No-Touch Torture (Remote torture) , Interrogations and False Confession
It is well settled that courts permit interrogators to lie to suspects on certain subjects and to deceive them — and interrogators routinely exercise these freedoms. They lie about both the existence and the strength of the evidence that supposedly links the suspect to a crime. They deceive suspects by feigning certainty in the suspect’s guilt even when they have no evidence pointing to the person. And, when they know their advice is not in the suspect’s interest, they deceive by feigning sincerity when they volunteer advice about how best to deal with the problem facing the suspect.10
Interrogators also lie when they do things that the courts prohibit, such as promising leniency. Not only are their promises of leniency impermissible, they are false. Persons who are naïve about interrogation are unlikely to realize they are being lied to by the detective they correctly understand is promising that leniency will follow from a confession that the crime happened in a certain way. The detective knows that he has no power to deliver on his promise. He has no intention of trying to honor the promise. He probably does not believe that the crime happened as he has suggested. He has also probably already made up his mind that he will lie if asked about the promise and deny that he ever made it, even if he is asked while under oath.11
Interrogation is also an exceptional experience because the stakes are so high. Being accused of having committed a murder is likely to foster the realization that what life will be like in the future depends on the resolution of the accusation. Interrogators capitalize on and intensify the feelings associated with this realization. They try to make it seem that the suspect’s future, if not his life, turns on the outcome of the interrogation itself, as if it is during the interrogation that the accusation will be resolved. Both being accused of a serious crime and the interrogator’s initial position that the suspect’s future will be spent in prison are likely to be disturbing and create great anxiety. Interrogators act to magnify a suspect’s distress for two reasons. They want the suspect to believe that he or she needs to reach a resolution during the interrogation. They also want to intensify the suspect’s distress since emotionality interferes with thinking strategically and diminishes the likelihood that the suspect will consider possible options different from those the interrogator proposes.
Despite the fact that interrogations are conducted under atypical circumstances and in settings that are unusually stressful, there is no reason to imagine that a suspect’s decision-making is anything but rational given the information on which he is relying. That said, one should not forget the adage “garbage in, garbage out” and bear in mind that in assessing options the suspect is enmeshed in a fantasy deliberately created by the interrogator. Even knowing he is innocent of the crime, in assessing risk a suspect relies on false information about the amount of evidence that mistakenly links him to the crime. In deciding what is best for him to do, the suspect does not know that the offer of a way out is a fraud. What makes psychological coercion so dangerous is that it can lead an innocent person to erroneously conclude that giving a false confession is the best choice under what he perceives to be his circumstances.
Approaching interrogation as a matter of rational decision-making and being able to study records of interrogations have led to certain realizations about how detectives convince suspects to admit responsibility for a crime. To prepare someone to shift from denial to admission, detectives need to accomplish specific intermediate goals and address these goals in a particular order. Influencing someone to shift requires three steps: (1) that the suspect’s perception of his situation be changed from confident and secure that the interrogation will not be a problem for him to dispirited and hopeless; (2) that the suspect’s expectations about the future change from confident he or she will return to normal life to certain that arrest and imprisonment will follow the interrogation; and (3) that a motivator be provided to induce the suspect to shift from denial to admission of responsibility.
Interrogation records reveal that detectives use a relatively small number of alternative tactics to accomplish each of their essential sub-goals. Although interrogations vary somewhat as a function of the habits of the detectives conducting them and the crimes under investigation, the similarities from one interrogation to the next are far more striking than their differences. The similarities are there because detectives learn to conduct interrogations by attending schools or through on-the-job training that passes on the culture of interrogation.
True and false confessions happen in response to interrogations that are built from almost identical collections of tactics. Understanding why false confessions happen starts with realizing that interrogations that overcome a suspect’s resistance and produce confessions will always include steps 1 and 2 because these steps set up the suspect to view his situation in a certain way — because his future is determined, confessing or not makes no real difference.
The majority of the tactics detectives actually use in interrogation are approved (or not disapproved) by the courts. What appears to distinguish interrogations that can produce a false confession from those that do not have this potential is the type and strength of the motivator that the interrogator relies on to accomplish step 3. Interrogations that stay within the bounds set by the courts, including which motivational tactics may be used, do not seem to have the potential to cause normal, innocent adults to falsely confess.
Based on the research that has been done and my experience studying interrogation and false confession in the United States, it appears that knowing false confessions from psychologically and intellectually normal adults come about if and only if a detective introduces into the interrogation a too strong motivator, that is, a motivator that is psychologically coercive.12 A psychologically coercive motivator is created when an interrogator establishes a linkage between confessing and absolute or relative leniency and/or a linkage between continuing to deny and absolute or relatively severe punishment. Interrogators inject psychological coercion into an interrogation either by making direct, blatant threats and promises or through a more complicated method that works to communicate a message via a series of suggestions and slightly veiled promises.
Unfortunately, despite knowing full well that what they are doing is prohibited, some detectives deliberately use psychological coercion to obtain confessions from suspects. Although undoubtedly many of the suspects exposed to coercive motivators are guilty of the crime, some are not and the interrogator cannot necessarily tell the difference. The reliance by American police on the use of coercive motivators is a serious problem. According to studies, false confessions are one of the major causes of miscarriages of justice in America. ( Read More)
Posted on September 1, 2011, in Brainwashing, Gaslighting, Remote Neural Monitoring, Synthetic Telepathy, Through Wall Surveillance, Torture and tagged psychotronics, synthetic telepathy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.