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Get The Truth

Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero
In Print
St. Martin's Press (2015)

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This entry created 18 February 2020. Last revised on 2 March 2020.

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Get The Truth

Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All

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272 pages. Index, glossary, and acknowledgments. Three appendices.

This book, sequel to Spy the Lie, describes how to apply a CIA technique for getting people to tell you the truth. It involves treating people respectfully (even if you don't respect them), getting them into short-term thinking mode, and using both interrogation and a monologue designed to focus (or limit) their options.

Along the way, the authors share examples of the technique being used in espionage, law enforcement, and the War on Terror (without names and places, of course). There's a fictional example of how the technique might have been used when O.J. Simpson was first questioned by detectives.

This part of the book ends on page 153, after which Peter Romary, an experienced attorney and arbiter, provides two lengthy appendices on how these techniques can be applied in the business world. A third appendix includes the actual interrogation of O.J. Simpson, for comparison to the fictional version in the main text.

Most of this, while instructive, wouldn't apply to miniature wargaming. (Unless you're trying to find out who in the club is using crooked dice…)

However, chapter 13, The Elephant in the Room, uses publicly available information to contrast a non-coercive technique versus 'enhanced interrogation' (i.e., waterboarding). The authors contend that their approach is not only more effective, but also consistent with American legal and ethical principles. (Though they decline to explicitly state their opinion of enhanced interrogation.) This discussion should be of use to anyone interested in counter-terrorism, espionage, and similar gaming campaigns.

This book is a quick read, with interesting examples, and you might find it of practical use as well.

Reviewed by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian.