Here is one patented method that works:
Cookies! Yes, cookies!
Kindness works wonders too.
Actually the same methods a guy will use to get a woman he meets at a bar, or takes on a first date, to go home with him are all effective ways of
interrogation without torture.
(Cross-posted from above-mentioned thread)
My father served in Military Intelligence for 14 years as a diplomatic liaison to the French Foreign Legion. In his job, he was charged with the
interrogation of captured enemy officers. He was a very idealistic man and would have never been willing to compromise those ideals for any reason,
even under orders. He was proud that the techniques he used never involved any form of torture and were always effective. His most effective form of
interrogation, as he was proud of telling me, had always been a bottle of tequila.
What it comes down to is that any "enemy" is still human. If you treat them with dignity and as an equal, you will eventually be treated the same in
return (remember the old adage of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or "the only way to gain trust and respect is to be
respectful and trustworthy yourself"). We have a bad habit in war of dehumanizing and demonizing the enemy and forget that cultural differences
aside, they have the same basic desires and aspirations that we all do.
When you share something with someone, such as cookies or a bottle of alcohol, you create a rapport. That is the most difficult part of any
interrogation process. After that, it doesn't take long for the barriers which we have been conditioned into thinking of "us" and "them" are
broken down and your subject realizes you aren't the inhuman demon they thought you were (especially if they were expecting to be tortured!). Get on
the subject of family, and it's all easy from there. Parents love talking about their kids, and terrorists are no different...and the parental
experience is universal. After sharing food, drink and some good laughs over common experiences, you can then ask the sensitive questions, with a
greater likelihood of reliable intel than if it were extracted in a hostile, confrontational manner.
The only technique that my father had to use in interrogation that came close to torture was purely psychological. He would setup operations in a tent
and line up friendly civilians dressed in enemy uniforms outside the tent. He would then place the subject of his interrogation at the end of the
line. One by one he would call each person into the tent and close the flap. After a while he'd start yelling and fire his pistol (into the ground)
and call in the medics who would carry out the person on a stretcher (as if they were dead). After doing this to 10 people over the course of 8 hours,
by the time he called in the subject at the end of the day they would spill the beans voluntarily without even being prompted. The ruse was up when
the subject would be escorted back out to the holding area and they saw the people my father had supposedly tortured and killed walking around in
civilian clothing around the camp, but by that time, my father already had the intel that was needed from the subject.
Interrogation is a people skill, plain and simple. If you can charm any woman in a bar out of her clothes, or be the life of any party, then you can
interrogate with far greater success than using methods of torture. Apparently a lot has changed in the past 40 years in the Military and the art and
skill of successful interrogation without the use of torture has been forgotten and lost along the way. Perhaps this success of using cookies will
help the Military find their way back to a form of interrogation that does not compromise our idealism as a Nation.