Interrogation: The American Way

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How real American interrogation works:

After confessing to slaughtering 180,000 Kurds and plotting to build a doomsday nuke, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was so upset when his FBI interrogator left for home that he cried like a baby.

FBI Special Agent George Piro whipped out two Cuban Cohibas — Saddam's favorite cigar — and they smoked on the patio behind his cell at Baghdad's airport.

"When we were saying bye, he started to tear up," Piro recalled... The self—effacing G—man was hardly surprised — he had spent nearly a year carefully becoming Saddam's best friend in a successful ploy to extract confessions from the notorious brute...

Piro, then 36, began grilling Saddam in early 2004. Instead of bright lights, loud music or waterboarding, the Beirut—born Arabic speaker — who immigrated to the U.S. as a teen — built a rapport with the dictator nabbed in a spider hole. He treated him with respect and took care of his every need.

On his birthday, Piro showed Saddam news clippings showing that Iraqis no longer celebrated the date. But then the agent gave him baklava Piro's Lebanese mother sent him in Baghdad.

They talked about sports and Saddam's pulp novels, and soon the despot was spilling his guts over thick cups of Folger's.

Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan

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