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Terrorism: Empathize With The Terrorists. Really?!

“We need to empathize with the terrorists.”  When I first heard this comment my inital reaction was that once again we have a bunch of out of touch fools displaying their complete ignorance.  But then I was reminded one of the quotes of Sun Tzu in “The Art of War.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

So let’s go through a short “exercise” and “empathize with the terrorist” and see if we know ourselves and compare us to them and see how things stand.

1. Terrorists – Rights / status of women in terrorist belief system.  Property, can’t vote, can’t drive, can’t get an education, can’t own or run a business, can be beaten or even killed if disobedient or violate any tenants that permit the total subjugation of women by men.

Please tell me why I should show tolerance to such a belief system or people who profess this to be their belief.  Oh but wait!  I am asked to be tolerant.  Interesting hypocrisy!

2. Terrorists – Rights of Christians, Jews, the Hindu, Buddhists, et al.  Convert!  Renounce your faith now and swear allegiance to Islam or die a horrible death.

Now compare that to our First Amendment right of  (Note it does not say “from”) freedom of religion here in the US. Although religious beliefs and practice in the US does appear to be under gov’t assault as of late.  But I am told that I am the one being intolerant and must “empathize with terrorists.”

3. Terrorists – Freedom of speech.  You can’t speak out against the leaders of the faith, leaders of the movement or of any of the followers except on pain of torture or death.

Once again, compare that to our First Amendment right which also appears to be under assault of late by our gov’t or anyone who speaks out against a “select” or “privileged group.”

4. Terrorists – Sexual freedom.  Do I need to point out the persecution, torture and even execution of gays, lesbians, transgender or bisexual people in the name of the terrorists belief system.  Ah but wait…we must be tolerant.  Really?

5. Terrorists – Respect for others / life.  So yesterday we have the news that 141 school children were gunned down in their school.  We hear of their own people being killed in many terror attacks but that this is a justifiable loss for the cause.  Innocents are being beheaded and their bodies desecrated as method of terrorizing those who would oppose them.

In the US we value each and every life.  We have soldiers, police, fire, doctors, nurses, and numerous other professionals who sacrifice their time, their families and even their lives to protect the sanctity of life.  Oh! But I am such an ignorant, intolerant man!

6. Terrorists – Advancing their belief system.  It is only advanced by violence against innocents, warring open those who disagree, annihilate by any and all brutal means possible – especially by targeting civilians and pledging to wipe a race and other religions off the face of the earth.

Sorry, but I am pretty damn intolerant when it comes to that, too!

In the modern world, civil discourse is a sign of a stable and advanced society.  One that debates with reasoning and understanding. A society that allows others to express their opinions. Where ethical influence, persuasion and logic are used to move people and change hearts and minds. Not by violence, manipulation or coercion and deception.

So what have we learned about the differences between them and us?  Have we empathized enough yet to learn about them?  Has their behavior / actions world-wide lead us to any conclusions?

Finally. Goal of terrorism – world domination and annihilation of nonbelievers.

Us. Goal of democracy – a world free of tyranny.  I’ll choose this one!

Unfortunately we “think” or “believe”  we can “change them” or get them to “like us.”  Just send them money and they will be grateful.  Sit down at the table and negotiate with them.

BULL!!!  To borrow a phrase from a friend (Vernon Geberth NYPD – retired.  Homicide Commander), we are dealing with “a psychology of evil.”  We are up against a group whose leaders are psychopaths (or sociopaths or anti-social.  Pick the term of the day) and are heavily infiltrated by psychopaths or by blind followers who are at least if not more obedient that the followers of a cult group and have been “indoctrinated” for years – from birth until death.

They have NO EMPATHY for us or US!  They have NO EMPATHY for their victims!  They have “NO REMORSE” for their actions.  They despise all who are not like them. Congratulations!  You’re a psychopath! You are not going to cure them with love and understanding.   You’re an uninformed fool and nothing more than a useful idiot at best.

We have been allowing ourselves and our policies to be dictated by psychopaths who will use our weaknesses against us until we collapse on ourselves. Our policy about dealing with these people is fool hardy at best and totally incompetent and ignorant at worst.  We DO NOT understand our enemy and we will lose.

How do you get a psychopath to change his or her behavior?  You have to get sick with them and think evil just like them.  You will have to fight evil with every horrific means possible.  Until a psychopath realizes that their behavior will bring 10 times the pain of hell they have exacted on others they will not change.

Yeah!  You BETTER empathize with the enemy because they are about to destroy you!  Time you got your head out of the Kool-Aide bucket and look around before your enemy holds your head under and laughs at you as you drown.

Okay…just my opinion!

Feel free to comment below!

Stan B. Walters “The Lie Guy®”

Interview Training: Announcement and a Request

I’ll have a new posting on my blog very soon!
I’ll also have my TED “type” Talk up on YouTube soon!!
It was for Law Enforcement Intelligence Units.  Way cool!

But first I need to ask a favor…

I am very close to starting some much requested on-line training courses.
I hope to have the first one out in about a week or 10 days.

But before I go any further than that, I have a couple of questions I need
to ask you.

You can answer the questions here (and learn a little more about what
I have in mind for some online training) at this link:

A quick 2 question survey from Stan.

Thanks for your help!
I appreciate any input or suggestions you might have.

Stan B. Walters
“The Lie Guy®”

Interrogation: Reading Bergdahl

Bowe Bergdahl had just been released by his “captors” in Afghanistan in exchange for the release of 4 high value Gitmo prisoners when a major media outlet asked me to review some of Bergdahl’s writings.  In particular they wanted to get a sense of Bergdahl the man.

I decided to approach the process of reviewing the limited amount of Bergdahl’s writings from the stand point of an interrogator preparing himself to sit down and talk to the man.  How does he think?  How does he perceive himself? How does he see the world around him?  What drives his behavior everyday and in particular what is his reaction to events that cause him stress and how does he handle himself in those situations? What was his state of mind and was his behavior intentional when his disappeared from his unit June 30, 2009?

Immediately after reading Bergdahl, I was struck by the observation that this is a man who did little more than “dream about life” but had no effort and had no initiative or self discipline to strive to make those dreams come true.  He makes references to himself as a lone wolf in a dark world.  He sees little or nothing in the world that is for him as if he is disappointed with life and wants to find it’s beauty but would barely turn himself in that direction to go find it.  My perception is that looks at himself as a Knight without a Lord or Ronin – the Samurai without a master.

Bergdahl’s problem however with being that Knight or Samurai is that he dreams of the role BUT expects someone or something else to do the work to turn him into those romantic figures.  In a very telling passage in some of his writing Bergdahl berates the Army and the US mission in Afghanistan.  His remarks present the image of himself and his fellow warriors as nothing more than frightened cowards hiding from children behind sandbags.  In all reality, Bergdahl has just described himself.  Bergdahl wanted to “Be all [he] could be” but the blames the Army for not “making” him into that warrior that he doesn’t have the discipline to do himself.

Starting on June 9, 2009, Bergdahl’s writings took on a significant change.  He began writing to his friends stateside in a crude code making remarks that it was not safe to talk about what he was going to happen.  He hints at his plans that he knows are wrong and is concern about how others will perceive those plans.  He was full aware that what he was going to do was wrong and could bring the world down on him. As an interrogator, I will make an analysis of a subject’s behavior on the basis of  “plan of action continuum” that investigators use to analysis everything from serial crimes to active shooters to acts of terrorism:


In my opinion, Bergdahl’s actions of walking away from his unit on June 30, 2009 was done with well-planned intent.  From June 9 when the dialogue of his writing’s changed until June 30, 2006 when he walked away, Bergdahl planning and preparing.  Almost like a person ready to commit suicide, Bergdahl was saying his good byes, giving away his belongings, tying up loose ends, closing out the books. It was not on a whim but with deliberate intent.  Bergdahl was “suiciding his current life” because it brought him no joy and no one was going to take him by the hand and lead him on the journey to find his dreams – a journey for which he had no initiative to take on his own.

In my opinion Bergdahl was not just some unfortunate soldier that due to some random set of circumstances that wandered into the hands of the enemy.  He finally developed enough initiative to take action and that was to walk away from a situation where no one would “make” him into something and find another situation and give someone else to opportunity to create his life for him.

I’m done reading…time to interrogate the deserter, Bergdahl.

Just my opinion…let me hear yours.

Stan B. Walters
“The Lie Guy®”


Lying: Lance Armstrong’s Attorneys Say “It’s Okay!”

If you write a book, you have a right to lie.  At least that’s what Lance Armstrong’s attorney’s say about his autobiographies. Lance Armstrong is being sued by his book publishers for $5 million dollars plus damages for the massive lies he wrote about in his books.

I find it very interesting that Armstrong’s attorney Jonathan Herman says “People don’t always have to tell the truth.”  I guess it doesn’t matter that he duped the publishers and millions of readers in his books “It’s Not About the Bike” and “Every Second Counts.”  The argument is that he didn’t fraudulently mislead anybody to buy his books through some form of false advertising campaign. The publisher’s attorney Kevin Roddy says “He cheated on bike races to sell books and he published books in order to cover up cheating. We think they are intertwined.”

I wonder if Armstrong’s attorney would be so cavalier about lying if it was a witness he was deposing?  Would he be so generous if a witness lied on the witness stand?  I guess as long as I feel “justified” in the situation I am authorized to lie.  That’s the same logic people use with they commit all types of crimes, fraud, deception, even sabotage and espionage!

In my mind, this is just another example of Armstrong’s grossly over blown ego and that he can do anything he wants and can find ways to justify his actions.  Lying, not matter the situation is ALWAYS done for selfish reasons.  Even the little white lies we tell in social situations.  What I worry about are the lies that are designed to “hide” a wrong, “hype” the image of oneself, or to “harm” another.

In my mind, chronic lying (hide, hype and harm) is a sign of a MAJOR character flaw on the part of the liar.  It would be my opinion that Armstrong has some major character flaw issues!

The Lie Guy YouTube ChannelThe Lie Guy YouTube: Deception: The Different Types of Lies


Don’t you find it amazing that liars are so good at rationalizing and justifying their behavior?  Isn’t amazing that some people go out of their way to enable these people to keep getting away with victimizing others?


I guess some people just prefer to be lied to because they hate hearing the truth as much as some people fear telling the truth.

Well … at least that’s my observation anyway.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”

The Interview Room

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Interview and Interrogation Training: It’s Not One and Done.

One interview and interrogation training course is NOT a vaccination!  Just because you took one course on the topic doesn’t mean you don’t need or won’t benefit from any more follow-up training. More often that not investigators and especially their administrators maintain the philosophy that once you take a course on interview and interrogation, you don’t really need any more training on the topic for the rest of your career.

The last 10 – 12 years has seen an enormous amount new research and legal rulings on interview and interrogation.  To maintain a high level of proficiency and reduce personal legal liability, investigators should be constantly studying and researching interview and interrogation research as well as their particular field of expertise. A VERY large majority of the research has proven that many of our detection of deception techniques are absolutely wrong!  Unfortunately misdiagnosis of deception signs is one of the leading causes of false confessions.  Even more disturbing is how many people teaching interview and interrogation have been ignoring the empirical research and are responsible for continuing to perpetuate myths about deception and interrogation.

Questions the professional interviewer & interrogator should ask themselves –

  1. Am I dedicated to being the best in my field including my interview & interrogation skills?  Am I a “virtuoso” in my field or am I just average?
  2. Am I spending 30 – 60 minutes per day reading about interview and interrogation or about my area of specialization?
  3. Have I ever spent the equivalent of the cost of a gourmet cup of coffee on educating and improving myself and my knowledge base?
  4. How long ago did I take any training or refresher training on interview & interrogation?
  5. Have I really looked at the true “source” of my interview and interrogation training? Is what I am being taught supported by empirical evidence or is it just anecdotal.  As business expert Mark Sanborn wrote in his latest business book “Up, Down or Sideways,” despite popular belief “data is not the plural of anecdotal.”
  6. Am I learning for the future?  The more you learn, the more you know what you are going to need to learn to be able to adapt to what you will encounter in the future.

If nothing else, there is one more VERY good reason to read, research and study our interview and interrogation skills.  We dramatically improve our chances of success in the interview room and in the field.

Mark Sanborn wrote “The more you learn, the more you develop behavioral flexibility that provides you a distinct advantage over your competition.”

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room

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