Interrogation & Torture
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Editors: Steven J. Barela, Gloria Gaggioli, Mark Fallon and Jens David Ohlin

Interrogation and Torture is a crucial and compelling contribution to the global fight against torture, arriving at a time when the acceptance of torture—incredibly—seems to be on the rise in some important quarters. Among the remarkable contingent of 36 contributors from 14 different countries, you will notably _ nd the current, and two former, UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture. And perhaps most signi_ cantly, I believe this invaluable book can help build a historic bridge between the human rights and law enforcement communities. Sometimes assumed to be adversarial, this book proves that their logics are remarkably similar when it comes to effective interrogation.

— Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, United Nations OHCHR

Criminal investigators are the purveyors of truth—the core objective of any interview or interrogation. The talented team of contributions in this book provide unprecedented clarity on this matter to those seeking to protect national security and the public safety. In doing so they offer sound guidance to improve the practice of obtaining accurate and reliable information, ensuring that those who employ the methods adhere to a code of ethics, integrity, and the law.

— David Brant, Former Director of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

The chapters found in this genuine page-turner offer valuable programs of action: the science presented by researchers and practitioners plainly guides us toward rapport-based interrogation because of its efficacy; international law experts call for a standard-setting instrument for non-coercive interviews; military professionals warn of grave strategic consequences for torture policy; and psychologists propose a Truth Commission to rescue their profession. Citizen readers of this book will become informed of significant developments on interrogation crucial to public policy, and the ultimate implementation of these insights will depend on self-aware and inquiring patriots.

— Jean Maria Arrigo, Social Psychologist, Recipient of the 2015 AAAS Award for Scientic Freedom and Responsibility

We have been in space, we can make the blind see, and we save our photos in clouds, but we don’t stop torture. We know torture is illegal and immoral, and now the emergent science shows it to be ineffective. Interrogation and Torture takes you through a dim and scary landscape, but the guides—the contributors to the volume—navigate well. The darker it is, the clearer they see. I strongly recommend this book—it’s out of the ordinary; it’s about life and death.

— Pär Anders Granhag, Professor of Psychology, University of Gothenburg

This volume delves into interrogation and torture at a unique moment as two novel and significant developments unfurl:

1. emerging scientific research shows non-coercive methods to be the most effective interrogation techniques;

2. efforts are made to integrate this science and practice into international law and global policing initiatives.

Of initial import, readers will find contributions presenting some of the burgeoning research to offer an introduction into the scientific literature. Also of genuine value, details  are put forward of how this knowledge and science is being brought to bear on the realm of international law and evolving practices through the initiative launched in 2016 by the (now former) UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to create a Universal Protocol setting standards for non-coercive interviewing.

Such advancements have the potential to transform the conversation on interrogation and torture in all disciplines and the contributions in this edited book are meant to spark those discussions. Moreover, this volume can serve as a guide for the makers and implementers of policy who seek lawful, ethical, human-rights compliant—and the most effective—methods to obtain reliable information from those perceived to pose a threat to public safety. To achieve these aims the editors have brought together highly experienced practitioners and leading scholars in law, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, social science, national security, and government (36 contributors from 14 countries) to illuminate meaningful insights from various fields of study.

Table of Contents

[outofthebox bgcolor=”secondary” pattern=”0″ bgimagesize=”cover” fixedbg=”false” removemargins=”true”] Foreword

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Introduction: Legal, Moral and Effective Interrogation

Steven J. Barela

Jens David Ohlin

  1. Identifying Torture
    1. Defining Torture and the Obligation of Systematic Review in the CAT Treaty
      • Manfred Nowak
      • Giuliana Monina
    2. Personality Disruption as Mental Torture: The CIA, Interrogational Abuse, and the U.S. Torture Act
      • David Luban
      • Katherine S. Newell
    3. The Field of Torture Today: Ten Years On from Torture and Democracy
      • Darius Rejali
  2. The Emergent Science and Effective Practice of Interrogation
    1. The HIG Project: A Road to Scientific Research on Interrogation
      • Mark Fallon
      • Susan E. Brandon
    2. Developing Rapport and Trust in the Interrogative Context: An Empirically-Supported Alternative
      • Laure Brimbal
      • Colonel Steven M. Kleinman (Ret.)
      • Simon Oleszkiewicz
      • Christian A. Meissner
    3. Investigative Interviewing: From England to Norway and Beyond
      • Ray Bull
      • Asbjørn Rachlew
    4. Interrogating the Brain: Torture and the Neuroscience of Humane Interrogation
      • Shane O’Mara
  3. Strains on Professionals and Professionalism
    1. Professional Standards in the Aftermath of Torture: The Struggles of the American Psychological Association
      • Stephen Soldz
      • Steven Reisner
    2. What Can Be Asked of Interrogators?
      • Michael Skerker
    3. Beyond Ethics on the Sly: The Behavioral Sciences & National-Security Interrogation
      • M. Gregg Bloche
  4. Reviewing Legal Efforts to Constrain Torture
    1. Cycles of Compulsion: Efficacy and Legality in the History of Israeli Torture Debates and Practice
      • Karin Loevy
    2. A Qualified Defense of the Obama Administration’s Record on Torture
      • John T. Parry
    3. Unmasking the Challenges: Interrogation and International Law
      • Gloria Gaggioli
      • Pavle Kilibarda
  5. A Fresh View on Enduring Moral Debates
    1. Torture, Dignity and the Rule of Law
      • J.M. Bernstein
    2. Justifying Too Much: Utilitarianism as a Moral Theory
      • Bob Brecher
    3. Reclaiming Bentham on Torture
      • Steven J. Barela
  6. A Future Without Interrogational Torture
      1. Preventing Torture: What Works?
        • Mark Thomson
        • Barbara Bernath
      2. Repairing the Damage from Illegal Acts of State: The Costs of Failed Accountability for Torture
        • Claire Finkelstein
        • Brigadier General Steve Xenakis, M.D. (Ret.)
      3. Drinking from a Poisoned Chalice: A Portrait of the U.S. Military Commissions at Guantánamo
        • Brigadier General John G. Baker
        • Mary E. Spears
        • Katherine S. Newell
      4. Setting Universal Standards for Non-Coercive Interviews and Associated Safeguards
        • Juan E. Méndez
        • Andra Nicolescu

    Afterword: The Corrosive Strategic Legacy of Torture

    Alberto Mora


Legitimacy and Drones
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Targeted killing by remote-control with unmanned drones may be the future face of war. Drones reduce the cost of using force, and tempt states to resort to force more readily. Legitimacy and Drones brings together a multinational group of scholars to ask all the right questions—when are drones lawful, ethical, and effective, and what limits must be imposed on their use. An invaluable collection on one of the most pressing issues of our time.

— David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center, USA

This timely, rich and occasionally provocative volume will help set the parameters of debate and legal reflection on the vital questions posed by the use of drones, not least the fundamental relationship between legality, morality and legitimacy.

— Philippe Sands QC, University College London, UK

Unmanned combat air vehicles, or in common parlance “drones”, have become a prominent instrument in US efforts to counter an objective (and subjective) cross-border terrorist threat with lethal force. As a result, critical questions abound on the legitimacy of their use. In a series of multidisciplinary essays by scholars with an extensive knowledge of international norms, this book explores the question of legitimacy through the conceptual lenses of legality, morality and efficacy; it then closes with the consideration of a policy proposal aimed at incorporating all three indispensable elements.

The importance of this inquiry cannot be overstated. Non-state actors fully understand that attacking the much more powerful state requires moving the conflict away from the traditional battlefield where they are at an enormous disadvantage. Those engaging in terrorism seek to goad the ruling government into an overreaction, or abuse of power, to trigger a destabilization via an erosion of its legitimacy. Thus defending the target of legitimacy—in this case, insuring the use of deadly force is constrained by valid limiting principles—represents an essential strategic interest.

This book seeks to come to grips with the new reality of drone warfare by exploring if it can be used to preserve, rather than eat away at, legitimacy. After an extensive analysis of the three key parameters in twelve chapters, the practical proposition of establishing a “Drone Court” is put forward and examined as a way of pursuing the goal of integrating these essential components to defend the citizenry and the legitimacy of the government at the same time.

Table of Contents

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Introduction: Legitimacy as a Target

Steven J. Barela

      1. Through the Lens of Legality—Formal Validity
        1. Jus ad Bellum: Crossing Borders to Wage War against Individuals
          • Christian Tams
          • James Devaney
        2. Who Can Be Killed?: Legal Targets in Non-International Armed Conflicts
          • Patrycja Grzebyk
        3. Boundaries of the Battlefield: The Geographical Scope of the Laws of War
          • Katja Schöberl
        4. Lethal Force and Drones: The Human Rights Question
          • Gloria Gaggioli
      2. Through the Lens of Morality—Axiological Validity
        1. Old Ideas in New Skins: The Sixteenth Century Debate on Artillery
          • Alexis Keller
        2. The Question of “Imminence”: A Historical View on Anticipatory Attacks
          • Steven J. Barela
        3. Correcting the Record: Civilians, Proportionality, and the Jus ad Vim
          • Avery Plaw
          • Carlos R. Colon
        4. From Just War to Clean War: The Impact of Modern Technology on Military Ethics
          • Delphine Hayim
      3. Through the Lens of Efficacy—Empirical Validity
        1. Data on Leadership Targeting and Potential Impacts for Communal Support
          • Jenna Jordan
        2. Tactical Efficacy: “Notorious” UCAVs and Lawfare
          • Marek Madej
        3. Strategic Efficacy: The Opinion of Security and a Dearth of Data
          • Steven J. Barela
        4. Systemic Efficacy: “Potentially Shattering Consequences for International Law”
          • Robert Kolb
      4. Creating a Drone Court—Integration via a Policy Proposal
        1. Establishment of a Drone Court: A Necessary Restraint on Executive Power
          • Amos N. Guiora
          • Jeffrey S. Brand
        2. Can UCAVs be Reconciled with Liberal Governance?: The Substantive Law of a Drone Court
          • Tom Farer
          • Frédéric Bernard

Conclusion: Defending Legitimacy

Steven J. Barela


Int'l Law, New Diplomacy and Counterterrorism

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Now available in Paperback


This interdisciplinary book explores how those who employ terrorist tactics across international borders intend to achieve their strategic goals by targeting a government’s legitimacy. The dramatic increase in global cooperation throughout the twentieth century—between international organizations and their state missions of diplomats, foreign officers, international civil servants, intelligence officers, military personnel, police investigators, judges, legislators, and financial regulators—has had a bearing on the shape and content of the domestic political order. The rules that govern all of these interactions, and the diplomats engaged to monitor and advocate for compliance, have undergone a mushrooming development following the conclusion of each world war. This dramatic growth is arguably the most significant change the international structure has experienced since the inception of the state-based system ushered in with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

International Law, New Diplomacy and Counterterrorism explores the impact of this growth on domestic legitimacy through the integration of two disciplines: international law and political philosophy. Focusing particularly on the cross-border counterterrorism actions launched by the United States, the author investigates how civil societies have often turned to the standards of international law to understand and judge the legitimacy of their government’s counterterrorism policies reaching across international borders. The book concludes that those who craft counterterrorism policies must be attentive to defending the target of legitimacy by being wholly mindful of the realms of legality, morality and efficacy when exercising force.

Contents: overview

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Introduction: The Genii of the City

      1. Conceptualizing Legitimacy as a Target
      2. International Counterterrorism and a Legitimacy Deficit
      3. Through the Lens of Legality: Detention without Judicial Review
      4. Through the Lens of Morality: Just War and Public Diplomacy
      5. Through the Lens of Efficacy: Torture on Suspicion

Conclusion: Jeopardizing Legitimacy and Drones