- Rep Power
Tips for Interrogating a Prisoner
Peace, pretty interesting list.. (know the ledge)
1. Decor - The room in which the interrogation is to be conducted should be free of distractions. The colors of the walls, ceiling, rugs, and furniture should not be startling. Pictures should be missing or dull. A plain table is a good idea, unless a fancy desk would send the message that the interrogator is a powerful-authority figure.
2. The Chair - An overstuffed chair for the use of the interogatee is sometimes preferable to a straight-backed, wooden chair because if he is made to stand for a lengthy period or is otherwise deprived of physical comfort, the contrast is intensified and increased disorientation results.
3. The "Do Not Distub" sign - The effect of someone wandering in because he forgot his pen or wants to invite the interrogator to lunch can be devastating.
4. Listening in on the Interrogation - If possible, audio equipment should also be used to transmit the proceedings to another room, used as listening post. The main advantage of transmission is that it enables the person in chage of the interrogation to note crucial points and map further strategy, replacing one interrogator with another, timing a dramatic interruption correctly, etc.
5. Sincerity - The interrogator who merely pretends, in his surface performance, to feel a given emotion or to hold a given attitude towards the source is likely to be unconvincing; the source quickly senses the deception. Even children are very quick to feel this kind of pretense. To be persuasive, the sympathy or anger must be genuine; but to be useful, it must not interfere with the deeper level of precise, unaffected observation.
6. Unpredictable Schedule - Interrogation sessions with a resistant source who is under detention should be held on an unvarying schedule. The capacity for resistance is diminished by disorientation. The subject may be left alone for days; and he may be returned to his cell, allowed to sleep for five minutes, and brought back to an interrogation which is conducted as though eight hours had intervened. The principle is that sessions should be planned as to disrupt the source's sense of chronological order.
7. The "Nobody Loves You" Technique - An interrogatee who is witholding items of no grave consequence to himself may sometimes be persuaded to talk by the simple tactic of pointing out that to date all of the information about his case has come from persons other than himself. The interrogator wants to be fair. He recognizes that some of the denouncers may have been biased or malicious. In any case, there is bound to be some slanting of the facts unless the interrogatee redresses the balance. The source owes it to himself to be sure that the interrogator hears both sides of the story.
8. The "All-Seeing Eye" technique - The interrogator who already knows part of the story explains to the source that the purpose of the questioning is not to gain information; the interrogator knows everything already. His real purpose is to test the sincerity (realiability, honor, etc.) of the source. The interrogator then asks a few questions to which he knows the answers. If the subject lies, his is informed firmly and dispassionately that he has lied. By skilled manipulation of the known, the questioner can convince a naive subject that all his secrets are out and that further resistance would be not only pointless but dangerous.
9. The Double-Informant Technique - Planting a snitch in the subject's cell is a ruse so obvious as to be useless. Less well known is the trick of planting two informants in the cell. One of them, A, tries now and then to pry a little information from the source; B remains quiet. At the proper time, and during A's absence, B warns the source not to tell A anything because B suspects him of being an informant planted by the authorities. Suspicious against a single cellmate may sometimes be broken down if he shows the source a hidden microphone that he has "found" and suggests that they talk only in whispers at the other end of the room.
10. The "News from Home" technique - Letting the subject get some letters from the outside is a good way to gain trust and increase his longing to cooperate, and thus, get released. Conversely, letting him write letters can be profitable, since they can be read for useful information.