Thursday, July 08, 2010

I can only think of one real reason why the EffingBI

would refuse to record interviews(officially and admitted to, at least): because written notes can be edited and, ah, 'interpreted' as they choose.
Charlton, who was fired by the Justice Department in 2006 for trying (without success) to force the FBI to record confessions in Arizona, had been sorely frustrated by its policy. "We lost cases, we had to plead down cases, we had to drop cases just because of this policy," he recalls in a phone interview.

The Justice Department, finally waking up to the arrival of the 21st century, now has a task force reexamining the virtual ban on recording, which by any reasonable standard is as obsolete as J. Edgar Hoover. But the FBI shows no openness to change.

Spokesman Bill Carter provides the traditional explanations for rejecting recording as a normal practice. He says they can "inhibit frank discussions and end interviews early" if the arrestee is averse to taping.

Maybe so. But the occasional objection from someone being questioned doesn't justify a general policy against taping
It doesn't. And it's hard to believe the FBI would refuse to record because "We've never done that." Has to be an actual reason. I'm just afraid of exactly what that reason is.


Windy Wilson said...

I think the reason is, "anything you say can be used against you in a court of law." Not "used for your benefit", but against you.
Once there is a recording, context can be argued, or all comments by the accused, much like the other photos by the photographer in Anatomy of a Murder.

markm said...

I'm surprised at the claim that cases were lost because of the lack of a recording. The only times I know of that a court was skeptical of the FBI's interview notes was when the defense managed to unearth multiple versions of them...

I wonder if Martha Stewart would have been convicted if the jury had heard her actual words rather than the fibbies' written version.

But yes, if your goal is only to convict the actually guilty, recordings would be helpful.