Everyone has seen the footage: a heavily bearded Saddam Hussein blinking under the bright lights of infantry cameras, dazed to find himself in U.S. Army custody. Yet while the breaking news was broadcast around the world, the story of the remarkable events leading up to that moment on December 13, 2003 has never before been fully told. Mission: Black List #1 offers the full, behind-the-scenes account of the search for Saddam Hussein, as related by the Army interrogator whose individual courage and sheer determination made the capture possible. In July of 2003, Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox was deployed to Baghdad alongside intelligence analysts and fellow interrogators. Their assignment was clear: gather actionable intelligence - leads that could be used to launch raids on High Value Targets within the insurgency. But, as Maddox recounts, hunting for the hidden links in the terrorist network would require bold and untested tactics, and the ability to never lose sight of the target, often hiding in plain sight. After months of chasing down leads, following hunches and interrogating literally hundreds of detainees, Sergeant Maddox uncovered crucial details about the insurgency. In his final days in Iraq he closed in on the dictator's inner circle and, within hours of his departure from the country, pinpointed the precise location of Saddam's Tikrit spider hole. Maddox's candid and compelling narrative reveals the logic behind the unique interrogation process he developed, and provides an insider's look at his psychologically subtle, non-violent methods. The result is a gripping, moment-by-moment account of the historic mission that brought down Black List #1.
"Detailed, sometimes dramatic recounting of the planning and implementation of the mission to capture Saddam Hussein, by a soldier who played a leading role. Army Staff Sgt. Maddox was awarded a Bronze Star for his work devising the methodology used to search for Hussein and interrogate his friends, relatives and bodyguards. His description of these procedures is often so vivid that readers feel they were in the room. While some members of the military used torture to attempt to get information out of Iraqis, Maddox claims he wasn't one of them. He favored "grinding interrogation," which sometimes did no good but on other occasions resulted in useful information. His solid narrative reads at times like a detective story, and even though the outcome in this case is known, the twists and turns make for an engaging book. Maddox spent four years assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency doing routine work, with no opportunities to interrogate prisoners, before he finally got his chance to shine in July 2003. He devoted four and a half months to pursuing information about Hussein's whereabouts, an effort replete with false starts, resistance from violent prisoners and plenty of stonewalling. The description of what Maddox was thinking during his interview with Muhammad Ibrahim Omar Al-Musslit, the subordinate who disclosed Hussein's whereabouts, strikes a typical note: "I had pushed him into this corner. It was strictly between him and me. Anyone else would have to start all over again. And by then it might be too late." The prose is evocative but never flowery; experienced ghostwriter Seay (In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration, 2008, etc.) captures the voice ofa soldier with energetic clarity. Solid recounting of an important event, and a valuable primer for those wanting to learn how to obtain information from reluctant subjects." Kirkus Reviews
Army Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox was awarded the DIA Director's Award, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement for his key role in the capture of Saddam Hussein. A native of Oklahoma, he now lives in San Antonio, Texas. Davin Seay has co-authored numerous books, including most recently, Hello Charlie, with Charles Hess and In Justice with David Iglesias. He lives in Los Angeles.