Groupthink and the selection of interrogation techniques

Evidence that post-9/11 groupthink drove the push to torture:

“It was not a job we sought out,” said one former senior intelligence official involved in early decisions on interrogation. “The generals didn’t want to do it. The FBI said no. It fell to the agency because we had the [legal] authorities and could operate overseas.”

In [James E.] Mitchell, the CIA found an authoritative professional who had answers, despite an absence of practical experience in interrogating terrorism suspects or data showing that harsh tactics work.

“Here was a guy with a title and a shingle,” recalled the participant in the Langley meeting, “and he was saying things that others in the room already believed to be true.”

Consultants and the confirmation bias; it’s a pattern that happens again and again.

One response to “Groupthink and the selection of interrogation techniques

  1. Pingback: Week in Public Organizations, 20Jul2009 « PublicOrgTheory

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