Get QuoteDark Inspirational Quotes App
" Across all U.S. intelligence agencies, there is a lack of cultural respect and a poorly tuned attitude toward foreign peoples and cultures. "
" A militant's profile lies not in his age, race, culture, or education; anyone can join or be adopted by the al Qaeda network, the only prerequisite being a willingness to accept the group's radical, cultlike ideology. "
" For years before my Navy enlistment, I had studied the Soviet Union and the KGB's history of political intrigue in preparation for a career in intelligence. "
" I have personally led, witnessed, and supervised waterboarding of hundreds of people. "
" I started my career in Naval Intelligence when I entered as a Russian language interpreter sent to DLI, the Defense Language Institute. "
" Whenever counterterrorism professionals see punditry and media make grand pronunciations on terrorism that defy all demonstrable evidence, an unrepeatable oath is usually muttered. "
" Identifying terrorists on the battlefield is relatively simple. "
" SERE is a classified program, but every person informed of it is 'read in' to the details of the program. Even the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, which administers SERE, starts its PowerPoint presentation with a slide outlining the agency's origins. "
" Waterboarding is slow-motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of blackout and expiration. Usually, the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch. If it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia - meaning, the loss of all oxygen to the cells. "
" Al Qaeda is a racially diverse organization that is well aware of its dependence on a labor pool dominated by Arab Muslim men. It also has an adaptable and fluid counterintelligence mind-set. "
" Osama bin Laden has managed to replace fear of God and adherence to the Quran with his philosophy of jihad above all else. What's behind that facade is the true philosophical intentions of al Qaeda: the establishment of a new Islamic caliphate that will defeat democracy as the greater of the two political orders. "
" For an old spy and codebreaker like myself, nothing in the world happens by coincidence. "
" As a general rule, interrogations without clearly defined legal limits are brutal. Particularly when they have an imperative to get information out of a captive immediately. "
" I know waterboarding is torture because I have been on the giving and receiving end of the practice. "
" The attacks of September 11 were made possible, in part, by the fact that U.S. law enforcement had a bias that 'rich Saudis are safe Arabs.' Al Qaeda understood that bias and relied on it to operate freely in the United States for years, even when the terrorists were engaged in activities that the authorities considered suspicious. "
" Intelligence officers are a peculiar lot. Whether they are active or retired, their brains are wired for a completely different way of seeing the world around them. "
" Waterboarding should never be used as an interrogation tool. It is beneath our values. "
" ISIL is not 'radical Islam.' Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, the Muslim Brotherhood - these are radical Islamic groups. They resort to armed struggle and terrorism to move toward their goals. But they are also deeply political organizations that have internal rules, standards, and codes of conduct. "
" I saw the waterboarding device in Cambodia's notorious Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh and did not see another until I was strapped down on an identical one at SERE. Waterboarding was administered as a 'stress demonstrator' to show that an enemy could make one say anything. And one does. "
" In the media, waterboarding is called 'simulated drowning,' but that's a misnomer. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. "
" Hamas and Hezbollah operate within geopolitical norms. They can be negotiated and reasoned with. ISIL is a different animal altogether - a religious cult an order of magnitude more extreme than even the most extreme Islamic groups of the past. "
" Working in the Middle East, daily I face the questions, disbelief, and accusations about how Americans could violate the human rights which they once championed. "
" Al Qaeda has dominated the battlefield of the soul among the disaffected, disenfranchised, and dissatisfied. It promises action instead of discussion. "
" To help students steel themselves for captivity, SERE used a variety of 'stress and duress' techniques. The military's encyclopedic knowledge of these techniques was paid for in American blood because it was gleaned from former POWs tortured by totalitarian regimes. One technique, waterboarding, was a historically well-known torture. "
" Al Qaeda's leaders seek to reverse what they claim are corrupt Islamic practices bookended by the Mongol invasions in 1256 and Ataturk's ending the caliphate in 1924. Theirs is a fight to turn Islam's clock back to the time of Prophet Muhammad's original followers. "