Detainees Subject to Coercive Interrogation Are 14 Times LESS Likely to Share Information Than Those Subjected to Peaceful, Tried and True Techniques

H20The Water Torture
Facsimile of a woodcut in J. Damhoudère’s
Praxis Rerum Criminalium,
Antwerp, 1556

Last November, the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology published the results of a study on coercive interrogation versus interrogation in which the interrogator built rapport with the detainee.

The authors – professors at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security and School of Psychology at Charles Stuart University, and the Department of Psychology, Middlesex University, London – found that detainees subjected to coercive interrogations are 14 times less likely to share important information than those subjected to tried and true rapport-building methods.

As the British Psychological Association – the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK – notes:

Past research (pdf) suggests that using torture as a way to extract information or confessions from terror suspects isn’t just unethical, it’s also ineffective. The advantage of rapport-building interrogation strategies (including respect, friendliness and empathy towards suspects) over more coercive techniques is highlighted once again in a new study that involved interviews with law enforcement interrogators and detainees.

The research involved 34 interrogators (1 woman) from several international jurisdictions including Australia, Indonesia and Norway. And there were 30 international detainees (1 woman), most of whom had been held on suspicion of terrorism, including people suspected of involvement with the Tamil Tigers or the Islamist group Ansar al Ismal based in Norway. One in five of the detainees reported being subjected to practices that constitute torture.


The results were striking – disclosure was 14 times more likely to occur early in an interrogation when a rapport-building approach was used. Confessions were four times more likely when interrogators struck a neutral and respectful stance.


The researchers said their results “augment the accumulating cross-national consensus about effective noncoercive best practices in investigative interviewing.”

Hard to believe? Think that getting tough is the best way to break hardened terrorists or criminals?

You’re wrong …  The FBI, Pentagon, Homeland SecurityCIA and all of the top interrogation experts agree that non-coercive methods work best.

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  • truth

    Unfortunately since the war on terror is built on a flimsy cage and web of lies; the farmers or otherwise unassuming people they take that may or may not have been sold to them by Taliban Warlords or scooped up by the CIA need to remain for the Detention centers to prove a point so to speak. Even though they don’t have or had terrorists in hold, they need to remain for the U.S. to prove at all costs that they are in fact terrorists to show the public that the U.S. is doing “something” about the terror.

    I think this dictum is why they then resort/stoop to fascistic torture practices instead of non-coercive methods – to obtain a false confession in the case that they are innocent. And if they can’t get a confession, they realize they have violated International Law and thus need to avoid looking bad, paying for restitution (or recompense), etc. This was especially evident during the Bush administration’s reign, since they needed anything to justify the costly Iraq and Afghanistan wars; which were both illegal and also started based on lies.

  • January 1, 2015 We’ve Known for Over 2,000 Years that Torture Produces False Confessions

    We’ve Known Since Ancient Rome that Torture Doesn’t Work In 72 BC – 2,086 years ago – Cicero (the well-known Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist and consul) pointed out that torture creates conditions of fear and desperate hope in which “there is but little room left for truth”, i.e. that torture is an unreliable method of extracting truth.

    Feb 23, 2015 CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou Wake Up, You’re Next

    Abby interviews CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou in his home.


    To call the CIA a rogue agency is to grossly understate the massive, multi-decade crime spree it has perpetrated against the community of nations and people of the world. There is no other federal department, bureau or agency that has overtly been given both the budget and governmental approval to commit capital crimes at will.

    December 17, 2014 Americans Support Torture … Because They Don’t Know THIS

    What Americans STILL Don’t Know… New polls show that – even after the Senate torture report showed that torture is unnecessary and doesn’t work – Americans still think torture is necessary and works. Why? Because they still don’t know the truth … because the mainstream media has hidden it from them.

  • Hp B

    Yeah, but it takes all the fun out of it, don’t you know..
    (demons will be demons)