By Davin Seay, Eric Maddox
All people has obvious the photos: a seriously bearded Saddam Hussein blinking less than the brilliant lighting fixtures of infantry cameras, dazed to discover himself in U.S. military custody. but whereas the breaking information used to be broadcast all over the world, the tale of the notable occasions major as much as that second on December thirteen, 2003, hasn't ever sooner than been absolutely advised. project: Black checklist number 1 deals the entire, behind-the-scenes account of the quest for Saddam Hussein, as comparable by way of the military interrogator whose person braveness and sheer selection made the trap attainable. In July of 2003, employees Sergeant Eric Maddox used to be deployed to Baghdad along intelligence analysts and fellow interrogators. Their task was once transparent: assemble actionable intelligence—leads which may be used to release raids on excessive worth ambitions in the insurgency. yet, as Maddox recounts, attempting to find the hidden hyperlinks within the terrorist community will require daring and untested strategies, and the power to by no means lose sight of the objective, usually hiding in simple sight. After months of chasing down leads, following hunches, and interrogating actually thousands of detainees, Sergeant Maddox exposed an important information about the insurgency. In his ultimate days in Iraq, he closed in at the dictator's internal circle and, inside of hours of his departure from the rustic, pinpointed the appropriate situation of Saddam's Tikrit spider gap. Maddox's candid and compelling narrative unearths the common sense in the back of the original interrogation method he constructed and gives an insider's examine his psychologically sophisticated, nonviolent tools. the result's a gripping, moment-by-moment account of the historical undertaking that introduced down Black checklist no 1.
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This is where you earn your keep. “I’m ﬂexible. I ﬁgured I’d just start. Any time you want to jump in is ﬁne with me. ” Jeff agreed. I knew I needed him in there with me. First, he knew more about the situation on the ground than I did. But equally important was the fact that I wanted to be able to gain his trust in my ability to interrogate. Not that I exactly trusted myself. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But this really wasn’t about proving anything to him, or to anyone else. I had to be totally focused on getting information, information the task force could use.
For a detainee, an interrogation is the most important moment of his life. His fate is hanging in the balance. An interrogator has to understand that and treat the situation accordingly. At the same time I had to formulate each question and anticipate where the answers would lead. I was trying to stay a few steps ahead of the process, without seeming too calculated. I was also beginning to see the beneﬁt of simply talking in a way that didn’t grate or irritate. Whether I was being reasonable or pissed off, what mattered was that my tone of voice didn’t get in the way of connecting with the prisoner.
The team gathered around a large table in the mansion’s dining room to talk over the night’s events, drinking Cokes and replaying the friendly ﬁre incident. At some point, someone must have shown me where to sleep. But I don’t remember how I got to the cot. I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow. CHAPTER 3 INTERROGATION 101 There was no reason to think I had any special qualiﬁcations to be an interrogator for the task force in Tikrit. From that ﬁrst night of the raid, it had begun to dawn on me that getting good intelligence was going to require a different set of skills than those I’d learned in interrogation school.