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Constructing Truth: the FBI's (non)recording policy
Forbes ^ | 27 July, 2011 | Harvey Silverglate

Posted on 08/11/2018 6:11:58 PM PDT by marktwain

Instead of electronically recording its interviews and interrogations, the FBI’s policy is to rely on agents’ typewritten “section 302 reports,” crafted to reflect the supposed substance of the exchange. At such sessions, one agent takes notes by hand while the second agent—in the traditional two-agent FBI interviewing team—conducts the interview/interrogation. Tape recordings are almost never done because such recordation is – believe it or not – against formal written FBI policy. Therefore, the 302 report becomes the sole arbiter of what was, and was not, said; moreover, as we will see below, any interviewee who contests its accuracy risks prosecution. Hence, a potential witness’ script is written – and not necessarily by the witness himself – the moment he opens his mouth in the presence of an agent.

On its face, and in an era where digital recording has become ubiquitous, there seems to be little justification for a policy of not recording interviews. Paul K. Charlton, a now-former US Attorney in Arizona, certainly thought so when he broke ranks and ordered the mandatory recording of any statements from an investigative target in cases undertaken by his office. Charlton’s policy was resisted, and he was fired soon after instituting it. The FBI’s general counsel’s office produced an internal memorandum (PDF), later made public by the New York Times, listing four separate justifications for the non-recording policy. Two of these arguments, it turns out, are weak, a third is laughably weak, and a fourth is terrifying in its practical implications for the fair, and truthful, functioning of the federal system of criminal justice.

Consider, to begin, the two merely weak arguments (all quotations regarding the policy below taken from the FBI’s internal memorandum (PDF)):

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: 302; 302s; fbi; fbiinterviews; interviews; policy; recording; reformfbi
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To: marktwain

The FBI is totally corrupted.
The fish has rotted from the head down since Mueller was Director.
Disband it and start over.


21 posted on 08/11/2018 7:06:29 PM PDT by Lurkinanloomin (Natural Born Citizen Means Born Here of Citizen Parents__Know Islam, No Peace - No Islam, Know Peace)
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To: TexasGator

Yes, there are numerous times they record interviews.

The general reasons given amount to:

Record when it is to our advantage. Otherwise, don’t.


22 posted on 08/11/2018 7:12:54 PM PDT by marktwain (President Trump and his supporters are the Resistance. His opponents are the Reactionaries.)
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To: marktwain
misleading a defendant as to the quality of the evidence against him may appear to be unfair deceit

The most cynical answer is the correct one. They just come out and say it: "We routinely lie to defendants about what 'evidence' we have. If we record an interview, people will hear all the lies and the threats based on those lies."

Remember:
- "we know what happened. we're just trying to fill in a few details."
- "look at this big folder with your name on it! all this is evidence against you! no, you can't see a single page of it."
- "and we've got your fingerprints, and all kinds of forensic evidence, and there's video of you, and your buddy already rolled on you..."
- "and we'll charge you with this, and this, and this, and this, and this..."

23 posted on 08/11/2018 7:40:24 PM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Fungi

This policy is only in place to give the FBI maximum latitude to frame anyone for anything they feel is appropriate.

Odd that B L M has not latched on to this topic?


24 posted on 08/11/2018 7:41:17 PM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (This Space for Rent)
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To: marktwain

35,000+ employees, a budget of almost 9 billion they deign to tell us about. Supposedly 97% of campaign contributions from DoJ employees went to Clinton in 2016. Nothing is going to happen now, it was probably too late 50+ years ago to change the culture of the FBI.

Freegards


25 posted on 08/11/2018 7:46:07 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: marktwain

I had FBI question me about potential illegal acts. There were two. I brought second person into meeting as witness that my only comment was I needed to talk to attorney before answering. I didn’t trust them to accurately record my non cooperation.


26 posted on 08/11/2018 7:48:47 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: marktwain
Always get tape Ray...


27 posted on 08/11/2018 8:01:55 PM PDT by Chode ( We’re America, Bitch!)
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To: jiggyboy

Looks like you have read about interview techniques.

Those are ones I have read about.


28 posted on 08/11/2018 8:02:40 PM PDT by marktwain (President Trump and his supporters are the Resistance. His opponents are the Reactionaries.)
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To: marktwain

Yep, that’s what usually happens. They don’t want anything that can effectively counter their “official” transcript.


29 posted on 08/11/2018 8:04:24 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Democratic socialism is when the majority of people vote to steal your property.)
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To: marktwain

Or that they were testilying


30 posted on 08/11/2018 8:12:45 PM PDT by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: marktwain

Oh well


31 posted on 08/11/2018 8:13:16 PM PDT by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: Manuel OKelley

There are many police interrogations that are video taped.

That the feds don’t is all about corruption


32 posted on 08/11/2018 8:15:23 PM PDT by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: Roccus

You cannot be forced to talk to any agent


33 posted on 08/11/2018 8:16:36 PM PDT by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: raiderboy
They only one they did’nt record IN HISTORY was hillary!!

So you have direct knowledge of every FBI interview that has ever been conducted? Incredible!

34 posted on 08/11/2018 8:19:51 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: marktwain
Recorded interviews might lead jurors to believe the FBI was coercive or misleading.

Because, in general, they are?

35 posted on 08/11/2018 8:29:07 PM PDT by MileHi (Liberalism is an ideology of parasites, hypocrites, grievance mongers, victims, and control freaks.)
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To: marktwain
Could of done it...

Could HAVE, lease Dean.

36 posted on 08/11/2018 8:40:43 PM PDT by MileHi (Liberalism is an ideology of parasites, hypocrites, grievance mongers, victims, and control freaks.)
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To: MileHi

lease - please


37 posted on 08/11/2018 8:41:56 PM PDT by MileHi (Liberalism is an ideology of parasites, hypocrites, grievance mongers, victims, and control freaks.)
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To: raiderboy
They only one they did’nt record IN HISTORY was hillary!!

Noob is full of it as he is wont to be.

38 posted on 08/11/2018 8:45:19 PM PDT by MileHi (Liberalism is an ideology of parasites, hypocrites, grievance mongers, victims, and control freaks.)
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To: TexasGator

And the sage of Waco opines. Worthless as always.


39 posted on 08/11/2018 8:48:20 PM PDT by MileHi (Liberalism is an ideology of parasites, hypocrites, grievance mongers, victims, and control freaks.)
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To: marktwain

I can see where they’re coming from. A 302 is easier to revise as needed, compared to the technical difficulty of revising an audio/video recording.

They also don’t want to reveal their interrogation techniques, because us non-cops just wouldn’t appreciate the professional sheen on the threats and lies.


40 posted on 08/11/2018 8:50:41 PM PDT by JustaTech (A mind is a terrible thing)
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