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SWJED
04-24-2007, 08:10 AM
Moderator's Note

Five threads have been merged here, some are quite old. The title is unchanged. There are a number of threads on the related debate on the use of torture (un-merged as yet).

In 2016 three small threads were merged in, notably one with 5k views on intelligence interviewing. A separate, closed thread remains on The USA and interrogation, with 162 posts and 151k views :http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=3041(Ends).


At the Westhawk blog - Interrogation Meets T.E. Lawrence (http://westhawk.blogspot.com/2007/04/interrogation-meets-te-lawrence.html).


... All in all, a good day’s work. Much of the success of this episode can be traced to the rapid delivery of Mr. Jassam’s confession. American interrogators, using the non-coercive techniques in the U.S. Army’s new field manual for interrogations, might eventually deliver equivalent results, but only after a long, drawn-out, and methodical process. The Americans’ conscience will be clean, but the information rendered by this technique will in many cases be unusable for follow-up action or moot (the bombs have already exploded). Perhaps the “ticking bomb” scenario as it relates to the justification of torture is not just hypothetical after all.

The incident described in this article is one more indicator of how the U.S. military needs to rethink how it approaches low intensity conflict. Instead of an American war in Iraq, this should have been an Iraqi war, with some American advisors assisting Iraqi allies. The deployment of American armored and mechanized infantry brigades is not sustainable in Iraq and will be a non-starter for the next low-intensity conflict the U.S. finds itself in. Conventional American ground combat formations have been culturally unsuited for the task they face in Iraq. And the legal, ethical, and moral constraints on American tactics, techniques, and procedures have resulted in the war dragging on one inconclusive month after another...

tequila
04-24-2007, 08:44 AM
If we're going to embrace such practices, I'd like to stop hearing the bleating about we're defending civilization in Iraq. There's little worse than a torturer, but a sanctimonious torturer is a true perversion.

120mm
04-24-2007, 03:37 PM
The new manual sounds like (I haven't seen it, yet) a solution looking for a problem. The old manual forbid torture or coercion; but I understand the Army is dealing with perceptions, not reality, here.

When commentators like Westhawk, who I now know is completely ignorant of Army Interrogation Doctrine, start treating this as news, instead of explaining that the new manual is eye-wash, and a publicity stunt, I just have to roll my eyes.

I was an Army Interrogator from 1993 to 1996. I know what the manuals said. I went through the training. An Army Interrogator who resorted to torture would be nailed for a LOLW violation.

A good interrogation is similar to a job interview, except the guy being interrogated should feel less threatened than your typical job-seeker. In fact a good interrogator should build a rapport with the guy, if he wants to get any good information.

tequila
04-24-2007, 04:17 PM
Westhawk, I think, is not encouraging the Army to junk its own standards, but rather embrace torture by our Iraqi allies as a new and welcome form of Iraqization - look, they are so independent, they can even torture suspects on their own - and get more information than Americans as well! He goes on to speculate that if we had only withdrawn most American forces at the beginning of the war and embraced an advisory role, with the Shia Iraqis doing the torturing while the Americans looked on approvingly, then the war would have either (1) ended quickly (2) been able to continue on indefinitely under the media radar.

What bunk. Iraqi army and police units have been torturing their prisoners since the start of the war - let's not pretend. Ever since the Shia death squads began using power tools in new and interesting ways, violence has only gotten worse, not better. Westhawk is indulging in some cathartic fantasy, perhaps after viewing the latest episode of 24, not serious analysis.

carl
04-24-2007, 09:48 PM
That's the spirit Westhawk!

Always make sure tactical expediency trumps strategic disaster. It is always better to feel good while you are losing. (We won't even mention questions of right and wrong. Those are for girly-men.)

Van
04-25-2007, 12:46 AM
Westhawk needs to be slapped. He's been watching '24', and thinks that is training. Let's look at this; if the source had scammed an Iraqi soldier's brother in a some commercial venture, the source is obviously AQ... The small time scam artist gets picked up and tortured into turning over the landlord, who charges a draconian rent. The Westhawk says we should believe this without question and go blow up the usurous landlord's place.

And this is supposed to improve things in Iraq? Thank you very much, I'll stick with the authorized techniques.

Uboat509
04-25-2007, 12:54 AM
Westhawk has been pushing the whole we should just withdraw and let the Shia cleanse the Sunnis for some time now. Of course, it is shortsighted and unworkable, not to mention morally wrong but what the heck, it gets us out, right?

Brett

Granite_State
04-25-2007, 04:31 AM
It's heartening to see what's been said in this thread, especially by those who are active duty and reservists. I thought this interview with Colonel Stuart Herrington was the best thing I have read on the subject of torture:

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/Transcript_Page.aspx?ContentGuid=b0d450ff-7a6d-41ca-b855-a93127f6eed7

tequila
04-25-2007, 08:14 AM
Also instructive is The Man in the Snow White Cell (https://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/vol48no1/article06.html), by Merle Pribbenow.

goesh
04-25-2007, 12:12 PM
Maybe it's easier to run a clean show when most of the assets don't have a whole lot to give up. Who trumps who with high value targets? Does the military keep high value grabs? Does the Iraqi government have final disposition over anyone captured? If so, it's out of sight and out of mind and the clean slate marches on and the manual isn't ruptured. I think the line gets blurred with considerations of terrorism and insurgency.

Tom Odom
04-25-2007, 01:18 PM
My experience in Lebanon and later in Rwanda just hammered home everything I had been taught as an intelligence officer. There is no "slippery slope" when it comes to torture. There is simply a cliff. Those who discuss "grey areas" are simply lost in the fog of poor judgement that screens the edge of the cliff. "They" torture, maim, and rape; we don't. That difference is central to our beliefs and is the core element of our strategic message in a war over ideas. Dressing anything less up as a necessary tactic in a war against terror only corrupts the message and the messengers.

If that sounds like I am being overly moral on this issue, you are hearing me loud and clear.

Tom

Dr Jack
04-25-2007, 02:34 PM
Fortunately, the new COIN manual (FM 3-24) is very explicit in stating that torture and tolerating these types of "interrogation techniques" are unlawful and self-defeating:


1-132. Illegitimate actions are those involving the use of power without authority—whether committed by government officials, security forces, or counterinsurgents. Such actions include unjustified or excessive use of force, unlawful detention, torture, and punishment without trial. Efforts to build a legitimate government though illegitimate actions are self-defeating, even against insurgents who conceal themselves amid noncombatants and flout the law. Moreover, participation in COIN operations by U.S. forces must follow United States law, including domestic laws, treaties to which the United States is party, and certain HN laws. (See appendix D.) Any human rights abuses or legal violations committed by U.S. forces quickly become known throughout the local populace and eventually around the world. Illegitimate actions undermine both long- and short-term COIN efforts.

A great article that illustrates the ill effects of torture is in the Summer 2006 edition of Parameters by Lou DiMarco entitled Losing the Moral Compass: Torture and Guerre Revolutionnaire in the Algerian War:

http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/06summer/dimarco.pdf


The official condoning of torture by French Army leaders had numerous negative effects that were not envisioned because of the army leadership’s intensive focus on tactical success. The negative results of torture included decreasing France’s ability to affect the conflict’s strategic center of gravity; internal fragmentation of the French Army officer corps; decreased moral authority of the army; setting the conditions for even greater violations of moral and legal authority; and providing a major information operations opportunity to the insurgency.

Jedburgh
04-25-2007, 02:48 PM
The subject has been discussed before on SWC, in a slightly different context, here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1224) and here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=287). Although this is a subject very close to me, there is nothing I feel like adding at this time that goes beyond what I stated in those two threads. Essentially, I am of the same mind as Tom on the issue.

Van
04-25-2007, 03:47 PM
Tom,
"Overly moral"... Moral is an absolute, one is moral or one is not, just like integrity. The war on terror is so emotionally loaded that it is easy for us to forget what is absolute and what has degrees. If I haven't made myself clear, I agree with you, and we cannot afford to fall of that cliff.

"'It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray. . . .'
'There's no greys, only white that's got grubby.'" Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

carl
04-26-2007, 12:09 AM
In the April 25 issue of New Yorker magazine there is a long article in which the executive producer of "24" trots out all the "you would do it too" arguments.

It is very interesting that all the real soldiers and agents quoted in the article condemn torture while the suits eagerly throw themselves off the cliff Tom talks about; throw themselves off while vigorously waving the flag.

I would put in a link to the article but I don't know how.

Dr Jack
04-26-2007, 01:56 AM
Here's the link:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/02/19/070219fa_fact_mayer


Each season of “24,” which has been airing on Fox since 2001, depicts a single, panic-laced day in which Jack Bauer—a heroic C.T.U. agent, played by Kiefer Sutherland—must unravel and undermine a conspiracy that imperils the nation. Terrorists are poised to set off nuclear bombs or bioweapons, or in some other way annihilate entire cities. The twisting story line forces Bauer and his colleagues to make a series of grim choices that pit liberty against security. Frequently, the dilemma is stark: a resistant suspect can either be accorded due process—allowing a terrorist plot to proceed—or be tortured in pursuit of a lead. Bauer invariably chooses coercion. With unnerving efficiency, suspects are beaten, suffocated, electrocuted, drugged, assaulted with knives, or more exotically abused; almost without fail, these suspects divulge critical secrets.
----
Surnow, who has jokingly called himself a “right-wing nut job,” shares his show’s hard-line perspective. Speaking of torture, he said, “Isn’t it obvious that if there was a nuke in New York City that was about to blow—or any other city in this country—that, even if you were going to go to jail, it would be the right thing to do?”

Much more at the link. It's hard to believe the show is as popular as it is... and disheartening that many blindly agree with these arguments.

Jimbo
04-26-2007, 02:44 AM
Well, lets all watch tenet on 60 minutes sunday ight and buy his book. As far as torture/abuse, in a long term solution we always aspire for our allies to embrace our norms for satndards of conduct, so lets be careful of the size of the paintbrush we use when we discuss some of our allies. We are not going to change behavior their overnight or even in 5 years, it take about a generation.

Stan
06-04-2007, 08:09 AM
Veterans of Iraq, N. Ireland and Mideast Share Stark Memories
By Laura Blumenfeld, Washington Post Staff Writer


The American interrogator was afraid. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/03/AR2007060301121.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR) Of what and why, he couldn't say. He was riding the L train in Chicago, and his throat was closing.

Being an interrogator, Lagouranis discovered, can be torture. At first, he was eager to try coercive techniques. In training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., instructors stressed the Geneva Conventions, he recalled, while classmates privately admired Israeli and British methods. "The British were tough," Lagouranis said. "They seemed like real interrogators."

The world of the interrogator is largely closed. But three interrogators allowed a rare peek into their lives -- an American rookie who served with the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion and two veteran interrogators from Britain and Israel. The veterans, whose wartime experiences stretch back decades, are more practiced at finding moral balance. They use denial, humor, indignation. Even so, these older men grapple with their own fears -- and with a clash of values.


More at the link.

William F. Owen
07-30-2008, 06:05 AM
At an even more personal level, I used to train my HUMINT'ers in the principles of indicator analysis for interrogation. The baseline of information regarding kinesics, cognition and emotion is gathered during the first phase of the interrogation (or, if the situation allows, during the first screening interview). In this case, the indicators developed are used, not for "warning" in the standard sense, but to alert the interrogator to deception, potential leads and openings for manipulation of any one or all of the three mentioned aspects of the source.

This may be off topic but it is pertinent to the above. One of the problems we used to have training interrogators was that the training used to concentrate on the face to face issues. The two areas left un-tapped and never correctly trained for where the before and after. In my opinion, these are usually more important, and denigrated at the table of cunning interrogator ego.

Circumstances of capture/detention and detailed back story were never really adequately captured in exercise briefs, and nor were "all sources" exploitation, in the aftermath. It all meant we were very likely to end up interrogating people we did not need to talk to at all. Time is and human resources are very finite.

Jedburgh
07-30-2008, 03:29 PM
This may be off topic but it is pertinent to the above. One of the problems we used to have training interrogators was that the training used to concentrate on the face to face issues. The two areas left un-tapped and never correctly trained for where the before and after. In my opinion, these are usually more important, and denigrated at the table of cunning interrogator ego.

Circumstances of capture/detention and detailed back story were never really adequately captured in exercise briefs, and nor were "all sources" exploitation, in the aftermath. It all meant we were very likely to end up interrogating people we did not need to talk to at all. Time is and human resources are very finite.
The face-to-face interrogation is the most difficult bit for most, which is why so much training time is devoted to that aspect. Yet you are correct in that the before and after phases are just as important – but in my experience in the US Army is that they are not neglected in training (at the schoolhouse or at the units), just not discussed as much outside the field of interrogation. I’ve been through the Brit joint services interrogation training, and they did not exactly neglect those aspects either.

Also in my experience, once the newly-minted collector has moved on to an operational unit, in-house unit training often does very well in covering the screening, planning & prep and the interrogation aspects – it is the further development of report writing skills that tends to suffer post-schoolhouse. (of course, that’s just my personal experience in a limited number of units – as is usual, the overall reality at other units probably covers the spectrum from limited and poor quality training to outstanding comprehensive scenario exercises)

The aspect of intelligence support to interrogation and planning and prep for the event, is absolutely critical and is recognized as such by every professional in the field that I am aware of.

However, in the tremendous amount of media coverage and discussion of interrogation methods over the past several years, I’ve seen almost nothing that discusses planning and preparation for, or intelligence support to, interrogation. And absolutely nothing that deals with the tedious nuts and bolts of writing any of the variety of intelligence reports that may be produced from an interrogation. Those aspects are dull and boring for public consumption compared with heated discussion of what constitutes abuse of a source.

Chapter 6 of the current FM 2-22.3 (http://www.army.mil/institution/armypublicaffairs/pdf/fm2-22-3.pdf) deals with Screening, and Chapter 7 covers Planning and Preparation. Paragraph 6-3 speaks to your final point:

The resources (time and personnel) allocated to screening must be balanced against those required for interrogations, debriefings, and other collection methodologies. Although screening is not in itself an information collection technique, it is vital to the rapid collection of information. Through screening, the effectiveness of limited collection assets can be maximized by targeting those assets against the sources with the highest potential of providing key information. Screening requires experienced individuals with maturity and judgment who are totally knowledgeable of the collection requirements and able to make well-reasoned decisions based on limited information. Collection (interrogation, debriefing, and elicitation) can be integrated into screening activities; however, it slows the screening process and decreases the number of potential sources that can be screened.
When I said ….if the situation allows, during the first screening interview., I did not mean to imply that the screening process may be dumped. Although it is often abbreviated, and certain effective methods of screening may not resemble those taught at the schoolhouse (the Brits taught one very effective method that will probably never be seen at Huachuca), screening in some form is always conducted. This holds true whether the situation involves a single collector out working with the infantry or if it’s dealing with a detainee that's been evac’ed to the JDIC. What I was referring to in my statement was that in many situations the individual who will conduct the interrogation does not conduct the screening – or is not even physically present to observe the screening.

The ideal, practicable in many operational scenarios in the COE, is to for one collector to conduct the screening and then to shift directly into interrogation if the source warrants. The manual’s reference to the integration of collection and screening that it slows the screening process and decreases the number of potential sources that can be screened is really only applicable when you are dealing with large numbers of prisoners at one time. When dealing with individual detainees, or prisoners in smaller numbers, it is far more effective to integrate the process. Breaks can be taken to obtain/verify information necessary to support the interrogation, but it is almost always more effective if the source is dealt with by one collector throughout the initial screening and first interrogation. The collector’s development of source indicators, tells, leads – whatever label you prefer to slap on it – begins from the moment he first lays eyes on the source. The obstacles, as always, are the language capabilities and experience level of the collector.

And all of that means absolutely nothing if the information obtained can’t be put clearly and concisely in a report that has meaning for the commander.

William F. Owen
07-31-2008, 05:37 AM
I did my stuff back in the days of Ashford and JSIW/ JSIO, and admittedly, I have not been in an I room since 93' so I am hoping all has improved for the better. It certainly should have based on all the operational experience.

Jedburgh
07-31-2008, 11:54 AM
I did my stuff back in the days of Ashford and JSIW/ JSIO, and admittedly, I have not been in an I room since 93' so I am hoping all has improved for the better. It certainly should have based on all the operational experience.
I went through training with the Brits in early '90 - and at that time their training was far more practical and operationally-based than was the US equivalent. The US course still had the student interrogator fixed behind a desk with a massive binder notebook in front him for all the interrogations in those days - even during the field exercise.

dritalin
07-03-2009, 05:43 AM
Hi, I've been reading several things lately on interrogation and I just have some questions I'd like to run past the board.

One piece that I read was from "Educing Information" that suggested that research on areas comparable to interrogation found that pain, pressure, and coercion might actually distance a source from giving valuable intel. While another article that I read was quoting former Interrogators in Afghanistan as saying that stress positions and sensory deprivation were the only way to get actionable intelligence from bad guys.

I'm mean, there are good examples from Algiers and the Tamil Tigers given in several of the things I've been reading that it can get info, but that it might distance population, be immoral, ect.

So I was wondering if there was anyone that could give their first hand, near first hand, or educated opinion of what works better with Afghan EPWs, rapport posture, or coercive interrogation.

Second, given the current political environment, and an increasing likelihood that I will deploy to Afghanistan, even if rapport posturing is less effective, how can it be made most effective?

davidbfpo
07-03-2009, 09:34 AM
Dritalin,

From my UK armchair and being a moderator your two questions sail very close to sensitive matters, even OPSEC. I would encourage others to answer with caution.

PM sent to Dritalin.

davidbfpo

Jedburgh
07-03-2009, 01:05 PM
Use the forum search feature and the keyword interrogation. Although the discussions are more general than specific, due to reasons that David mentioned, there is commentary and links that are useful.

I will say that your second-hand comment:

....stress positions and sensory deprivation were the only way to get actionable intelligence from bad guys.
...is completely untrue, and whoever stated such nonsense is an amateur treading along the path to criminal action.

Second, as a cherry 35M, you need to seek out experienced NCOs and Warrants for advice and mentoring. They won't come to you - it needs to be the other way 'round.

I also recommend that you get on BCKS MI Space (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=1550), specifically the HUMINT & CI (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=66781) area, and look through the material and post any RFIs you may have. (Access requires AKO log-in) Discussion can be a bit more open in that forum, but although it is relatively secure compared to an open board it is still an unclass forum with limits to how far you can go on that subject.

120mm
07-04-2009, 01:30 AM
dritalin:

The US Army has doctrine on how to interrogate. This doctrine is fairly open and should be easy to find with a simple internet search. Nowhere within that doctrine is there the type of "interrogation" you have read about. I would suggest that a liar has talked to a naive journalist who didn't do due diligence before running a quote that supported his/her preconceived stereotype about interrogation.

The saddest thing is that this is now "ground truth" for an entire generation of idiots... Regardless of what really happens in interrogation.

Jedburgh
07-04-2009, 04:51 AM
....I would suggest that a liar has talked to a naive journalist who didn't do due diligence before running a quote that supported his/her preconceived stereotype about interrogation....
Unfortunately, I know of times/places in both OEF/OIF where such a statement from a military interrogator would be truth, as perceived from a narrow range of experience.

Interrogators with no experience outside of Huachuca, placed across from difficult sources for which the rote interrogation training they've had did not effectively prepare them, will sometimes resort to questionable methods out of frustration. This is due to failures in leadership and training; the two are inextricably linked.

Even supposedly experienced interrogators will sometimes tread down the same mistaken path - it all depends on the nature of that experience and the character of the interrogator. A difficult interrogation is an intense experience for both the source and the interrogator - and as with other high-pressure situations, it can either bring out the best or the worst in a person. When leadership and oversight is lacking, it often tends to be the latter.

You can find some of that sort of thing in The Interrogators (http://www.amazon.com/Interrogators-Inside-Secret-Against-Qaeda/dp/0316871125). The book fails to provide any substantive lessons with regard to interrogation, but it does illustrate the failure to prepare (failures in leadership and training) that particular group of interrogators for the nature of the mission at hand.

....The saddest thing is that this is now "ground truth" for an entire generation of idiots...
Even sadder is that some of those for whom this is "ground truth" are currently serving.

Ken White
07-04-2009, 05:19 AM
but I shrugged it off. Your latest post caused me to recall the earlier comment:
...you need to seek out experienced NCOs and Warrants for advice and mentoring. They won't come to you - it needs to be the other way 'round.the thing that bothered me was that it seemed to me that was the opposite of the way things worked in the dark ages when us Dinosaurs walked the earth. Good NCOs and Warrants worked at recognizing and encouraging talent and came in early or stayed late to mentor the good kids. I know things change and my experience is more than dated (over 25 years ago) but the fact that kids have to ask for help sort of jangled me. However, I just pegged it and moved on. :wry:

Then this:
This is due to failures in leadership and training; the two are inextricably linked.caused me to recall the earlier comment -- and see some linkage. Or think there might be some.

Am I missing something? :confused:

Jedburgh
07-04-2009, 12:42 PM
....Your latest post caused me to recall the earlier comment:the thing that bothered me was that it seemed to me that was the opposite of the way things worked in the dark ages when us Dinosaurs walked the earth. Good NCOs and Warrants worked at recognizing and encouraging talent and came in early or stayed late to mentor the good kids. I know things change and my experience is more than dated (over 25 years ago) but the fact that kids have to ask for help sort of jangled me. However, I just pegged it and moved on. :wry:

Then this:caused me to recall the earlier comment -- and see some linkage. Or think there might be some.

Am I missing something? :confused:
Ken, I don't think your observation is really just applicable to the the dark ages, when I was a young'un, I was lucky enough to be able to benefit from the mentoring environment that you describe. In many fields and units, that positive situation still exists.

But today, because of the rapid growth in HUMINT over the past few years, there are issues with mentoring as we knew it. Its a bit of a unique animal in that regard. Because of the rapid growth, the proportion of experienced (and there are a LOT of caveats that go with that word in this field) NCOs and Warrants that can do this effectively is much smaller than in many other fields. Add to this the fact that the poster of the original RFI is National Guard, and that further narrows the available options. That is why I say seek out, because it is likely that effective mentors are outside of his immediate range of view.

To kind'a clarify part of the comment above, because of its rapid expansion, HUMINT has struggled to fill out its NCO ranks from outside the MOS (there were always reclasses, but the proportions have been much higher recently) even at the SFC level. Add to this the fact that the Warrant field has changed from being technical experts, most of whom were prior SFCs in the MOS (the greatest and most valued mentors when I was new to the field), to being careerists. Adding to impact of both of the above is the lack of an effective selection process; there never was one, and today's heavy demand from the operational theaters for HUMINT pressures the schoolhouse for quantity over quality, resulting in individuals passing through that never would have in the period of a lesser op-tempo.

To expand on warrants, they are now mostly taken from junior SGTs, so that they have the opportunity to advance through all the warrant grades before retirement - in my personal opinion, this was one of the most damaging things that was done to the field. Exacerbating this issue, the expansion of the field created a large number of empty warrant slots, which DA responded to by accepting personnel from other MI disciplines (i.e. SIGINT) as well as MPs as HUMINT warrant officers. Although they may have been solid NCOs in their previous field, they possess no more knowledge of HUMINT than any junior enlisted graduate of Huachuca - thus completely eliminating the value of the warrant officer as a technical expert.

Pile all of the above together and you'll understand why there have been units where not a single individual - junior enlisted, NCO or Warrant - have any real experience in their MOS.

The dangerous part of that is there are situations where we have the HUMINT team in a given unit learning all the wrong lessons, because of lack of experience at all ranks, lack of non-HUMINT leadership oversight and direction, etc. etc. Of course, that's an illustration of a worst-case scenario - the reality has run the entire spectrum, from the massive potential for failure just described to tight groups of smart HUMINT soldiers doing outstanding things.

To sum up my rambling comments, mentoring in Army HUMINT suffered a substantive negative impact because of a combination of the rapid expansion of the field and the institutional evisceration of the warrant officer as a technical expert.

Luckily, technology allows cherry HUMINT'ers to reach out for advice and assistance to the broader field. However, there are more appropriate channels - both officially sanctioned and informal (http://www.s2company.com/files/intelst_info.htm) to do this than on a public discussion forum. And even those channels are best simply to network and find the best resources; discussions of value tend to take place off-line.

Ken White
07-04-2009, 03:04 PM
Shame it is that. Scary, too..

Many thanks for a succinct and informative explanation. I wondered if there was a branch peculiar problem and see that there is. Given all that, the advice for him to seek out senior folks was well advised. The which I never doubted... :wry:

120mm
07-05-2009, 04:58 PM
Unfortunately, I know of times/places in both OEF/OIF where such a statement from a military interrogator would be truth, as perceived from a narrow range of experience.

Interrogators with no experience outside of Huachuca, placed across from difficult sources for which the rote interrogation training they've had did not effectively prepare them, will sometimes resort to questionable methods out of frustration. This is due to failures in leadership and training; the two are inextricably linked.

Even supposedly experienced interrogators will sometimes tread down the same mistaken path - it all depends on the nature of that experience and the character of the interrogator. A difficult interrogation is an intense experience for both the source and the interrogator - and as with other high-pressure situations, it can either bring out the best or the worst in a person. When leadership and oversight is lacking, it often tends to be the latter.

You can find some of that sort of thing in The Interrogators (http://www.amazon.com/Interrogators-Inside-Secret-Against-Qaeda/dp/0316871125). The book fails to provide any substantive lessons with regard to interrogation, but it does illustrate the failure to prepare (failures in leadership and training) that particular group of interrogators for the nature of the mission at hand.

Even sadder is that some of those for whom this is "ground truth" are currently serving.

That really hurts. No doubt that the TV audience for "24" and "Numbers" are buying the b.s. and then growing up to be interrogators. But the amount of liars out there who tell interrogation stories are manifold, too.

John T. Fishel
07-05-2009, 07:37 PM
(but confirming some of the negatives as well) is a recent book by former SSG Eric Maddox, the interrogator who unearthed Saddam Hussein, entitled, MISSION BLACKLIST #1. Eric is now a DoD civilian interrogator who follows in a line that flows from COL Stuart Herrington.

Cheers

JohnT

mhusband
07-08-2009, 06:58 PM
I was listening to CSPAN a couple of months ago and they had a former CIA agent giving testimony about his experiences with interrogation of some of the 9/11 and Taliban captives.

In the session with the congressmen he stated that for you to get actionable intelligence quickly it is far better to "out whit" the captive than use coercive techniques which is what many captives are trained to withstand.

rborum
07-25-2009, 04:08 AM
dritalin - I wrote one of the chapters you refer to in the "Educing Information" report. Others have offered the wisdom of their experience in their here (and there are some very experienced HUMINTers among them). In the HUMINT world that experience is remarkably valuable.

Having said that, anecdotes are dominating the public debate about intelligence interviewing. Some people are saying "I know a case where a guy was subjected to X and then he talked." Does that mean that X works?

My I re-frame your question a bit? Instead of trying to decide "what works better with Afghan EPWs", it might be useful to think about how you would develop a plan to determine what kind of approaches might be more or less successful with a particular detainee, from whom you are seeking particular kinds of information, in a particular context. Whether a strategy "works" is not simply a matter of whether a detainee "talks" or provides information. The objective is accurate, useful information in a strategically-relevant timeframe. It is certainly possible to create conditions in the interrogation that interfere with the accuracy of information.

Regarding the use of coercive techniques, the FM sets the ground rules for now. Those techniques do not appear to have a promising future in US interrogation policy. I did a recent book chapter with a couple of colleagues on recent trends in US interrogation policy and practice which I have on my SelectedWorks, if you're interested: http://works.bepress.com/randy_borum/ (Jedburgh - I hope providing this link does not violate the forum's ROE. If so, let me know and I will remove it. I was just trying to be responsive to the RFI - Thank you, sir)

Jedburgh
07-25-2009, 04:56 PM
....Regarding the use of coercive techniques, the FM sets the ground rules for now. Those techniques do not appear to have a promising future in US interrogation policy. I did a recent book chapter with a couple of colleagues on recent trends in US interrogation policy and practice which I have on my SelectedWorks, if you're interested: http://works.bepress.com/randy_borum/ (I hope providing this link does not violate the forum's ROE. If so, let me know and I will remove it. I was just trying to be responsive to the RFI)
Randy - many of the board members have their own websites and blogs, and the board admins and moderators do not have an issue with any of them discussing/linking their own material in the context of an ongoing discussion or in response to an RFI. It is only when someone comes to the board and their only participation is to throw up links to their own stuff that it is considered equivalent to spam.

Back to the discussion, your point that interrogators should develop a plan to determine what kind of approaches might be more or less successful with a particular detainee, from whom you are seeking particular kinds of information, in a particular context, is very important. Interrogation is all about nuance and fine specifics; any general one-size-fits-all approach that is claimed to be effective is a gross misrepresentation of the case. Of course, human beings being what they are, even interrogators trained to understand nuance and fine specifics can get lazy over time and end up approaching every source with their preferred method, ignoring indicators that it won't succeed. That is why in most of my discussions of the subject I continually stress the necessity of leadership involvement, continual professional development and sustained mentoring for the development of an effective core interrogation capability.

Looking at your website, I just realized that the paper Interviewing Al-Qaeda-related subjects: A law enforcement perspective (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1033&context=randy_borum) is a slightly modified version of the NCIS paper Interviewing & Interrogating Militant Islamists: A Law Enforcement Perspective - by the same authors, of course. A bit over two years ago I wrote a rambling, informal review of the latter piece here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=17773&postcount=5).

Ted

rborum
07-25-2009, 05:27 PM
Looking at your website, I just realized that the paper Interviewing Al-Qaeda-related subjects: A law enforcement perspective (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1033&context=randy_borum) is a slightly modified version of the NCIS paper Interviewing & Interrogating Militant Islamists: A Law Enforcement Perspective - by the same authors, of course. A bit over two years ago I wrote a rambling, informal review of the latter piece here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=17773&postcount=5).

Ted - First - thanks for the clarification on the protocol for links. I get it, and appreciate your patience with my learning curve.

Thanks also for pointing me to your thoughtful analysis/review of our interim NCIS report back in 2007. It's always encouraging to hear that ideas we put out are making sense and that many of us are fundamentally on the same page as we move forward on the interrogation issue. A number of those involved in the "Educing Information" project are currently working to promote an initiative for the US - in partnership with our allies - to become world leaders in non-coercive interrogation/intelligence interviewing over the next 5-10 years.

davidbfpo
07-29-2009, 12:31 PM
Found this on an occassionally used website: http://jiox.blogspot.com/ and this NDIC paper 'Interrogation: WW2, Vietnam & Iraq (2008): http://www.dia.mil/college/pubs/pdf/12010.pdf

Dropped here as it is a current thread, although not Afghan-specific.

Started to skim through, so may add more later. Some great parts, including an Israeli viewpoint and this quote:


The maximum opportunity for intelligence gathering comes in the first hours after an arrest, before others in a group can possibly know that their walls have been breached. The bottom line is fear works. The best way to use this fear is when it is genuine and originates with the source. Fear that is not introduced artificially, but originates solely in the mind of the prisoner, is the most effective..

davidbfpo

Someguy
08-31-2009, 11:12 AM
The course hasn't gotten much better. I went through the 10 level course as a reclass last year. I met other NCOs who couldn't do the basics of the job and had to be recycled -- we had Warrant Officer reclassers that were recycled. Two of my peers couldn't ID OBL from a photo.

jmm99
01-08-2010, 07:17 PM
Moderators Note: See Post 2 to explain why this appears!

this suggestion (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=17192&postcount=2):


from Jedburgh
Wonder how much they paid those "experts"? All they needed to do was ask a few old, experienced HUMINT NCOs. The best advice in the world, for free. Read my posts on interrogation.

Not being one to lightly disregard your advice (:D), here are the threads I found (using Advanced Search on interrogation and Jedburgh as poster):

A Lesson About Torture, Half Century On (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?p=837)

Profusion of Rebel Groups Helps Them Survive (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=245)

Terrorism in Indonesia (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=737)

U.S. Army Adds Interrogators (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1261)

Republican Revolt over interrogation techniques? (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1224)

It's the Tribes, Stupid (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1321)

Battlefield Ethics (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2806)

It's Our Cage, Too (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2931) - links to three threads on torture and interrogation in this post (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=16223&postcount=8).

Advisers Fault Harsh Methods in Interrogation http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=9446

Extraordinary Rendition (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=3132)

HUMINT-Centric Ops (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2354)

Fort Hunt's Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4086)

Semantic Search Engine as a model for Intel Analysis tool (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4274)

Rendition in the Southern Cone: Operation Condor (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4579)

"Face" among the Arabs (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4644)

Iran in the News (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=3191)

Stalin World? (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4802)

Gitmo and the lawyers! (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2367)

Revising FM 3-24: What needs to change? (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=5707)

Screening for Interrogation (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=5812)

Hamas in Gaza (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=6020)

Iran and Iraq (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=249)

35M school, Camp Williams UT (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=7488)

Interrogation in Afghanistan (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=7708)

Not to turn this into a Jedburgh Appreciation Page (;)), but the above threads contain multiple good links and comments by Ted and others.

davidbfpo
01-09-2010, 02:05 PM
Interrogation irregularly features on SWC and an in-house, ex-military expert is Jedburgh whose contributions have been assembed by JMM recently. I thought it worthy of putting his posts / threads in one place for future use.

Outlaw 7
01-09-2010, 05:28 PM
In reference to a number of answers on this particular thread--and referencing the Intelligence Boards' article on new ways of educing information look at a Tactical Questioning method taught initially at the NTC until late 2007 until a SIGINT MAJ felt 1) it was to difficult to learn by untrained personnel and 2) both he and Ft. H felt it was in violation of the new FM but when challenged by the creator to show cause to the concept Ft. H failed to respond to the challenge as the technique had been taught for a long number of years as part of the Strategic Debriefing course and up through 2006 as part of the EAIT course for JIDC bound interrogators.

The creator discovered the technique years ago while working for over 15 years at the Joint Refugee Operations Center-Berlin (JROC-B) (used in over 5000 strategic debriefings) and it is called the sprial questioning method. It worked extremely well with German, Russian, Czech, Polish, and Hungarian refugess. The creator of the technique also had the opportunity to use the concept in over 800 detainee interrogations, debriefings, and screenings while in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 to include four interrogations conducted surprisingly in German.

When coupled with the culture of the working environment it builds rapid rapport and allows even young inexperienced interrogators to move forward, is great is detecting deception and extremely good at discovering what the detainee is trying to protect when he lies.

What is interesting is when former DEA/ATF LEP types had the class at the NTC they all smiled and commented "that is exactly the way we work--we simply did not have a name for it".

davidbfpo
01-09-2010, 08:46 PM
Outlaw 7,

Welcome aboard. Are there any open source references to the spiral questioning method? A Google search was not very helpful, but did find a Abu M link to a 2006 US F2-22.3 Manual: http://www.army.mil/institution/armypublicaffairs/pdf/fm2-22-3.pdf

Thanks

jmm99
01-09-2010, 09:30 PM
You have an interesting post in this thread, and another here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90751&postcount=61).

That said, please introduce yourself (e.g., in Tell Us About You (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1441&page=58)). Some of us are old-fashioned and like to know with whom we speak. :)

Enjoy yourself at SWC.

Mike

jmm99
01-09-2010, 09:50 PM
The latter turns up some Google hits - e.g., here (http://www.ascd.org/ascd_express/vol4/418_toc.aspx) and here (http://www.grrec.ky.gov/MathAlliance/Questioning%20Techniques%20For%20the%20Classroom.p df):


Spiral Questions to Provoke Thinking

Spiral questioning helps students think about the content they are studying in a sequence that begins with basic information and moves to higher levels of thinking and understanding. In this video clip, an 8th grade world geography teacher uses the strategy in her class.

and:


Spiral Questioning: Lessons and questions need to be carefully structured to lead students through a step-by-step process of discovery. Students should first explore using basic cognitive skills- observation, description, identification, recall-and then spiral to eventually higher levels of cognition such as synthesis, application, and interpretation through class discussions.

Please clarify.

Mike

slapout9
01-09-2010, 10:08 PM
Outlaw7, is spiral questioning similar to Peak Of Tension Questioning?

jmm99
01-09-2010, 10:23 PM
that used in polygraph exams ? - as briefly explained here (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10420&page=258).

Hey Slap, I'm chasing you around today. ;)

slapout9
01-10-2010, 01:31 AM
that used in polygraph exams ? - as briefly explained here (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10420&page=258).

Hey Slap, I'm chasing you around today. ;)

That is about the right idea but you don't need a polygraph to do it. You start out by asking rather innocent questions that you know the answer to and then move to more incriminating questions (tension) and then back to easier questions and then back to more incriminating questions. You are establishing a behavior baseline on how the subject acts when honest so you can compare it to when he is dishonest. Kind of a rollercoaster to the truth.
This guy talks about it somewhat.
http://focusedinterview.com/


Better link to the manual itself....but this may be an old manual.
http://www.mindcontrol101.com/pdfs/FIsystem.pdf

jmm99
01-10-2010, 03:50 AM
in the Focused Interview Manual. Read the whole thing - quick read.

His discussions of various Fight, Flight, Freeze responses has some parallels in Dave Grossman's On Combat and On Killing. This method seems well suited to an introverted, intuitive type who drags in everything from the environment that seems material.

Regards

Mike

Jedburgh
01-10-2010, 02:11 PM
....You start out by asking rather innocent questions that you know the answer to and then move to more incriminating questions (tension) and then back to easier questions and then back to more incriminating questions. You are establishing a behavior baseline on how the subject acts when honest so you can compare it to when he is dishonest. Kind of a rollercoaster to the truth....
If needed for training, there are some good examples of that precise method on the current TV show The Mentalist (http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_mentalist/) that can be clipped out. Of course its use is dramatized for television, with the main LE characters asking the basic initial interview questions then the title character pouncing in with the incriminating questions to observe reaction behavior. The true intent of the method is for the single interviewer.

Outlaw 7
01-10-2010, 05:15 PM
To answer the various questions raised concerning "spiral questioning". As a former Special Forces Vietnam veteran, and after a long career of strategic debriefing in Berlin, training interrogation reservists, being asked to interrogate in Iraq, having participated in role playing for new interrogator trainees/EAIT trainees, and having worked with S2s/HUMINT Teams on 34 BCT roatations at the NTC I have been in a great position to watch the interrogation field evolve since 1966.

One of the truly major problems that led to Abu Ghriab outside of "others" involvement was the simple fact that the Army has separated Strategic Debriefers from Interrogators---but in fact both functions share a common goal that both Ft. H and TRADOC are overlooking---the person being questioned during Stategic Debriefing based on law and Intelligence Oversight DOES not have to answer a single question whereas in Interrogation the interrogator is trying to get the detainee to answer questions and maybe from a person who simply does not want to talk to you.

I attended a DoD directed training course in early 2005 for all interrogators assigned to the JIDC at Abu Ghraib where the instructor mirrored alot of what I had over the years been using--rapport, rapport, rapport, and building that rapport via culture. All the Army interrogators at that briefing absolutely rejected that advice as it did not match their former Army training---and they were a Strategic Debriefing Bn from Korea.

When I became a "questioner" in 1973--in those days no one really had a name for what we were doing as I was the first US citizen hired to work with an entire questioning team that was basically German. I "became" an interrogator simply because I spoke fluent German-absolutely no training outside of intensive three weeks of mentoring by the other German interrogators.

I had a number of years later the opportunity to attend the German CI/MI School for interrogation at Bad Ems, Germany where I totally surprised senior (COL ranks) German military instructors with the technique and their feedback pushed me to continiously refine the method.

Spiral questioning evolved out of the need to get individuals to talk with you who leagally did not have to answer a single question---the core goal is to build rapport and build it fast and at the same time get a feel for information areas, and to check security issues constantly along the way. I also realized that the core concept of being able to "prove" that the person was lying became second in importance---the main goal in understanding the lying was why was the person lying and I then realized it had to do with protecting something.

BUT at Ft. H in 2006 and still today all you hear from young interrogators and EAIT personnel is "he is lying and I got him to break"---the concept of getting someone to "break" is riding a totally wrong horse.

A simple explanation of the method is as follows;
You set up a number of areas to be covered-pick a point to start and you ask a very simple question on that topic until you have worked your way through the topics--but the question has to be extremely straight forward and simple, then you sart a second round of questioning starting from a different point and you repeat the original question and add more depth to the first question---absolutely no follow up questions which is a urge hard to resist. Once that series is finished you start again at another point and expand on the first part of the questioning.

The questioning is constantly changing and the detainee never sees a pattern, and the questions are always getting deeper in depth and breadth--if there is a cover story in play the detainee quickly loses control over it.

Entire process usually takes about 1-2 hours to complete and once it is complete then you can move into the various approaches that had been identified as potentially working with the individual. And it is constantly tied to the culture of the individual involved.

AND it is tied to the concept of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.[1] Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

I believe this is what the Intelligence Science Board is looking for in their article concerning educing information for the 21st century. AND you totally avoid the fight over enhanced methods that achieve nothing.

Example---I first unknowingly tried this on a captured high ranking NVA officer in 1969---I knew he had been living like a dog in tunnels and existing on limited amounts of food prior to capture. Threw him into a hot shower, gave him a clean set of clothes, and sat him down in front of a table full of food, and left him totally alone for a week. He was free to roam the CIDG camp but under guard-then sat him down and in a calm fashion started the questioning --three hours later we had the entire supply bunker locations for two full NVA regiments. I had my first taste of cognitive dissonance.

Hope this answers some of the questions that a number of members have posted-before I was stopped from further NTC training I had trained over seven hunderd personnel in this form of questioning--from Pvts to COLs to former LE personnel and believe me even non trained interrogators understand it and after some practice they tend to get the hang of it.

Outlaw 7
01-10-2010, 05:36 PM
By the way I have even run spiral questioning with another interrogator in the room who was trained by myself in the technique---and it works exceptionally well as the spiral is being worked by two individuals which reinforces the power of the spiral as the detainee is forced to work his answers on two fronts.

It also requires a great interpreter who gets the methodology.

Jedburgh
01-10-2010, 05:51 PM
....the Army has separated Strategic Debriefers from Interrogators---but in fact both functions share a common goal that both Ft. H and TRADOC are overlooking---the person being questioned during Stategic Debriefing based on law and Intelligence Oversight DOES not have to answer a single question whereas in Interrogation the interrogator is trying to get the detainee to answer questions and maybe from a person who simply does not want to talk to you.
The "common goal" is simply obtaining intelligence information through human communications.

Strategic debriefing and interrogation are separated for very logical reasons, one simply being that roughly 80% or more of those who are trained as interrogators will never hold a strategic debriefing position during their military careers. And many of those who attend the DoD Strategic Debriefing course are not trained as interrogators (When I attended - in the days before computers - more than half the class was not interrogation trained). And (as I have stated before) although the skill sets are very similar the context of the conduct of interrogation vs strat debrief is very different. I know of outstanding interrogators who make great strat debriefers - but also of those who excel at extracting info from detainees yet who are lousy with willing strategic sources. The opposite is also true - in fact, more often than the former. I know of many highly successful strat debriefers who've spent a majority of their career in the strat debrief world who were later forced by DA into a tactical interrogation assignment as a senior NCO/Warrant who then failed miserably because they could not adapt.


When I became a "questioner" in 1973--in those days no one really had a name for what we were doing.....
Sorry, both Strategic Debriefing (ASI) and Interrogation (MOS) have been around since long before '73. And 96Cs - the old interrogator MOS code - were also doing strategic debriefings before then.

Also, in your first post you spoke of the developer of "spiral questioning" in the third person, as if it were someone else....

The creator discovered the technique years ago....
....but now you are stating that it is your creation.

I had a number of years later the opportunity to attend the German CI/MI School for interrogation at Bad Ems, Germany where I totally surprised senior (COL ranks) German military instructors with the technique and their feedback pushed me to continiously refine the method.
And this is nothing new or revolutionary:

A simple explanation of the method is as follows;
You set up a number of areas to be covered-pick a point to start and you ask a very simple question on that topic until you have worked your way through the topics--but the question has to be extremely straight forward and simple, then you sart a second round of questioning starting from a different point and you repeat the original question and add more depth to the first question---absolutely no follow up questions which is a urge hard to resist. Once that series is finished you start again at another point and expand on the first part of the questioning....
So, I have to ask - what is your point?

And to bring up the subject of statement analysis:

....before I was stopped from further NTC training.
You could tell us more about that....

Ken White
01-10-2010, 06:12 PM
Sorry, both Strategic Debriefing (ASI) and Interrogation (MOS) have been around since long before '73. And 96Cs - the old interrogator MOS code - were also doing strategic debriefings before then.before that back unto the 50s, even -- not to mention during WW II.
And to bring up the subject of statement analysis:

....before I was stopped from further NTC training.

You could tell us more about that....Yep.

Outlaw 7
01-10-2010, 07:54 PM
To answer a few questions:

1. The actual ASI for Strategic Debriefing did not come into the Army system
until the course was developed out of major input from JROC-B. There was defintely no ASI in the 70s until the course was developed.

2. In 1973 through 1983, the 66 MI Group would often came to JROC-B in order to understand what we were doing as our job description and functions in fact became the basic functions of the new Strategic Debriefing Course. This was due to the fact that we would handle on occassions 3-4 thousand refugees per month at the height of say the Polish distrubances. We handled also on occassions handled 4-5k per month with five screeners and 9 debriefers. And this did not include the constant stream of airliner hijackings coming into Berlin. They the 66MI Group had their own debriefing system in the main West German refugee center, but were not handling the sheer volume we were seeing nor were they having the successes we were having on the Collection side.

3. There were a few Army interrogators assigned to the JROC-B in 1973 and into the 80s, but due to their lack of fluency in their language skill sets even coming straight out of DLI they never performed Strategic Debriefing and were put into the Collection Management side of the house.

3. The goal of both is again I underline it -to gain the rapport of the individual thus the ability to gain information-regardless of whether he is a Ansar al Sunnah member or he is a Czech nuclear engineer or a Russian SAM weapons officer. The second goal was/is to detect deception and the last goal was to "see" the cover stories often used by Iraqi's to explain their arrests.

4. Yes I did create the concept in JROC-B and a number of 66 MI Group Interrogation CWOs who came into Berlin during the period 1973 until 1986 to watch our work initially commented "I cannot keep up with your circling as it appears to go nowhere"---once they watched a number of debriefings they fully understood the technique. So I am not so sure that the concept has been around as long as the commenters are alluding to unless someone can show me where in the 66 MI Group something similar was ongoing.

5. If the system is so old and has been around for a long time or is not revoluntionary then why did DOD send in May 2005 a Ph.D with long ties to the HUMINT side to Abu Ghraib to plead with Army interrogators to get onboard with rapport/cultural use in their interrogations. The use of culture has been the core center of Strategic Debriefing for literally years. While the class was mandatory it defintely was not brought into by the Strat Debriefing Bn assigned to Abu Ghraib. The Ph.D was the main investigator who identifed the key failures in Abu Ghraib and his coming back was part of the DOD retraining program for Abu Ghraib.

6. At the NTC a SIGINT MAJ felt that the technique was to difficult for novice interrogators to understand or incorporate during FSO. He then complained to Ft. H where several GS 14/15s felt that there was a violation of the new FM. When it was pointed out that it has been and was still being taught at Ft. H and when the unclass training slides were submitted for review---after over ten calls to them and over ten emails requesting their input to show due cause---absolutely no response ever came back. Feedback from all classes and from the key core group BCT Company Commanders was at a surprsingly high level--often citing ---"why weren't we taught this before our first, second, or third deployments.
It should be pointed out that from late 2006 until now the NTC never really pushed interrogation or MSO from the role playing perspective and the roles were only maybe one page long so while the BCt exercised the S2 side nothing on thre HUMINT really ever got tested and pushed.

7. The reason that Strategic Debriefers often fail on the crossover is that they were never taught the approaches-and vice versa Interrogators in the basic TRADOC course are never taught spiral questioning. It should be noted that a majority of information gained in Iraq came via the Direct questioning approach that TRADOC did not want taught to new interrogators--and direct questioning rolls naturally out of spiral questioning.

8. It should be noted that the DOD mandatory briefing for interrogators in Abu Ghraib listed a long number of characteristics that an interrogator needed in order to be a great interrogator---by the way nothing on the list reflected actually being trained in interrogation.

9. As an example---during my second rotation into Abu Ghraib a number of AF interrogators right out of Ft. H had been there for about three months. I stepped in on the night shift and after several interrogations had over 15 reports in backlog-the average number of reports in backlog by the AF types 0-2 and that after three months. I was often asked why it was easy for me and they were struggling. They were taught the spiral but really did not understood it nor did they tie it to culture. Again a failure on the Ft. H side---it was presented to them in an 8 hour block of instruction but they never really got a true chance to practice as the instructors had to check the blocks and move them on.

I am attempting to show a methodology that both works, addresses the concerns voiced by the Intelligence Board's paper on educing infomation and definitely side steps the need for enhanced techniques.

So people can accept it or reject it, but it has worked well for me in over 6000 debriefings, interrogations, and screenings. I have seen way to many HUMINT failures from too many poorly trained interrogators.

jmm99
01-10-2010, 08:39 PM
I'll leave aside any issues on separation of Strategic Debriefing (ASI) and Interrogation (MOS); when certain methodologies began; and the highpoints or lowpoints of Outlaw 7's career.

Here is what I've gleaned of interest.


from Ted (aka Jedburgh)
The "common goal" is simply obtaining intelligence information through human communications.

Pretty simple, but the core concept requires the humans to communicate. That is so whether the questioning is termed an interrogation, an interview or whatever. How to implement that concept is brought home in a short (8-page) memo, Suggestions for Japanese Interpreters Based on Work in the Field (http://www.w-z.com/articles/article023.pdf) (17 Jul 43), linked by Ted in his post here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=69415&postcount=4). The context includes "interviews" in the front lines on the Canal and in more secure POW holding areas.

Of the many good points made by MAJ Moran (USMCR), a salient one is removal of the adversarial component from the conversation. So also Outlaw 7's example of the NVA officer:


from Outlaw 7
Example---I first unknowingly tried this on a captured high ranking NVA officer in 1969---I knew he had been living like a dog in tunnels and existing on limited amounts of food prior to capture. Threw him into a hot shower, gave him a clean set of clothes, and sat him down in front of a table full of food, and left him totally alone for a week. He was free to roam the CIDG camp but under guard-then sat him down and in a calm fashion started the questioning --three hours later we had the entire supply bunker locations for two full NVA regiments. I had my first taste of cognitive dissonance.

In short, turn the "interrogation" (perceptionally adversarial) into an "interview" (perceptionally non-adversarial)

Stated as a more general concept:


from Outlaw 7
Spiral questioning evolved out of the need to get individuals to talk with you who leagally did not have to answer a single question---the core goal is to build rapport and build it fast and at the same time get a feel for information areas, and to check security issues constantly along the way. I also realized that the core concept of being able to "prove" that the person was lying became second in importance---the main goal in understanding the lying was why was the person lying and I then realized it had to do with protecting something.

I'd add that "lying" is not the only way one can attempt to cover a seam or gap. Often the witness truly believes what is objectively a lie. If so, he or she should be very willing to expand on the rest of the story (which may or may not comport with objective fact). Do you squash the "lie" ? I'd say not yet; that comes later down the road. I'd say become genuinely interested in the narrative and allow expansion, expansion, always expansion. [**]

That brings us to the heart of the matter:


from Outlaw 7
A simple explanation of the method is as follows;
You set up a number of areas to be covered-pick a point to start and you ask a very simple question on that topic until you have worked your way through the topics--but the question has to be extremely straight forward and simple, then you sart a second round of questioning starting from a different point and you repeat the original question and add more depth to the first question---absolutely no follow up questions which is a urge hard to resist. Once that series is finished you start again at another point and expand on the first part of the questioning.

I can't argue with that - cuz I've been doing "that", and Chip Morgan's Focused Interviewing, in both discovery and office client interviews, for the last 40 years. I've just thought of JMM TTPs as developing rapport and some "meanderings" (purposeful to me; hopefully not apparent to the other person). Trial direct examinations and cross examinations are a little different.

All of this involves "cognitive dissonance" (or terminal dumb on the part of the witness, or an abject lack of preparing the witness by his or her lawyer, in JMM terms):


from Outlaw 7
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.[1] Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

It is remarkable how many people respond to a simple question by elaborate rationalizations.

E.g., in civil litigation, use of written interrogatories and requests for production of documents allow pre-deposition background checking (residence, employment, educational and criminal histories; as well as tax returns, etc.). Normally, you start off depositions by having the witnesss summarize what you already know - simply to settle down the witness. At some point, you toss in a simple question (actually a "closed" question, which could be fairly answered "yes" or "no"), such as "I see you attended Michigan Tech, a tough school. Did you graduate ?"; or "Did you file a 1040 for 2005 ?".

Often times the witness feels compelled to offer a long-explanation, rather than the simple "no" answer which the question calls for. Of what value is this (since non-graduation or non-filing is probably not a crucial issue in the case) ? (1) It tells you something important about the witness (some "cognitive dissonance" in Outlaw 7 terms); (2) it allows you to establish rapport with the witness by empathizing with his explanation - assuming it is irrelevant to the case; and (3) the long explanation may disclose seams or gaps, or lead to disclosure of seams and gaps (which is both relevant and material).

So leaving the inside baseball to you guys, I've found this and other discussions on interrogations (or interviewing, or whatever) most interesting - a form of comparative law study in its practical applications.

Regards

Mike

----------------------

I enjoyed the first sentence of Moran's memo:


First of all I wish to say that every interpreter (I like the word "interviewer" better, for any really efficient interpreter is first and last an interviewer) must be himself.

both for the "be yourself" advice, but also for his suggestion to create an "interview-like" atmosphere to what is in reality an interrogation.

Chip Morgan makes the same point, over and over again, in his 2005 manual on Focused Interviewing (http://www.mindcontrol101.com/pdfs/FIsystem.pdf), linked by Slap a few posts above.


[**] In that context, the methodology requires (1) "you" questions, vice "me" questions ("me" being the interrogator), which bring out the witness' narrative - not the narrative that the questioner would like to hear; and (2) "open" questions, vice "closed" questions ("closed" being simple "yes-no" questions, or most extremely, leading questions with a speech by the questioner), based on the adverb series: "how, where, when, why, etc."

It's remarkable how many lawyers violate these simple rules and try to "bulldoze" their way through what is supposed to be the "discovery" process. Of course, it is equally remarkable how many lawyers have a pathological fear of going to trial (fear of public rejection, I suppose; but I'm not a shrink ;)).

PS: to Outlaw 7. You're an "old guy" (which both Ken White and I will deny for somewhat varied reasons: I because I still have to figure out what to be when I grow up; Ken because he will never grow up). Thanks for the backgrounder.

Jedburgh
01-10-2010, 08:48 PM
Sorry, Outlaw 7 - but at this point I still don't get anything substantive from your post other than "its all about me".

The reason that Strategic Debriefers often fail on the crossover is that they were never taught the approaches...
Untrue. I am talking about 96C/97E/35M - who were all originally trained in interrogation, but then spent time away from the field working strat debrief instead. By the time they returned to the tac side, they had forgotten all the skills for operating in the different context and were unable to relearn effectively at the unit. And there is no "vice-versa", for at least the past three decades any 96C/97E/35M about to work the strat debrief mission has to attend the course first.

....plead with Army interrogators to get onboard with rapport/cultural use in their interrogations. The use of culture has been the core center of Strategic Debriefing for literally years.
Even admitting the faults that do exist with interrogation training at the basic level, rapport and culture have always been a central feature of the course. Even in the good ol' Cold War days, students were taught and encouraged to use such aspects to exploit PWs who were members of ethnic minorities within the Soviet Union. It is much more prominent in current training.

....a few Army interrogators assigned to the JROC-B in 1973 and into the 80s, but due to their lack of fluency in their language skill sets even coming straight out of DLI they never performed Strategic Debriefing and were put into the Collection Management side of the house.
That is a load of crap. Sure, that may apply to some, but I personally knew and worked with some outstanding and very fluent non-native speakers of East-Bloc languages who extensively worked the strat debrief mission during the time period you speak of.

....way to many HUMINT failures from too many poorly trained interrogators.
True. The quality of training and lack of selection has been extensively discussed on this board. Try looking for it and join in the discussion substantively.

I am attempting to show a methodology that both works, addresses the concerns voiced by the Intelligence Board's paper on educing infomation and definitely side steps the need for enhanced techniques.
Thus far you haven't done any of that. All you've done to this point is tout your personal position with several questionable claims. Try talking less about yourself and more about methodology and context.

Ken White
01-10-2010, 10:08 PM
Outlaw7:
1. The actual ASI for Strategic Debriefing did not come into the Army system until the course was developed out of major input from JROC-B. There was defintely no ASI in the 70s until the course was developed.That may be but strategic debriefing has been around for many years and has been conducted by civilians, contractors, 96Cs, 11F3s, 11F4Ss, MPs and others before that time -- not least on all the DPs post 1945. Oh, and all the Lodge Act enlistees...
I am attempting to show a methodology that both works, addresses the concerns voiced by the Intelligence Board's paper on educing infomation and definitely side steps the need for enhanced techniques.That may also be true and you may have the best thing since Bourbon was developed but you are not making a good case for it... ;)

You also didn't address why NTC stopped you from further training...

jmm99:
Ken because he will never grow upYea, verily. Hit 18 long ago, had fun, stopped there. :D

Jedburgh:
Sure, that may apply to some, but I personally knew and worked with some outstanding and very fluent non-native speakers of East-Bloc languages who extensively worked the strat debrief mission during the time period you speak of.I too know a few who were Lodge Act enlistees and later in SF and that was in the very early 60s, so their debriefing service had to be in the 50s. One large, smart Lithuanian ex Wehrmacht Spieß who could con you out of your first born comes to mind... :wry:

Outlaw 7
01-10-2010, 10:18 PM
Jedburgh---trying to understand your thinking.

Show me the individuals you speak of from the 70s and 80s out here in the field still trying to change the system that is not working. Where are they---they are not in the TRADOC training system nor or in the CTC system or at CAC on the TRISA side. Where are they? Where are they in the development of new educing techniques or theory? Where are they in the development of role playing and role writing? Show me the experienced personnel from the
70s and 80s out here trying to ramp-up 10-15 BCT HUMINTers prior to a deployment when in the 14 months since their return from a deployment they have done absolutely no sustainment training. OR let's see how do you tie a Multifunctional Team (MFT) to the interrogation process or overall HUMINT process when BCT Cmdrs have no idea of what a MFT does. Where are the experienced battlefield forensics types who also have deep interrogation experience?

I am personally not so sure you have read the Intelligence Board's article on Educing Information, nor am I sure you have ever been on a TIGER Team or worked at a BCT level where the system has declared you to be the judge, jury, defense lawyer, and prosecutor.

Blogging is a great past time --join us in the field in either Iraq or Afghanistan and try to make the system work and then tell me it is about me. Show me an interrogation technique from your side that answers how a young interrogator who has 96 hours is to proceed? Show me a technique from you that allows a patrol member to get into easily a conversation with an Afghan national and not make it look like an interrogation to the Afghan. What is the technique in TQ that allows a Company Cmdr to make the decision to release or move up the ladder? What is the questioning technique that is the most effective in getting an Afghan tribal council meeting to reveal information so necessary in counterinsurgency.

You talk the problems to death---where are the solutions?

I could go into how you tie "open source warfare" to interrogation and how that ties nicely into the spiral concept. Or I could discuss the recent research released in Nature magazine concerning "Ecology of Human Warfare" and how it verifies "open source warfare", but I see nothing of that tied into spiral questioning or other forms of interrogation techniques in your blog.

“The goal of the interrogation process is to develop the truth.” This simple
statement captures the spirit that animates Educing Information: Interrogation: Science and Art. The “truth” awaiting development in this case is what we think we know and what we really know about educing information (EI), a politically neutral term that encompasses often highly controversial human intelligence collection activities such as interrogation, strategic debriefing, and elicitation. In his article, “Approaching Truth: Behavioral Science Lessons on Educing Information from Human Sources,” Dr. Randy Borum explains: “Almost no empirical studies in the social and behavioral sciences directly address the effectiveness of interrogation in general practice, or of specific techniques in generating accurate and useful information from otherwise uncooperative persons (emphasis in the original).”

I was throwing open a discussion on a way of educing information-it can be discussed or ignored as I really do not care. Maybe we have ignored it way to long and so therefore caused the problems at Abu Ghraib, the black sites, or in Bagram or Gitmo.

I am basically tired of having to answer with each new employment position--"do you expect any blowback from Abu Ghraib". So maybe I am extremely interested in the success of educing information so maybe you are right it is about me as I doubt you are being asked "are you expecting any blowback" by anyone writing into this blog.

Have learned from this to avoid your site as a number of others do.

jmm99
01-11-2010, 01:03 AM
in the Monte Carlo, I'd say: "Gentlemen, please take it outside".

This is supposed to be a discourse on Interrogation in Afghanistan, where the issue of methodology (and comments upon it) are valid items to discuss.

Ad hominems from any side are out of bounds.

My take

Mike

PS: to Outlaw 7: I'd suggest you re-consider this:


from Outlaw 7
Have learned from this to avoid your site as a number of others do.

not because I care from a personal standpoint whether you stick around or not; but for the fact that you do raise an interesting approach (no matter who invented it or when) which is similar to my approach and (I think) Slap's.

As to this:


from Outlaw 7
I was throwing open a discussion on a way of educing information-it can be discussed or ignored as I really do not care.

Yes, you do care.

It's your choice to drop the ruck or not.

I'd as soon continue the discourse on methodologies and comments upon them.

In any event, best in your quest.

Mike

Jedburgh
01-11-2010, 01:30 AM
Show me.....

--join us

You talk....

I could.....
Look - this isn't about me and/or you. I'm not going to get into a pointless 'net discussion talking about my experience vs your experience. Why don't you simply enter openly and substantively into the discussion? I already said let's hear less about you and more about the methodology. You have yet to attempt that.

I was throwing open a discussion on a way of educing information.....
You contributed to a discussion that was already open and active without appearing to link in with what was being discussed. Your post appeared to be primarily self-promotion. As has been pointed out several times - if you actually made the minimal effort to read and search the board on interrogation - that there are several focused discussions about interrogation on this board. Please feel free to join one. This is a discussion board, not a blog. What that means is that we should be engaging in the free interchange of ideas.

So, instead of talking at the board blowing your own horn about how great spiral questioning is, how about discussing with the membership the strengths of spiral questioning as opposed to other interrogation methodologies. Compare it with the methodology as delineated in FM 2-22.3, compare it with Cognitive Interview methodology or the Reid technique, or LSI......or do you feel that it can be integrated with and complement other methodologies? Does it include kinesic or NLP considerations? etc. etc. etc.

Any moke can come on the board and say they've conducted thousands of interrogations/debriefs and claim they've come up with the greatest questioning method since the Syrian Chair. What matters here is substantive discussion of the current topic, not claims of past greatness.

Have learned from this to avoid your site as a number of others do.
If anyone learns anything from this, please let it be not to come on this board in a self-promoting manner making numerous questionable claims. There are too many regulars on this board, from several nations, with experience across the operational spectrum. Between their collective memory and the gathered historical expertise, little that is questionable will fly for very long.

jmm99
01-11-2010, 02:18 AM
Since Outlaw 7 may or may not be any longer with us, what are your views re: Chip Morgan's Focused Interviewing, MAJ Moran's theories on "interviewing" Japanese prisoners, and my own take in this thread on the subject matter in Comments on methodology (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90806&postcount=30).

I'll omit the number of parties and witnesses that I've "interrogated", "interviewed" or "communicated with" (to say zip on lawyers - it also works there, direct communications with the officer making the calls on the other side - think about it ;)), lest I become a "moke". :eek:

Cheers

Mike

slapout9
01-11-2010, 04:25 AM
I just want to hear exactly what Spiral Questioning is?:confused:

Jedburgh
01-12-2010, 12:53 PM
What are your views re: Chip Morgan's Focused Interviewing, MAJ Moran's theories on "interviewing" Japanese prisoners, and my own take in this thread on the subject matter in Comments on methodology (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90806&postcount=30).
Mike, I’ll just comment on Major Moran’s memo, because I’m not familiar with Chip Morgan and I haven’t had the time to read the linked text of his material.

Major Moran’s memo, despite its age and brevity, remains a very insightful and useful read for those interested in interrogation methodology and techniques. The author focuses on two aspects of interrogation (although he never uses that term in the memo): the attitude of the interrogator towards the source, and the interrogator’s knowledge and use of language.

As he states, the attitude of the interrogator is of primary importance and is critical to success or failure in the interrogation. The discussion of attitude in this memorandum is specifically focused on Japanese prisoners of war, but this is worth the time no matter what area of interrogation the reader may work or have an interest in. Considerations of environment, culture, physical condition of the source and the nature of the interrogator’s character as perceived by the source are critically important to any interrogation.

Dividing and defining language used in the conduct of interrogation into “knowledge” and “use” is an important point for interrogators to consider, even when working in their native language, but obviously more so when working in a second language. Regarding “knowledge” of language, the author stresses the importance of idiomatic language, as opposed to technical vocabulary, for rapidly developing rapport and initiating conversation with the source. (Oreste Pinto is another WWII interrogator who has written useful material on the understanding of language in interrogation) As for “use” of language, the author discusses in a simple and general manner concepts of rapport, cognition, questioning methodology and leveraging aspects of culture in questioning. He also describes the difference between empathy and sympathy, and the dangers of the latter, although not in such precise terms.

Mike, one comment you made about the article was that it illustrated that an interrogator could, ”…turn the "interrogation" (perceptionally adversarial) into an "interview" (perceptionally non-adversarial).” Your caveat about perception is astute – the interrogation remains adversarial in that we still need to extract information from the source that he is unwilling to share. However, developing rapport in such a way that it creates this type of source perception facilitates drawing out information from the source without his clear realization as to what he has just compromised.

One book that myself and others on this board have previously mentioned as regarded by military interrogators as “the” classic in the field is The Interrogator: The Story of Hanns Joachim Scharff: Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe ( http://www.amazon.com/Interrogator-Joachim-Luftwaffe-Schiffer-Military/dp/0764302612). Although he does relate some coercive psychological methods – such as faking the execution of a prison during an interrogation of another – the majority of the content provides an outstanding illustration of the manipulation of source perceptions from adversarial toward non-adversarial communication for effective elicitation of intelligence information.

Ted

jmm99
01-12-2010, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the kind words - I like to be "astute", even though I am not always that. :)

My impression of MAJ Moran's 8-pager is the same as yours. Your summary of "knowledge" and "use" hits it on the head:


Dividing and defining language used in the conduct of interrogation into “knowledge” and “use” is an important point for interrogators to consider, even when working in their native language, but obviously more so when working in a second language. Regarding “knowledge” of language, the author stresses the importance of idiomatic language, as opposed to technical vocabulary, for rapidly developing rapport and initiating conversation with the source. (Oreste Pinto is another WWII interrogator who has written useful material on the understanding of language in interrogation) As for “use” of language, the author discusses in a simple and general manner concepts of rapport, cognition, questioning methodology and leveraging aspects of culture in questioning. He also describes the difference between empathy and sympathy, and the dangers of the latter, although not in such precise terms.

In my world, your concepts run throughout client conferences (non-adversarial), witness interviews (which may be adversarial or not) and formal depositions (adversarial, if an adverse party or witness). I might sound very impressive in using "technical vocabulary" (whether legal or scientific), but I will miss the boat by doing that. The trick is to translate the technical vocabulary into idiomatic language.

My impression of Chip Morgan's manual is that it parallels MAJ Moran's memo in many respects (being non-adversarial in the interviewee's eyes; not being a bulldozer; empathy vs sympathy, etc.). It is more bullet-point than academic in style.

Similar concepts also apply to witness preparation, direct examination and cross examination at trial; but they require other, overriding concepts as well. Each is a specialized area of practical trial work, but getting information from discovery and interviews underlies all of that.

So, 95% of it is preparation and perspiration; only 5% is the flashy stuff at trial. And, if you follow the Columbo model (as I do), the trial stuff is not all that flashy. :)

Regards

Mike

-------------------

Whatever the subject matter area, it is important for me to become something of a subject matter expert in that area - albeit with a limited focus. For example, if you have a forklift accident at a loading dock, you have to learn all you can about loading operations at that particular dock (and maybe some other docks as well).

jmm99
02-10-2010, 03:42 PM
Hi Ted,

The Interrogator: The Story of Hanns Joachim Scharff: Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe (http://www.amazon.com/Interrogator-Joachim-Luftwaffe-Schiffer-Military/dp/0764302612), is both a collection of war stories - and an educational manual underlying the war stories.

It reminded me a bit of Francis L. Wellman's, The Art of Cross-Examination (http://www.amazon.com/Art-Cross-Examination-Francis-L-Wellman/dp/0684843048) (from 1903, but still valid), since both emphasize brains over brawn with some humor interspersed (e.g., from Wellman):


"The plaintiff, a laboring man, had been thrown to the street pavement from the platform of the car by the force of the collision, and had dislocated his shoulder. He had testified in his own behalf that he had been permanently injured in so far as he had not been able to follow his usual employment for the reason that he could not raise his arm above a point parallel with his shoulder. Upon examination ... I asked the witness a few sympathetic questions about his sufferings, and upon getting on a friendly basis with him suggested that he be good enough to show the jury the extreme limit to which he could raise his arm since the accident. The plaintiff slowly and with considerable difficulty raised his arm to the parallel of his shoulder. 'Now, using the same arm, show the jury how high you could get it up before the accident,' was the next quiet suggestion; whereupon the witness extended his arm to its full height above his head, amid peals of laughter from the court and jury."

Thanks for the suggestion to read The Interrogator.

Mike

rborum
08-27-2010, 03:43 AM
The Phase Two report from the Intelligence Science Board's Study on Intelligence Interviewing has been approved for release.

It distills the current state of social/behavioral science thinking on key issues in the Intelligence Interviewing process, including:


Persuasion
Power
Interests & identities
Stress
Resistances
Memory


It also includes a couple of detailed case studies with teaching notes.

You can find a link to the report on the next post.

- Randy Borum

rborum
08-27-2010, 02:59 PM
You can access the report HERE (http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/isb/interview.pdf).

Intelligence personnel who are trying to elicit information from a prisoner or a detainee can effectively do so in a non-coercive manner, according to the Intelligence Science Board (ISB), an official advisory group to the Director of National Intelligence.


The United States and other democracies can benefit from exploring and learning more in the area of non-coercive intelligence interviewing

The Board said in a sequel (http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/isb/interview.pdf)(pdf) to its December 2006 report on "Educing Information" (pdf). That earlier study found that existing U.S. intelligence interrogation practices were not scientifically well-founded.
The study team could not discover an objective scientific basis for the techniques commonly used by U.S. interrogators.

The newly disclosed follow-on report, dated April 2009,
is written primarily for individuals concerned with 'high-value' detainees and those who focus mainly on strategic interrogation. It provides a survey of behavioral science perspectives on topics relevant to the interrogation process -- including persuasion, power, stress, resistance, and memory -- as well as two case studies of actual interrogations.

A copy of the ISB report was obtained by Secrecy News. See "Intelligence Interviewing: Teaching Papers and Case Studies," A Report from the Study on Educing Information, Intelligence Science Board, April 2009 (211 pages).

The ISB report adopted the new term "intelligence interviewing" instead of "interrogation" in part because it said "interrogation" is freighted with stereotypes often involving coercion. The report emphasized the utility of non-coercive interrogation but acknowledged the difficulty of empirically establishing its superiority to coercive questioning.


During Phases I and II, contributors could find no studies that compare the results of 'coercive' interrogations with those of non-coercive intelligence interviews. It is also difficult to imagine how such studies might be conducted in a scientifically valid, let alone morally acceptable, manner.

The ISB study notably dissected the "ticking time bomb" scenario that is often portrayed in television thrillers (and which has "captured the public imagination"). The authors patiently explained why that hypothetical scenario is not a sensible guide to interrogation policy or a justification for torture. Moral considerations aside, the ISB report said, coercive interrogation may produce unreliable results, foster increased resistance, and preclude the discovery of unsuspected intelligence information of value (pp. 40-42).


There also are no guarantees that non-coercive intelligence interviewing will obtain the necessary information,the report said.
However, the United States has important recent examples of effective, non-coercive intelligence interviewing with high value detainees.

The ISB said its report could
provide experienced and successful interviewers a more formal understanding of the approaches they may have used instinctively. It may also help them to communicate their expertise to their colleagues... This [report] is intended to foster thinking and discussion and to encourage knowledge-based teaching, research, and practice. It does not, and cannot, offer doctrine or prescriptions. It is a start, not an end.

The mission of the Intelligence Science Board is
to provide the Intelligence Community with outside expert advice and unconventional thinking, early notice of advances in science and technology, insight into new applications of existing technology, and special studies that require skills or organizational approaches not resident within the Intelligence Community.

Rex Brynen
08-27-2010, 03:06 PM
Thanks for posting that, Randy.

Tracker275
08-28-2010, 05:48 AM
I read a lot of parts of the paper to first identify what the difference is between "coercive", and "non-coercive" interrogation techiniques. However, so far...I haven't been able to find in the paper where they clearly define what either means within the context of the paper in clear definition.

It is important to note what they consider to be the definition of the two, and the differences. Since that seems to be one of the main themes of the document, it would be helpful to know what they consider each to be by their definition.

...Still looking for that.

jmm99
08-29-2010, 01:57 AM
in the 25 instances of "coerc" in the April 2009 Report linked in this thread, or in the 147 instances of "coerc" found in the "prequel" December 2006 Educing Information Report (http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf) (several threads have discussed it), a precise, overall definition of "coercive" interrogation techniques.

The 2006 report discusses various "coercive" methods; and so, provides a better feel for that term than the 2009 report.

That being said, the best definition (by examples) of "coercive" interrogation is found in the so-called KUBARK Interrogation Manual (http://www.parascope.com/articles/0397/kubark06.htm) (ToC snip):


IX. THE COERCIVE COUNTERINTELLIGENCE INTERROGATION OF RESISTANT SOURCES 82-104

A. Restrictions 82
B. The Theory of Coercion 82-85
C. Arrest 85-86
D. Detention 86-87
E. Deprivation of Sensory Stimuli 87-90
F. Threats and Fear 90-92
G. Debility 92-93
H. Pain 93-95
I. Heightened Suggestibility and Hypnosis 95-98
J. Narcosis 98-100
K. The Detection of Malingering 101-102
L. Conclusion 103-104

The 2009 report cites KUBARK nada; the 2006 report cites it 125 times and has a separate chapter devoted to it:


5. KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Review:
Observations of an Interrogator – Lessons Learned and Avenues for Further Research, Steven M. Kleinman, p. 95

I'm positing you are looking for a legal-neutral definition of "coercive" and "non-coercive" interrogation - if so, look to KUBARK (snip from ch IX):


L. Conclusion

A brief summary of the foregoing may help to pull the major concepts of coercive interrogation together:

1. The principal coercive techniques are arrest, detention, the deprivation of sensory stimuli, threats and fear, debility, pain, heightened suggestibility and hypnosis, and drugs.

2. If a coercive technique is to be used, or if two or more are to be employed jointly, they should be chosen for their effect upon the individual and carefully selected to match his personality.

3. The usual effect of coercion is regression. The interrogatee's mature defenses crumbles as he becomes more childlike. During the process of regression the subject may experience feelings of guilt, and it is usually useful to intensify these.

4. When regression has proceeded far enough so that the subject's desire to yield begins to overbalance his resistance, the interrogator should supply a face-saving rationalization. Like the coercive technique, the rationalization must be carefully chosen to fit the subject's personality.

5. The pressures of duress should be slackened or lifted after compliance has been obtained, so that the interrogatee's voluntary cooperation will not be impeded.

We could, of course, spend a lot of fruitless and useless bytes talking about the evidentiary admissibility of "coerced" statements, and various aspects of the exclusionary rule and the fruit of the poisoned tree rule. I don't feel like doing that right about now.

Regards

Mike

jmm99
08-29-2010, 04:50 AM
my position on "Intelligence Interviewing" is pretty much carved in stone by these posts on the second page of Interrogation in Afghanistan (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=7708&page=2):

Comments on methodology (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90806&postcount=30) (my major points)

Hi Ted (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90829&postcount=36) (requesting Jedburgh's opinion)

Ted's Response (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90915&postcount=38) - with a snip from his comments:


Mike, one comment you made about the article was that it illustrated that an interrogator could, ”…turn the 'interrogation' (perceptionally adversarial) into an 'interview' (perceptionally non-adversarial).” Your caveat about perception is astute – the interrogation remains adversarial in that we still need to extract information from the source that he is unwilling to share. However, developing rapport in such a way that it creates this type of source perception facilitates drawing out information from the source without his clear realization as to what he has just compromised.

One book that myself and others on this board have previously mentioned as regarded by military interrogators as “the” classic in the field is The Interrogator: The Story of Hanns Joachim Scharff: Master Interrogator of the Luftwaf (http://www.amazon.com/Interrogator-Joachim-Luftwaffe-Schiffer-Military/dp/0764302612)fe. Although he does relate some coercive psychological methods – such as faking the execution of a prison during an interrogation of another – the majority of the content provides an outstanding illustration of the manipulation of source perceptions from adversarial toward non-adversarial communication for effective elicitation of intelligence information.

Hi Ted (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=90944&postcount=39) (#2 - violent agreement :))

Excellent reference (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=92999&postcount=40) (my thanks for the reference to the Scharff book - Scharff, a South African German, was a really amazing guy).

So, BLUF (the "line up front" needed a brief intro): Jedburgh and I are kinda softies in this particular arena; i.e., we accept the "non-coercive" TT&Ps as a general rule.

Regards

Mike

SWJ Blog
02-01-2011, 02:20 AM
Motivational Interviewing (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2011/01/motivational-interviewing/)

Entry Excerpt:

Motivational Interviewing:
Improving Combat Advising to Strengthen Partnering with Afghan National Security Forces
by James Cowan, Nengyalai Amalyar and Mohammad Mustafa

Download The Full Article: Motivational Interviewing (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/663-cowan-etal.pdf)

Standing up a professional Afghan Na-tional Security Force (ANSF) is central to establishing a secure and more stable Afghan nation, and combat advising, as provided by US and coalition forces, is foundational to establishing a strong partnership with our ANSF brethren. Effective partnering, in turn, is critical to developing a capable and enduring ANSF. Given historical and evolving challenges and the contemporary importance of combat advising across US military operations, continuing efforts are necessary for further strengthening and preparing combat advisors to advise, coach, mentor, teach and partner with host nation security forces most recently in Afghanistan.



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2011/01/motivational-interviewing/) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

davidbfpo
06-25-2011, 03:49 PM
Been awhile since the thread has been updated, but when looking for something else I came across this paper 'National Security Interrogations: Myth and Reality' by Steven Kleinman:http://content.thirdway.org/publications/406/Third_Way_Report_-_National_Security_Interrogations_Myth_v._Reality. pdf

The Third Way labels itself as a 'moderate' "think tank" and appears to be Democratic Party dominated.

davidbfpo
06-30-2011, 10:21 AM
Ali Soufan reviews “The Interrogator: An Education,” a new book by CIA veteran and former detainee interrogator Glenn Carle.
It would be a struggle to find a CIA operative who endorses the use of enhanced-interrogation techniques. Carle’s experience and frustrations with the interrogation system bears out the fact that Anyone with actual interrogation experience knows that rapport-building techniques, which use knowledge to outwit detainees and gain cooperation, produce better intelligence than enhanced interrogation.

Link:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304070104576399891674711266.html?m od=googlenews_wsj

davidbfpo
07-06-2011, 03:17 PM
Six questions posed and in the last states - on general national policy, not the art of interrogation:
Frankly, I believe the main reason is that many people in the government have been sincere but deluded in their perceptions and actions in the “War on Terror.” I wrote my book because I was so distressed by so many aspects of the case: our erroneous and dangerous exaggeration of the terrorist threats facing us; what we have done to ourselves, our society, and our laws with our interrogation programs during the “War on Terror;” how our views about acceptable behavior have become coarser; our freedoms compromised unnecessarily; and how we unjustly kept a largely innocent man in prison for years, it seems, so as to bury in a dungeon the dark multiple, egregious errors.

Link:http://harpers.org/archive/2011/07/hbc-90008139

The second article is concerning with redactions made to the bbok at CIA insistence:http://www.harpers.org/archive/2011/07/hbc-90008135

davidbfpo
06-01-2013, 10:54 PM
A UK academic, a forensic psychologist, has written a short article, the full title being 'The psychology of interviewing suspects, from Woolwich to Boston'. It brings together a number of themes, with some links, so may help readers:http://theconversation.com/the-psychology-of-interviewing-suspects-from-woolwich-to-boston-14827

Given the practice in the UK of many terrorism suspects remaining silent throughout police custody it is a moot point whether better interviewing will help.

jmm99
06-02-2013, 06:47 AM
The basic dichotomy is between the Interview (get information) vs the Interrogation (get confession). The former more closely resembles direct witness examination; the latter more resembles cross examination.

Starting with the basics,

Interview Techniques (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt_rnt7wbbI) (~30 min.)


1997 Federal Law Enforcement Training Center gov.ntis.ava20440vnb1 VP-023-97 Federal Law Enforcement Training Center - This video depicts an effective law enforcement interview using the five general stages: Introduction, rapport, questioning, summary, and close.

Since the UK author mentions it, let's look at the Reid Technique (http://www.reid.com/) of interviewing and interrogation (Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reid_technique))

Here's a sampling of Reid's four major points (about an hour total)


Interview & Interrogation Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7apLah4bvE)

Interview & Interrogation Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpHT8Qx3flU)

Interview & Interrogation Part 3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iDMCaOrPBs)

Interview & Interrogation Part 4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03EfEtXJIIM&list=PLA6u5Fhz1AjMU6J48vo6e7Q-6ukcYUNPf&index=4)

My opinion is that the Reid methodology (as to verbal cues and body language) includes some witchcraft and alchemy; but that opinion may derive from having been a student of Yale Kamisar (http://www.law.umich.edu/historyandtraditions/faculty/Faculty_Lists/Alpha_Faculty/Documents/Yale_Kamisar/yale_kamisar_a_principled_man_for_all_seasons_by_k ahn.pdf), and not of Fred Inbau and John Reid.

Finally ...

Don't Talk to Police (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1p3K3sC1Ec) (~50 min.)


A law professor explains how talking with police can get you convicted of crimes you're completely innocent of. The professor gives a long-time police officer equal time to rebut. The officer not only agrees with the professor, but reveals a few "tricks of the trade" that officers use in interrogations to convict people whether they're guilty or not.

A fun video - the lawyer missed his career opportunity as an auctioneer. The cop steals the show. BTW: The cop is an "interviewer", not an "interrogator".

Regards

Mike

slapout9
06-03-2013, 08:13 PM
Reid has been around a good while but some newer stuff is starting to filter into Police World.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qnhph4d5frM

ganulv
12-06-2013, 04:35 PM
Douglas Starr (http://www.bu.edu/com/about-com/faculty/douglas-starr/), a faculty member in Boston University’s College of Communication, was interviewed on Fresh Air yesterday (http://www.npr.org/2013/12/05/248968150/beyond-good-cop-bad-cop-a-look-at-real-life-interrogations) in conjunction with his New Yorker (behind a pay-wall) article he wrote titled “The Interview (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/12/09/131209fa_fact_starr).” He was trained in both the Reid and PEACE techniques in the course of putting the piece together. Most surprising (and not in a good way) assertion he made in the course of the interview was that confession typically trumps physical evidence in the American justice system.

davidbfpo
12-06-2013, 06:41 PM
I note in The Fesh Air article linked that:
This was an early case in 1955. [Darrel Parker], a forester in Lincoln, Neb., came home to find his wife had been brutally raped and murdered, and John Reid himself was called in to do the interrogation......Finally, in the summer of 2012, the state publicly admitted [Reid's] mistake and formally exonerated [Parker], who was now in his 80s, and he said, "At least now I can die in peace."

I was trained in the PEACE model many years ago, as were and until a few years ago all operational police officers in my department. It is awhile since I used it in suspect interviews.

The PEACE model IMHO works best with witnesses. It is not really suitable for suspects, even more so when they have a legal adviser present. There is a general right of silence in the UK, although legally qualified. Policing here has steadily been working towards taking any comments in interviews are a bonus - which can in low impact crimes mean no prosecution.

ganulv
12-06-2013, 09:55 PM
Yeah, the part concerning Mr. Parker was… sad is not even close to the appropriate word.


I was trained in the PEACE model many years ago, as were and until a few years ago all operational police officers in my department. It is awhile since I used it in suspect interviews.

The PEACE model IMHO works best with witnesses. It is not really suitable for suspects, even more so when they have a legal adviser present.

Has there been a replacement with any particular standardized training regime and/or technique in general, and for suspects in particular?

A bit of a tangent, but some of the language in the interview (there was mention of the PEACE technique being used extensively in England and Wales) lead me to understand that policing policies are at least partly decided at the country level and not necessarily at the level of the UK as a whole. Is that indeed the case?

jmm99
12-06-2013, 10:05 PM
this:



... confession typically trumps physical evidence ....


Drizin & Leo, The Problem of False Confessions in the Post-DNA World (http://web.williams.edu/Psychology/Faculty/Kassin/files/drizenl.leo.04.pdf) (2004)(114 pp., examining 125 proven false confession cases):


This Article proceeds as follows:

Part I discusses, from a historical perspective, the study of wrongful convictions and the prominent role that false confessions have played in such studies. Part I also discusses the development of DNA testing and its role in renewing interest in the study of wrongful convictions.

Part II highlights the connection between police interrogation methods and false confessions, focusing principally on the social psychology of false confessions and research on the causes and consequences of false confessions.

Part III discusses the methodology used to compile and analyze the false confessions that make up this Article’s cohort, defines critical terms, and discusses the limitations of the data.

Part IV sets forth the quantitative findings gleaned from the cohort.

Part V takes a more qualitative approach to the data set, highlighting some of the common themes and trends that emerge from the cohort cases and describing illustrative cases in some detail.

Finally, Part VI concludes this Article with several policy recommendations suggested by the aforementioned findings, and highlights some recent positive developments which suggest that reforms designed to reduce the frequency of false confessions may stand a better chance of being implemented now than ever before.

Which is why no good lawyer will allow a client to be interviewed directly by police, whether that client is an accused, a focus person, a person of interest or a "mere" witness. Recall that Martha Stewart started off a potential witness in an investigation focused on someone else.

Regards

Mike

slapout9
12-06-2013, 10:17 PM
Yeah, the part concerning Mr. Parker was… sad is not even close to the appropriate word.



Has there been a replacement with any particular standardized training regime and/or technique in general, and for suspects in particular?

A bit of a tangent, but some of the language in the interview (there was mention of the PEACE technique being used extensively in England and Wales) lead me to understand that policing policies are at least partly decided at the country level and not necessarily at the level of the UK as a whole. Is that indeed the case?

Yes, this technique is replacing the REID technique.
http://www.w-z.com/

davidbfpo
12-06-2013, 11:48 PM
In part:
A bit of a tangent, but some of the language in the interview (there was mention of the PEACE technique being used extensively in England and Wales) lead me to understand that policing policies are at least partly decided at the country level and not necessarily at the level of the UK as a whole. Is that indeed the case?

I don't know if the PEACE model is used in Northern Ireland and Scotland, both have different legal systems.

The model was used in my former department, I expect it is wider use in England & Wales, although it will not be a national policing decision, more acceptance of its value by each department (43 in Eng & Wales).

Your first question was:
Has there been a replacement with any particular standardized training regime and/or technique in general, and for suspects in particular?

There are specialist courses for interviewing, mainly for 'serious crime'. That was not my forte, so I cannot add more.

Firn
12-08-2013, 06:13 PM
Thanks for ganulv and jmm99 for providing those links. Podcasts have the advantage that one can absorb the content whiled doing a workout, detailed papers enable one to dig deeper*.


... confession typically trumps physical evidence

This runs through both sources. There are certainly a couple of reasons for it, some already mentioned.

1) The wide-spread disbelief among agents (police, prosecutors, judges, jurors) that false confessions exist or do so at a considerable level is a big one. The amount of proven innocent in that sample that were actually convicted in a trial is amazingly high, which seems to indicate that jurors tend to grossly overweight confessions compared to physical evidence.

2) If a confession is obtained relatively early it seems that the effort to collect & evaluate solid physical evidence is greatly reduced. Limited ressources tend to get shifted to other cases. A plausible story gets constructed and conflicting evidence, if collected gets pushed away. The unique quality of DNA tests enables it collapse a plausible story built around a false confession.

3) The PEACE method seems to force the investigator to underweight the power of confessions. An interesting question to more knowledgable guys out there: Does the greater qualitiy and quantity of physical evidence (forensic science, information technology like cellphone location etc, etc...) make the PEACE approach more attractive and efficient relative to REID? If so in which cases?

*Many things in the paper were quite disgusting, sadly a considerable amount concerned processes of the justice system.

jmm99
12-08-2013, 10:12 PM
REID tends to rely a bit too much on "folk psychology"; PEACE may rely a bit too much on CSI - which is not always available.

What one calls it is not so important as one being fully committed to the idea that proper planning and preparation prevent pi$$ poor performance.

I don't know what Det. Flores would call his methodology followed in the Jody Arias interrogation. He certainly followed the 7 P's rule (adding patience and persistence). ;)


Jodi Arias Interrogation Tape. Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc96tHCPt4M)

Jodi Arias Interrogation Tape. Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23ZaW7yBCRg)

Jodi Arias Interrogation Tape. Part 3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja5YpSrysYM)

Jodi Arias Interrogation Tape. Part 4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs9GhzMsH7I)

(Youtube; each over 2 hrs - just short of 9 hrs total; and, yes, I recently watched it all, looking for holes in Flores' methodology).

Note that, after all that, Det. Flores did not get a "full confession". Here's what he did do:

1. He obtained numerous material admissions against interest.

2. He demolished her various fabrications of fact by using forensic evidence.

And, Flores came across to me as a soft-spoken, nice guy. In short, he employed devastating police techniques without walking on the edge of the cliff or inducing a false confession.

A good, shorter article (with more recent references into 2012) is KTC, “Only the Guilty Would Confess to Crimes”
: Understanding the Mystery of False Confessions (http://www.thejuryexpert.com/2012/11/only-the-guilty-would-confess-to-crimes%E2%80%A8-understanding-the-mystery-of-false-confessions/) (Nov 2012), with researcher/expert responses at the end of the article from Saul Kassin, Walter Katz, Karen Franklin, and Larry Barksdale.

Here are some snips from a mock jury panel:


“In any kind of interrogation, anybody with any common sense wouldn’t agree to confessing to a murder. I mean that is…that is absurd."—Mock juror

“Your parents do that to you growing up. I mean your brother is not going to tell on himself. I have never once said, ‘All right, I did it’, when I didn’t do it. Not once. I don’t care how much she told me that he has done told on me, I am in trouble, it would be easier if I would go ahead and admit it.”—Mock juror

“They never even gave him a psych evaluation. Like they just kept battering him in the interrogation room and just on and on and on. I mean anybody is going to be mentally broke down or emotionally broken down after so long.”—Mock juror

“The police probably put him between a rock and a hard place, like, ‘You are going to be convicted anyways. If you go to trial, even though you didn’t do it, you will be convicted. If you are convicted, you will get twenty years. If you tell us you did it, then we can get you eight years.’ So it is more like, ‘Well, I would rather leave for eight years than twenty’.”—Mock juror

“To actually admit to a murder, something had to occur during that interview for him to start following what they wanted him to say. I mean you know if you killed somebody or not, you don’t miss that. You know without a doubt. So what happened during those hours that made him finally say, ‘Okay, yes, I will say I did it’?”—Mock juror

“But the whole confession part just angers me, because obviously if he wouldn’t have confessed and had stood his ground, we probably wouldn’t be here. So I don’t think he was coerced in any, I mean obviously pressured, but forced to say he did it? No.”—Mock juror

“The police say, “We did nothing wrong.” A confession kind of steered them in a different direction, but obviously, there couldn’t have been any physical evidence to tie him to it. So I guess you would have to say, the prosecutors did a very good job and the defense attorneys did a poor job.”—Mock juror

“I think the other thing he has to be careful about too is there are so many precedents and if you start doing this, like you said, because you don’t want to give him too little, because then everybody is going to say, ‘Well, I will just wrongfully say I did this and then five or ten years down the road, I can get $20 million or $5 million’.” – Mock juror

Obviously, some differences of opinion exist.

Another very material point that has to be confronted is whether false confessions are a mountain or a molehill. Consider the millions of criminal cases brought in the US since 1971 (the starting year for the 2004 Drizin & Leo study), as compared to the proven false confession cases (in the hundreds). Of course, if one operates under the rule that it is better for 100 (or more) guilty to go free lest 1 innocent be convicted, then one possibly looks at it as a mountain-sized problem. I see it as a molehill-sized problem.

Finally, the reliability of such studies as Drizin & Leo's, as applied to any individual case without the expert relating those general studies to the facts of the particular case, can reasonably be questioned. E.g., in our own, Michigan v. Jerome Walter Kowalski (2012), Michigan Supreme Court, No. 141932 (http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov:81/opinions/final/sct/20120730_s141932_84_kowalski-op.pdf), excluding Dr. Leo's generalized testimony, but allowing more particular testimony by another expert:


We hold that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the expert testimony regarding the published literature on false confessions and police interrogations on the basis of its determination that the testimony was not reliable, even though the subject of the proposed testimony is beyond the common knowledge of the average juror.

We also hold, however, that the circuit court abused its discretion by excluding the proffered testimony regarding defendant’s psychological characteristics because it failed to consider this evidence separately from the properly excluded general expert testimony and therefore failed to properly apply both MRE 702 and MRE 403 to that evidence.

For example, even if the expert proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the 'gator followed Imbau-Reid to the letter, that doesn't prove that the particular confession (or admission) was false or coerced. Taking the Arias interrogation as an example, the expert would have to identify certain techniques by Flores which caused Arias to say certain things which she otherwise wouldn't have said - and for the defense attorney to introduce other evidence that what she said then was untrue.

In short, the defense attorney is faced with the difficult task of convincing the jury that she lied then (albeit because of the devil cop), but she is telling the truth now.

Regards

Mike

PS: Giving the last word to John E. Reid & Associates, Inc (its legal note on the Kowalski case (http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs143/1103692007040/archive/1111480770804.html)):


Recognized As The World Leader In Interview And Interrogation Training. If it doesn't say "The Reid Technique" it's not John E. Reid & Associates, Inc. Celebrating 65 Years of Excellence in Service.

since neither Slap nor I said much about REID in this thread.

davidbfpo
12-08-2013, 10:56 PM
Firn in part asked:
The PEACE method seems to force the investigator to underweigh the power of confessions. An interesting question to more knowledgable guys out there: Does the greater quality and quantity of physical evidence (forensic science, information technology like cellphone location etc, etc...) make the PEACE approach more attractive and efficient relative to REID? If so in which cases?

It might help if you peruse this rather clear explanation of the policy and procedure:http://www.sussex.police.uk/policing-in-sussex/transparency/policies-and-procedures/force-policies/investigative-interviewing-policy

The whole premise of the PEACE method for interviewing suspects is that they will give an account and if they do the account can be tested by referring to the evidence gathered.

slapout9
12-09-2013, 08:09 PM
those interested should look to this SWC thread, One stop interrogation resource (One stop interrogation resource.).

Regards

Mike

Yes, I thought we had covered this ground before. Also a general comment based on my experience. Any technique REID,W/Z,etc. is usually used as a structured way to teach new investigators how to do it, it is a track to run on for learning purposes. After that if the investigator is any good he will begin to alter and adjust the technique based upon his experience, evidence or lack of and his/her success with it's usage. No method is 100% effective or accurate all the time because you are dealing with Human Beings and they can be a bit tricky at times.

Firn
12-09-2013, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, jmm99 could you perhaps check your forum link? It didn't work for me and I couldn't find something similar in the title in the search function. Maybe thats just me. I will read the material about PEACE later.

In any case I wrote that I thought that the increasing quality and quantity of physical evidence should enable the judicial system to rely less on the power of confessions. The paper starts with a look back to a time when torture was in some cases the norm to solve crimes for which sometimes obviously no physical evidence existed. Especially in those infamous witch trials when somebody accused a 'witch' to have curse a cow. The confession dominanted everything and to get it many cruel methods were employed.

To get to the present day I listened roughly 35 minutes from part 4 and 10 min of part 1, it is certainly surprising to find something like that on youtube. I first had to google the case to get an idea of the evidence which was extracted. The interviewer informs the suspect that they got a great deal of detailed evidence and does conduct a pretty open, yet patient and persistent interview. As jmm99 put it:


1. He obtained numerous material admissions against interest.

2. He demolished her various fabrications of fact by using forensic evidence.

Now my point was that the advances in forensic science & others enabled the interviewer to do the 7p and perform step 1 and 2 with such force. It should be quite a bit easier to handle such interviews well when you get dealt such good cards. Still from my non-existent experience he did a fine job.

BTW: It is quite amazing how the suspect changes stories even in those 35 minutes at the start of part 4, even if we consider how difficult it must be to explain those crushing facts away. I was first surprised that wiki has nothing on cell phone data but her phone was according to her 'discharged' and the rest of the facts solved the time & location issue very precisely. I guess I will switch back to nature and science podcasts for my Tabatas. ;)

davidbfpo
12-09-2013, 10:12 PM
There is a new thread 'Douglas Starr on Reid and PEACE techniques', which started in December 2013, although it's focus is LE interview techniques, it sits better merged here. So in a moment this post will be preceded by a number of posts. I have also moved this thread to the LE forum, from RFI.

Firn
01-31-2014, 10:41 PM
To be honest I was never much interested into the show the press made of the tragic murder of Meredith Kercher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Meredith_Kercher). It even escaped me that a third person has been convicted her murder and only knew the name of the 'sexy' American suspect.

This post is certainly not about guilt or innocence, however it is interesting to notice that quite objectively many factors of this case and its interrogations share traits with mentioned study cases in which false confessions were obtained. Her youth, the lack of a lawyer, the repeated questioning, the status as 'witness', the (quick) denial of the confession and the position as foreigner with a lack of support and language skills are all tendencies pointing in the same direction. Even if we discount the use of mild physical violence, which is not unheard of in Italy, and the likely use of lies a false confessions seems to be a strong possibility. There is of course only quite flimsy physical evidence supporting the prosecution and the words of man which with practically no doubt committed the murder and which sentence got almost halved after the first conviction of the pair as murderers.

Like in many questionable American case the interrogations were not captured by video or recorder and the forensics were handled quite shoddily.

I might add that in Italy the public opinion has bee rather split, at least to the votes for comments on the website of the Corriere. Lots of emotions and plenty of people who think that the Italian justice system has made itself a fool in the eyes of the world. As I wrote before I have no idea what happened but it was worth to quickly look at the case with some science in mind.

Jedburgh
02-03-2014, 11:34 PM
Intelligence Interviewing: From Science to Practice (http://clhb.utep.edu/2014HIGSymposium.html)

The 2014 HIG Research Symposium will be held at the National Academies of Sciences Building located at 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

Please register for the conference by February 28, 2014

Our 2014 symposium will highlight new research findings aimed at supporting experts working in the Intelligence community, and will enable policy-makers and Intelligence professionals to network with our team of world-leading social scientists.

The symposium – which is being coordinated by the Center for Law & Human Behavior (http://clhb.utep.edu/interview.html) at the University of Texas at El Paso – will provide important opportunities to discuss the challenges currently faced by intelligence interviewers and the ways in which ground-breaking research can impact the effectiveness of interview and interrogation methods.
I'll be in attendance and in town for a couple of days - look forward to seeing anyone else who will be in the area.

davidbfpo
02-19-2015, 01:37 PM
Moderator's Note

Five threads have been merged here, some are quite old. The title is unchanged. There are a number of threads on the related debate on the use of torture (un-merged as yet).

Prompted by reading an article that will become a new thread later today and one day likely to be merged here (Ends).

davidbfpo
02-19-2015, 02:01 PM
Interrogation,, whether of suspects or witnesses, is a fascinating subject and this article is a good summary of where research is today:http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-dark-science-of-interrogation/

Cut & paste didn't work, so have a peek!

I was somewhat puzzled that the Cognitive Method was only just being adopted by some LE agencies, it has been around here for at least thirty years.

There is a main thread for the subject.

davidbfpo
02-12-2016, 09:50 PM
Within a legal setting this article are several passages and links on interrogation - notably HIG's work:
There is also a 46-page HIG booklet (http://online.fliphtml5.com/xaga/cwpt/#p=2) that offers an accessible view into the various controlled investigations completed, underway, and on the horizon. In general, the results (unsurprisingly) indicate that rapport-building approaches draw out more credible information than control-based (or coercive) methods.

Link to article:https://www.justsecurity.org/29273/anti-torture-law-genuine-step/

Link to HIG booklet:http://online.fliphtml5.com/xaga/cwpt/#p=45

SWJ Blog
03-28-2016, 04:41 PM
Brussels Attacks Were A Terrorist Interrogation Failure (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/brussels-attacks-were-a-terrorist-interrogation-failure)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/brussels-attacks-were-a-terrorist-interrogation-failure) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

SWJ Blog
08-08-2016, 03:03 PM
Notes on Tactical Use of Qualitative Interviewing (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/notes-on-tactical-use-of-qualitative-interviewing-1)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/notes-on-tactical-use-of-qualitative-interviewing-1) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

davidbfpo
08-12-2016, 08:35 AM
A new online magazine from CREST, a UK academic body on security, has several short articles on Information Elicitation. Including one on the Luftwaffe ace interrogator Hans Scharff (who appears on a few threads here).

Link:https://crestresearch.ac.uk/resources/csr-issue-1-flipbook/

The Scharff article is by a Swedish PhD student, his thesis was 'Eliciting human intelligence: A conceptualization and empirical testing of the Scharff technique' and is available - free - on:https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/41567

davidbfpo
10-13-2017, 09:18 PM
A 'Long Read' article in The Guardian, rated by Professor John Horgan as 'a must read' and sub-titled:
Expert interrogators know torture doesn’t work – but until now, nobody could prove it. By analysing hundreds of top-secret interviews with terror suspects, two British scientists have revolutionised the art of extracting the truth.A succinct explanation:
The Alisons, husband and wife, have done something no scholars of interrogation have been able to do before. Working in close cooperation with the police, who allowed them access to more than 1,000 hours of tapes, they have observed and analysed hundreds of real-world interviews with terrorists suspected of serious crimes. No researcher in the world has ever laid hands on such a haul of data before. Based on this research, they have constructed the world’s first empirically grounded and comprehensive model of interrogation tactics.Link:https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/oct/13/the-scientists-persuading-terrorists-to-spill-their-secrets?

There are two related threads:One stop interrogation & interviewing resource (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/One stop interrogation & interviewing resource) (which is open, with 98 posts and 87k views) and an older, closed thread (with 162 posts and 168k views):The US & Interrogation (catch all) (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/The US & Interrogation (catch all))

Earlier this week 'The Guardian' has a longer, grim article 'Inside the CIA's black site torture site', which was in Afghanistan. It is based on:
274 documents the CIA and Pentagon were forced to declassify and release during pre-trial discovery. These documents, many of them scheduled to be entered as exhibits at trial, provide the fullest picture yet of what the three men suffered in that secret CIA dungeon – and of how fatefully their lives intersected with the rise and fall of James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the men who designed the torture regime.Link:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/oct/09/cia-torture-black-site-enhanced-interrogation

davidbfpo
03-10-2018, 09:39 PM
Via a pointer in an academic journal the link is to a 2hr 39m video recorded interview in 2010 conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) of a Canadian Air Force Colonel Russell Williams, a suspected serial killer and rapist. The video intro starts with:
Here is a masterful deconstruction: A confident and cocky military man strode into the interview room and a broken and degenerate killer and sexual sadist shuffled out, after being prompted to confess his shocking crimes, as I wrote about it when I covered the case in 2010.
Link to video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsLbDzkIy3A and background:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Williams_(criminal)

davidbfpo
05-10-2018, 06:50 AM
A much delayed update after Post 92 and somehow the publication in 2016 was missed.

The catalyst being a Twitter exchange on a certain nominee's appearance before Congress. Overwhelmed and confused by all this talk about torture and so-called “Enhanced Interrogation”? Try this resource:
HIG Interrogation Best Practices Report: This report was prepared by the FBI-administered High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group and summarizes best practices for interrogation that do not involve the use of force.

Link:https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/hig-report-august-2016.pdf/view

davidbfpo
06-14-2019, 08:24 PM
Listened today at a local crime conference to Christian Meissner, a Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University and this is a pointer to his work @ Iowa State:https://appcoglab.psych.iastate.edu/

He has two experienced colleagues; one ex-US Army SOF and from his bio:
Mr. Phillips serves as a member of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group Research Committee, and he works with the Applied Cognition Laboratory to validate and translate scientific research into meaningful best practices for current and next-generation practitioners.

The other is ex-USAF:
...one of the most prolific interrogators during the first Gulf War.....founding member and Chair of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group Research Committee....

A book list:https://appcoglab.psych.iastate.edu/research-topics/interview-interrogation/