MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Maryland. The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit against psychologists who designed a program the ACLU claims resulted in aggressive interrogation tactics. According to Time Magazine, the lawsuit claims that the psychologists’ suggestions resulted in the CIA using more aggressive interrogation tactics—tactics which may be illegal.
If the ACLU wins, the case could set a precedent for those who have suffered due to aggressive or violent interrogation tactics. This means that criminal suspects may have more recourse if they are not treated properly by officers or intelligence agencies. The kinds of interrogation tactics individuals may face can vary depending on the level of crime committed. Yet, officers have the ability to use a range of tactics in order to gather information from a suspect. For instance, officers can lie, can record a person’s actions in an observation room, or play “good cop bad cop.” If you’re facing police questioning or investigation, it is important to understand that you have the right to remain silent and to request a criminal defense lawyer. Peters Law L.L.C. in Montgomery County Maryland,  for instance, can stand beside you every step of the way, and step in when officers’ questioning tactics violate the law.
According to the New York Times, the CIA was authorized by the Justice Department to use certain techniques on “high level” suspects. The “Methods List” included techniques such as waterboarding and the use of stinging insects to get suspects to confess or to provide intelligence. While there are federal prohibitions against the torture of suspects, these techniques will face legal scrutiny in the coming months. The New York Times reported on several of the techniques that may have been used. These included:

  1. Denying detainees solid food. Detainees were fed a liquid meal replacement instead of solid food in the hopes that dietary manipulation and sensory deprivation associated with it would pressure suspects to speak.
  2. Denying detainees access to clothes. Detainees were held unclothed with the offer of clothes as a reward for cooperating with interrogators. Detainees may have been interrogated while nude, under the surveillance of officers of the opposite sex. Temperatures were kept at safe, but possibly uncomfortable levels.
  3. Increasing physical interactions. Detainees may have also been subject to increasingly disturbing physical interactions, including a face hold, and a false wall technique in which the individual was pulled back against a wall. Slaps were permitted as well. While the claim is that the techniques resulted in no physical harm, they were intended to make the detainee feel unsafe and feel that physical torture could follow if he or she didn’t cooperate.
  4. Cramped confinement and stress positioning. Individuals may have been kept in quarters so small they could only sit down and couldn’t stand up. They may have also been required to hold uncomfortable body positions for periods of time.
  5. Sleep deprivation. Individuals may have been subject to shackling techniques that would prevent them from sleeping. In some cases, detainees were forced to endure this technique naked and forced to wear a diaper.
  6. Waterboarding and water immersion. Detainees were either immersed in cold water, or water was poured into the detainees’ nose and mouth to create a sensation of drowning.

It is important to note that these techniques were used for high level, terrorist suspects, and not for regular criminal investigations. That said, anyone facing any kind of interrogation and investigation should seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer. If you’re facing police questioning and interrogation visit the criminal law attorneys of Peters Law, L.L.C. to learn more

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