Terrorist Interviewing set back decades (if not centuries!) HIG to be abandoned?
Iron Maidens, Ducking Stools, and the Judas Cradle were abandoned in civilised society centuries ago, thankfully confined to Dark Museums and history but re-kindled with modern day water-boarding, only banned 10 years ago in 2006 by the US administration when it was realised that the reliability, accuracy and value of such methods was seriously flawed.
Indeed in August 2016 the UN advocated the interviewing methodology developed in the UK that relies so much more on rapport building and reciprocity to achieve reliable outcomes. Even that was preceded in history by Scharff, a second world war Lutwaffe officer, who advocated and deployed non violent rapport based interrogation of US prisoners of war to great effect.
The US administration (Obama) created the High-Interest Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) a little under a decade ago in recognition of the folly of torture, bringing together a range of security agencies combining to put into practice contemporary forensic psychology interviewing research. If the report in Politico and the comments by key personnel in social media and their actions are to be believed then it would seem that the HIG is ‘withering on the vine’, a significant setback to research and practice.
Diplomatically avoiding comment on specific interviewing ‘models’ in the US, suffice to say that any combination of the words ‘torture’, ‘interrogation’, ‘confession’ should raise the ‘red flag’ of caution as to the reliability of the output from an investigative interview- not automatically debarring it but certainly meriting close scrutiny. Align this with a resistance to (at least) audio record interviews and you can be sure that its a toxic mix.
The team at Intersol were pivotal in developing and applying the PEACE ‘framework’ of interviewing first introduced in the UK in 1992 and continue to refine and practice it today. Similarly the introduction of audio and visually recording interviews of BOTH suspects and witnesses, tools and methodology that not only minimises the chance of miscarriages of justice but maximises the value and reliability of interview output.
The author encourages any reader ‘raising an eyebrow’ at the mention of miscarriages of justice to reflect that miscarriages cut both ways, that for every miscarriage the real murderer, rapist, or terrorist remains at liberty to wreak more havoc.
Full article courtesy of Politico.com can be read here: