Breaking Down the Informant

If a document gives a clear informant, ask yourself:

  • what information did the informant know first hand;
  • what information did the informant know because someone told him;
  • would there have been motivation to lie;
  • what information might she have guessed the answer to.

If a document does not give an informant, ask yourself:

  • was there more than one probable informant;
  • who was the most likely informant;
  • how likely was the informant to know the information.

Always ask yourself:

  • were there any penalties for lying on the document;
  • how likely was it that the informant be caught in a lie;
  • was there a motivation for the informant to lie.

Inform yourself and think about the informant.