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Colonel Stuart Herrington (USA, Ret)

Monday, February 12, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Colonel Herrington will be my guest in hour two.  Read his piece on Iraq here, and tune in to hear a professional assess the situation in Iraq.

UPDATEThe transcript of the interview with Colonel Herrington –which is primarily devoted to effective interrogation techniques– is here.  The audio is here.

Although most of the conversation is about the right and the wrong ways to get information from prisoners, I did cover some history with the colonel:

HH: Colonel, is it true you were on the Embassy roof in 1975 in Vietnam?

SH: That’s very true, and very sad, yes.

HH: What were you doing there?

SH: I was assigned to Saigon at the time during the ceasefire as an intelligence officer in the missing in action negotiation team that was formed as a result of the Paris Accords of January, ’73, and that put me in Saigon. And so when the situation began to deteriorate, why I, and a very small handful of other American military, were still in country under the terms of the treaty, so that put us in a position of being the executors of the evacuation.

HH: So you’ve…I want to get back to interrogation, but you’ve seen America lose wars before, and the aftermath.

SH: Yeah.

HH: With that experience, what do you think about the situation in Iraq today?

SH: Well, it’s somewhat distressing, because you know, during my four years in Vietnam, the last two being during the time when we were defeating that insurgency, and finally broken the code on how to do it, and it was obvious that insurgencies could be defeated, there was a huge body of knowledge of insurgencies imparted to a lot of people like myself. We’ve gone down the road in Iraq as if all that experience didn’t exist. And now, they find themselves up against the wall, facing the possibility, if they don’t get their act together, that some poor American captain, just like I was back then, is going to have to leave the roof of the Embassy in the Green Zone, and say to the Iraqis who trusted us, sorry about that. We changed our mind. That is a very depressing thought to me.

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