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Interrogation and TortureIntegrating Efficacy with Law and Morality$
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Steven J. Barela, Mark Fallon, Gloria Gaggioli, and Jens David Ohlin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190097523

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190097523.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

What Can Be Asked of Interrogators?

What Can Be Asked of Interrogators?

(p.253) 9 What Can Be Asked of Interrogators?
Interrogation and Torture

Michael Skerker

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how the rights and interests of interrogators should shape interrogation ethics. What can States ask of their police and military interrogators, given that certain interrogation techniques may have lasting moral and psychological effects on practitioners? I reject a prominent theory advocating a complete separation between professional and nonprofessional moral spheres as well as a theory that expects professionals to martyr themselves by using expedient methods even if they are conventionally considered immoral. I develop a theory of professional ethics involving a triangulation among the rights and interests of professionals, their clients, and their “targets.” The chapter applies the preferred standard of professional ethics to different modern interrogation methods. It draws on interviews with over a dozen interrogators to highlight concerns about the emotional toll that certain techniques may have on the interrogator. I conclude with recommendations on how interrogators using modern rapport-based techniques can engage in self-care to avoid compassion fatigue and moral injury.

Keywords:   interrogation, Perkins v. IL, compassion fatigue, moral injury, PTSD

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