National Security, Intelligence, and Interrogation Professionals Biographies
Some defenders of torture claim that it was necessary and legal and effective. The real-world experiences of professionals in the area of counterterrorism, interrogation, human intelligence collection, and national security policy disagree. This group of intelligence, interrogation, and national security professionals unequivocally spoke out against torture in their statement of principles rejecting torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, calling them illegal, ineffective, counterproductive, and immoral.
Frank Anderson | Jennifer Bryson | Tony Camerino | Donald Canestraro | Glenn Carle | Charles DeVita | Barry Eisler | Eric Fair | Mark Fallon | Michael German | Charlton T. Howard | Brigadier General David Irvine | Timothy C. James | Colonel Steven Kleinman | Marcus Lewis | Colonel Brittain Mallow | Mike Marks | Robert McFadden | Charles Mink | Joe Navarro | Torin Nelson | Matthew E. Parsons | Carissa Pastuch | Erik Phillips | William Quinn | Oliver "Buck" Revell | Ken Robinson | Mike Rolince | Lena Sisco | Patrick M. Skinner | Lieutenant General Harry Soyster
Frank Anderson retired after 27 years as a Central Intelligence Agency Operations Officer. His Headquarters assignments included service as Chief of the Near East and South Asia Division, Director of Technical Services, Chief of the Afghan Task Force, and Chief of the Iran Branch. His 13 years of service in the field included three assignments as Chief of Station in Middle East and North African countries. Since his retirement from the CIA he has remained active in Intelligence and Middle East Affairs. He was a member of the Defense Science Board Task Force to Study Intelligence Needs for the War on Terrorism, President of the Middle East Policy Council, and a Senior Security Advisor to the Secretary of Defense's Task Force on Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan.
Jennifer S. Bryson was an interrogator for two years at Guantanamo with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). For her work as an interrogator at Guantanamo Jennifer received the Defense Civilian Meritorious Service Award twice. Her article “My Guantanamo Experience: Support Interrogation, Reject Torture” describes what she learned in her training and professional experience as an interrogator. She worked for six years as a civilian Human Intelligence Officer with DIA. During this time she spent two years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy where she was the lead Action Officer on Countering Ideological Support to Terrorism. She has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and as well as an M.A. in History from Yale University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University. She has been teaching part-time at the U.S. Army War College since 2010. She is currently Director of the Zephyr Institute in Palo Alto, CA and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the U.S. Army War College.
Tony Camerino personally conducted more than 300 interrogations in Iraq and supervised more than 1,000. Camerino was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his achievements in Iraq, including leading the team of interrogators that located Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was subsequently killed in an airstrike. Camerino has conducted missions in over thirty countries, has two advanced degrees, and speaks three languages. He is the author (under the pseudonym Matthew Alexander) of How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq (Free Press, 2008) and Kill or Capture: How a Special Operations Task Force Took Down a Notorious al Qaeda Terrorist (St. Martin’s Press, 2011). He is currently a fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at the University of California Los Angeles, and is a writer on the CBS show Person of Interest.
Donald Canestraro is a career law enforcement professional who served for over 25 years with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He investigated cases involving narcotics trafficking, official corruption, racketeering, and organized crime resulting in numerous arrests and seizures. Don served on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force for two years where he was involved in a major investigation targeting a narcotics trafficking group with links to international terrorism. During his law enforcement career, Don conducted countless witness interviews and suspect interrogations. Since retiring from the DEA at the end of 2012, Don has been training law enforcement officers in the Middle East in surveillance, counter surveillance, interviewing, interrogations and investigations.
Glenn L. Carle served 23 years in the Clandestine Services of the Central Intelligence Agency, working in a number of overseas posts on four continents and in Washington, D.C. Mr. Carle has worked on terrorism issues at various times since the mid-1980s. He has worked extensively on Balkan, Central American, and European political, security, and economic issues. His last position was as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats, on the National Intelligence Council, where his office was responsible for strategic analysis of terrorism, international organized crime, and narcotics issues. He is the author of The Interrogator: An Education, which has been called the greatest non-fiction book ever written about the CIA. It details his involvement in the interrogation of a member of al-Qaida.
Mr. DeVita is the Founder and Managing Director of Powhatan Group. Mr. DeVita has more than 40 years of experience in security, risk mitigation and management. Prior to founding Powhatan Group, Mr. DeVita served as the Director of Training and Development for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As Director, he was responsible for the oversight, planning, strategy policy, and implementation of ICE operational training and professional development. He also held the position of Worldwide Director of Corporate Security for MBNA Bank. Mr. DeVita is the former Vice President for Global Safety and Security for the American Red Cross. Mr. DeVita began his career in the United States Secret Service, serving as Assistant Director. In the Secret Service, Mr. DeVita served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Presidential Protective Detail and was responsible for the Secret Service Training Academy’s curriculum, methodology and content of training and education programs for all employees.
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he's not writing novels, he blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
Eric Fair served in the Army from 1995 to 2000 as an Arabic linguist and worked in Iraq as a contract interrogator in early 2004. He studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and currently teaches creative writing at Lehigh University. He has written extensively on his experience, including two op-eds in the Washington Post, “An Interrogator’s Nightmare” (Feb. 9, 2007), and “The US must open the book on the use of torture to move forward” (April 11, 2014).
Mark Fallon is an international security consultant, author and noted authority on counterterrorism, violent extremism, counterintelligence and criminal investigations. He is the Director of ClubFed, LLC, providing strategic consulting services to clients in the public and private sector. Mark is Vice Chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police IMPACT Section and Past-Chair of the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group Research Committee. Mark spent 31 years as a federal agent, counterintelligence officer, counterterrorism official and national security professional. Senior positions included serving as the NCIS Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism, Director of the NCIS Training Academy and senior executive within the Department of Homeland Security as the Assistant Director for Training of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Mark has been involved in many of most significant terrorism investigations in U.S. history, including the investigation of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (know as “the Blind Sheik”) and the attack on the USS Cole. Following the attacks of September 11th, Mark was appointed the Deputy Commander and Special Agent in Charge of the DOD Criminal Investigation Task Force, responsible for the investigation of terrorists for Military Commissions. Mark is the author of the book: “Unjustifiable Means” which will be published in October 2016 by ReganArts and Simon & Schuster.
Michael German served as an FBI Special Agent from 1988 to 2004. In this capacity, he conducted numerous criminal investigations, and specialized in undercover operations. He twice infiltrated domestic terrorist groups in deep cover assignments, and prevented terrorist attacks through successful criminal prosecutions. He taught counterterrorism courses at the FBI National Academy, and after resigning from the FBI, he served as an adjunct professor for law enforcement and terrorism at the National Defense University, School for National Security Executive Education. He is currently a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, and adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the author of Thinking Like a Terrorist: Insights of an FBI Undercover Agent (Potomac Books, 2007).
Charlton T. Howard, III
Mr. Howard retired from federal service in 2013 as Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence and Information Sharing, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, leading all NCIS intelligence collection and analysis efforts targeting the asymmetric threat. Mr. Howard served for over 33 years in the intelligence, counterintelligence and law enforcement communities. His career included tours as an NCIS Special Agent in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, initial DOD Counterintelligence Lead for the International Force East Timor, Supervisor with the USS Cole Task Force, Chief of the NCIS Overseas Counterterrorism Division, Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Washington Field Office, Deputy Assistant Director and Chief, Department of the Navy Multiple Threat Alert Center, and Director of the Strategic Counterintelligence Directorate, Multi-National Force – Iraq. Mr. Howard has participated in numerous counterintelligence and law enforcement operations, investigations and interrogations, and was named NCIS Special Agent of the Year in 2000 for his accomplishments in foreign counterintelligence. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the University Of Maryland School Of Law, Mr. Howard served on active duty as a Marine Corps Intelligence Officer in Europe and the Far East, and later as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Francis Murnaghan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Baltimore, MD, prior to joining NCIS. Mr. Howard ultimately retired as a Navy Captain from the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. He is currently a criminal prosecutor in Baltimore, MD.
Brigadier General David Irvine, USA (Ret.)
General Irvine enlisted in the 96th Infantry Division, United States Army Reserve, in 1962. He received a direct commission in 1967 as a strategic intelligence officer. He maintained a faculty assignment for 18 years with the Sixth U.S. Army Intelligence School, and taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law to soldiers, Marines, and airmen. He retired in 2002, and his last assignment was Deputy Commander for the 96th Regional Readiness Command. General Irvine served 4 terms as a Republican legislator in the Utah House of Representatives, has served as a congressional chief of staff, and served as a commissioner on the Utah Public Utilities Commission. He was a member of The Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment and is an attorney in private practice.
Timothy C. James
Mr. James retired from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in 2004. He subsequently founded James and Associates where he has provided consulting services in the areas of cultural awareness, elicitation, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism. Mr. James has taught numerous national and international courses where he emphasizes the importance of using a rapport-based approach to interviewing and interrogation. While with NCIS, Mr. James was assigned as the senior NCIS representative to the Director of Naval Intelligence and the Operational Navy Staff. In that role, he was the NCIS single point of contact for mission-critical information on criminal, counterterrorism, and sensitive counterintelligence investigations. Mr. James was the first Division Chief for the NCIS Integration and Analysis Division and also served as the Personal Security Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy. Mr. James served as the Special Agent in Charge of the DoD Criminal Investigation Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he oversaw investigations to gather evidence for military tribunals; served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in London; the Senior Resident Agent in Souda Bay, Greece; and the Head of a United Nations/NATO Counterintelligence Cell in Zagreb, Croatia. Prior to his career with NCIS, Mr. James served five years with the U.S. Army culminating his service as the Commanding Officer of the 560th Military Police Company.
Colonel Steven Kleinman, USAF (Ret.)
Steven M. Kleinman has 30 years of operational and leadership experience as an intelligence officer and interrogator. He is a recognized subject matter expert in human intelligence, intelligence support to special operations, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, strategic interrogation, resistance to interrogation, and the evolution of violent extremism. Mr. Kleinman is a highly decorated veteran of three major military campaigns—Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom—during which he served as an interrogator, the chief of a joint and combined interrogation team, and as a senior advisor on interrogation operations to a special operations task force. He was recognized as one of the most prolific interrogators during the first Gulf War. In the past decade he has worked closely with behavioral scientists around the world to uncover the science that undergirds effective human rights compliant interrogation. He has co-authored over two dozen formal papers in the areas of intelligence, the science of interrogation, and the strategy for combatting violent extremism. He was a senior advisor to the U.S. Intelligence Science Board’s groundbreaking study on strategic interrogation and continues to consult on national-level research into interrogation, intelligence interviewing, and the detection of deception.
Captain Marcus Lewis enlisted in the US Army Reserve in 2002, studied Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he graduated with honors. He served as a Mobile Interrogation Team Sergeant from 2005-2006 with 3-2 SBCT in Mosul, Iraq. Marcus later obtained a commission as a Military Intelligence officer, and served as a HUMINT platoon leader, operations officer and interrogation instructor. Marcus has since worked as civilian intelligence analyst, service volunteer, and business developer.
Colonel Brittain Mallow (Ret.)
Brittain Mallow has thirty-seven years public/private sector experience in the military, counterterrorism, law enforcement and national security fields. As a US Army Military Police and Middle East Foreign Area Officer he served multiple US and overseas tours, including in Germany, the Middle East, and Haiti. He commanded units from detachment through company, battalion and brigade-level. He also served as Deputy Commander of the Criminal Investigation Command overseeing all felony investigations for the Army. Following 9/11 he designed and led DOD’s Criminal Investigation Task Force conducting worldwide terrorism investigations, and directly coordinated inter-agency and international law enforcement operations in the US, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and Iraq. Following retirement in 2005, Colonel Mallow has continued to support US federal law enforcement and national security organizations.
Michael Marks served as an NCIS Special Agent for over 23 years and spent over a decade living and working in the Middle East. Mike has conducted interrogations of terrorism suspects in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and domestically. He was the Post Blast Investigator for NCIS on board the USS Cole and also was assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Seattle for seven years. Mike currently is an International Security consultant providing training on Rapport Based Interrogations, Terrorism, and Intelligence subjects.
Robert McFadden is a Senior Vice President of the Soufan Group and a 30-year veteran of federal law enforcement, intelligence, and counterintelligence communities, where he held a number of high-impact positions to include Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Senior Representative to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (clandestine, sensitive, and low-visibility operations oversight and policy); Deputy Assistant Director, CI and National Security Operations; and Special Agent in Charge, Global Support Field Office. He was the co-case agent for the NCIS-FBI investigation of the USS Cole attack and al-Qa’ida maritime operations cell. He conducted scores of interviews and interrogations of terrorism subjects, witnesses, and sources.
Charles Mink is a former Army interrogator and Arabic linguist. He conducted over 1,000 interrogations in support of tactical operations at the highest level of US Special Ops Command in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. He holds an MA from the University of Arizona and is currently researching extremist rehabilitation programs in the Middle East for his PhD. He has instructed the Army’s interrogation course and taught Arabic at the University of Arizona and the US Naval Academy. He is currently an instructor of the Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Center for Language, Regional Expertise and Culture.
Joe Navarro, Special Agent (Ret.) is a 25-year veteran of the FBI where he served as both an agent and a supervisor. Joe was a founding member of the National Security Division’s Behavioral Analysis Program and for 17 years served as a SWAT team operator. In 2002 he was asked by the FBI to develop and teach the Bureau’s Advanced Counterterrorism Interview Course at Quantico, VA, which he taught until 2008. In 2005, at the request of the State Department, Mr. Navarro created the first criminal profiling unit in Latin America for the government of Colombia. He is the author of numerous articles for the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin as well as books including: Advanced Interviewing Techniques (CC Thomas Publishers); Hunting Terrorists: a Look at the Psychopathology of Terror (CC Thomas); What Every BODY is Saying (Harper Collins – translated in 27 languages); and Dangerous Personalities (Rodale – translated in 11 languages).
Torin Nelson is a 22-yr veteran human intelligence officer and military interrogator with 14 deployments (including Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, and Bosnia), serving as a soldier, civilian-contractor, and federal employee. His experience includes both strategic and tactical operations. As well, Mr. Nelson has instructed, mentored, trained and consulted in human intelligence operations.
Matthew E. Parsons
Matt Parsons, following 9 years of service as a police officer and homicide investigator in Buffalo, NY, is a 29-year veteran of the NCIS and served in numerous field and leadership positions. He designed and implementation of the NCIS Cyber Investigations and Operations program. He served as Resident Agent in Charge, NCIS Okinawa, as Special Agent in Charge, NCIS Far East Field Office, and then Assistant Director for Planning and Evaluation at NCIS headquarters. He volunteered for and served as Director, Strategic Counterintelligence Directorate for Multi-National Forces – Iraq, and completed his NCIS career as Director, Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy.
Carissa Pastuch is an Arabic linguist and former Army interrogator for the U.S. Special Operations Command. Between 2007 and 2008, she conducted over 1,000 interrogations that led directly to tactical operations against Al-Qaeda’s foreign fighter smuggling networks in northern Iraq. She instructed the U.S. Army’s interrogation course from 2010 to 2011, and in 2014, she received a dual Master’s degree from the University of Arizona in Middle East Studies and Library Science. She is a currently a librarian at a research institution in the Washington DC area.
Mr. Phillips is a co-founder of Operational Sciences International, a strategic consultation firm that provides education and training on science-based, ethical practices in the intelligence, counterintelligence, and law enforcement arenas. He is a former Army Special Operations and contract interrogator and Arabic linguist. His operational experience spans three combat theaters, and his reporting has proven instrumental in guiding decision-making ranging from tactical level operations to national level policy. He is uniquely qualified in exploiting Islamic extremist networks and in countering extremist propaganda and recruitment efforts. Mr. Phillips has earned both a BA and MA in psychology, graduating with honors and focusing his research and studies on the science of interrogation and deception detection. He currently works to validate and translate scientific research into meaningful best practices for current and next-generation practitioners.
William Quinn served as a U.S. Army interrogator from 2001 to 2006. He later served as an Army logistics officer and is currently a student at the University of Michigan Law School. He has written about his experiences as an interrogator, the temptation to use brutality in interrogation practice, and the consequences of abusive practices in military detention facilities for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Dissent Magazine, and the Detroit Free Press.
Oliver "Buck" Revell
Mr. Revell is President of Revell Group International, Inc., Rowlett, Dallas County, Texas and is the Chairman, of the Board of Directors, Middle East Media Research Institute, (MEMRI), Washington, D.C. He served as Chairman of the Visiphor Corp., Vancouver, Canada (1998-2008). Mr. Revell served for five years as an Officer and Aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps. He then served 30 years as a Special Agent and Senior Executive of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1964-1994). From 1980 until 1991 he served in FBI Headquarters first as Assistant Director in charge of Criminal Investigations (including terrorism); then as Associate Deputy Director (SES-6). He was in charge of the Investigative, Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism, Training, Laboratory, and International programs of the Bureau (1985-91). He served as a member of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (1980-91), the National Foreign Intelligence Board (1987-91), and the Senior Review Group, Vice President’s Task Force on Terrorism (1985-1986). Mr. Revell also served as Vice Chairman of the Interagency Group for Counter-Intelligence (1985-91), and on the Terrorist Crisis Management Committee of the National Security Council. In September 1987, Mr. Revell was placed in charge of a joint FBI/CIA/U.S. military operation (Operation Goldenrod) which led to the first apprehension overseas of an international terrorist. He was Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Dallas Division of the FBI at the time of his retirement in September 1994. He retired with the rank of Associate Deputy Director.
Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized expert in global terrorism, intelligence and special operations. He works extensively in support of wounded veteran issues, resiliency, and re-integration solutions for wounded warriors returning from combat. He has 30-years of experience in Special Forces, Special Mission Units, and the US Intelligence Community. He has extensive experience in Crisis, and Consequence Management. His leadership provides PLC- Global Solutions, and his entertainment/production company RKI, Inc., with invaluable global “on-the-ground” experience. He is an experienced Senior Producer & Senior Terrorism and National Security Analyst/contributor for CNN. He has also written and Executive Produced prime-time television, motion pictures and for virtual and reality-based interactive software solutions for the Military Intelligence community. He is a 2004 inductee of the National Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.
Michael Rolince is an expert in counterterrorism, intelligence and counterintelligence investigations and operations. He retired as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) Counterterrorism Division. Having served as the Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Intelligence Directorate, Rolince has extensive operational experience in targeting terrorist groups and crafting responses to major terrorist incidents, including the attacks at Khobar Towers, the East Africa Embassy bombings, the Millennium conspiracy, the attack on the USS Cole and the attacks of September 11, 2001, while serving as Chief, International Terrorism Operations Section, FBIHQ. Rolince was a founding member of the FBI – Arab American and Muslim Advisory Council and he remains fully engaged in the issues relevant to the national dialogue, to include terrorist recruitment, radicalization, counter radicalization, homegrown violent extremism, and the foreign fighter phenomenon. Rolince served two terms on the Board of Directors of the FBI’s InfraGard program, a public-private partnership dedicated to protecting American infrastructure and he currently serves on the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) Advisory Board. As a member of the Senior Executive Service, Rolince received multiple commendations to include the FBI Director's Award for Excellence and the Presidential Rank Award, in recognition of his continuous efforts over three decades of service at the FBI, to mitigate significant threats to the United States.
Lena Sisco is the founder and President of The Congruency Group. She is a former Department of Defense (DoD) certified Military Interrogator and Naval Officer who served in the Global War on Terror. She is the recipient of the Joint Service and the Navy/Marine Corp Commendation and Achievement Medals. Ms Sisco has 14 years experience in the field of Human Intelligence (HUMINT). She has worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency and partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in HUMINT Collection Activities. Ms Sisco has been training DoD personnel in interrogation, tactical questioning/debriefing, site exploitation, elicitation, counter-elicitation, cross cultural communications, HUMINT policy, detecting deception and behavioral congruency for over 10 years. Prior to her career in HUMINT, she received her Master’s Degree in Archaeology from Brown University and excavated overseas. She founded The Congruency Group in order to share her skills with DoD and Law Enforcement personnel and the private sector in order for individuals to achieve ultimate success in their personal and professional endeavors, put criminals behind bars and gather intelligence information to save lives.
Patrick M. Skinner
Patrick M. Skinner is the Director of Special Projects for The Soufan Group. He is a former CIA Case Officer, with extensive experience in source handling and source networks, specializing in counter-terrorism issues. In addition to his intelligence experience, he has law enforcement experience with the US Air Marshals and the US Capitol Police, as well as search and rescue experience in the US Coast Guard.
Lieutenant General Harry Soyster, USA (Ret)
Lieutenant General Soyster was commissioned in the field artillery where he commanded at all levels, fought in Vietnam, served on Army and Joint Staffs, and as an Assistant Professor at West Point. All his assignments as a general officer were in intelligence: Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Army; Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command and Director, Defense Intelligence Agency during the invasion of Panama and the First Gulf War.