Interrogation is the process of gathering as much information as possible from suspects through direct questioning by law enforcement officers. However, there are constraints on the use of interrogation. This is due to the fact that each defendant is protected from self-incrimination. An individual cannot be forced to testify in his or her criminal case. As a result, statements made during interrogations must be made voluntarily; otherwise, they will be inadmissible as evidence in the suspect's trial. If police use force or intimidation to obtain compliance, the statements cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. There exist many interrogation tactics some of which inflict physical abuse on the suspect while; others are devoid of violence of any kind.

Guantanamo Bay is a military prison located in Guantanamo Bay naval base owned and controlled by the United States. The camp was established under the reign of George W Bush in 2002 when the United States launched a war on terror. Inmates are usually indefinitely without trial and tortured brutally in the quest of acquiring critical information by the law enforcement agencies. Amnesty International considers the camp as a major breach of human rights.

Methods of interrogation

Water boarding is one of the most commonly used interrogation technique in Guantanamo. The victim is placed on a declined board where the feet are raised, and the head is kept close to the feet. The material is the tied over the victim's face and water is poured over him or her thus depriving the individual much-needed oxygen.

The law enforcement officers also apply for stress positions as another technique. The prisoner is compelled to stand for close to forty hours while handcuffed and feet tied to a bolt on the floor. This creates a lot of pressure on just two muscles of the legs leading to intense pain and eventually muscle failure.

The shaking of the prisoner is another technique used in interrogations where the interrogator grabs the prisoner by the shirts and shakes him continuously with many brutalities. Investigators also use abdomen strikes where a hard blow is dealt on the prisoner's stomach. Deception plays a crucial role in an effective interrogation. The interrogator receives the prisoner about their high position on the case, making fallacies thereby implying that another person has already implicated the prisoner.

Interrogators take different sides in the good cop and bad cop strategy. The good cop sympathizes with the victim whereas the bad cop acquires a negative stance on the matter. Having earned trust from the prisoner, the right cop is in a good position to gain the much-needed information they are looking for.

Finally, we have the Reid technique where the body language of prisoners is watched keenly to detect any deceit. It faces criticism in that it is not applicable across cultures and results to false confessions.

Effectiveness of interrogations in Guantanamo Bay

Investigation should aim at providing of concrete evidence in the court of law. Thanks to technological advancement, interrogations are frequently recorded and the visual and audio data stored appropriately for presentation as evidence in the trial.

Investigations result to the extraction of valuable information from suspects. The information has aided law enforcement officers in their investigation where they can apprehend more criminals and thwart any possible attacks or crimes being planned by accomplices of the prisoner.

Ease in acquiring high-value information from the prisoners. Security concerns require cases closed within the shortest time possible for the law enforcement officers to be up to date with the latest information and strategies on their work. The removal of comfort ability from a particular situation results to the extraction of information from the prisoners within a concise time, which works to the advantage of the security agencies. A good example is the case of Osama bin Laden where the United States intelligence officers benefited from much-needed information.

Interrogation creates fear and intimidates other prisoners who witness one of their own being tortured during interrogation. This aspect of fear makes the prisoners go easy on the valuable information that they may be having otherwise they will undergo the very same procedure that they witnessed on their comrades.

Regular and consistent interrogations have led to psychological and social development among the officers involved in the investigation. Guantanamo Bay receives a mixture of prisoners from different backgrounds. Experiences of interrogators with these various people enhance their psychological thinking and comprehension of divergent views and beliefs from the many prisoners.

Discipline and order are essential in any correctional facility and requires a combination of efforts to ensure safety among the prisoners held. Guantanamo Bay keeps dangerous criminals most of whom are terrorists or aid in terrorist activities and are known to be very brutal and inhumane amongst each other while behind bars. In the case of any discipline issues, interrogation is used to identify the real cause and those involved in misconduct such as fighting and torture amongst the prisoners.

Detainees should have a protection program. Although those detained in Guantanamo Bay are known to be lethal persons, they require protection from any form of harm or murder from the victims of their heinous acts and other members of the public who may be at daggers drawn with them. In the course of carrying out interrogation, the interrogator can know whether the detainee is a target of any possible elimination by his accomplices in terrorism who are yet to be apprehended and fear that the prisoner might give out vital information that may lead to their arrest. Such possibilities should not be underestimated, and the subject should be accorded proper security in and out of Guantanamo Bay.

How to improve interrogation in Guantanamo Bay

Authorities at the Bay should carry out proper supervision and vigilance over their juniors. Detainees are usually at the mercy of officers who may turn brutal during interrogation leading to physical abuse and possible death. The authorities should devise methods of monitoring the conduct of their officers at the facility to prevent the occurrence of brutality.

Use of up to date technology in recording visual and audio data captured during interrogations. Installation of secret cameras at the facility should be implemented to curb incidences of secret interrogations and torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Guantanamo Bay is characterized by harsh living conditions that the prisoners are subjected. These worse conditions of confinement harden the detainees because of the notion that not even animals are a subject to such conditions. This results to hard-headedness among many prisoners who then become very difficult to interrogate and unwilling to cooperate at all costs. This adversely affects the security operations of law enforcement agencies.

Separation or confinement of detainees at facilities according to crimes committed. Prisoners detained for the same reason should be separated from one another to reduce any chance of communication among them significantly. Interrogation will then bear fruits since the separated detainees are not aware of what transpired between the interrogator and their comrades. The detainees are prevented from planning on the false information to give in the case of interrogation.

Outsourcing and contracting psychologists to devise and carry out new interrogation techniques in Guantanamo Bay. Due to their expertise, doctors are better suited to perform smooth interrogations because they can comprehend the mindset and nonverbal communication by the detainees. The rapport created by psychologists enables extraction of information that would otherwise be impossible if a law enforcement officer carried out the investigation.

The introduction of a particular course in the regular training of law enforcement personnel and the military the unique course will involve training on interrogation skills, the context of inquiry, listening skills, and keen observation. This will work to the advantage of the interrogators who will be entering this field with the necessary skills of extracting information. The crucial role-played by culture and language should also be considered, and Guantanamo Bay should provide interpreters to prevent language barrier.


Interrogation is very fundamental in obtaining critical information from prisoners. In the case of Guantanamo Bay, it has proved to be successful since its inception by the Bush administration in 2002 in its quest to fight terrorism. Nevertheless, improvements in the interrogation techniques are recommended to prevent abuse of human rights and reap maximum success. Therefore, instead of using torturous techniques of interrogation, investigators should employ psychological tactics.


Bloche, M. Gregg, and Jonathan H. Marks. "Doctors and interrogators at Guantanamo Bay." New England Journal of Medicine 353, no. 1 (2005): 6-8.

Borum, Randy. Psychology of terrorism. University of South Florida Tampa Dept Of Mental Health Law And Policy, 2007.

Kleinman, Steven M. "KUBARK counterintelligence interrogation review: Observations of an interrogator." Interrogation: Science and Art 209 (2006): 95.

Lewis, Neil A. "Red Cross finds detainee abuse in Guantanamo." New York Times 30, no. 11 (2004).

Ratner, Michael, and Ellen Ray. Guantanamo: What the world should know. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004.

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