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 Definition A systematic process of direct questioning, of a person in detention or otherwise under the control of the interrogator, to obtain reliable information to satisfy criminal investigation or human-source intelligence requirements, within the scope of relevant law and policy [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Law, Psychology and Military [Editors asked to check categories]
 Subgroup categories:  Intelligence, Law enforcement and Human-source intelligence
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

An interesting article that relates to this has an FBI agent saying "enhanced interrogation techniques" are not effective. I'm not sure quite how or where this fits in, but it seemed worth leaving the pointer here. Sandy Harris 10:11, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

There's discussion of FBI perspectives in the current Intelligence interrogation, U.S. and intelligence interrogation, U.S., George W. Bush Administration. I'll check the link, though, and see if it is relevant to this higher-level article or belongs with the lower ones. It's not always clear where something goes, as, for example, a just-released supplemental memo from the people that develop SERE training telling the General Counsel of the Defense Department that it isn't intended for interrogation, but for increasing resistance to interrogation.
I did put it into the Bush article. Thanks for looking at this one; I do appreciate any feedback on the series. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:22, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

People being interrogated section

Howard, the second paragraph of this section starts with the Reid Technique, then goes to a list that seems to have a heading not related and then ends with a mention of the Reid Technique again. Is the Pre-confession heading the same thing as the pre-interrogation stage in the first sentence, or is it another name for all three (pre-interrogation, interrogation, and post-confession)? See below:

Often used in law enforcement is a nine-step method known as the Reid technique,[1] which involves pre-interrogation, interrogation, and post-confession steps:[2]

  • Pre-confession: develop facts, including information from other sources. Gain knowledge of the subject and his emotions, ability to deceive, and an "emotional baseline". Attempt to establish rapport.
  1. Direct, positive confrontation
  2. Theme development: reinforce suspect's own rationalizations...allow confession to be face-saving...increase sense of futility
  3. Handle denials
  4. Overcome objection
  5. Procure and retain Suspect's attention
  6. Handle the Suspect's Passive Mood
  7. Present the Alternative Question
  8. Have Suspect Orally Relate Details of Offense
  9. Convert Oral to Written Confession

The Reid technique is filled with detail, as well as warnings about how a given technique could produce a false confession.

Also: I see that you've left the list in title format (with caps). Some seem to have more caps than others... was this by choice, or can we make them all consistant?

The Kubark source

The KUBARK source from the coercive section has some interesting information. As it stands, I don't have a good feel for the differences between non-coercive and coercive interrogation. I notice that the coercive does seem to use things like temperature, sleep deprivation, and other non-force techniques, but I can't tell if they are legal or not. The disclaimer at the top of the KUBARK source says that coercive techniques can't be used using an individual's decision, but does that mean that they *are* still used... or when do they start being torture. I probably will learn more as I read the other articles, but I'm giving some feedback as a reader might see it. D. Matt Innis 02:03, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Haha, I started over again and I saw in the introduction the very same sentence: "The line between coercive and non-coercive interrogation is blurry. Hehe, I guess there is a reason I was left without a good idea of the difference! Also, is there a hyphen in non-coercive? I see it both ways in the article; we probably should pick one and do it. D. Matt Innis 02:08, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
In Randall Garrett's excellent Lord Darcy series, about an alternate universe where magic is as formalized as technology -- the title character is a criminal investigator accompanied by a forensic sorcerer -- "black magic is a matter of symbolism and intent." The difference is more up to the interrogator than the method itself; non-coercive methods are intended to get to a level of voluntary cooperation.
Long ago, I was a volunteer for some psychological testing of sensory deprivation tanks, in which I meditated, and went to sleep. Very restful. Others were screaming to get out after 10 minutes.
In the KUBARK case, the idea was that an interrogator had to get higher-level approval before going coercive. Current U.S. military doctrine requires a written and approved interrogation plan for any strategic-level interrogation. Some of the more extreme techniques, during the Bush Administration, variously needed case-by-case approval from a three- or four-star general, or Rumsfeld himself. These are detailed in intelligence interrogation, U.S., George W. Bush Administration/Catalog.
I try to use the hyphen. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:21, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I keep coming back to this

This sentence in the coercive section:

  • While well-conducted non-coercive interrogation makes use of rapport, it also exploits the inner conflicts of the subject. Non-coercive interrogation brings additional outside, unwelcome forces into the interaction. Coercive interrogation attacks the subjects defenses, which may be ....

Did you mean non-coercive (bold) in that instance? It seems like it should be coercive? D. Matt Innis 02:41, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Exactly the sort of thing for which I need other eyes. Thanks. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:46, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
My pleasure! I read that one several times before I decided it just had to be a mistype. You can see by my questions earlier that I was having trouble discerning the two. Once I went through it all again, I realized that it had to be coercive!
Most of the article is packed full of infromation and I can see that you choose your words very carefully to say what you need to say succinctly and accurately. If I had any suggestions to improve, it would not be based on accuracy. There are some places that it seems to talk to those with prior knowledge of military or civilian practice. I'll go through it again tomorrow and see if I can identify some of those spots for you. Otherwise, I'm becoming an expert on interrogation! (or is that mind control?) :D D. Matt Innis 03:14, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if you saw it before, but there is thought reform.
Does this seem to be carrying out the goal of a nearly top level (for the tippy-top, see eduction article? This is intended to help people define the issues before leaping into Guantanamo and the like. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:01, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  1. Inbau FE et al. (2001) Criminal Interrogations and confessions, 4th Edition, Aspen. Quoted by Davis and O'Donohue, p. 988
  2. Davis D,O'Donohue W (2003), Chapter 36: The Road to Perdition: Extreme Influence Techniques in the Interrogation Room, in O'Donohue W, Levensky W, Handbook of Forensic Psychology: Resource for Mental Health and Legal Professionals, Elsievier Academic Press, ISBN 0125241968, pp. 904-912