In Custody: Why They Crack

The U.S. government maintains that it has not used physical torture in its interrogation of alleged 9/11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. So why would the al-Qaeda operative give up his colleague Iyman Faris to the feds? Because, experts say, eventually everybody cracks. The only variables are how long someone holds out and what pushes him over.

Inflicting bodily harm can actually be a poor method of extracting information. A detainee is likely to be so eager to end his pain he will confess to anything, even untruths, notes Rick Smith, a retired 25-year veteran of the FBI.

The most efficient...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!