The Straits Times wrote a feature article about Mark and interrogation methods in their series featuring people in the fight against terror. Mark said that contrary to popular belief that terrorists are well-trained to resist interrogation techniques, they usually receive little or poor training. Mark told The Strait Times “No two terrorists are the same, and there is no single silver bullet that will solve all of the interrogator’s problems” but when you treat someone with dignity and respect, they begin to trust you.
Within hours of President Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed, former Bush administration officials began taking credit, purporting waterboarding and the EIT program led to the operation. CNN quoted from Mark’s interview on MSNBC, where he said “I think some people are trying to rewrite history here” and that he wasn’t aware “aware of an substantive information or intelligence that was a derivative product of waterboarding.”
Human Rights First brought together a high-level team of counterterrorism, interrogation, intelligence and national security professionals to develop a statement of principles about Constitutionally permissible interrogations. Mark was among this group, who stated torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are illegal, ineffective, and immoral. Those practices were unconditionally rejected. The national security professionals published a statement that torture is illegal, ineffective, and counterproductive.
Mark wrote a commentary for a special edition of the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology about some of the latest emerging research about interviews, interrogation and detecting deception. Mark explained that the lack of evidence-based research on interrogation created a murky claimant, where proponents of torture were able to cherry-pick information with dubious claims that abusive interrogations and torture would be effective.
BBC News referred to mark in this piece about the release of the Senate report on CIA torture.
Mark was interviewed for The Stream on Al Jazeera and discussed the role of medical professionals in torture. Mark said that the CIA outsourced torture to SERE psychologists lacking meaning experience in interrogation or terrorism to create the EIT program. Mark explained SERE, by design, hardens resistance and that Mitchell and Jessen damaged U.S. national security by the shameful practices they implemented.
Rev. Al Sharpton talked with Mark about the release of the Senate Torture Report executive summary and whether CIA torture worked. Mark told MSNBC there was no basis for the CIA going down the road to torture and the people who created the program were not interrogation professionals and did not rely on subject matter experts in interrogation. Mark explained that personnel within the CIA were disgusted by the EIT program and there is no valid information that torture was necessary or effective.
U.S. News Associate Editor referenced Mark in his piece, saying: ‘Mark Fallon, who worked as an interrogator for more than 30 years, wrote in Politico, “It’s official: torture doesn’t work.” Fallon said he has long held that belief, and politicians like former Vice President Dick Cheney who asserted its efficacy (and continue to staunchly defend the CIA’s interrogation program) are just plain wrong. “Yes, torture makes people talk — but what they say is often untrue,” he wrote. Not only is it ineffective, but also incredibly costly – legally, morally and strategically. “Over the coming days, you’ll be hearing numerous torture defenders claim it kept Americans safe,” he wrote. “Don’t believe them.”’
Motherboard reporter Kaleigh Rogers interviewed Mark for her article in Motherboard about the CIA torture program. Mark told Motherboard he was unable to convince leaders that rapport-building techniques would be more effective. Mark told Motherboard he still wonders what intelligence the CIA might have missed by not using tried-and-true methods and that the new scientific research can now inform interrogation planning.
Timothy Egan writes about Mark in his piece in the New York Times Opinion Page. Eagan wrote, “What Fallon concluded is what any fair-minded reader of the Senate report will conclude: that “at no time” did the torture program produce intelligence that averted a terrorist threat. Nor did it lead to Osama bin Laden.”