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Rapport, not torture, yeilds big intel rewards at Gitmo
Posted by: McQ on Monday, February 18, 2008

Rapport instead of torture has provided a wealth of information from Gitmo detainees:
Interrogators got intelligence from detainees that helped U.S. troops in Afghanistan attack Taliban fighters last summer — and they did it through casual questioning and not torture, the military's chief interrogator here said.


For security reasons, he would only discuss one of the successes, and that was only because his boss, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, already had described it in a speech last month.

Buzby said several detainees drew detailed maps of the Tora Bora area that enabled coalition forces to wipe out safe houses, trenches and supplies last summer as the Taliban were returning to their former stronghold.

Rester indicated the interrogators casually asked the detainees about Tora Bora, not letting on that it was tactically important for a pending strike. "And it may in fact, since it was five years old, have seemed totally innocuous to the persons we were talking to," Rester said.
And, if you read up on interrogation techniques we've used for decades you'll find that rapport building yields much more useful information than rougher techniques.
Rester said only two detainees were given rougher treatment: Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker who was turned away from the United States by immigration officials just before the 9/11 attacks, and an unidentified man Rester said recruited lead hijacker Mohamed Atta.

"Most of the stories (of detainee abuse) stem from those two," said Rester. "The constant attention on that takes away from the fact that the productive, consistent direct approach . . . has enabled us to possess the vast body of knowledge that we actually have."
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Previous Comments to this Post 

and another leftie myth bites the dust.
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
But still measures like Loud Music, Cold Rooms, Sleep Dep and even Waterboarding should not be absolutely removed from the list of possible tools.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
And, if you read up on interrogation techniques we’ve used for decades you’ll find that rapport building yields much more useful information than rougher techniques.
That rather depends on whom it is you’re dealing with.

KSM, for example.

Written By: Bithead
Yeah, the FBI "clean team" built rapport up over 18 months and got the same information as the CIA water-boarding team did after they got KSM.

Of course, waiting around 18 months handing out cokes and cigs may not help you get actionable intel to stop active plots.

There are also other techniques used - an excellent book I read is called The Interrogators which discusses those. At the end of the book, which consistently said that torture was ineffective, it seems like the author backtracks a bit on that belief.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Interrogation is about disorientation and that means understanding your target...for the Japanese, the few, who were captured in WWII it was breaking thru their shame at being alive...for the Vietnamese it often meant simply being those two cases their militaries had not really told their troops to keep their mouths shut after capture, so they were not really that hard to get to talk, I have read. In the Vietnamese cases often it came down to simply "confirming" pre-existing information, "So you’re a part of K13? Your commander is still Nugyen Min-Duc?" Telling something that is already known is easier than telling new stuff....

BUT some folks are tough, Kevin Dockery reports capturing a Chinese officer, who never spoke, no matter what they did and a Vietnamese VC cadre, who was female, who spoke after being stripped naked. You have to know the target, some times kindness works, I’d imagine on the low level troops who have been convinced that the Americans are going to kill and eat them....Or shaking them up, by telling then you’re going to rendition them back to Russia or slapping them, IF they have been led to believe the US interrogators are "wimps."

It’s about knowing the target and having the right tools...water-boarding isn’t the only tool that works, and neither is kindness....As someone said we can’t eliminate any tools fromt he tool box.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Remember, CARROT and STICK. Need both.
Written By: Cargosquid
A couple of problems here. The first one is that sometimes it isn’t a function of how much information you get, it’s how fast you can get the really important stuff. If you had the classic ticking time bomb going, you might sacrifice a long-term intel asset to find out where the damn bomb is before it goes off.

The second is that sometimes harsh treatment is part of building that rapport. This is the classic good cop/bad cop: make them unhappy and uncomfortable and then give them someone who seems friendly, sympathetic, who even can overrule some of the bad cop’s decisions —- and then say, more in sorrow than in anger "you know, if you don’t co-operate more, I wn’t be able to keep overruling him. Who knows what might happen then?"
Written By: Charlie (Colorado)
I agree that both are necessary, but I can’t help notice the conspicuous lack of "brain washing" on the list.
Written By: LibertyBob

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