A Torturer's Confession: Former Abu Ghraib Interrogator Speaks Out

Eric Fair served as an interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI. He was stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison and in Fallujah in 2004. In a new memoir, Fair writes about feeling haunted by what he did, what he saw and what he heard in Iraq, from the beating of prisoners to witnessing the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions and isolation to break prisoners. The military described such actions as “enhanced interrogations,” but Eric Fair uses another word — torture. He writes, “If God is on anyone’s side in Iraq, it’s not mine.”

TRANSCRIPT

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NERMEEN SHAIKH: As the Republican race intensifies between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, we begin today’s show looking at torture, an issue that has repeatedly come up on the campaign trail. In February, both candidates were asked about torture at a debate hosted by ABC.

DAVID MUIR: Senator Cruz, is waterboarding torture?

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing — losing organs and systems. So, under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.

DONALD TRUMP: I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

AMY GOODMAN: Following the Brussels attacks, Donald Trump said torture might have prevented the bombings that killed 35 people.

Well, today we begin the show with Eric Fair, who served as an interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI. He was stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison and in Fallujah in 2004. In a new memoir, Fair writes about feeling haunted by what he did, what he saw and what he heard in Iraq, from the beating of prisoners to witnessing the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions and isolation to…

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