Named one of "8 Books You Need to Read" by Vulture
A man questions everything--his faith, his morality, his country--as he recounts his experience as an interrogator in Iraq; an unprecedented memoir and "an act of incredible bravery" (Phil Klay, author of Redeployment).
In 2004, after several months as an interrogator, Eric Fair’s call to serve his country has led him to a dark and frightening place. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment, Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, with his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as “enhanced interrogation,” it is Fair’s desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Eric Fair’s memoir urgently questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Imagine the courage it takes to admit a big foul-up to a friend or coworker. Now multiply that by a million. Eric Fair’s memoir—which tracks his path to becoming an interrogator for the U.S. Army in Iraq—is a jaw-dropping exercise in self-inquiry and honesty. Fair uses crisp, simple language to reveal harrowing truths about the sanctioned use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” that sound a lot like torture. Consequence is one man’s attempt to come to terms with the horrors he’s witnessed and participated in—and to lay bare the psychic and physical damage inflicted on all sides of this modern battleground. It’s an extraordinary book that shows how violence can infect even the most sensitive hearts and minds.
In this harrowing memoir, Fair, an interrogator at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, expands on his 2007 Washington Post editorial, in which he countered the claim that detainee abuse was a rare, isolated phenomenon. Fair, U.S. Army veteran trained as an Arab linguist, yearned to rejoin the armed forces after the 9/11 terrorist attacks but was derailed by a severe heart condition. Fortunately, private contractors were not as picky, so with no physical exam he was hired at $120,000 per year and sent to Abu Ghraib. Fair details the way he conducted interrogations, emphasizing that he followed accepted procedures approved by superiors. Official guidelines do not mention torture but interrogators, mostly untrained, were urged to "get things done." Fair observed prisoners being left naked in freezing rooms, beaten, and tied in excruciating positions. He committed some of the same acts, but his conscience began to gnaw at him. Some colleagues tortured enthusiastically; others shared his discomfort. Fair began having nightmares and drinking heavily. He came home, but his drinking, nightmares, and erratic behavior worsened. His heart failed, requiring a transplant, but he gradually pulled himself together through the help of his wife and his faith. Fair is a gifted writer, and his capacity for self-examination makes this work both deeply insightful and moving.
Quick and Compelling Read
I felt as if Eric Fair was telling a story, directly to me. I was mesmerized from the first word. Thank you for the insight and know I don't judge you, nor should others who have never walked in your shoes. God bless you, thank you for your service. You did the best you could with the tools that were provided to you. I hope God can bring you peace.
Thank you for sharing your story..
All around great read.. God bless