Questioning Fundamentals

The View from the Armchair

4 FidelioWhen most folks think of interrogation, they think of their favorite police shows, they think of the old “good-cop/bad-cop” routine, they think of criminal confessions, or they think of “making someone talk” through various and sundry unpleasant methods. Popular culture has cemented these ideas in our collective psyche. Some of these images are illegal, some are ineffective, and some represent a genuine portrayal of a portion of what an interrogation might entail, but they all fail to address the most fundamental aspects of interrogation – asking a good question. The foundation of any successful interrogation is the ability to formulate cogent questions and ask them in a logical sequence in order to get useful answers.

The word interrogate is rooted in Latin and quite literally means to question or to examine. To interrogate does not have anything to do with gaining compliance or with subsequent evaluation of answers, though interrogation…

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