Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Experts Criticize Intelligence Interrogations

A panel of experts issued a report saying that the government's intelligence agencies do not yet have a good approach to interrogation. They contrast the intelligence interrogations during World War II, when the interrogators were fluent in the subject's language, knowledgeable about culture, and thoroughly prepared. Interrogation Methods Are Criticized, New York Times, May 30, 2007.

That's interesting and important as a news item. But the report can also be useful for trial advocacy:

The Intelligence Science Board study has a chapter on the long history of police interrogations, which it suggests may contain lessons on eliciting accurate confessions. And Mr. Borum, the psychologist, said modern marketing may be a source of relevant insights into how to influence a prisoner’s willingness to provide information.

“We have a whole social science literature on persuasion,” Mr. Borum said. “It’s mostly on how to get a person to buy a certain brand of toothpaste. But it certainly could be useful in improving interrogation.”
The 372-page report is:
Intelligence Science Board, Educing Information -- Interrogation: Science and Art -- Foundations for the Future (National Defense Intelligence College, Dec. 2006.
Chapters that look good for the domestic context:
    2. Approaching Truth: Behavioral Science Lessons on Educing Information from Human Sources, Randy Borum, p. 17

    3. Research on Detection of Deception: What We Know vs. What We Think We Know, Gary Hazlett, p. 45

    4. Mechanical Detection of Deception: A Short Review, by Kristin E. Heckman and Mark D. Happel, p. 63

    6. Custodial Interrogations: What We Know, What We Do, and What We Can Learn from Law Enforcement Experiences, by Ariel Neuman and Daniel Salinas-Serrano, p. 141

    8. Negotiation Theory and Practice: Exploring Ideas to Aid Information Eduction, by Daniel L. Shapiro, p. 267

    9. Negotiation Theory and Educing Information: Practical Concepts and Tools, by M. P. Rowe, p. 285

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