Interrogation's Law

By Levi, William Ranney | The Yale Law Journal, May 2009 | Go to article overview

Interrogation's Law


Levi, William Ranney, The Yale Law Journal


NOTE CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

I.   THE LAW'S LATITUDE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TO THE PRESENT
     A. Law and Interrogation: The Central Intelligence Agency
        The Torture Statute
        2. The Fifth Amendment
        3. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Military Commissions Act
     B. Law and Interrogation: The Department of Defense

II.  NAVIGATING LEGAL STRICTURES: ABSOLUTE BANS AND VAGUELY
     DEFINED ABUSE, 1949 TO 1973
     A. Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human
        Rights
     B. Law and Interrogation: The Central Intelligence Agency
        1. Coercion Within the Law
        2. Ethics, Efficacy, and Legal Strictures
     C. Law and Interrogation: The Department of Defense
        1. Coercion Within the Law
        2. Ethics, Efficacy, and Legal Strictures

III. AVOIDANCE: INTERROGATION BY OTHERS, 1973 TO 2001
     A. Coercion and the Law
     B. Coercion by Proxy

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

The acquisition of information through interrogation traditionally has been a central component of military and intelligence operations. (1) The need to extract actionable intelligence has, if anything, become more salient since September 21, 200l. A dispersed and "different kind" of enemy with no flag or uniform, an inadequate understanding of this new foe's organization and operations, and pressure to disrupt future surprise attacks have made interrogation fundamental to the War on Terror. (2)

Unlike ordinary police interrogation, interrogation undertaken to acquire intelligence information is not designed primarily to elicit admissions or information that may be used in a conventional prosecution. As noted by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogation manuals, "Admissions of complicity are not ... ends in themselves but merely preludes to the acquisition of more information." (3) The interrogation goal, as reflected in U.S. Army interrogation manuals, is to "obtain the maximum amount of usable information.... in a lawful manner, in a minimum amount of time." (4) This simply stated objective expresses well the tension inherent to interrogation between obtaining timely intelligence and observing the legal constraints that are understood to apply.

In 2002, the Bush Administration approved the CIA's use of certain coercive interrogation techniques, reportedly including temperature extremes, shackling, stress positions, sleep and sensory deprivation, loud noises, bright lights, nudity, isolation, shaking, head and stomach slaps, and waterboarding--a technique designed to simulate the sensation of drowning. (5) The CIA was not alone in its use of coercive interrogation. A Department of Defense (DoD) "Special Interrogation Plan" authorized eighteen to twenty hours of questioning per day for forty-eight out of fifty-four days, removal of clothing, and exposure to dogs, cold, strobe lights, and loud music. (6)

The use of such pressure techniques and the various legal and policy decisions that authorized them have been variously described as "uncharted," (7) "long condemned," (8) "new and aggressive," (9) and as a fundamental transformation constituting a "New Paradigm." (10) The New York Times reported that "[f]or decades before 2002, the United States had considered several of the methods [ultimately approved for use by the CIA] to be illegal torture." (11) One author, whose works prompted both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to hold hearings, claimed that the "U.S. military's long-established constraints on cruelty and torture, dating back to President Lincoln in 1863, were ... circumvented" (12) and "discarded," (13) and that the newly authorized interrogation program "turned its back on this tradition." (14) Some take a different approach in characterizing the Bush Administration's legal framework, but these voices also assume a dramatic break with the past--a break justified by exigency. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft posed and answered the question of interrogation policy change: "[W]e made it through the Second World War with one set of rules and we made it through the Cold War with another set of rules; shouldn't we just lock in on all those things and pretend the world's the same? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Interrogation's Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.