Peter Moore is a British business executive best known for his former positions as Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division, overseeing the Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles, and president of SEGA of America. On 17 July 2007, Moore announced his resignation from Microsoft to take over the EA Sports division of Electronic Arts.
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In April of 2007 I accepted a three month posting in Iraq working for the American IT consulting firm BearingPoint.
I arrived in Baghdad on the 2nd of April 2007 where my main job was to develop spending reports from the computer system used within the Ministry of Finance.
On the 29th of May, 2007 around one hundred Iraqi police officers from the Ministry of Interior entered the building and took away myself and four British guards.
For six months I was moved around meeting up with the British guards. In December of 2007 I was separated from the other Britons and was held with two Americans. In June of 2007 I was transported back to Baghdad and this was the last time I had contact with any of the other hostages.
In May of 2009 the number two commander of the militia (Laith Al Khazlli) was released from US custody in exchange for the bodies of two of the British guards. In September over one hundred militia were released in exchange for the body of one of the guards.
On the 30th of December 2009, 946 days (or 2 years, 7 months & 1 day) after I was captured, I was released in exchange for the militia leader Qais Al Khazlli. The last of the hostages bodies were eventually handed over in early 2012.
Ask Me Anything
THIS MAN IS ANSWERING PRACTICALLY EVERY QUESTION, INCLUDING FOLLOWUP QUESTIONS. THIS IS HOW AN AMA IS DONE, PEOPLE.
Trying my best to, but its nearly 4am where I am so need to sleep soon
Glad you're back.
Thanks, me to
how did you stay sane? were you in constant fear for your life or did you kind of realize somehow that they were going to try and use you to bargain after awhile?
In the final year I had a tv and playstation so that helped. Once I was out of the blindfold I used to join dots on the wall pretending they were metro stations and I designed a new computer. I would also try to solve mathematical problems with shapes on the curtain and conduct job interviews with my pillow
Were you abused or simply held?
I got beaten - had broken ribs, cracked skull from being hit on the head, glass smashed on my leg. Was kept in chains for 2 years, handcuffed & blindfolded for a year. Mock executions - all good stuff
If it's not too difficult do you mind elaborating on what your living conditions were and what kinds of....physical and mental stresses you were subject to?
I was moved around every couple of months. One time they took me outside, knelt me down, put a gun to my head and pulls the trigger. At the same time they fired another gun off behind my back. I thought I was dead.
What was the first 24 hours like when you returned?
Well I was handed over to the British embassy in Baghdad, the very first thing I saw on tv was Lady Gaga - I did not know what this was about :-) It was very strange seeing myself on all the news channels
I forget what it's called but did you ever have that thing where you sympathized with your captures
Stockholm syndrome - this was something I did not suffer from.
Did your employers set you up for life? Surely you deserve to spend the rest of your days at peace.
No, my company went bankrupt in 2009, but my division got purchased, so I got my salary nothing additional
Did you feel like you had to let them win? What did they do if you won?
Sometimes did win and they were ok, I just did not want to upset them by winning all the time and thus making them look stupid - did not think this would be beneficial to my health
Do you suffer from any form of post-traumatic stress disorder after the whole ordeal?
I was checked out by a military psych when I got out and I was given the all clear, but I have my moments. I usually only get flashbacks a couple of times a day now, whereas it used to two or three times a minute
How has life changed for you after this?
My work ethic has changed completely. I used to be a workaholic, now I only work a few months each year and holiday the rest
Did you learn the language of your captors? If so, did you try to learn or did it just happen?
I did try to learn Arabic and I did learn some localised slang, that way I was able to work out which area of Iraq the various captors came from
Were there any reedemable qualities of your captors? Did you ever share moments that were not tense but maybe relaxed/light with them, or was it always intense/intimidating?
We used to joke about things and play board games. We also watched the tennis on Al Jazeera sport
Besides being released and seeing your family, what did you desire/crave/wish for the most?
For some reason garlic bread was what I wanted most
What was your happiest, or at the very least, most tolerable memory of your time in captivity?
When they took the chains off, after two years, and to,d me I could walk around the room
what was the worst moment of captivity?
and besides being free again what was the best?
In 2009, after I knew the others were dead, I was taken out of the chains that I had been kept in for two years. I thought it would be fitting to hang myself using the chain. The best bit was after the first year then they took the handcuffs off and allowed me to stand up
Did the captors ever reveal why everyone was murdered but you? Did you offer something valuable to them as incentive to keep you around?
They told me that they were killed either because they tried to escape or because they were being held in a house that the militia thought was being raided. One of my regrets is not pushing harder for the exact circumstances of each one, but at the time I remember thinking "that they are dead and there is nothing I can do to change that, I just need to concentrate on myself now"
Just treated one day at a time. Thought I was going to die and that everyday was my last
Sorry, misread - thought you asked what did I feel over 2.5 years. Food was not good of the first 6 months - just water & rice. After that I was held upstairs in a family house so the food was pretty good, lamb, fish, etc
Have you told her about this?
Yes, she is actually in Guyana (south America) which is were I was working before Iraq
Why did the care suddenly improve? Did you connect with the family?
Not sure - I think it was because I got very sick and then I was moved to a new location with new Iraqis
You weren't allowed to stand up? What was that like?
For nearly a year I was handcuffed, chained & blindfolded so I couldn't move much. I got very sick and lost all of my muscles, when they took the handcuffs off my back and shoulders hurt for months
what was something or someone (significant other, family, children etc...) that kept you going every day?
When I was first taken I told them I had a wife, so I spent my time building on this imaginary wife. I based the person on an ex girlfriend
Did they ever try to make you say negative things about england or the US? I know some people are forced to do that.
Yes, I had to say it on video a number of time. I had to say that the coalition was bad band that the militia was good etc
What was seeing things for the first time in a year like?
It was strange, I was kept in a blacked out room so the sunlight was not a problem at that point. When I got released my eyes just watered all the time and I had major headaches
I assume you never got to see a doctor during your 2 yrs and 7 months of captivity, so did all your wounds get healed up correctly or do you still experience physical problems at the places you were injured?
Most of my wounds healed I have a scare on my leg, a dent in my head and one of my back teeth was removed as it got broken when I was hit in the jaw with an ak47
Was there anything positive you took from this? I'm trying to imagine, but I can't think of anything good being experienced.
I was in Talil in '06 and I was amazed at how horribly they treated each other. I can't imagine what you must have gone through.
Sure, I live in an Iraq house during those war times, so it was interesting to see how people lived without electricity or running water. Also learnt some of the language and learnt about Islam.
Did you meditate while being held hostage?
Yes, very much. Fortunately my mum taught me yoga as a kid so I was able to use some of that
Did they ever torture you into saying something?
They just pointed a gun at me and told me to speak into the camera - felt it wasn't worth arguing to much
I saw you said you had a Playstation and TV your last year.
What did you play? What did you watch? Who gave you these?
What were your living conditions like? How many people were around you?
What was your mindset going into your job initially?
How close were you to your guards?
I played some FIFA football game and couple of shooting games. I used to watch tv with the Iraqis and we spent a lot of time watching ncis, csi and prison break (which annoyed me).
Going into my job I really believed I would make some difference. I have worked in IT for years and I specialise in developing countries.
The guards fell I to three groups:
1. Down right evil, would hit us.
2. Ones that just did their job - didn't talk, but just gave the food etc
3. Ones that actively wanted to improve their English or know more about us
How do you feel about your captors?
I do t have strong feelings about them. They were against the military occupation, which annoyed me as I wasn't military
Were there any moments when you thought you wouldn't make it out alive?
I thought that it would all be over within six months - dead or alive. In 2009 when I was told everyone else was dead, I thought they would kill me also
Do you have any advice for someone if they were to get into this type of situation?
Try to get your captors to treat you as a human and try to show then you have some boundaries. Try to get things from them to see how far they will go out of their way. I asked for certain foods and certain types of toothpaste
How close did you ever come to committing suicide - both in terms of the opportunity and the decision to do it?
Opportunity was there in Mid 2009. I was going to use the chain. I thought it was very fitting to hang myself using the chain that they had kept me in for two years. The only reason I did not go through with it is because I would not be able to see the reaction of the Iraqis as they walked in and saw me hanging there.
Were these the same guys that had broken your ribs and what not? Were there some that you could be easy going with, but others that were always mean or abusive?
No, by now I had been moved back to Baghdad and these were from the Northern Faction (their discription). They were much easier to deal with
Do you Want to go back and avenge yourself and others against your hostage takers? Does it make you feel like your government didn't care about you but cared more about the already dead solders being that they were being released for the militia before you?
EDIT: grammar, spelling.
I would be interesting in meeting the group - which is now a political party within the Iraqi government. Not sure i would go to iraq to meet them though, I feel more likely I would meet them at a UN meeting in New York or somewhere similar. For some reason it was policy of the British government to get the oldies out first - they never explained to me why this was policy
Were you compensated in any way? Did they roll out the red carpet when you were released?
Also, who from your personal life did you see first and what was the conversation like?
No compensation - I just got my salary. Bearingpoint (the company i worked for) actually went bankrupt in 2009, but my division was bought out so that company carried on paying my salary. The first people I met were my step-parents in a government house back in the uk
Did they backtrack your salary whilst you were kidnapped, or were there any other financial helplines available
I got paid a total of US$270,000 from when I started (March 2007) to when I resigned (May 2010). I obviously paid tax on this as well
>so that company carried on paying my salary
Just to be clear, you do mean they kept paying you while you a hostage, right? They didn't take you off payroll or anything right?
Correct - they kept paying me while I was a hostage. Interestingly I also got pay rises and promotions
How much would you say yoga helped you cope?
It helped me relax and I think that stopped me from trying to fight the Iraqis. I guess it gave me some sort of focus.
I was in Baghdad when you were taken. The rumour was that there were one or more other Bearing Point employees there that day that were hidden and saved by the Iraqis working at MOF. Is this true? Also, the story was that the IPs got you all out of the vehicle by pouring gasoline over it and threatening to light it.
Yes there was another British Bearingpoint employee there and apparently he was hidden by his Iraqi coworkers. I don't know about the car bit as I was inside the ministry along with two of the guards