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Main article: Interrogation

Legal Interrogation is interviewing as employed by officers of the police, military

The interviewed is also referred to as a "source".

Interviewing is not necessarily to force a confession, but rather to develop sufficient rapport as to prompt the source to disclose valuable information.

Interrogation around the World


See also: Five techniques


See also: The Green Book (IRA training manual)#Interrogation techniques


See also: U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals

Cold War

See also: KUBARK and Central Intelligence Agency#Declassified CIA interrogation manuals

War On Terror

See also: Bagram torture and prisoner abuse, Enhanced interrogation, Qur'an desecration controversy of 2005, Pride-and-ego down, and George W. Bush's second term as President of the United States#Interrogation

Torture is now officially banned from use at Guantanamo Bay and all other U.S. camps for illegal combatants. Army regulations state that such treatment during interrogation crosses the boundary between acceptable methods of gaining information and torture.

US Air Force General Jack L. Rives (Deputy Judge Advocate General) advised a US government task force that many of the extreme methods of interrogation would leave service personnel open to legal sanction in the US and foreign countries.

US officers were previously allowed interrogation techniques classified as torture including:

  • sleep deprivation
  • waterboarding
  • exposure to extremes of cold and heat
  • placing prisoners in "stress positions" for long periods of time

See also How to Break a Terrorist: Veteran FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan has broken some of al Qaeda’s toughest operatives. In this special interview with FP, he shares some of his methods for making a terrorist tell all. Foreign Policy Television (FPTV) video.


Japan is famous for marathon interrogations, and therefore a high amount of false confessions.

Resistance Training

Main article: Resistance to interrogation
See also: SERE

Resistance training is often a prerequisite for some personnel since prisoners of war (POWs) routinely undergo military interrogation.

Interrogation Techniques

There are multiple possible methods of interrogation including deception, torture, increasing suggestibility, and using mind-altering drugs.


The methods used to increase suggestibility are moderate sleep deprivation, exposure to constant white noise, and using GABAergic drugs such as sodium amytal.


Main article: Reid Technique

One notable interrogation technique is the Reid technique. However, the Reid technique (which requires interrogators to watch the body language of suspects to detect deceit) has been criticized [1] for being too difficult to apply across cultures and is impracticable for many law enforcement officers.


Deception can form an important part of effective interrogation. In the U.S., there is no law or regulation that forbids the interrogator from lying, from making misleading statements or from implying that the interviewee has already been implicated in the crime by someone else.


Main article: Torture

Interrogations may involve torture, which is judged to be ineffective at producing accurate information[How to reference and link to summary or text] but is effective in getting false confessions which might be useful for political reasons for the officer and organization in question by raising the number of successful investigations.


  • Good cop/bad cop

Movement for increased recording of interrogations in the US

Currently, there is a movement for mandatory electronic recording of all custodial interrogations in the United States. [2] "Electronic Recording" describes the process of recording interrogations from start to finish. This is in contrast to a "taped" or "recorded confession," which typically only includes the final statement of the suspect. "Taped interrogation" is the traditional term for this process; however, as analog is becoming less and less common, statutes and scholars are referring to the process as "electronically recording" interviews or interrogations. Alaska, [3] Illinois, [4] Maine, [5], Minnesota, [6] and Wisconsin [7] are the only states to require taped interrogation. New Jersey’s taping requirement started on January 1, 2006. [8] [9] Massachusetts allows jury instructions that state that the courts prefer taped interrogations. See Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista, 813 N.E.2d 516, 533-34 (Mass. 2004). Commander Neil Nelson of the St. Paul Police Department, an expert in taped interrogation, [10] has described taped interrogation in Minnesota as the "best thing ever rammed down our throats." [11]

See also


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