Tradecraft Primer : A Framework for Aspiring Interrogators book cover
1st Edition

Tradecraft Primer
A Framework for Aspiring Interrogators

ISBN 9781498751148
Published March 29, 2016 by Routledge
156 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Tradecraft Primer: A Framework for Aspiring Interrogators is a timely and relevant reference manual for a new generation of professionals as we enter a new era in our nation’s interrogation programs. A must-read for anyone thinking of entering the interrogation profession, whether in law enforcement, the military, or intelligence, it provides fresh insights from the latest empirical-based studies that will enhance your results and contribute to best practices. It challenges past beliefs and legacy interrogation practices of previous generations by capturing novel approaches that no longer rely on physical and psychological coercion, unethical or questionable ruses, or abusive mistreatment.

Importantly, this primer also opens the door to valuable lessons from contemporary experts in human motivation and more effective social influence methodologies and tactics while you learn of the art and science behind rapport-building, effective communication constructs, and the influence of interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics for use inside the interrogation room. In addition, it captures the "interrogation cycle" as a handy reference graphic. By reading this primer, you will learn how to reduce incidences of false confessions, mitigate eyewitness misidentification, and gain simple contemporary insights to outsmart liars and discern truth-tellers from deceivers.

As an advocate for a sea change in the way our nation’s interrogation programs are run and managed, this primer encourages a team approach to interrogations and emphasizes active engagement and oversight by supervisors in efforts to corroborate interrogation outcomes. It also asserts the need for the adoption of a common code of ethics shared among all practitioners—an ethical code created in deference to our nation’s Constitution, statutes, international treaties, and the policies of our nation’s leaders. One that encompasses the pledge and built on two underlying principles: Do no harm and respect human rights.

Table of Contents

Getting Our Terms Straight
The Need to Seek Common Ground
Redefining the Term "Interrogation"
Comparing Law Enforcement and Intelligence Interrogations
Other Associative Terms to Understand
Law Enforcement Custodial Interrogations
Law Enforcement Noncustodial Interrogations
Strategic Debriefing
Tactical Questioning

Interrogation’s Tortuous Past
Snapshots from Distant History
The Qin Dynasty
The Roman Empire
The Dark Ages
Salem Witch Trial
Napoleon Speaks Out!
The Wickersham Commission
Evolving Case Law
Brown v. Mississippi (1936) and Chambers v. Florida (1940)
Rochin v. California (1952)
Miranda v. California (1966)
Lessons from World War II
The Cold War Era
The U.S. Experience in the Korean War
On the Heels of the Vietnam Conflict
The U.S. Experience in the Vietnam Conflict

Enter the Global War on Terror
Black Sites
Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
The Evolving Army Field Manual
A Major Force for Change

Rights of Persons in Custody
Constitutional Provisions Influencing Custodial Interrogations
Fifth Amendment
Sixth Amendment
Eighth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment

International Treaties Opposing Torture
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Geneva Conventions and Common Article 3
UN Convention against Torture
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Istanbul Protocol
U.S. Laws, Statutes, and Executive Orders against Torture
Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA)
War Crime Act (WCA) – 18 USC
Federal Torture Statute – 18 USC §
Detainee Treatment Act (DTA)
Military Commissions Act (MCA)
Executive Order 13491

Challenges Yet Ahead

On Being Human
Understanding Memory
Associated Factors Influencing Outcomes
Reality Mapping
Passage of Time
Suggestibility and Memory Distortion
Situational Dynamics of Capture
Physical and Emotional Isolation
Guilt, Shame, and Humiliation
Physiological and Cognitive Factors
Physical Setting
Infliction of Pain and Threats of Bodily Injury

Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Dynamics
The Science of Rapport
Choose Your Words, Demeanor, and Tenor Wisely
Six Key Elements of Influencing Interpersonal Dynamics
Five Core Needs Influencing Interpersonal Dynamics

Put These Concepts into Action

The Interrogation Cycle
The Law Enforcement Interrogation Cycle
Collect Relevant Background Information
Frame Initial Questions
Noncustodial Interview and Assessment
Decision to Release or Detain in Custody, Mirandize, and Isolate
Develop Your Interrogation Strategy
Seek the Miranda Waiver
The Custodial Interrogation
Corroborate Outcomes
Decision to Refer to a Prosecutor, Release or Detain, and Repeat Cycle

The Intelligence Interrogation Cycle
Identify Threats and Priority Intelligence Gaps
Screen Detainees
Frame Initial Questions
Perform Pre-Interrogation Interview
Craft and Execute Your Interrogation Strategy
Corroborate Responses

About Confessions
Three Factors Influencing Confessions
Strength of Evidence
Time Commitment
Number of Tactics

Other Factors Influencing Confessions
Wrongful Convictions
Interrogation-Induced False Confessions
Eyewitness Misidentification
Jailhouse Informants

Facing Up to the Problem
Minimizing False Confessions
Eyewitness Reforms

Unmasking Deception
Outsmarting Liars
Integrity Is Not a Stable Trait
People Make Poor Lie Detectors
The Big Four of Nonverbal Cues
Content Analysis
Statement Analysis
Linguistic Markers

Facial Expressions
Uncovering Deception in a Co-Conspiratorial Context
Other Ways to Outsmart Liars
Time Well Spent
Being a Good Listener
Other Techniques

Calling for a Code of Ethics
The Need for a Code of Ethics
Leading the Change
Final Thoughts

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Paul Charles Topalian possesses nearly 30 years as an intelligence professional with considerable overseas experience in Asia and Europe. His foundational expertise in this primer is built on assignments with the United States military, the intelligence community, and law enforcement. He holds a BA from Norwich University and earned his MS from Salve Regina University and his MA from the US Naval War College. He is proud recipient of several national-level intelligence awards for both personal and team achievements in support of some of our nation’s top intelligence requirements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Paul Charles Topalian

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This book, as the title suggests, is a primer for those who aspire to practice interrogation as a vocation. It is a solid reference for any interrogator. The books and articles referenced are outstanding for further study and suited for in-depth study accompanied by practical experience.

Mark Roberts, Subject Matter Expert—book review in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 9, No. 4, Winter 2016

There is a great deal of information in this relatively small book, and it updates the reader on new theories of interviewing for the 21st century. An excellent bibliography of military and psychological references will be especially welcome to researchers and the academic community. The author's concluding thoughts ring true: "Do no harm—respect human rights." The book is highly recommended for investigative and intelligence specialists.

Adrian A. Barnie, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist)—book review in ASIS International, April 2018