Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Interrogation Policy after Osama bin Laden

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

single chair sitting in dark room

Glenn Carle, former CIA interrogator
Kenneth Himes, O.F.M, Boston College
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas School of Law
Moderator: Erik Owens, Boston College

Date: Monday, September 12, 2011 
Time: 6:30PM
Location: Higgins 310 Map and Parking Information


Abstract: It may never be clear whether “enhanced interrogation” tactics produced essential intelligence that led U.S. forces to Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in May 2011. But bin Laden’s death has renewed the debate over the ethics of interrogation policy, and the Boisi Center has brought together three experts to discuss the implications. Glenn Carle, a 23-year CIA veteran and author of last year’s The Interrogator: An Education, will join distinguished constitutional law professor Sanford Levinson (editor of the textbook Torture: An Anthology) and theologian Kenneth Himes, O.F.M. (author of a several seminal articles on theology and torture) for a robust conversation about the theory and practice of interrogation today.

Glenn Carle

Glenn L. Carle served twenty-three years in the Clandestine Services of the Central Intelligence Agency, working in a number of overseas posts on four continents and in Washington, DC. 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. Carle is author of The Interrogator: An Education (2011). He holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, and a M.A. in European Studies and international Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He did additional graduate work in International Relations at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, France, and studied at the Université de Grenoble, France. Glenn Carle speaks French and Spanish fluently.

Sanford Levinson

Sanford Levinson is a professor of law at the University of Texas Law School and a professor in the Government Department, University of Austin, Texas. He is, this year, a visiting professor at the Harvard and Yale Law Schools. He is the author of several books, including Constitutional Faith (1988, 2d ed. 2011); Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It) (2006); and a forthcoming book tentatively titled America the Ungovernable? (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is also the editor of Torture: A Collection (2004, pb. ed. 2006) and is co-authoring a book with Jack Balkin on crisis governance in the United States. Levinson has also published in a wide variety of popular venues and is a frequent contributor to the Blog Balkinization. He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. 


Kenneth Himes

Kenneth R. Himes, OFM, teaches theological ethics and is a former chairman of the Theology Department at Boston College. He is a member of the Orderof Friars Minor, the Franciscans; Professor Himes is also an ordained Catholic priest.

Fr. Himes is the author of two booksand editor of two others, all dealing with matters of Christian ethics. In 2005 Georgetown University Press publisheda volume he edited, Modern CatholicSocial Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations, which received the first prize award for reference books from the Catholic Press Association. His newest book, Christianity and Politics: Cooperation, Cooptation, and Confrontation? will be published next year by Orbis Books. Fr. Himes was the founding associate editor of New Theology Review, and later served for five years as editor-in-chief of that journal. He is the author of dozens of essays for a variety of periodicals including America, Commonweal, Concilium, Cross Currents, Momentum, New Theology Review, Social Thought, and Theological Studies.

Awarded the Ph.D. from Duke University in religion and public policy, Fr. Himes has a special interest in the area of Catholic social teaching and the role of the church in American public life.

read moreread more

In the News

In Dick Cheney's new memoir, In My Time (2011), he writes that the C.I.A.’s interrogation techniques were “safe, legal, and effective.” On Monday, Sept. 12, a former CIA interrogator, a constitutional law professor and a theologian took a fresh look at interrogation methods after the death of bin Laden.