A CIA interrogator’s rapport with a mastermind of the 9/11 attacks helped provide vast amounts of information on terrorism while raising tough questions about interrogation methods, the New York Times reports. Agent Deuce Martinez cajoled Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into discussing his thoughts in great detail—but it’s unclear whether Mohammed would have opened up without first facing interrogation techniques like waterboarding.
Martinez was a narcotics analyst reassigned to counterterrorism, and refused to be taught how to waterboard suspects. Instead, he developed an image as a “good cop,” speaking softly and patiently listening to detainees at length, according to the Times. Mohammed even began writing poems to Martinez’ wife. Meanwhile, a separate team periodically carried out harsher interrogation techniques, despite controversy about them within the FBI and CIA.