Emotional Hate interrogation techniques

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Emotional Hate interrogation techniques are a method to induce a prisoner to cooperate with interrogators, by such means as presenting evidence that he was abandoned by his own side, or convincing him, by other argument, that he should hate his former comrades. If the prisoner does believe this, it is logical for him to cooperate, especially if he is offered a means of revenge. [1] In the guidance for interrogation at Guantanamo detention camp, it was described as playing on the hate of the subject for an individual or group. [2]

A variant would involve convincing, or reinforcing, the prisoner that his comrades will hate or reject him. This was almost a given in Second World War interrogation of Japanese military prisoners, whose cultural conditioning was that death was preferable to captivity, and who had a moral obligation to commit suicide rather than surrender or be captured. A captured pilot was described as "...pleasantly resigned to going to the States and working there even as a prisoner for the rest of his life."[3]

In the example of the Japanese prisoner, this technique combined with incentive interrogation techniques, by giving the subject the incentive of a new society that would accept him. Had no support incentive been used, the technique can become a futility interrogation technique. In the latter, rather than hate giving the prisoner strength for retribution, it can turn into dependency on the interrogator. Hate, with no direction, can turn inwards, producing depression and other pathology.


  1. Chris Mackey & Greg Miller (2004), The Interrogators: inside the secret war against al Qaeda, Little, Brown & Co., ISBN 0-316-87112-5, pp. 480, 483
  2. Jerald Phifer (October 11, 2002), Memorandum for Commander, Joint Task Force 170: Request for Counter-Resistance Strategies, Joint Task Force 170, Department of Defense
  3. Stanley A. Frankel, Chapter 7: Japanese Prisoners, Docile and Cooperative, Frankel-y Speaking about World War II in the South Pacific