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April 28, 2012

Interrogators Speak Out: Torture is Illegal, Immoral and Ineffective

Opinion piece by Mark Fallon in the Huffington Post

Every interrogation starts with analysis. That is, getting to know the detainee, researching their background, exploring their relationships with others, reviewing any available information and figuring out what makes them tick -- their background, motivations, what drove them into violent extremism and a baseline of how the detainee responds to questions.

To do this, an interrogator needs a detainee's trust, which is best developed by establishing rapport. Only then can interrogators leverage their knowledge to convince a detainee to engage with the interrogator, with a goal of obtaining accurate and reliable information. Every good interrogator can tell you this method of building rapport and evidence based-interrogation practices is the most effective and efficient manner in which professionals obtain intelligence and evidence from detainees. But others would have you think otherwise, such as Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA officer famous for destroying the torture tapes, whose new book Hard Measures argues that torture was necessary and saved lives. It's instructive to ask why, despite all the evidence to the contrary, those involved continue to advocate methods that are both unlawful and ineffective and why they continue to mislead.

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