Interrogation techniques
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Interrogation (also called questioning) is
interview An interview is essentially a structured conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divi ...

interview
ing as commonly employed by
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,
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,
intelligence agencies An intelligence agency is a government agency responsible for the collection, Intelligence analysis, analysis, and exploitation of information in support of law enforcement, national security, military, and foreign policy objectives. Means of in ...
,
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s, and
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with the goal of eliciting useful information, particularly information related to suspected crime. Interrogation may involve a diverse array of techniques, ranging from developing a rapport with the subject to
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
.


Techniques


Deception

Deception Deception or falsehood is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. It is often done for personal gain or advantage. Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda and sleight ...
can form an important part of effective interrogation. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, there is no law or regulation that forbids the interrogator from lying about the strength of their case, from making misleading statements or from implying that the interviewee has already been implicated in the crime by someone else. See case law on trickery and deception ('' Frazier v. Cupp''). As noted above, traditionally the issue of deception is considered from the perspective of the interrogator engaging in deception towards the individual being interrogated. Recently, work completed regarding effective interview methods used to gather information from individuals who score in the medium to high range on measures of psychopathology and are engaged in deception directed towards the interrogator have appeared in the literature.


Verbal and non-verbal cues

The major aim of this technique is to investigate to what extent verbal and non-verbal features of liars’ and truth-tellers’ behaviour change during the course of repeated interrogations. It has shown that liars display significantly fewer smiles, self-manipulations, pauses, and less gaze aversion than truth-tellers. According to Granhag & Strömwall, there are three approaches to non-verbal deceptive behavior. The first is the emotional approach, which suggests that liars will alter their behaviors based on their own emotional feelings. For example, if a subject is lying and they begin to experience guilt, they will shift their gaze. The second approach is the cognitive approach, which suggests that lying requires more thought than telling the truth, which in turn, may result in a liar making more errors in speech. Lastly, the attempted control approach suggests a subject who is lying will attempt to be seemingly normal or honest, and will try to adjust their behaviors to make themselves believable.


Good cop/bad cop

Good cop/bad cop The "Good cop/bad cop" routine, also called Mutt and Jeff, joint questioning or friend and foe, is a psychological tactic used in negotiation and interrogation. "Good cop/bad cop" tactics involve a team of two interrogators who take apparently opp ...
is a psychological tactic used in
negotiation Negotiation is a dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English l ...
and interrogation, in which a team of two interrogators who take apparently opposing approaches to the subject, one of whom adopts a hostile or accusatory demeanor, emphasizing threats of punishment, while the other adopts a more sympathetic demeanor, emphasizing reward, in order to convince the subject to cooperate.


Mind-altering drugs

The use of drugs in interrogation is both ineffective and illegal. The Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (adopted by the
UN General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) ...
as resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988) forbids "methods of interrogation which impair the capacity of decision of judgment." Furthermore, the
World Medical Association The World Medical Association (WMA) is an international and independent confederation of free professional medical associations representing physicians A physician (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US ...
and
American Medical Association The American Medical Association (AMA), founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association and lobby group Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy Advocacy is an activity by ...
, for example, both forbid participation by physicians in interrogations.


Torture

The history of the state use of
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
in interrogations extends over more than 2,000 years in Europe. It was recognized early on that information extracted under duress was deceptive and untrustworthy. The Roman imperial jurist Ulpian in the third century AD remarked that there is "no means of obtaining the truth" from those who have the strength to resist, while those unable to withstand the pain "will tell any lie rather than suffer it." The use of torture as an investigative technique waned with the rise of Christianity since it was considered "antithetical to Christ's teachings," and in 866 Pope Nicholas I banned the practice. But after the 13th century many European states such as Germany, France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain began to return to physical abuse for religious
inquisition The Inquisition, in historical ecclesiastical terminology also referred to as the "Holy Inquisition", was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1. ...

inquisition
, and for secular investigations. By the 18th century the spreading influence of the Enlightenment led European nations to abandon officially state-sanctioned interrogation by torture. By 1874
Victor Hugo Victor-Marie Hugo (; 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and dramatist of the Romantic movement Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellect ...

Victor Hugo
could plausibly claim that "torture has ceased to exist." Yet in the 20th century authoritarian states such as Mussolini's Fascist Italy, Hitler's Third Reich, and Lenin's and Stalin's Soviet Union once again resumed the practice, and on a massive scale. During the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
, the American
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
was a significant influence among world powers regarding torture techniques in its support of anti-Communist regimes. The CIA adopted methods such as
waterboarding Waterboarding is a form of torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or t ...

waterboarding
, sleep deprivation, and the use of electric shock, which were used by the
Gestapo The (), abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for ...

Gestapo
,
KGB The KGB ( rus, links=no, Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ), a=ru-KGB.ogg, p=kəmʲɪˈtʲet ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪn(ː)əj bʲɪzɐˈpasnəsʲtʲɪ, Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), translated ...
, and North Koreans from their involvement in the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It b ...

Korean War
. The CIA also researched 'no-touch' torture, involving sensory deprivation, self-inflicted pain, and
psychological stress In psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence i ...
. The CIA taught its refined techniques of torture through police and military training to American-supported regimes in the Middle East, in Southeast Asia during the bloody
Phoenix Program The Phoenix Program ( vi, Chiến dịch Phụng Hoàng) was a program designed and initially coordinated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Vietnam War, involving the US military, American, Australian military, A ...

Phoenix Program
, and throughout Latin America during
Operation Condor Operation Condor ( es, link=no, Operación Cóndor, also known as ''Plan Cóndor''; pt, Operação Condor) was a United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, ...
. In some Asian and South Pacific nations, such as Malaysia and the Philippines, torture for interrogating and terrorizing opponents became widespread. "In its pursuit of torturers across the globe for the past forty years," writer Alfred McCoy notes, "Amnesty International has been, in a certain sense, following the trail of CIA programs." After the revelation of CIA sponsored torture in the 1970s and the subsequent outcry, the CIA largely stopped its own interrogations under torture. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it "outsourced" such interrogation through renditions of prisoners to third world allies, often called torture-by-proxy. But in the furor over the
September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks, also commonly referred to as 9/11, were a series of four coordinated by the militant terrorist group against the on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. On that morning, four commercial s traveling fro ...
, American authorities cast aside scruples, legally authorizing some forms of interrogation by torture under euphemisms such as "
enhanced interrogation techniques "Enhanced interrogation techniques" or "enhanced interrogation" is a euphemism A euphemism () is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that is deemed offensive or suggests something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amus ...
" or "interrogation in depth" to collect intelligence on Al Qaeda, starting in 2002. Ultimately the CIA, the US military, and their contract employees tortured untold thousands at
Abu Ghraib Abu Ghraib (; ar, أبو غريب, ''Abū Ghurayb'') is a city in the Baghdad Governorate Baghdad Governorate ( ar, محافظة بغداد ''Muḥāfaẓät Baġdād''), also known as the Baghdad Province, is the capital governorate of I ...
,
Bagram Bagram (; fa, بگرام) is a town and seat in Bagram District in Parwan Province of Afghanistan, about 25 kilometers north of the capital Kabul. It is the site of an ancient city located at the junction of the Ghorband Valley, Ghorband and Pan ...
, and secret black site prisons scattered around the globe, according to the
Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program is a report compiled by the bipartisan United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence The United States Senate Select Committee on Intellige ...
and the bipartisan U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee report (report linked to article) Whether these interrogations under torture produced useful information is hotly disputed. The administration of President Barack Obama prohibited so-called enhanced interrogation in 2009, and as of March 2012 there is no longer a nation which openly admits to deliberate abuse of prisoners for purposes of interrogation.


By country


United Kingdom

Statutory law and regulatory law, various legal precedents called '
case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is calle ...
' also impact interrogation techniques and procedures. One of the first attempts by British Courts to guide and set standards for police officers interrogating suspects was the declaration of the '
Judges' Rules The Judges' Rules are a set of guidelines about police and questioning and the acceptability of the resulting statements and confessions as evidence in court. Originally prepared for police in England, the Rules and their successor documents hav ...
' in 1912 by the judges of the King's Bench Division in England. These rules, although not law, still have weight in the United Kingdom and Canada. British military personnel were found to have misused a number of techniques during the detention of suspects in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s.


United States


Police interrogation

In the United States, police interrogations are conducted under an
adversarial system The adversarial system or adversary system is a legal system used in the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and simi ...
, in which the police seek to obtain material that will aid in convicting a suspect rather than discovering the facts of the case. To this end, a variety of tactics are employed. The
Reid technique The Reid technique is a method of interrogation. The system was developed in the United States by John E. Reid in the 1950s. Reid was a psychologist, polygraph expert, and former Chicago police officer. The technique is known for creating a high ...
is widely used by U. S. law enforcement officers for interrogation purposes. It involves steps to obtaining a confession and methods for detecting signs of deception in the suspect's body language. The technique has been criticized for being difficult to apply across cultures and as eliciting false confessions from innocent people. An example is described in the analysis of the Denver police's January 2000 interrogation of 14-year-old Lorenzo Montoya, which took place during its investigation of the murder of 29-year-old Emily Johnson.


Constitutional protections

The Fifth Amendment, which states that one cannot be made to be "a witness against himself", prohibits law enforcement from forcing suspects to offer self-incriminating evidence. As a result of the ''
Miranda v. Arizona ''Miranda v. Arizona'', 384 U.S. 436 (1966), was a landmark decision Landmark court decisions, in present-day common law legal systems, establish precedents that determine a significant new legal principle or concept, or otherwise substantially ...
'' ruling, police are required to read aloud to suspects under interrogation their Miranda Rights afforded to them by the Fifth Amendment, such as the right to remain silent and the right to seek counsel. If the police fail to administer the Miranda rights, all statements under interrogation are prohibited from being used as evidence in court proceedings.


Push for mandatory recording of interrogations in the U.S.

By the 2000s, a growing movement calls for the mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations in the United States. "Electronic recording" describes the process of recording interrogations from start to finish. This is in contrast to a "taped" or "recorded confession," which typically only includes the final statement of the suspect. "Taped interrogation" is the traditional term for this process; however, as analog is becoming less and less common, statutes and scholars are referring to the process as "electronically recording" interviews or interrogations. Alaska,Electronic Recording of Interrogations
Center for Policy Alternatives
Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are the only states to require taped interrogation. New Jersey's taping requirement started on January 1, 2006. Massachusetts allows jury instructions that state that the courts prefer taped interrogations. Commander Neil Nelson of the St. Paul Police Department, an expert in taped interrogation, has described taped interrogation in Minnesota as the "best thing ever rammed down our throats".


See also

*
Covert interrogation Covert interrogation can refer to several interrogation techniques. An example is the covert questioning of a subject in a neutral public place where people innocuously gather, with the intention of the unsuspecting subject not comprehending that th ...
* Interrogation of Saddam Hussein *
Torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

Torture


References


External links

* * {{Authority control Law enforcement