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CIA interrogator discusses ‘enhanced’ techniques

Nov 2014

A CIA interrogator writing under a pseudonym publishes a document (full text here) covering many aspects of the debate over enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), especially the effectiveness of the techniques. The document is reported to challenge conclusions of the upcoming Feinstein report on EITs. The interrogator says he underwent ‘soft-sell’ and ‘hard-sell’ interrogation techniques himself as part of a survival course, and was able to maintain lies during the ‘soft-sell,’ verbal-only questioning:

I then learned the difference between “soft-sell” and “hard-sell” by way of a large interrogator who applied enhanced techniques promptly upon the uttering of my first lie…I learned that I would rather sit across from the most talented interrogator on earth doing a soft-sell than any interrogator on earth doing a hard-sell—the information I had would be safer because the only consequences to my lies come in the form of words. I could handle words. Anyone could.

Ask any SERE Level C graduate which method was more effective on him or her—their answer should tell you something about the effectiveness of enhanced techniques, whether you agree with them or not. In my case, I learned that enhanced techniques made me want to tell the truth to make it stop—not to compound my situation with more lies.

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