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Input Junkie - The mysterious death of Ibragim Todashev
March 10th, 2014
10:41 am

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The mysterious death of Ibragim Todashev
Ibragim Todashev was shot to death by the FBI when they were interrogating him in his apartment, and there are some very weird things about this.

NPR's "This American Life" did a show, to see what they could find out. (Link includes podcast and transcript.) Magazine story with more details.

I'm just going to underline one bit-- FBI policy is to shuffle people who are peripherally connected to possible terrorist plots out of the country if at all possible.... the FBI doesn't do this to people who are giving them information. In other words, they're exiling people who are more likely to be harmless, and keeping the people who are more likely to be dangerous around.

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From:nellorat
Date:March 10th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
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The trade-off of keeping someone dangerous on the streets vs. getting info is basic to any police-type work. It's based, I guess, partly on faith in their ability to tell how much the informant is telling the truth and how much of the truth the informant is telling--so that while they get info, they act as a watchdog/control of the informant as well.

I don't know how well this works overall, but while I've frequently read about someone doing horrible things while out on parole, I've never read about someone doing horrible things while being an informant. This could be that true crime writers don't get to know who was an informant, but I'd bet it doesn't happen so much. My impression is that with some exceptions, police can be pretty good at judging veracity--much better than the military without torture, let alone with. Part of this may be that the cop is part of the community, in which case the FBI could be worse, like the military.
From:nancylebov
Date:March 10th, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
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Whitey Bulger, though I don't know how common this sort of thing is.

Police somewhat good at detecting lies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14769126

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19242785

I'm not sure what the actual percentage is, though.
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From:nellorat
Date:March 10th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
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Re Whitey Bulger: Yes, I probably would read a lot more of that if I were more particularly interested in high levels of organized crime!

Interesting articles--thanks. The first reminded me of a TED talk on detecting deception, which said that most people think that looking away signals deceit, but actually the opposite--too-long meeting of the other person's eyes--is a sign of deceit. I wonder if decades of reading about "shifty eyes" has altered the system, or whether that was never true.

The second one is a great caution about lab results relating to real life in general.

But one thing I don't get in the first abstract: "As in previous research, accuracy and confidence were not significantly correlated, but the level of confidence was dependent on whether officers judged actual truths or actual lies and on the method by which confidence was measured."

The first two statements at first seemed to me to be contradictions. But then I wondered whether the second meant that police performed better when those being questioned told actual lies, instead of being told by the experimenters to pretend to lie.

Fortunately, this is JFF, so I don't have to read the whole article and do other research to figure that one out!

Coming to LunaCon?
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 12th, 2014 04:40 am (UTC)
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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/04/fbi-informant-crimes-report/2613305/c
WASHINGTON — The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation's top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.

On one hand, a lot of the permitted crimes don't seem very serious, but on the other hand, how likely is it that all the informants get permission for all of their crimes?


Edited at 2014-03-12 04:40 am (UTC)
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