m at it, I recommend you read two books, Three Days In August and The Clapper Memo, if you’re looking for serious subjects to discuss on air.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

The Uniformed Military Balked at ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ Because They Had Better Option in Now-Banned Technology

The headline above a recent Stars and Stripes article caught my eye, because it included four words — the uniformed military balked — that became familiar to me as I conducted an exhaustive four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment and interrogation technologies.

Click image above to read article.

Click image above to read article.

Those four words reminded me of the memos issued by three top DoD officials in an attempt to remove one interrogation technology from the toolkits of our nation’s top military and intelligence warfighters. Worth repeating is the fact that it took three memos, because most warfighters simply refused to give up the tool after the first two memos were issued in June 2004 and in 2007. In other words, the uniformed military balked. It was only after a third memo was issued in June 2008 that the technology was finally removed from warfighters’ toolkits.

Some of our nation’s top warfighters described their reactions to the memo-backed efforts to take away one of their most-effective interrogation tools.

A former member of the Navy SEALs, who spoke with me on the condition I not reveal his identity, said the second memo, issued by then-Under Secretary of Defense James R. Clapper Jr., was a contributing factor in his decision to retire from the military much earlier than he could have. He went on to say that the people responsible for efforts to remove that technology from the hands of warfighters “should face charges and do time.”

A former Army Green Beret, who used the now-banned technology to conduct some 500 interrogations of enemy combatants and other detainees, spoke with me under the same condition. He told me he “would testify in front of Congress that this piece of equipment is essential for (Human Intelligence) personnel on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If they want to save lives, they’ve got to put this piece of equipment back into that theater. Every unit should have this equipment.”

Why did members of the uniformed military balk at giving up this particular piece of interrogation technology? Because it works far better than any kind of torture or “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

There’s only one place where you’ll find the details about how well this technology worked with detainees at Guantanamo Bay, on members of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle (a.k.a., “The Deck of Cards”) and on members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban — inside the pages of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.

Click here to order a copy of The Clapper Memo.

Click here to read the high-profile endorsements the book has received.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.