Paper Example on Interrogations in Guantanamo

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1531 Words
Date:  2022-06-23


After the 9/11 attacks which led to the loss of lives and destruction of the property, the United States government initiated programs to ensure that no future attacks would emanate from within or outside the United States. As such, central intelligence agency, the federal bureau of investigation, the homeland security, the military and other security agencies began to gather intelligence that would enable the security agencies to prevent other terror attacks from happening in the US. The need to collect intelligence led to the initiation of surveillance systems to monitor communication as well as capturing of terror suspects to gather intelligence. Due to the human rights enshrined in the US constitution, the Bush administration initiated the Guantanamo military detention camp whereby terror suspects would be interrogated for the sole purpose of gathering intelligence to stop potential attacks in the United States.

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The Guantanamo detention camp is a United States military prison situated in Guantanamo, Cuba. The military captures potential terror suspects and detains them in the detention camp indefinitely without trial to acquire intelligence to prevent terror attacks from happening in the United States soil. Although the US government conducts operations in Guantanamo Bay, the detention camp is outside the sovereignty of the United States due to its geographical location on the coast of Cuba. Consequently, neither Cuban nor US courts have jurisdiction over the detainees in the camp to carry out any legal trial. Therefore, the detainees do not have any legal rights to challenge their detention either in the Cuban or US courts.

The war on terror requires the intelligence personnel to be adept in their interrogations. During the interrogation of possible terror suspects, the CIA KUBARK manual stipulates that an interrogator should be analytical. That is, he or she should appropriately understand a suspect. The suspect could be a potential informant or a defector willing to confess his or her crimes and offer intelligence to stop a terror attack. As such, an analytical interrogator should understand the suspect and evaluate the questions to ask to ensure that the suspect does not lie during the interrogation. Further, the CIA KUBARK advocates for analytical support whereby an interrogator has a support team who study the responses from the suspect and formulate the next question to avoid possible deception by the suspect. The analytical support should assist the interrogator to use the information they have on the suspect to coerce him or her into giving actionable intelligence.

Similarly, the CIA KUBARK guidelines can apply to the interrogations in Guantanamo Bay. Since the detention is indefinite, terror suspects may fail to provide information to the interrogators. However, the use of coercive methods could enable the interrogators to acquire relevant information and avoid deception from the suspect. Consequently, the interrogators in Guantanamo should have analytical support which assists the interrogator and identifies deception from a suspect. The primary purpose of the analytical team is to study and analyze the responses from the suspects and use the information they have on the suspect to coerce him or her into providing intelligence. Thus, the information used in questioning the suspect enables the interrogators and the analytical support team to understand whether the suspect is giving false or true information.

According to Randy Borum, most of the studies used to train interrogators to identify deception are American-based. Thus, interrogators may fail to acquire intelligence from Al-Qaeda terror suspects due to the nature of the interrogator's training. Terrorist threats can emanate from any group in the world; therefore, the interrogators should be trained to identify the vulnerabilities of a suspect that they could use to coerce him or her to give relevant information. On the other hand, some studies claim interrogators use extreme measures in interrogating suspects of Islam religion while they practice leniency on the suspects of American origin due to lack of studies that expound on non-American and English studies. Therefore, interrogators should have adequate training in studies that utilize non-American and English studies to understand the vulnerabilities of suspects of diverse origins which can assist in the interrogation processes.

The detainees in Guantanamo Bay are of various origins; as such, it is imperative that the training of Guantanamo interrogators is diverse and utilizes non-American and English subjects. In most cases, it may be impossible to coerce a suspect to provide information even with the use of extreme physical torture. Therefore, it is crucial to have an understanding of the vulnerabilities of an individual which can enable him or her provide actionable intelligence. Subsequently, some suspects may not provide information due to torture; thus, it is crucial for the interrogators in Guantanamo to understand the vulnerabilities of a suspect that will coerce them to give information besides torture. For instance, a suspect may be ready to provide information if they are assured protection of their families; while on the other hand, they may fail to communicate if threatened with death sentence or physical torture. Therefore, it is important to understand the vulnerabilities of an individual that can coerce him or her to provide intelligence.

Also, in ascertaining the truth in responses from suspects, the use of machines can be an effective method. The machine used in the detection of deception evaluates the rate of heart-beats, blood pressure, and respiratory rates which vary when responses are true and when they are false. The use of physical observation may be inadequate in ascertaining whether a suspect's responses are true or false. The interrogations in Guantanamo require the respondents to provide truthful information that can help the military to stop terrorism. As such, the use of the mechanical detection of deception should be used in the Guantanamo interrogations to ensure that the suspects do not lie in their responses. This is because observation may be inadequate in providing the required intelligence.

Moreover, during interrogations, it is crucial to observe the law. According to the constitution, some confessions or evidence may be inadmissible in court if they violate the provisions of the constitution. The primary purpose of any interrogation is to ensure that the law is upheld and there is peace. As such, it is crucial that interrogators use information provided by a suspect to stop terrorist organizations and not just a single terror attack. For instance, if a suspect agrees to provide evidence that can convict other terrorists, the interrogators are required by the law to ensure the confession is of free will to be admissible in court. Therefore, the interrogations in Guantanamo should apply the lessons learned from law enforcement interrogations.

Further, the use of the 'truth serum' can be effective in acquiring information from a suspect. Since the interrogations in Guantanamo are outside the sovereignty of the United States, the government permits the military to use enhanced interrogation to acquire information from the suspects. Therefore, if the interrogators are sure that the suspects are holding back information, they are allowed to use the 'truth serum' during the interrogations. However, there are policies put in place that require doctors or psychologists to be present during such interrogations. The recent advancements in the war against terror have prompted that professional doctors and psychologists to be present during enhanced interrogations for the health of a suspect. Therefore, in the case a suspect is reluctant in providing intelligence to interrogators, the suspect may be injected with the drug to acquire the information that will aid in the war against terror.


To conclude, the Guantanamo Bay was initiated post the 9/11 era to assist in the gathering of intelligence from terror suspects. In enhancing the interrogations in Guantanamo, the interrogators should understand the importance of analytical support in identifying deception by a suspect. Subsequently, the interrogators should acquire the appropriate training in behavioral studies that utilize non-American and English subjects as well to improve their efficiency in the collection of intelligence. Further, the use of mechanical detection of deception is an effective means of identifying lies from a suspect during interrogations. Also, the interrogators are allowed to use enhanced interrogation methods including the use of 'truth serum' to gather intelligence. Therefore, the interrogations in Guantanamo Bay are effective and require slight enhancements to improve the process of intelligence gathering.


Borum, Randy. "Psychological vulnerabilities and propensities for involvement in violent extremism." Behavioral sciences & the law 32, no. 3 (2014): 286-305.

David, Gary C., Anne Warfield Rawls, and James Trainum. "Playing the interrogation game: Rapport, coercion, and confessions in police interrogations." Symbolic Interaction 41, no. 1 (2018): 3-8.

Greenberg, Ivan. "From surveillance to torture: The evolution of US interrogation practices during the War on Terror." Security Journal 28, no. 2 (2015): 165-183.

Kleinman, Steven M. "KUBARK counterintelligence interrogation review: Observations of an interrogator." Interrogation: Science and Art 209 (2006):102-104.

McClintock, Michael. "Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights since 9/11." The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence (2016): 24-26.

Narchet, Fadia M., Melissa B. Russano, Steven M. Kleinman, and Christian A. Meissner. "A (nearly) 360 perspective of the interrogation process: Communicating with high-value targets." Communication in investigative and legal contexts: Integrated approaches from forensic psychology, linguistics, and law enforcement (2016): 159-178.

Piazza, James A. "Terrorist suspect religious identity and public support for harsh interrogation and detention practices." Political Psychology 36, no. 6 (2015).

Srivastava, Nidhi, and Sipi Dubey. "Deception detection using artificial neural network and support vector machine." Biomedical Research 29, no. 10 (2018): 2047.

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