Published Easter 2022
If there is anything I learned during my time as an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay, it is the importance of a well-formed conscience. Too seldom do we use periods of ease to ready our souls for the great challenges each of us must face. I certainly didn’t, and I wish I had.
“I want to be an interrogator!” was a thought that never crossed my mind while I was an undergraduate at Stanford, studying in the university’s erstwhile Great Books program and then its political science department. I thought I might join the Foreign Service some day. Instead I earned a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies at Yale. After September 11, I became an intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, which included a stint from 2004 to 2006 as an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay.
Jennifer Bryson, Ph.D., is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She lives in Heiligenkreuz, Austria.