The Best Interrogation Technique is to Listen


Over the course of the last decade interrogation techniques involved violence, yelling, and trying to “outsmart” the person being interviewed. Sadly that’s how interrogations were shown in entertainment and in reality at places like Guantanamo (which is still running).

This bizarre approach to information gathering bothered psychologists Emily and Laurence Alison so they set out to review what interrogation techniques actually work. The answer: don’t assault the person you’re hoping will give you information, instead treat them as a person and they will tell you all they know. This adds to the already established thinking that coercive interrogation techniques don’t work.

The Alisons’ analysis of the terrorist tapes confirmed this. One of their most striking findings is that suspects are likelier to talk when the interviewer emphasises their right not to. “The more pressure you put on a person, the less likely they are to speak to you. You need to make them feel responsible for their choices,” said Laurence. “You can’t bullshit, you’ve got to mean it.” He slips into character. “Ian, you don’t have to speak to me today. Whether you do or not isn’t up to me. It isn’t up to your solicitor. It’s up to you.

“These are powerful tools to get inside someone’s head,” said Laurence. “But they’re not tricks. You have to be genuinely curious. There’s a reason this person has ended up opposite you, and it’s not just because they’re evil. If you’re not interested in what that is, you’re not going to be a good interrogator.”

Read more.

Obama Suspends Guantanamo Injustices

Obama’s first day in office showed that he is willing to make change and not just talk about it. He has asked a judge to suspend trails at Guantanamo Bay (which has a reputation of human-rights violations) until a new strategy can be found with what to do with the inmates currently at the naval base.

“I am delighted that one of the first acts of President Obama has been to turn the page on this sad episode of Guantanamo prison,” Barrot said in a statement.
He also stressed that the fight against terrorism,” must be a main priority for the United States and Europe… but always with total respect for human rights.”
Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos noted that closing Guantanamo was a move “which Spain and Europe have demanded on numerous occasions.”

The Swiss may be willing to take the inmates.

Gitmo Gives in to Geneva

There are some news items that I debate about posting, this is one of them. The good news is that Washington has finally said they are going to treat the detainees at Guantánamo Bay as humans and treat them in accordance of the Geneva Convention.

The reason I’m hesitant posting that this is good news is because people should never have been treated like this in the first place. For a developed nation that purports to spread freedom to treat people this way is just wrong. Overall though it is good that they will now treat detainees well.

“The US today reversed policy when it said all detainees at Guantánamo Bay and all other prisoners in US military custody were entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions.
The Bush administration had previously claimed terrorism suspects were “non-combatants” because they were fighting for a sect or faction and not a state and were therefore not subject to the Geneva conventions.”

Of course, this has something to with Gitmo a No-Go With Supreme Court-o

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