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FBI Wants To "Advance the Science of Interrogation"

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the tell-me-everything dept.

Government 252

coondoggie writes "From deep in the Department of Creepy today I give this item: The FBI this week put out a call for new research 'to advance the science and practice of intelligence interviewing and interrogation.' The part of the FBI that is requesting the new research isn't out in the public light very often: the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which according to the FBI was chartered in 2009 by the National Security Council and includes members of the CIA and Department of Defense, to 'deploy the nation's best available interrogation resources against detainees identified as having information regarding terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.'"

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Christ... (-1, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668623)

I wish to make it absolutely clear that the reason this is *not* the "First Post" has nothing to do with Lesbian Amazons. Nothing, so please get your mind out of the gutter.

Re:Christ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668679)

Did you know?

Fat people are unhealthy (duh). In fact they are so unhealthy that on average, fatties will miss 20 days more work per year than healthy workers due to sick days. On average this translates to about $6,300 per year in lost productivity, of course this cost is in addition to the wage/salary you pay them.

Right now if you are an employer looking to hire workers, you are in luck because it is a buyer's market. Do yourself a favor. Don't hire fatties. I am not a lawyer and this is absolutely NOT legal advice, but anyway, as long as you don't tell the fat slob that you refused to hire them because of their inability to put the fork down, you probably won't have to worry about some bed-wetter crying about discrimination.

After all, said bed-wetter who wants you to hire fatties in the name of "fairness" isn't prepared to pay you the $6,300 per year per fat worker to cover your losses, consistent with the fine liberal tradition of being very generous with other peoples' money. Nor is said bed-wetter going to donate 20 days per year of their own time to cover your losses. So fuck them, why should they have a say in the matter? Let them invest their own money in what they believe. What a concept!

Re:Christ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668779)

I disagree i am overweight and with my job i cant take sick days seeing as im one of 3 people in the country who do my job and 1 of the other 2 people is a new hire. I have to work through my sickness. Like right now i have the flu and i go into work everyday I'm scheduled to be at a job site. If i didnt the work wouldnt get done.

Re:Christ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668917)

I disagree i am overweight and with my job i cant take sick days seeing as im one of 3 people in the country who do my job and 1 of the other 2 people is a new hire. I have to work through my sickness. Like right now i have the flu and i go into work everyday I'm scheduled to be at a job site. If i didnt the work wouldnt get done.

Look, I know that fatties are gluttonous and self-absorbed. That is why they eat too much.

But do you really, truly, in your heart of hearts, not understand the word AVERAGE?! You realize a statement about average fat people can be true without applying to you personally? Does being fat prevent you from thinking of that? Are you really so goddamned self-centered that you must interpret every general statement about large numbers of people as a personal statement about you and you alone? Does eating more calories than you burn mean you REALLY need me to point that out?

For fuck's sake. If your comprehension of diet plans is anything like your reading comprehension then I think your problem has been identified.

Re:Christ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669385)

The problem here is that other people -don't-. Even if the original post were correct (which it isn't), then overweight people who defied the trend of taking many sick days would be unfaily discriminated because of people who took many. Why should they suffer because of outward appearances that do not limit their ability to do the job? That's the problem with obesity; for a lot of people it's an appearance problem and doesn't actually effect their health at all. I've worked with many overweight folks who have been amongst the most productive people on their teams.

Discriminating on size makes as much sense as discriminating on skin colour; maybe you can make generalisations, maybe you can't. In my own anecdotal experience, the only trend I've seen is that they tend to work harder than most - maybe they feel they need to defy some phoney stigma? Maybe it makes them burn out? I haven't seen the studies to back up the claim that overweight people are sick more than average due to obesity-related problems - I challange the OP to produce them.

This is one area we've regressed. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668635)

They had it pretty much perfected during the Inquisition. We've slid backwards since then.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668665)

Torture is a well known technique, shown to be effective many times in history. They're trying to find other ways to interrogate people.

Quite the opposite. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668725)

Torture is a well known technique, shown to be effective many times in history.

Yes, I'm sure that those people tortured back then really did practice black magic with the Devil.

Or maybe torture just gets confessions whether they're factual or not.

Re:Quite the opposite. (3, Interesting)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668927)

Torture, by itself, only makes the victims say whatever they think the torturer wants them to say.

However, if the interrogator already has some information, s/he can teach the victim that lying causes pain in a way that saying the truth doesn't. If victims don't know the exact extent of the interrogator's knowledge, they'll be afraid to lie.

Re:Quite the opposite. (4, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669199)

Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com] .

Re:Quite the opposite. (2)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669223)

Torture, by itself, only makes the victims say whatever they think the torturer wants them to say.

However, if the interrogator already has some information, s/he can teach the victim that lying causes pain in a way that saying the truth doesn't. If victims don't know the exact extent of the interrogator's knowledge, they'll be afraid to lie.

It's also a possibility that the torturer can punish the victim until the victim follows the script of saying and doing what they ask. This might not work in all cases but it can work in some cases. The victim is just going to want to go home and survive the situation while the torturer wants control over the victim.

If it's just about information then there is no need for an elaborate overt FBI interrogation process. There is no need for intimidation, men in suits with badges, and threats. Simply wiretap and surveillance and you can get all the information you need. Simple have the subjects friends question the subject and collect information that way.

There is no need to interrogate in most cases. Can you give me a case where an interrogation would be required?

Re:Quite the opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669391)

I've seen 24. I can think of plenty of cases.

Re:Quite the opposite. (3, Insightful)

Tore S B (711705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669435)

There is also the not-insignificant dimension of what torture does to the moral standing of those who apply it.

If you care about moral standing and freedom and that kind of stuff that was supposed to make it a Good Thing that the US won the cold war, that should be quite significant.

As a Norwegian politically active youth - center-left - I sometimes find myself missing the Soviet Union. Do you have any idea how angry that makes me?

Re:Quite the opposite. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669119)

Whenever I think of torture, I remember that Mordor is in Pakistan [youtube.com] .

Re:Quite the opposite. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669407)

torture just gets confessions whether they're factual or not.

Which is the whole point. Nobody cares about the facts except historians. If we can torture enough people so that we can claim with a straight face to have prevented 14,000 suitcase nukes from going off in Toys "R" Us stores across the country, and get it repeated by the credulous press through the election cycle, who the hell cares if it's true? It wins elections, makes money, and makes inconvenient brown people with weird religious beliefs disappear.

Torture is extremely effective at its purpose. Its purpose is to elicit false confessions. This is not a flaw, this is by design.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668731)

For me, torture is questionable simply on 5th amendment grounds, let alone humanitarian complications.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668905)

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I think the fifth amendment applies to criminal cases, not to military intelligence gathering.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669007)

My point still stands...if you are interrogated for information that, if revealed, would tend to incriminate you, the 5th amendment applies.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669071)

Only if admissible in court. When the interrogation is for a military objective (for example, Osama bin Laden's location), I don't think anybody is overly concerned about eventual trial. It is more important to win the war.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669089)

Which is why they grant immunity.

And please, "winning the war" being used as an excuse to undermine one's civil rights is complete bullshit. Particularly in a war of aggression that we started in the first place.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (5, Insightful)

bsane (148894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668753)

Torture is a good way to get people to say what you want them to say. The FBI should be good at finding out what they know- hopefully this is a step towards that. From all accounts they were very good at it pre-war on terror, and they didn't need to resort to water boarding.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668937)

Exactly. Research has shown that people under torture become prone to fantasy, and are no longer able to distinguish between memory and imagination.

Interrogation is a form of control (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668985)

And that is one of the problems with it. If you ask any question in the right way you can get any answer.

So basically it's about the method of interrogation that determines the result. So if they want someone to admit to being a terrorist they could get 99% of people to admit that if they used the right interrogation methods. This is the problem with "enhanced" interrogation. It's asking someone a question while in the backround applying coercion tactics so they answer it the way you want them to.

So the question stands why do we need to have this capability in the first place? Who exactly is it for? Every human is going to break under interrogation, and that break will be psychological, physical, or both, so whats the point?

If the goal is just to break people then why help them advance the science of destroying people?

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668935)

Torture is a well known technique, shown to be effective many times in history.

Effective, but not for getting information on which to act. It's very effective for scaring the hell out of the tortured and creating at least one more generation of enemies.

People don't forget when you torture their family members. And you know what? I think I would rather have a religious fanatic as an enemy than someone who has sworn a blood oath to avenge the death of his father. A religious fanatic, after all, is irrational by definition. There is no one more rational than someone who has grown up with the knowledge that you are the guy who tortured his father. He's got all those adolescent years to think about how to kill you, and I can tell you from personal experience that adolescence is a great time for coming up with creative ways to kill people.

I've spent a fair amount of time in the Balkans, in Serbia, Bosnia, etc. And I can tell you based on observation that when someone gets tortured, you create much worse trouble.

And then, there's what torture does to the people who torture. Assuming there's a time when the war ends, these are not people who are going to go home and teach high school.

Torture is ineffective and diminishes the society that condones torture. I still think that the stories that came out last decade are a big part of why American society is so psychotic today. And if someone wants to disagree with me that American society is psychotic, step right up.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668957)

Torture is a well known technique, shown to be effective many times in history. They're trying to find other ways to interrogate people.

They already have technology and they already can use torture so what other ways are there that they don't have and use?

Who are these "hard" targets that don't already break under torture or the current interrogation methods? My guess is they know torture is harmful to the target of the interrogation and they want to develop some methods which don't physically or psychologically destroy the person being interrogated. This makes sense if they could pull it off but given their track record it will probably be something horrific.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669099)

Maybe they could MIND THEIR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS and stay out of countries that (rightfully) hate us.

Yeah i know. Totally insane... Lets go kill and torture more brown people who don't agree with us.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669131)

"Torture is a well known technique, shown to be effective many times in history."

Indeed. During the Middle Ages tens of thousands of people have confessed to being witches.
Very effective.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (5, Informative)

Frangible (881728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669173)

Indeed, and this is something we can progress in without recreating incidents that gave us little intelligence but cost us a great deal of goodwill.

An example of the more recent advances in interrogation used by the US -- still actively taught today, actually -- came from studying how American POWs in WWII were interrogated by the Luftwaffe's master interrogator, Hanns Joachim Scharff. Sort of like the Erwin Rommel of interrogation.

I'm sure the image that most people have about Germans interrogating US POWs in WWII is like an ill-tempered Jack Bauer, but that wasn't the case at all, at least for Scharff.

Scharff's techniques were purely psychological, and did not rely on causing physical or (much) psychological distress. I'll try to briefly summarize what I recall reading quite a while ago. Scharff would treat prisoners well, and engage them in conversation, even giving them leave to walk with him outside the base. He would take note of what they said, at first without prying that much, and then in later conversation where they felt more comfortable around him, interject those things learned earlier in ways that the prisoner would elaborate on a topic that they would not normally divulge, perhaps even under torture... usually without even realizing they had given him the intel he wanted.

It required extreme attention to detail, patience, interpersonal skills, and getting to know and understand who he was interrogating. Much more difficult than torture, but it produced consistently good results.

I don't know what advances can be made in interrogation in the future, but as Hanns Scharff proved, they need not all be brutal to be effective.

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (4, Informative)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669469)

From the accounts I've heard, the FBI aren't big supporters of torture. In the early days of interrogating prisoners from Afghanistan, there were FBI agents involved. CIA contractors asked for permission to get rough, against FBI recommendations and experience. When permission was granted, the FBI yanked their people from the interrogations. Things went steadily downhill after that.

At least that's what I've read and heard. If someone can clarify or correct this, I'd appreciate it.

Re: (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668833)

Must torture harder to facilitate economic progress! Praise Lord Bush!

Re:This is one area we've regressed. (2)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668921)

So, where do I go to get my MA in interrogation? Or is it an M.Sc? I'm not talking about an MBA - that's self-inflicted torture.

Also, how long until universities are diluting the techniques, and offering it as an undergraduate degree?

No it's just more high tech now (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668945)

They still have enhanced interrogation techniques and still can do inquisition like activities only now it's something you can't prove they are doing in court because the technology is more sophisticated.

The real question is why does the FBI need this interrogation technology? Who is it for?

1984 (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668637)

Hey guys I heard the ministry of love in 1984 had some pretty sweet ideas on interrogation. Perhaps you guys can take a look at those for inspiration.

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668681)

I am sure they have heard the theory that coercion does not produce useful intelligence. I'd assume they have in mind some kind of truth serum rather than a big basement with torture implements.

Re:1984 (2)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668795)

No, but an inside man could. Which was a featured part of 1984 and the film Stalag 17. Those who interrogate would have to place detainees in close proximity to agents, subject both (or give the appearance) to uncomfortable experiences, and let trust develop, so the agent can get information. Not easy, not quick, not cheap, but might possibly be effective.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669091)

They had a 'new' twilight zone episode like that (least I think it was twilight zone). The first of two (first starring the T1000 dude, and the second starring Wesley Crusher (I oughtta remember your name since you post here, but I don't! Hey, least it proves I'm not one of those crazy fans :-P) as a race of aliens are bent on destroying the earth. The episode in question has him in prison, when they bring in a human woman who they're torturing and slowly alienizing. Basically over all this time where this inhuman treatment is taking place he's eventually weakened into giving the woman hope by telling her they have a last ditch strike force. Long story short, this valuable piece of intelligence is what the aliens were looking for, and in fact she IS one of them, the horribly painful treatments she's undergoing being to return her to her rightful form (some sort of chitinous or boney armored aliens, who could be 'stripped' to make them look human.)

The followup episode had a last ditch 'planet-buster' being sent to destroy the alien home planet, only the T1000 guy (who'd supposedly been 'liberated') turns out to have been a plant who tricks the computer into 'misjumping' such that it ends up back at it's original location and drops the planet buster onto earth instead of the alien world.

Both covered intelligence/counter-intelligence attempts pretty good, and both showing the weakness in human emotions against an enemy who can adeptly manipulate them.

Re:1984 (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668943)

Oh, that is a huge exaggeration.
as long as the subject remains lucid, and you have some way of verifying the information, torture is a pretty simple idea.
Make the subject want the torture to end more then he wants to not give up the information (it is identical to payment/bribery).
Yes, we know that it can be used in stupid ways, like getting people to admit to anything, but you would hope that the FBI knows enough about the uses and weaknesses of torture to not get into trouble like that.

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669163)

you have some way of verifying the information

If I can verify information, why am I torturing anyone?

Re:1984 (0, Troll)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669245)

Because being able to verify information is not at all the same as knowing it...
For instance I might ask you for the phone number for a contacting someone. I am asking you this because I do not know it and for some reason cannot find it on my own. But I can verify the information you gave me by using it.
In general you verify through a second source or even easier through using it in the real world.
If a terrorist tells you under torture that their main base is at such and such a location, then you check it out and wee if it is filled with terrorists.
If it turned out to be a false lead then you resume torturing.

Re:1984 (5, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668895)

Diesel Therapy - moving people around in stress positions with no sleep, food, meds... lost in the system with your lawyer making calls.
Moving people around the jail system in cold, un cleaned cells for a few days- make a fuss and you get restraints and meds.
Mix in some pain compliance along the way and lost more paper work...
You are then found, re united with your family, good legal team and then get a one time offer to sign away years and inform...
Mix in state and federal, get bail form your state and a face federal case as you walk out ... no refunds.
Can you still afford that fancy lawyer? Risk a federal court with a 85%+++ conviction rate?
Now the laws for the "duration of the armed conflict" set in ... welcome to the mystery that could be "indefinite" and a new type of legal team. i.e. "You Don't Get a Lawyer"

I plead the fif (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668647)

Just in case.

Nobody will care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669437)

Because you can't spell worth shit.

WATER BOARDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668673)

I hear water boarding pretty well.

Re:WATER BOARDING (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668677)

I think they're looking for nicer ways to achieve the same effect. They aren't trying to cause pain, they're trying to get information.

Re:WATER BOARDING (1)

ExploHD (888637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668739)

They aren't trying to cause pain, they're trying to get accurate information.

FTFY

Re:WATER BOARDING (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669063)

They aren't trying to cause pain

You have to keep in mind that there are many people working under them. Some of them may very well want to cause pain to the enemy. Torture is evil and should never be used even if you're 100% certain the person has useful information. I don't care how effective it is.

Re:WATER BOARDING (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668829)

B-b-b-but Bush. And Cheney.

And now Obama...

Wonder if this is code for torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668689)

I'm a US Citizen and I like the US, but US using torture makes them lose a lot of cred as the good guy.

So I wonder if advancing interrogation techniques is "Lets relearn how to torture people more effectively" or if it is "Torture is really bad for PR in a war of winning the hearts and minds of our enemy. Lets find a better way"

Re:Wonder if this is code for torture (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668767)

Quite the opposite. Torture tends to be counter-intuitive. You condition people to tell you what they think you want to hear, which isn't necessarily the truth.

Interrogation however is critical for law enforcement on any level. Questioning how interrogations are handled and looking for better methods to gain information should steer away from torture.

Re:Wonder if this is code for torture (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669203)

Quite the opposite. Torture tends to be counter-intuitive. You condition people to tell you what they think you want to hear, which isn't necessarily the truth.

Interrogation however is critical for law enforcement on any level. Questioning how interrogations are handled and looking for better methods to gain information should steer away from torture.

But what you fail to consider is that FBI agent asking questions might have coercive control over the person being questioned.

If this were Nazi Germany and the SS were sitting down with you with their guns and your family was sitting in another room and they started asking you questions wouldn't you tell them whatever they wanted to hear? The same sort of thing can happen when you're talking about FBI agents who have what seems like unlimited power going up against an ordinary citizen who just wants to survive the situation.

It's all about how the questioning takes place and given the FBI's track record when they interrogate people they use all the underhanded tricks they can to gain an advantage. I see no point in even meeting with the FBI in that scenario for an interrogation. Why would you or anyone agree to be interrogated?

So I'm guessing it's a situation where an FBI agent wants to solve a crime and in some cases they may be willing to do anything to solve the crime. This is the problem, the overly aggressive agent. How could interrogations be done better?

The goal is to get information out of people to solve a crime? A wiretap makes more sense than an interrogation don't you think?

Re:Wonder if this is code for torture (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669239)

First off, Godwin's Law. I think it's pretty disrespectful to lump the FBI and Nazi Germany together.

Secondly, if they were just abusing absolute power and intended to strong-arm everyone, then why bother studying the science of interrogation? You clearly missed my point. The fact that they want to study the science of interrogation pretty much speaks to the opposite of your suggestion.

Re:Wonder if this is code for torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669409)

First off, Godwin's Law. I think it's pretty disrespectful to lump the FBI and Nazi Germany together.

An analogy is not the same thing as stating that two things are exactly alike; it could be that someone is stating that they're alike in one or more ways.

Re:Wonder if this is code for torture (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669533)

But he did lump them together, which is what I said. I didn't claim he said they were exactly the same.

Re:Wonder if this is code for torture (-1, Flamebait)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668987)

I'm a US Citizen and I like the US, but US using torture makes them lose a lot of cred as the good guy.

So I wonder if advancing interrogation techniques is "Lets relearn how to torture people more effectively" or if it is "Torture is really bad for PR in a war of winning the hearts and minds of our enemy. Lets find a better way"

I'm sorry to say it is. Interrogation is what the inquisition used to determine who was guilty of witchcraft.

if Ali Soufan wasn't a consultant on this thing... (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668709)

then its kind of pointless.

Threaten a Dog (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668735)

Re:Threaten a Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669319)

I don't think the Islamists are going to fret about a dog, they're kinda unclean-like.

or... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668745)

"against detainees identified as having information regarding terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies."

or

"against hacker"

or

"against protestors"

or

"against any person we deem not conforming for normal standards"

Re:or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668809)

mod up!

Not all-out, no holds barred torture (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668781)

"Uh, we know what we want to do isn't legal and isn't morally acceptable in a civilized society, or else we wouldn't be asking for specific permission now via scientific investigation because we would already be doing it, but we think torture is definitely an effective interrogation technique, so..."

Re:Not all-out, no holds barred torture (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668967)

"Uh, we know what we want to do isn't legal and isn't morally acceptable in a civilized society,...

Interrogation and intelligence interviews certainly are legal and morally acceptable in a civilized society. Do you think we're supposed to catch bad guys and then say "you sit over there, we aren't going to ask you anything about what your friends are planning because someone told us it wasn't morally acceptable to interview you"? Do you think that other civilized societies don't interrogate anyone?

What isn't legal or acceptable is torture, and if you read the fine article you'd notice that nothing at all was said about coming up with new and better torture methods, only evaluation existing interrogation methods to see how those could be improved.

Classifying this as "department of creepy" displays the author's bias. That it comes from NetworkWorld makes as much sense as the Zimmerman story that appeared in slashdot recently. Neither one has any special relevance to nerds or networks.

Re:Not all-out, no holds barred torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669247)

I think when he said that, he might've been referring to the occasional practice of cops getting people to admit to things that they didn't do by lying or scaring them.

Re:Not all-out, no holds barred torture (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669291)

"Uh, we know what we want to do isn't legal and isn't morally acceptable in a civilized society,...

Interrogation and intelligence interviews certainly are legal and morally acceptable in a civilized society. Do you think we're supposed to catch bad guys and then say "you sit over there, we aren't going to ask you anything about what your friends are planning because someone told us it wasn't morally acceptable to interview you"? Do you think that other civilized societies don't interrogate anyone?

What isn't legal or acceptable is torture, and if you read the fine article you'd notice that nothing at all was said about coming up with new and better torture methods, only evaluation existing interrogation methods to see how those could be improved.

Classifying this as "department of creepy" displays the author's bias. That it comes from NetworkWorld makes as much sense as the Zimmerman story that appeared in slashdot recently. Neither one has any special relevance to nerds or networks.

You really think with all the drones, spy satellites, wiretapped internet, hidden cameras and informants everywhere that they'd need to sit someone down in a room and interrogate them?

This isn't about good and bad guys. There's good and bad guys on both sides. It's about whether or not interrogations of this sort are still necessary. An overt interrogation is for intimidation. Why do you have to ask anyone what they are doing and try to get anyone to betray their friends when you can use technological means to figure that out and not have to ask?

Why do we build all this technology with all these satellites if at the end of the day we are going to beat them over the head with a phone book in a dark room somewhere? The governments around the world can see what most people are doing most of the time. All of us certainly don't have any secrets.

When you're talking about national security I'm sure the NSA and FBI do a fine job with what they have. When you're talking about crime why do you feel it's okay to interrogate any suspects? The suspect has a right to remain silent. There is no reason to interrogate anyone based on anything other than national security and I'm not convinced interrogation is the key to national security.

Tell me a realistic instance where it is without the good guys vs bad guys mythology or the feigned ignorance of technology. Why do we need to conduct interrogations on suspects even if it's a terrorism investigation when we can simply put an individual under surveillance? What exactly can a suspect say under interrogation that we couldn't see from surveillance?

how do we know who the real terrorists are? (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669073)

If we use torture on people how do we know that the terrorists weren't created from US government torture programs overseas?

If the government can torture people to get them to do stuff or break them psychological, then they go and blow themselves up or shoot up random people, then we call them terrorists and use it as an excuse to torture even more people. Do you see the problem?

This is no different than witch hunting where you torture a bunch of people to find the witches but you end up creating witches out of innocent people. Or where you torture people to prevent mental illness but you end up creating the illness you are claiming you use torture to treat. Basically torture opens the door to governments forcing certain individuals to do things we'd consider to be terrorism.

For instance if you take a person who was adopted who has no family, and you torture them until they agree to join with Al Qaeda or whoever, then you just created a terrorist. What I'm saying is although human beings have free will, no one is free from government coercion. These techniques will allow governments to gain more coercive control over innocent people who might never have wanted to be terrorists but because of something the government did during an "interrogation", their entire mindset could be permanently changed.

Who is responsible? Will the FBI take responsibility if their interrogation causes people to become terrorists? What happens to people who get interrogated? Will the enemy start using interrogation on us as well and will we have to deal with the same treatment?

The most important question is who is responsible? If someone is interrogated or tortured or coerced into taking an action they never really wanted to take, we typically blame that individual. We don't blame the government that coerced them but we blame them and that's part of the problem. It allows the governments of the world to create monsters and unleash them and then when things go wrong these governments blame the monsters they created rather than the interrogation techniques and their own methods.

It is possible to create a terrorist if that individual is of the right mentality and is under the right kind of coercion. How could people be tortured or coerced? "You do it or we kill your entire family" would work on most people. Or "You do it or we wont stop torturing you" would work on other people. So the problem is a problem of accountability, anyone who has been subjected to this sort of interrogation, the interrogation process should be open and reviewed. If it's secret and no one knows what was done to them, then how are we supposed to know who is accountable for their acitons or even make sense of their actions?

If someone blows themselves up, on the surface we'd say they must have been a member of Al Qaeda. For all we know some foreign government could have promised to give money to their families if they did that.

Tell me... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668783)

Are you familiar with the works of Shan Yu?

I have to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668787)

I'm going to bar myself from this site. I'm not American and your country is just not my cup of tea anymore. Good luck!!
I no longer care or want to know what your government is doing. I'm not American.

Lol (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668799)

Here's an idea. Stand up, in your cubicle, and ask out loud 'does anyone here know how to perform a formal investigation?'

Re:Lol (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668931)

Here's an idea. Stand up, in your cubicle, and ask out loud 'does anyone here know how to perform a formal investigation?'

You laugh, but at Fox News [huffingtonpost.com] they apparently do!

Avoiding the T-word (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668803)

Hey, ya gotta give 'em credit for trying to avoid torture. Technology will solve it eventually, though: just plug a cable in the back of their neck and download everything... so long as you can get the "detainee" to cough up his mental encryption key.

Re:Avoiding the T-word (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669231)

And it's because we know technology is so advanced that we know torture is so wrong. We know that it's damn near impossible for anyone to keep a secret from the government so why does the government need "interrogations" when they know practically everything about anyone?

Re:Avoiding the T-word (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669429)

Yes the FBI and CIA have the skill set to talk to anyone and work on a case as they have always done.
Work with us, face court, a package of court options or payments or one last set up and freedom.
The rush for the US to normalise "interrogations" seems to be to provide cover for past political actions, the work of allies and friends around the world.
Why allow free internal FBI methods when you can sell/contract expensive, tested "interrogation" methods?
All the guards, hidden sites, weapons training, translators, science, documents, medical advice, food - everybody around this new private security science is making 'new' cash.
vs a % budget growth within the FBI.

Re:Avoiding the T-word (1)

Tore S B (711705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669449)

For hell's sake! "Trying to avoid torture" isn't something that gives you credit. Not using torture is something that is expected of civilized people. Period.

Already failed (4, Insightful)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668807)

If your interrogation program includes torture, you've already failed.

Interrogation ideas (1)

kaldari (199727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668817)

Have you tried Indian Rope Burn? It always works for me.

Re:Interrogation ideas (3, Funny)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668997)

No, no. That's old school. They want new, advanced techniques. Perhaps they can start using a fuel cell in place of a car battery . . .

Re:Interrogation ideas (1)

Nationless (2123580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669041)

In an attempt to go green they should try going solar powered or maybe wat.. oh, wait.

Empirical Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668849)

You best start off by interrogating a bunch of scientists. They've got to know something, right?

I guess the old techniques are wearing thin (2)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668881)

You mean forcing them to listen to Kanye West's 'Gold Digger' for the 1000th time isn't as effective as it once was?

How is this not leading to a "gestapo?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39668959)

If you see it heading another direction, i'd love to hear the rational.

Booze (1)

crotherm (160925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669053)

I find booze works pretty well.

torture is a bind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669083)

The whole torture controversy is a bind to conceal the fact that the U.S. government has totally mastered the art of brain suck.

They give (relatively safe drugs), plug the subjects brain into the machine and make statements. The machine reads whether the statements are true or false. It is totally painless.

The whole art of interogation is reduced to the game of 20 questions.

With short-term memory supressing drugs given afterwords, the subject does not even remember what happened to him.

The "torture" controversy is ginned up to prevent the other side from trying to plug this hole.

Osama bin Laden was captured at Tora Bora. The US has been "running" him ever since. Every time a recruit talked to Osama they were really talking to the US. Government.That is why they have mostly failed. Osama could have been "run" a bit longer, but Obama wanted the credit. So Osama got "killed".

Re:torture is a bind. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669161)

The whole torture controversy is a bind to conceal the fact that the U.S. government has totally mastered the art of brain suck.

They give (relatively safe drugs), plug the subjects brain into the machine and make statements. The machine reads whether the statements are true or false. It is totally painless.

The whole art of interogation is reduced to the game of 20 questions.

With short-term memory supressing drugs given afterwords, the subject does not even remember what happened to him.

The "torture" controversy is ginned up to prevent the other side from trying to plug this hole.

Osama bin Laden was captured at Tora Bora. The US has been "running" him ever since. Every time a recruit talked to Osama they were really talking to the US. Government.That is why they have mostly failed. Osama could have been "run" a bit longer, but Obama wanted the credit. So Osama got "killed".

Yes but explain those torture pictures and the "enhanced interrogation" techniques and all the documents related to that. It's a fact that the US government has mastered torture and coercion. What this means is the US government (or any government) can use coercive techniques and torture to try and create terrorists out of random innocent people in a population. Some people are more vulnerable than others to this, people who don't have families or people who aren't particularly strong willed could be broken with ease and turned into a member of Al Qaeda.

The problem with this is when the war on terrorism is fought this way it's a situation where the government could be creating the enemy it claims to be fighting and merely using this as a way to drum up funding. It could be a similar situation with the war on drugs where the lawmakers pass certain laws and put pressure on certain communities so that there is a sense of desperation and there is an endless supply of boogymen drug dealers to arrest. Why do we pretend there is a war on terror if we use tactics which could actually help to create terrorists? or pretend there is a war on drugs but then pass laws which make an environment so desperate so that drug dealing becomes attractive?

FBI? Please... (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669129)

I know there must be better FBI Agents out there, but I once knew a couple. They were the most paranoid, scary people I've met. Guy had to have a gun everywhere he went, wouldn't give out his address (even though I was invited to his house) and I was accused of lying to him because,"We're trained to detect that kind of thing."

Family members who are in the military or are police officers warned me to get the hell away from them, which I did.

I don't know, maybe they SHOULD refine their techniques. Jesus, if they had a good way of actually getting information, instead of just insane, paranoid speculation it might help.
Then again, maybe they'd just stay insecure and paranoid...

Re:FBI? Please... (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669183)

I know there must be better FBI Agents out there, but I once knew a couple. They were the most paranoid, scary people I've met. Guy had to have a gun everywhere he went, wouldn't give out his address (even though I was invited to his house) and I was accused of lying to him because,"We're trained to detect that kind of thing."

Family members who are in the military or are police officers warned me to get the hell away from them, which I did.

I don't know, maybe they SHOULD refine their techniques. Jesus, if they had a good way of actually getting information, instead of just insane, paranoid speculation it might help.
Then again, maybe they'd just stay insecure and paranoid...

It all depends on the situation. Generally speaking though if they want information out of someone they won't approach in a suit and tie with an FBI badge. One of your best friends will simply ask you about something and then tell the FBI everything you said.

Outsource it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669155)

I hear there are plenty of folks in Eastern Europe with experience in this area. They had made a career out of it in fact.

Visual Disorientation (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669185)

If you keep someone visually disoriented, they can't keep track of their facts and lies and the paths between them.

Ever try to think of details while viewing a fast moving screen in front of you or when on a moving ride at the county fair. It is very difficult.

Hence, I would provide a visually disorienting "questioning center".

Doesn't any form of interrogation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669227)

Doesn't any form of interrogation automatically violate 5th?

what about some kind of VR interrogation? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669237)

what about some kind of VR interrogation?

Re:what about some kind of VR interrogation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669479)

what about some kind of VR interrogation?

You play a rogue, don't you?

What is wrong with old and proved waterboarding?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669271)

just wondering....

World's best practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669273)

They are just like any other big company. Setting aside a portion of their annual budget for R&D to obtain "World's best practice"

not sure why the negative comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669275)

Here's the FBI trying to do the right thing...
Nobody will deny that you need to do interrogations. The objection is to using things like torture in the process.

So, why shouldn't we be looking for good ways to do this that don't violate human rights, etc.?

Hey, if they come up with a "brain scan"(tm) that can read out your memory non-invasively, painlessly and instantaneously, that would be a good thing (assuming that things like a warrant exist, and we somehow deal with fifth amendment issues)

having been through several interrogations, by very skilled interrogators, I will be happy to testify that the "more flies with honey" aphorism has more than a grain of truth. The best interrogators just make you think you're there chatting about inconsequential stuff, and only in retrospect do you realize how much information they have gained.

This hollywood inspired/24 hours medieval thing of "force him to talk" is totally bogus, and anybody who does any kind of investigatory work knows it. It's a blatant rationalization for either mean people to do bad things or for sub rosa extrajudicial punishment.

Re:not sure why the negative comments (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669303)

Here's the FBI trying to do the right thing...
Nobody will deny that you need to do interrogations. The objection is to using things like torture in the process.

So, why shouldn't we be looking for good ways to do this that don't violate human rights, etc.?

Hey, if they come up with a "brain scan"(tm) that can read out your memory non-invasively, painlessly and instantaneously, that would be a good thing (assuming that things like a warrant exist, and we somehow deal with fifth amendment issues)

having been through several interrogations, by very skilled interrogators, I will be happy to testify that the "more flies with honey" aphorism has more than a grain of truth. The best interrogators just make you think you're there chatting about inconsequential stuff, and only in retrospect do you realize how much information they have gained.

This hollywood inspired/24 hours medieval thing of "force him to talk" is totally bogus, and anybody who does any kind of investigatory work knows it. It's a blatant rationalization for either mean people to do bad things or for sub rosa extrajudicial punishment.

Okay. Tell us why we need interrogation in the age of technological surveillance?

If the government can see everything why does the government need to interrogate?

Already exists... (2)

s-whs (959229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669361)

And that is psychological analysis using facial expressions and language used.

See the TV series 'Lie to me' which is based on an actual psychologist Ekman.

It's known from analysis of police interrogations here in NL that being friendly in interrrogating gives most results. Even if they are totally oncooperative you can talk in such a way that people want to tell you something, because they want to brag or show how clever they are.

But I guess the FBI hasn't learned that lesson yet...

Btw., I think such analysis should also be applied to all politicians. It would prevent getting sociopaths like George Wanker Bush becoming presidents, but in lower positions too, such a-holes do enormous damage to society.

Hot wax.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669393)

On the balls. Guaranteed to work. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself.

The most effective method... (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669419)

Force the subject to listen to The Best Of Hall & Oates on an 8-Track.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669431)

As a person who knows personally how use these techniques. We need more exploration like we need another hole in our collective head!

Ya know (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39669459)

If they just said please once in a while ...

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