Interrogation is a tactic used by all countries, governments and even individual businesses and gangs, usually in order to gather needed information. Interrogation can be relatively tame or excessively violent, depending upon the interrogation situation. By observing interrogation situations and viewing different reasons and methods for intelligence gathering, individuals can understand why and when such practices are employed.
There are many reasons for interrogation, but almost all of them have to do with gathering information. Individuals may be interrogated in order to obtain a confession for a crime; gather intelligence on an enemy; glean details of an event or help further incriminate another offender. Individuals – especially those in certain branches of the military – can be trained to resist a wide variety of interrogation techniques. Many countries also have extensive rules and regulations regarding interrogation techniques, as well as policies pertaining to the record keeping and prisoner rights during such events. Almost all interrogation situations, aside from illegal ones, must follow direct protocols established by upper law enforcement, military personnel or the executive branch of the government.
One interrogation tactic commonly employed today is the idea of suggestibility. Using this tactic, interrogators provide suggestions regarding the information they wish to acquire from the prisoner. Often, this is used to help squeeze a confession from a prisoner. Suggestibility practices often include the use of sleep deprivation. Interrogators may also attack prisoners (in a non-physical sense) to lower their self-esteem, making them more likely to break down under pressure. The famous good cop/bad cop routine is an offshoot of this. In this routine, one interrogator will break down the confidence of the individual while the other plays ‘protector’ – building the individual back up and encouraging them to ‘help’ by admitting needed information.
Torture is the most popularized form of interrogation. Torture always involves causing psychological and physical harm to an individual. The idea is that if the individual gives up the information, the pain will stop. Sometimes, drugs can be used to alter the person’s state of mind or make them more likely to admit information. However, this is not always a dependable method, and it is illegal in some countries.