FBI Interrogation Techniques Raise Concerns

A primer for overseas investigations conducted by the FBI specifies isolation and other tools intended to induce fear


Today, the ACLU released a 2011 FBI "primer" on overseas interrogation that calls into question whether the FBI is adhering to its own policy prohibiting coercive techniques. The 2011 primer was obtained by the ACLU and colleague organizations through Freedom of Information Act litigation. It was written by an FBI Section Chief within the counterterrorism division, and is ironically titled "Cross Cultural, Rapport-Based Interrogation," – ironic because it encourages FBI agents to request that detainees in foreign or military custody be put in isolation to prolong the detainee's fear for interrogation purposes. Isolation was a key component to many of the abusive interrogations that took place in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and in secret CIA black sites after 9/11, in some cases causing extreme psychological trauma. This morning, we wrote to the FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing their concerns with the primer.