Joe Ryan (interrogator)
He kept an online diary for KSTP-AM, a St. Paul, Minnesota, radio station. The last entry was made on April 26, shortly before the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke in the media. Shortly after that date, the diary was removed from the radio station's website. However, a copy of the April 11-April 26 entries was retrieved from the Google cache. He had no formal interrogation training, like many of the CACI International Inc. employees.
Joe Ryan was subsequently fired from CACI International Inc. for his online diary.
The Ron Rosenbaum & Mark O'Connell show section on KSTP's website mentions Ryan as a friend of the show. It says, "Joe Ryan -- Frequent contributor and caller, Army translator and security expert, now overseas as an interrogator." [dead link]
Excerpts from the diaries
Mainstream news organizations such as the Washington Post and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported on the diary shortly after the global prison abuse scandal broke; independent media outlets such as Sourcewatch and Indymedia published what purported to be unedited versions of the entries. Excerpts from the diaries suggest that Ryan not only named names of individuals engaged in the Abu Ghraib interrogations, but provided a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world-view, and daily life, of interrogators working at the Abu Ghraib facility.
- "We had an incident with one of the interpreters this afternoon. He is actually not an active interpreter. He was fired back in December, but since Titan does not have a place for him, he is still here. He decided that he could help himself to our resources and just came sauntering in and hooked up to our internet connection. He was asked politely to leave by one of our guys and after he answered in a very rude manner, they came down and got me. After he told me to exercise a few expletives, I proceeded to go get Dave ... who is in charge of the interpreters before I throttled this punk." (March 14)
- "I have been working a shift from noon to midnight. We usually run over when we get a decent amount of reportable information. As interrogators, we always are in competition to see who gets the best information from their interrogation. The other extreme is who had the person who should not have been detained. (Nobody even accused us of being sound of mind). Tonight I was sure I had the winning interrogation for information gathered. I came out with information to write three different reports. It paled in comparison to what two other people got tonight. I guess tonight was the night the detainees decided to all give up. The other end of the spectrum is the 4th Infantry Division. We have a little skit we act out for their Division Commander. We pour a cup of coffee, puff out our chest, and survey the room. Then you say in a thunderous voice, "Boys, today I want 150 Iraqis captured." Although this is our skit, it is all too true. The 4th Infantry Division thinks that there is a prize if they leave the country with holding the record for the most Iraqi prisoners sent to Abu Ghurayb. The facts are this; when they hit a targeted house, they arrest every male over the age of 16 within a mile of the house just in case. This is why nobody has EVER accused the infantry of being intelligent." (March 15)
- "Jim ... a former counter-intelligence guy who came over here with me is on my team. He has never done interrogations before, but is a very experienced agent and has conducted a lot of investigations. He has done a great job as an interrogator here, but, by his own admission, cannot run a good fear-up harsh approach. He asked me to help out in the booth tonight with a good fear-up harsh. I was like a peacock strutting around when we were done because I scared the guy so much he wet himself. That will get talked about for weeks I'm sure!! The best part, when I walked out of the booth, Jim told the guy that either he can talk to Jim, or deal with me tomorrow. The guy broke and started talking to Jim." (March 21)
- Washington Post, May 5 2004: Media's Most Wanted Today Is Blogger From Iraqi Prison
- The Independent: Diary of an Interrogator
- Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel coverage of the story
- A copy of one page of entries from Joe Ryan's diary retrieved from the Google cache
- The Google cache link for the April 26 entry. The Google cache only keeps pages for a short period, so this link no longer works. However, it is of historical note as it records how the rescued article was retrieved.
- All three known sections of the Ryan diary, comprising entries from March and April, 2004.
- www.am1500.com/personalities/joeryan.htm The original URL for Joe Ryan's diary - no longer available.