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Interview and Interrogation: A Perspective and Update From the USA (From International Developments in Investigative Interviewing, P 111-125, 2009, Tom Williamson, Becky Milne, and Stephen P. Savage, eds. - See NCJ-228326)

NCJ Number
Randy Borum; Michael G. Gelles; Steven M. Kleinman
Date Published
15 pages
This chapter reviews a few recent developments in U.S. law and policy regarding security-related interviews of suspects and proposes a direction for the future of interrogation, particularly in intelligence-gathering contexts.
Policy debates on human intelligence-gathering interrogations have focused on what rules should bind U.S. operations in such activities; how the language of those rules should be interpreted (e.g., how functionally to define what constitutes "torture"); to whom the rules should apply (e.g., prisoners of war versus unlawful enemy combatants); and in what settings or venues they might apply (e.g., within or outside the United States). The chapter advises that resolving a practical or policy-oriented debate over what techniques and approaches can permissibly be used in interrogation is only a first step in determining what approaches should be used. The effectiveness of those approaches for acquiring reliable, actionable intelligence is critical. In the interest of national security, the future of U.S. interrogation and human intelligence-collection methods arguably should be guided, at least in part, by an appraisal of effectiveness that can be integrated within the boundaries set by law, ethics, and policy. A key objective in developing any future approach to interrogation is to provide practitioners with a useful skill-set for discerning useful information within an inherently ambiguous strategic environment. For high-value detainees, this future effort is likely to require an adaptable strategic framework, not just the application of certain techniques. This chapter envisions a new era in U.S. intelligence interrogation in accordance with a study by the U.S. Intelligence Science Board (ISB). In its study, the ISB framed interrogation as a process of "educing information" (EI). The chapter concludes with an overview of ISB proposals for EI, including a team approach to human intelligence collection. 28 references