Numerous murder trials, senior officers charged, international news, this should take about an hour. An hour is all the time NCIS agents spent collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses in the wake of the deaths of 24 Iraqis in Haditha. Witnesses were interviewed in groups, through interpretors, and none of this was recorded in any manner other than hand-written notes.
Mr. Ed Buice of NCIS defended the practice of not making a video or audio recording of the interviews. He stated that “no federal law enforcement agency regularly taped interviews.” The fact that other agencies make the same mistake as NCIS does not legitimize the practice. Recording interviews protects both the accused and the Government, by producing fewer suppression motions. Additionally, anyone who has experience with translation knows that different translators can have differing interpretations of what someone said.