In 2006 the Intelligence Science Board (an official advisory group for the Director of National Intelligence) produced a research report called Educing Information (link below). The current DNI is General James Clapper. Today, “Secrecy News” obtains a copy of Intelligence Interviewing “This newly disclosed follow-on report, dated April 2009, “is written primarily for individuals concerned with ‘high-value’ detainees and those who focus mainly on strategic interrogation.” It provides a survey of behavioral science perspectives on topics relevant to the interrogation process — including persuasion, power, stress, resistance, and memory — as well as two case studies of actual interrogations.” The DNI at the time of receipt of Intelligence Interviewing was Dennis Blair, who was replaced with General Clapper by President Obama .
“The ISB report adopted the new term “intelligence interviewing” instead of “interrogation” in part because it said “interrogation” is freighted with stereotypes often involving coercion. The report emphasized the utility of non-coercive interrogation but acknowledged the difficulty of empirically establishing its superiority to coercive questioning.
“During Phases I and II, contributors could find no studies that compare the results of ‘coercive’ interrogations with those of non-coercive intelligence interviews. It is also difficult to imagine how such studies might be conducted in a scientifically valid, let alone morally acceptable, manner.”
The ISB study notably dissected the “ticking time bomb” scenario that is often portrayed in television thrillers (and which has “captured the public imagination”). The authors patiently explained why that hypothetical scenario is not a sensible guide to interrogation policy or a justification for torture. Moral considerations aside, the ISB report said, coercive interrogation may produce unreliable results, foster increased resistance, and preclude the discovery of unsuspected intelligence information of value (pp. 40-42).”
From Educing Information:
“Most observers, even those within professional circles, have unfortunately been influenced by the media’s colorful (and artificial) view of interrogation as almost always involving hostility and the employment of force — be it physical or psychological — by the interrogator against the hapless, often slow-witted subject.” (p. 95).
Dr. Paulette Otis, contributor to Educing Information, summarized her view of its findings: “(1) pain does not elicit intelligence known to prevent greater harm; (2) the use of pain is counterproductive both in a tactical and strategic sense; (3) chemical and biological methods are unreliable; (4) research tends to indicate that ‘educing’ information without the use of harsh interrogation is more valuable.”