Chapter 13: The Value of Intelligence
- All along you have been shown that Guantanamo is a combination detention (keep fighters off the battlefield) and interrogation (learn actionable intelligence) center. A facility unique in the world.
- So now is the time to discover what, if any, serious intelligence has emerged from more than 24,000 interrogation sessions at Guantanamo. You will be surprised - some will be shocked - to learn of the incredibly intelligence treasure trove that emerged over the years.
- In these pages you will learn to discriminate between tactical intelligence - the kind that is obtained on the battlefield and can have influence on the on-going fight - and strategic intelligence - the in-depth information that has longer term, further reaching implications. This is the area in which Guantanamo interrogators patiently mine for nuggets of information that can and do reach into the roots of al Qaeda's infrastructure.
- Because the intelligence world is closed, secretive, and compartmentalized - by definition and necessity - we will never learn the full extent of the value of information derived from Guantanamo. But you will read some of what has been released in these pages and will learn that many sleeper cells in Europe and America have been broken up as a result, with likely attacks thwarted.
- What of the real engine of any organization, including a terrorist movement - the financing, money laundering, organizational structure, recruiting, compensation, travel, training, bomb-making, and other arms? This is where much of the real - and difficult to quantify - value has emerged from interrogations.
- Learn how interrogators work - it will go a long way to dispel Hollywood stereotypes - and how successes are measured - one piece of the puzzle at a time.
Reprinted end notes from chapter thirteen of the book, with links to source
and other supporting materials
1. “Torture and the Constitution,” Washington Post, December 11, 2005.
2. Jed Babbin, “No Thumbscrews for Terrorists: An Alternative to Torture,”
National Review Online, March 17, 2003.
3. Author interview with Wayne Simmons, December 10, 2005.
4. Babbin, “No Thumbscrews for Terrorists.”
5. Author interview with Navy Captain (Ret.) Chuck Nash, December 10,
6. Suzanne Goldenberg, “UN report calls for closure of Guantánamo,”
[London] Guardian, February 14, 2006.
7. James Yee, “For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire,”
Public Affairs, 2005.
8. Clive Stafford Smith, “Gitmo’s Hunger Strikers,” The Nation, October
9. Khan, My Guantánamo Diary, p. 255.
10. Stafford Smith, “Gitmo’s Hunger Strikers.”
11. Brigitte Gabriel, “What the Arab World Thinks,” FamilySecurityMatters.com, November 22, 2005.
12. James Taranto, “War Inside the Wire,” Wall Street Journal, September
13. Author interview with Paul Rester, January 2006.
14. Author interview with Colonel Lora Tucker, JTF GTMO, PAO, December
15. Tim Golden and Don Van Natta, Jr., “U.S. Said to Overstate Value of
Guantánamo Detainees,” New York Times, June 21, 2004.
16. Neil Lewis, “Guantánamo Detainees Deliver Intelligence Gains,” New
York Times, March 20, 2004.
17. Author interview with Paul Rester, May 2006.
18. Charlie Savage, “Guantánamo Tip Tied to Arrests of 22 in Germany,”
Boston Globe, January 24, 2005.
19. Ansar al-Islam had extensive training facilities in Iraq prior to the 2003
war. Jonathan Schanzer, “Ansar Al- Islam: Iraq’s Al- Qaeda Connection,”
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, January 17,
20. Savage, “Guantánamo Tip.”
21. Author interview with Steve Rodriguez, Pentagon, Washington, DC,
22. Robert Spencer, “US-educated Saudi Is ‘Proud’ He Fought Against the
US,” Jihad Watch, April 28, 2006.
23. Bumgarner interview, June 2006.
24. The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 521 and 225.
25. Roya Aziz and Monica Lam, “Chasing the Sleeper Cell,” Frontline, PBS,
October 16, 2003.
26. “Three Men Charged with Conspiring to Commit Terrorist Acts Overseas,”
FBI Cleveland Department of Justice press release, February 21,
27. Michael Powell, “No Choice But Guilty,” Washington Post, July 29,
28. Butler interview, December 2005.
29. Compartmentalization or need- to- know specific information means that
even though an agency may contribute a piece to a large intelligence
puzzle, they may never get to see the fi nished product because the result
does not concern their mission. Hence interrogators and analysts may
not learn what field operatives accomplish with the information they
provided and the latter may never know the real source of the actionable
intelligence that sent them on their mission.
30. Numerous author interviews with Paul Rester and staff .
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Chapter Summaries & Source Documents
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This companion web site to Inside Gitmo was conceived and executed by Avery Johnson in collaboration with Chuck Martin. As a highly skilled, experienced researcher, Avery imposes strict demands on her work and that of author's with whom she works. Every stated fact must be backed by hard documentation. Hence readers find 524 citations in Inside Gitmo from a multiplicity of sources. Avery took that as "a good start."
Her concept - that you can interact with on these pages - is that with an issue as dynamic and multi-faceted as Guantanamo is too large to be captured only in a work of print. In order to complement and supplement the final work so that readers may continue to be apprised of developments on this critical subject and dig deeper into subjects that interest them, it is necessary and valuable to take advantage of technology.
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I'm a retired Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Vietnam War veteran and career officer, and now a writer. After serving more than thirteen years in East Asia I was sent on assignments in El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and eventually worked Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State.
My many adventures since then have included raising llamas and alpacas in upstate New York, serving as the Executive Director of the Korea Society in Manhattan, working as an international marketing VP for General Electric in Asia, and traveling within corners of the world that few have had the privilege of experiencing.
In April-May 2008 I spent a month embedded with Military Police units in Iraq. Stories from my trip are posted at supportamericansoldiers.com — a book about what I saw and learned is also in the making.
My first book Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin was published in September 2004.
Many of the articles and works referenced in the book Inside Gitmo contain highly controversial, often inflamatory, and frequently inaccurate information. I cited these works for very specific reasons - to extract quotes, show contravailing points of view, and, in cases where factual information is contained in the piece, to use sources that may be intellectually opposed to Guantanamo for balance.
Use of these varied references does not imply that I agree with most, all, or any of the content. They are used for the reasons noted above, and ought to be read in context with the entire book for complete understanding.
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