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Tactical Questioning

Tactical Questioning

Scenes from the Baha Mousa Inquiry

Richard Norton-Taylor

Oberon Books


“Chilling yet compelling drama… The words, in every possible way, speak for themselves.” –Evening Standard

“Compelling… The facts have the power to shock.” –The Guardian

“The Tricycle’s “tribunal” dramas are rightly renowned… we engage as spectators not of art or entertainment, but of politics and public misfeasance: as citizens, in fact.” –Financial Times

“Maybe you know something about the case, maybe you don’t. Maybe you were pro the war, maybe anti. In any event, you need to see (and someone really should televise) Tactical Questioning” –The Daily Telegraph


On September 14, 2003, at the Haitham Hotel in Basra, Iraq, Baha Mousa and nine others were arrested by the British Army as suspected insurgents. Two days later Baha Mousa was dead. A post-mortem examination revealed that he had suffered from asphyxiation, and had received at least 93 injuries to his body whilst in the Army’s custody. In 2008 the Secretary of State for Defense announced a Public Inquiry into Baha Mousa’s death and the treatment of those detained with him.

Tactical Questioning brings together scenes from the Public Inquiry which examined the shocking events that took place over those two days of detention, and the British Army’s policies towards the treatment of detainees. This production coincides with the publishing of the Inquiry’s findings in Summer 2011.


Richard Norton-Taylor was born on 6 June 1944. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, Hertford College, Oxford, and the College of Europe, Bruges. In 1975 he joined the Guardian. Since then, he has investigated official secrecy, behind-the-scenes decision-making in Government, and the activities of the security and intelligence services. His books include Whose Land Is It Anyway?, The Ponting Affair, Blacklist, The Inside Story of Political Vetting, In Defence of the Realm? The case for Accountable Security and Intelligence Services, Truth is A Difficult Concept: Inside the Scott Inquiry, and Aitken, The Liar. His works for stage include Half the Picture (an adaptation of the Scott 'arms to Iraq' enquiry), Nuremburg, Justifying War and The Colour of Justice.


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