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The Interrogation I Wish I Could Perform


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five comments


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To add an addendum to this article of my own, I think this article’s larger point is how relationships, even with are enemies, are valuable. They save lives, they help win wars. I think back to the sixty minutes piece on the interrogation of Saddam, he gave up everything just because his interrogator was the only person he had to talk to, so they talked everyday.

If we could only do this with more insurgents.


I whole heartedly agree that building a relationship with a detainee is probably the most effective way to get the information you want. Unfortunately this takes a lot of time, time which I’m sure many in the military and intelligence communities don’t think they have, which is why they resort to “torture.” I’m not advocating this at all but there are instances when we need info pronto and building a relationship and trust would take too long. I don’t know what the solution is in these cases.

I am also a big advocate of amnesty programs but for the US to implement them, we have to change our thinking and not carry a grudge. Many of the “insurgents” have legitimate complaints and don’t see any other way. This doesn’t make them “terrorists.”


It may be difficult to build a trust relationship with a captive without traditional abusive character. Think traditional good cop vs bad cop. The bad cop terrorizes the suspect. In return, the good cop acts as that relief from his counterpart, granting protection, maybe even friendship. My concern is how you create a trust relationship with a prisoner if you as the interrogator are constantly the figure that represents the captive’s imprisonment?


There is a book called ‘Mission Blacklist #1’ that is an account of one soldier’s methods of interrogation.

It is pretty interesting. He and the unit that he was supporting (delta types) had the advantage of immediate feedback that us conventional folks only dream about, but I still recommend it.


You guys began addressing the how of collection including the dreaded words of torture and trust. My main point is that we don’t ask the right questions. We don’t know how terrorists choose targets, we don’t know how they live off the population and we don’t know how to attack them because of this. There is so much about the how and whys of their attacks.

Part of the reason this exists, which I have addressed is that conventional units don’t get to conduct interrogations, we don’t use enough former insurgents and the small unit level and we don’t realize how much we don’t know.