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[Educing Information] Interrogation - Science and Art

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Produced by the Intelligence Science Board.
339 pages.

This is a compilation of 10 articles on interrogation methods and their efficacy comprises the first phase of a larger project sponsored by the Intelligence Science Board, which was chartered in 2002 to advise senior intelligence officials on scientific and technical issues of importance to the Intelligence Community.

Prospective readers should be warned: this anthology is not an easy read. Written, as it is, by a wide array of experts, it is laden with footnotes and professional jargon. One chapter alone offers 525 notes of legalistic overkill by two young scholars from Harvard University's School of Law. Beyond this challenge is the Orwellian, repellent nature of the topic itself--the pulling-out-of-fingernails connotation that the word "interrogation" carries. The extraction of information from unwilling subjects is obviously an unpleasant matter. It has also been hounded by controversy ever since the exposès at Abu Ghraib, which revealed questionable approaches adopted in 2003 by US military intelligence officers in their efforts to elicit information from Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad.

The odd and esoteric title, Educing Information, is an attempt to soften the topic for potential readers, but I doubt if it will accomplish much more than to confuse library catalogers as well as those searching for material on "interrogation," not "eduction." Since this is, after all, a Department of Defense publication, acronyms in the text are inevitable, and "educing information" is reduced to "EI" throughout.