Rapid Fire interrogation techniques

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For more information, see: Interrogation.

Rapid Fire interrogation techniques are based on the assumption that "everyone likes to be heard when he speaks, and it is confusing to be interrupted in midsentence with an unrelated question." If interrogator(s) ask new questions before the prisoner has time to give his full answer, true or not, the target of the interrogation often will contradict himself. When the interrogator challenges the contradictions, the source "may begin to talk freely in an attempt to explain himself and deny the inconsistencies pointed out by the interrogator. In attempting to explain his answers, the source is likely to reveal more than he intends, thus creating additional leads for further interrogation." "[1]

According to Mackey, these techniques are more theoretical than practical, as they take enormous effort both to assemble enough questions and to have the stamina to ask them rapidly. [2] Multiple interrogator techniques can help with the workload, but there is no avoiding a substantial preparation effort.

The Guantanamo guidance mentions it only briefly, as a technique for which guidance exists.[3]


  1. , Appendix H: Approaches, Field Manual (FM) 34-52: Intelligence Interrogation, U.S. Army, 8 May 1987
  2. Chris Mackey & Greg Miller (2004), The Interrogators: inside the secret war against al Qaeda, Little, Brown & Co., ISBN 0-316-87112-5, p. 481
  3. Jerald Phifer (October 11, 2002), Memorandum for Commander, Joint Task Force 170: Request for Counter-Resistance Strategies, Joint Task Force 170, Department of Defense