Declassified Army and CIA Manuals

Declassified Army and CIA Manuals Used in Latin America: An Analysis of Their Content
On September 20, 1996, the Pentagon released to the public seven training manuals prepared by the U.S. military and used between 1987 and 1991 for intelligence training courses in Latin America and at the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA). A selection of excerpts was distributed to the press at that time. The Pentagon press release accompanying the excerpts states that a 1991-92 investigation into the manuals concluded that "two dozen short passages in six of the manuals, which total 1169 pages, contained material that either was not or could be interpreted not to be consistent with U.S. policy." A January 1997 "information paper" sent out by the School of the Americas in response to public inquiries on the manuals claims that SOA training material merely contained several passages with "words or phrases inconsistent with U.S. government policy." A close reading of all seven manuals, however, reveals many more passages, and indeed an entire framework, that should be deemed inconsistent with U.S. policy and democratic standards. This memo contains excerpts from these manuals, and two other CIA manuals declassified in January 1997 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Baltimore Sun.

The army manual excerpts highlighted by the Pentagon advocate tactics such as executing guerrillas, blackmail, false imprisonment, physical abuse, use of truth serum to obtain information and payment of bounties for enemy dead. Counterintelligence agents are advised that one of their functions is "recommending targets for neutralization," a term which is defined in one manual as "detaining or discrediting" but which "was commonly used at the time as a euphemism for execution or destruction," according to a Pentagon official (Washington Post, September 21, 1996). What is not included in these excerpts, however, is the larger context. The seven army manuals train Latin American militaries to infiltrate and spy upon civilians, including student groups, unions, charitable organizations and political parties; to confuse armed insurgencies with legal political opposition; and to disregard or get around any laws regarding due process, arrest and detention. What the manuals leave out is as important as what they include, and what they leave out is any understanding of democracy and the rule of law.

The release of the seven army manuals was the result of extensive public and congressional pressure. The manuals were mentioned in a passing reference in the President's advisory Intelligence Oversight Board's June 1996 report on Guatemala; this report was made public in response to the high level of interest and pressure from human rights and grassroots organizations. Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) then asked the administration to declassify the manuals in their entirety. The CIA manuals were only released after the Baltimore Sun threatened a lawsuit.

The Seven Army Manuals

The seven Spanish-language manuals were drafted in 1987 by U.S. Army military intelligence officers in Panama. They were based in part on lesson plans used by SOA instructors since 1982. The manuals as well as the SOA lesson plans, in turn, were also based in part on older material dating back to the 1960s from "Project X," the U.S. Army's Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program, which provided training not just to Latin American nations but to U.S. allies around the world. "Project X" materials had been retained in the files of the Army Intelligence School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

The U.S. government estimates that as many as a thousand copies of these manuals may have been distributed at the SOA and throughout Latin America. The manuals were used by U.S. military Mobile Training Teams in Latin America and were distributed both to students in these courses and to Latin American intelligence schools in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru. In 1989, the manuals were used at the School of the Americas in military intelligence courses attended by students from Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

The manuals are entitled, "Handling of Sources," "Counterintelligence," "Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," "Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla," "Interrogation," "Combat Intelligence," and "Analysis I." The manuals do indeed appear to be older material that was inconsistently updated. Examples from 1988 in El Salvador have been inserted into "Counterintelligence," but in some manuals there are references that do not seem to have been updated since the 1960s.

THE MANUALS' CONTENT. The unstated aim of the manuals is to train Latin American militaries to identify and suppress anti-government movements. Throughout the eleven hundred pages of the manuals, there are few mentions of democracy, human rights, or the rule of law. Instead, the manuals provide detailed techniques for infiltrating social movements, interrogating suspects, surveillance, maintaining military secrecy, recruiting and retaining spies, and controlling the population. While the excerpts released by the Pentagon are a useful and not misleading selection of the most egregious passages, the ones most clearly advocating torture, execution and blackmail, they do not provide adequate insight into the manuals' highly objectionable framework. In the name of defending democracy, the manuals advocate profoundly undemocratic methods.

A lack of distinction between civilian movements and armed rebellion. Perhaps the most persistent and nefarious aspect of the manuals is the lack of distinction between legitimate political and civic opposition and armed rebellion. The "Counterintelligence" manual, for example, defines as potential counterintelligence targets "local or national political party teams, or parties that have goals, beliefs or ideologies contrary or in opposition to the National Government," or "teams or hostile organizations whose objective is to create dissension or cause restlessness among the civilian population in the area of operations." (p. 228) This manual recommends that the army create a "black list" of "persons whose capture and detention are of foremost importance to the armed forces" (p. 225), which should include not only "enemy agents" but also "subversive persons," "political leaders known or suspected as hostile toward the Armed Forces or the political interests of the National Government," and "collaborators and sympathizers of the enemy," known or suspect.

Throughout the manuals, refugees and displaced persons are highlighted as possible subversives who should be monitored. Universities are described as breeding grounds for terrorists, and priests and nuns are identified as having been involved in terrorist operations. The militaries are advised to infiltrate youth groups, student groups, labor unions, political parties and community organizations. Even electoral activity is suspect: The insurgents "can resort to subverting the government by means of elections in which the insurgents cause the replacement of an unfriendly government official to one favorable to their cause"; "insurgent activity" can include funding campaigns and participating in political races as candidates. ("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," p. 51)

One of the most pernicious passages, in "Combat Intelligence," lists various indicators of guerilla presence. "Indicators of an imminent attack by guerillas" include demonstrations by minority groups, civilians including children who don't want to associate with U.S. troops or their own country's troops, celebration of national or religious festivals, or the presence of strangers. "Indicators of control by guerillas" over a certain civilian population include the refusal to provide intelligence to government forces or the construction of new houses. Indications that insurgents are conducting psychological operations include accusations of government corruption, circulating petitions, attempts to discredit the government or armed forces, calling government leaders U.S. puppets, urging youth to avoid the draft, demonstrations or strikes, or accusations of police or army brutality. Thus any expression of criticism of the government, armed forces or U.S. troops or any other expression of popular discontent is cited as a possible indicator of guerilla activity. This manual recommends drawing maps that use different colors to depict the civilian population as "loyal to the government," "ambivalent," "possibly loyal to the insurgents" and "areas controlled by the insurgents." (p. 148)

Superficial treatment of legal and human rights considerations. In certain passages, legal and human rights considerations appear to have been added after the fact or in a superficial manner. For example, the Geneva convention is inserted at the beginning of "Interrogation," and the rights of a suspect being interrogated are mentioned repeatedly in the "Counter-intelligence" sections that are specifically devoted to interrogation. These references, however, are not integrated into the text in most of the manuals and are contradicted in other passages. At times the manuals present a distorted picture of human rights conventions. For example, readers are taught that an insurgent "Does not have a legal status as a prisoner of war under the Geneva convention," implying that there are no international conventions covering their treatment. ("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," p. 61.)

Ignoring the rule of law. However, in most of the discussions of techniques, legal considerations are simply absent. For example, throughout the manuals there is discussion of detaining suspects without mention of proper procedures for arrest, obtaining admissible evidence, trial and conviction. There is no mention of warrants or the right to contact an attorney or any comparable local laws. In fact, it is recommended throughout that detainees be kept in isolation and not be allowed to contact anyone. The interrogator may use a false name and at no time has to offer the detainee a reason for being detained. The description of the holding facilities in several of the manuals makes it clear that these are clandestine jails. Few distinctions are made between the treatment of armed guerillas and civilians. At no time do the manuals state that the person detained or arrested must first be suspected of having committed an illegal activity. The only rationale needed for arrest or detention is that the intelligence agent needs some kind of information from the person.

Advocating spying on and controlling the civilian population. There is absolutely no discussion of the propriety of spying on and infiltrating civilian groups; instead, it is actively advocated in a number of the manuals. "Counterintelligence" includes a discussion of kinds of censorship without any mention that it might be in any way undesirable. Throughout the manuals, there is little discussion of the proper relationship between the civilian government and military authorities. Indeed, in certain places the civilian government appears to be treated as one more source to be reported upon.

Several manuals describe techniques for "controlling the population" which include curfews, military checkpoints, house-to-house searches, issuance of ID cards and rationing. These techniques are advocated without any discussion of any limitations on their use, such as only during a declared state of war or state of emergency. In fact, there is no reference to laws or the role of the legislature in regulating such actions.

A purely military response. Several of the manuals purport to teach militaries and intelligence services about how insurgencies develop and how to control them. The description of how insurgencies develop is, in most of the manuals, simplistic and dated. There are cursory references to the role government repression can play in providing a rationale for insurgencies. However, this is not treated in any depth. The brief histories of El Salvador and Guatemala, for example, in "Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla" skip over any repression, human rights violations or problems in democratic governance that contributed to the growth of revolutionary movements in those countries. Insurgents are viewed simplistically as solely manipulating popular discontent and are depicted as always buying into Soviet-style Marxism.

While "Combat Intelligence" offers a more sophisticated explanation of underlying reasons insurgencies might develop, such as the strains created by rapid modernization, the existence of corrupt elites and government repression, neither this manual nor any other offers any discussion of the steps a civilian government might take to make a political response to popular discontent. The only response taught for popular discontent and the beginnings of an insurgency is a military and counterintelligence response. There is no mention of any limitations on when to use military and counterintelligence methods.

The CIA Manuals

On January 24, 1997, two additional manuals were declassified in response to a FOIA request filed by the Baltimore Sun in 1994. The first, "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual--1983," was used in at least seven U.S. training courses conducted in Latin American countries, including Honduras, between 1982 and 1987, according to a June 1988 memo placed inside the manual (the discrepancy between the 1982 use and the 1983 date on the manual is not explained). The 1983 manual originally surfaced in response to a congressional hearing in June 1988, which was prompted by allegations by the New York Times that the United States had taught Honduran military officers who used torture. The second manual, "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation," dated July 1963, is the source of much of the material in "Human Resource Exploitation."

The 1988 hearing was not the first time such manuals had surfaced. In 1984, a CIA manual for training the Nicaraguan contras in psychological operations was discovered and created a considerable scandal.

The two manuals declassified in January 1997 deal exclusively with interrogation. These CIA materials are even more obviously unprincipled than the army manuals, in that they each have an entire chapter devoted to "coercive techniques." These manuals recommend arresting suspects early in the morning by surprise, blindfolding them, and stripping them naked. Suspects should be held incommunicado and should be deprived of any kind of normal routine in eating and sleeping. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, soundproof, dark and without toilets. The manuals do advise that torture techniques can backfire and that the threat of pain is often more effective than pain itself. However, they then go on to describe coercive techniques to be used "to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist." ("Human Resource Exploitation," p. K-1) These techniques include prolonged constraint, prolonged exertion, extremes of heat, cold, or moisture, deprivation of food or sleep, disrupting routines, solitary confinement, threats of pain, deprivation of sensory stimuli, hypnosis, and use of drugs or placebos.

Like the army manuals, "Human Resource Exploitation" is dismissive of the rule of law. It states the importance of knowing local laws regarding detention but then notes, "Illegal detention always requires prior HQS [headquarters] approval." (p. B-2) The manual refers to one or two weeks of practical work with prisoners as part of the course, suggesting that U.S. trainers may have worked with Latin American militaries in interrogating actual detainees.

In a superficial attempt to correct the worst of the 1983 manual, in 1985 a page advising against using coercive techniques was inserted and handwritten changes were introduced haphazardly into the text. For example, "While we do not stress the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them and the proper way to use them," has been altered to, "While we deplore the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them so that you may avoid them." (p. A-2) However, the entire chapter on coercive techniques is still provided, again with some items crossed out. Throughout, the reader can read perfectly well the original underneath the "corrected" items. These corrections were made in response to the 1984 scandal when the CIA training manual for the contras hit the front pages of the newspapers.

The second manual, entitled "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," is clearly the source of much of the 1983 manual; some passages are lifted verbatim. The KUBARK manual was written for use by U.S. agents against communist, notably Soviet, subversion, not for use in training foreign military services. KUBARK has a similar section on coercive techniques, and includes some even more abhorrent references than the 1983 manual, such as two references to the use of electric shock.

The KUBARK manual may or may not have been used directly by U.S. agents operating in Latin America; it apparently was intended for U.S. agents operating worldwide. The KUBARK manual is included here not because in its precise form it was used in Latin America in recent years. Rather, it is included because it shows the provenance of the 1983 CIA manual which was, like many of the seven army manuals, based on sixties era material.

Problems with Oversight

In late 1991, under the Bush Administration, the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight launched an investigation into the seven army manuals. The Pentagon provided the resulting report to the congressional intelligence committees. The investigation concluded that the manuals' authors and SOA instructors "erroneously assumed that the manuals, as well as the lesson plans, represented approved doctrine." When interviewed by the investigators, the manuals' authors stated that they believed intelligence oversight regulations applied only to U.S. personnel and not to the training of foreign personnel--in other words, that U.S. instructors could teach abusive techniques to foreign militaries that they could not legally perform themselves.

The Bush Administration ordered the retrieval and destruction of the manuals, and the U.S. Southern Command advised Latin American governments that the handbooks did not represent official U.S. policy. However, the whole episode was treated as an isolated incident. The individuals responsible for writing and teaching the lesson plans were not disciplined, nor were the authors and the instructors who believed teaching human rights violations was consistent with U.S. policy retrained. Indeed, as explained in the next section, many aspects of the manuals that violate human rights standards and democratic principles were never even commented upon in the 1991-92 investigation, the 1996 Pentagon press release, or the School of the Americas' response to public inquiries. In 1992, the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight did issue recommendations that "the Joint Staff should establish a policy to ensure that intelligence and counterintelligence training for foreign military personnel by Combatant Commands is consistent with U.S. and DoD policy," and that training materials should go through proper channels for approval. However, it is not at all clear to what extent these recommendations were followed and what steps have been taken to rethink the kinds of training offered to Latin American and other foreign militaries. A Defense Department Inspector General's report is expected to be released shortly; it may or may not answer some of these questions.

The slow, piecemeal surfacing of these manuals and the limited investigations at each point suggest that there may be many other inappropriate training materials still in circulation. Materials from the most intense days of the Cold War in the 1960s, which should never have been created in the first place, kept on being repackaged and reused despite a series of scandals and investigations that should have prompted a thorough revision of all materials and retraining of the U.S. military and intelligence personnel involved in drafting such materials or failing to provide proper oversight.

Conclusion: Not an Abstract Violation of Human Rights

The training provided by these manuals, the lesson plans and Project X is not some abstract violation of human rights principles. These methods were actively followed by Latin American militaries, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s; in Chile and Argentina's "dirty wars" in which thousands of dissidents disappeared; by military dictatorships in Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay; in the Central American wars, where tens of thousands of civilians were killed; and in the Andean countries, where human rights violations still abound. In most cases, the militaries being trained were actively involved not just in suppressing armed rebellion but also in repressing democratic, civic opposition.

NOTE: Many thanks to the invaluable assistance of Carlos Osorio at the National Security Archive and Suzy Glucksman in Rep. Joseph Kennedy's office.

EXCERPTS

The following collection of excerpts does not contain all the objectionable passages within the manuals, but rather offers a sampling of them. Some of the Pentagon's selection of excerpts are included, to give a full flavor, but most of the excerpts were not included in the Pentagon's more limited selection. The excerpts chosen include not only the worst passages that most clearly violate human rights or democratic standards, but also passages that advise against torture, to give a more balanced picture of the content. Also included are selections that reveal the simplistic and dated approach that is typical of the manuals.

From the army manual "Counterintelligence":

"CIVILIAN SECURITY: In all cases the mission of the military forces has priority over the well-being of the civilians in the area. Examples of the civilian security measures are:

Systematic registering of the civilian personnel, including the neutral foreigners and enemies: This is done by the civilian affairs agency and includes the distribution of rationing cards, work permits, travel permits and permits for crossing borders....

Surveillance of suspect political groups: one should find out whether other groups are sympathetic to enemy cause. Such groups must always be considered potential agents." ("Counterintelligence," pp. 10-11)

"Figure #2

Black Lists

THESE CONTAIN THE IDENTITIES AND LOCATIONS OF PERSONS WHOSE CAPTURE AND DETENTION ARE OF FOREMOST IMPORTANCE TO THE ARMED FORCES:

EXAMPLES

a. Enemy agents known or suspects [sic], persons involved in espionage, sabotage, politics, and subversive persons.

b. Hostile para-military guerilla team leaders, known or suspects.

c. Political leaders known or suspected as hostile toward the Armed Forces or the political interests of the National Government.

d. Known or suspected leaders of enemy governments whose presence in the area of operations represent a threat the [sic] national security.

e. Collaborators and sympathizers of the enemy, known or suspects whose presence in the area of operations represent a threat to the national security.

f. Military and civilian enemies, known or suspected of having participated in intelligence activities, counter-intelligence, security, police or political indoctrination between the troops or among civilians.

g. Other personalities identified by the G2 as of immediate detention. This could include local political personalities, chiefs of police, and municipal leaders or leaders of the enemy's government departments."

("Counterintelligence," p. 225)

"FIGURE #6

ORGANIZATIONS AND TEAMS

[This list refers to targets to be detected and "neutralized." While the explanation of the term neutralized in this chapter includes detaining and discrediting but not killing, the term often is used to mean killing.]

1. Local or national political party teams, or parties that have goals, beliefs or ideologies contrary or in opposition to the National Government.

2. Para-military organizations including student teams, police, military and veterans, or ex-fighter teams that are hostile towards the National Government.

3. Teams or hostile organizations whose objective is to create dissension or cause restlessness among the civilian population in the area of operations.

4. The central offices of these hostile organizations according to what the Commander of the Armed Forces says will be immediately neutralized. Personalities related with these offices will be arrested and detained.

5. Teams that operate undercover or clandestinely and their infrastructure.

6. Intelligence networks."

("Counterintelligence," p. 228.)

From the army manual "Handling of Sources":

"The mere elimination of the guerillas does not change in any way the insurgents' basic organization. In order to achieve a permanent victory, the internal defense operations should be planned with the goal of attacking the insurgent organization before the guerillas begin their operations, an attack which includes the secret subversive elements as well as their military arm once the movement reaches the second phase."

("Handling of Sources," p. 5)

"We have already seen how a relatively small number of individuals can come to control an organization by infiltration and fixed elections. The government can inform itself in a timely way about insurgents' activity in these organizations, by placing its agents in all organizations that it suspects could interest the insurgent group. Among the main organizations of this type can be mentioned political parties, unions and youth and student groups."

("Handling of Sources," p. 7)

"AGE: The employees [paid government informants] worthy of greatest confidence are mature, objective and emotionally stable individuals.... Children are, at least, very observant and can provide precise information about things they have seen and heard, if they are interrogated in the appropriate manner."

("Handling of Sources," p. 26)

"The CI [counterintelligence] agent should take advantage of the aid programs through which the government provides food, clothing, health care and housing for the population. As these are programs with which the government is identified, it is possible to persuade the individuals who have benefitted from them to collaborate in the search for people ready to work with the government."

("Handling of Sources," p. 34)

"Teachers, doctors, social workers and clergy in a local area also can provide a lot of information to the CI agent. These individuals usually have a close relationship with the population and enjoy their respect. They usually maintain a variety of files that can be a useful source of information."

("Handling of Sources," p. 35)

"The CI agent must offer presents and compensation for information leading to the arrest, capture or death of guerillas."

("Handling of Sources," p. 35, included in Pentagon's excerpts.)

"Before the guerillas take control:

The CI agent should consider all organizations as possible guerilla sympathizers. He ought to train and locate informants inside these organizations to inform him about activities and discover any indication of a latent insurrection. We are especially interested in identifying the members of the guerillas commando structure, its political structure and base of support. By infiltrating informants in the diverse youth, workers, political, business, social and charitable organizations, we can identify the organizations that include guerillas among their members. The agent can also identify the relatives of these guerillas, their supporters and sympathizers of the insurrectionary movement.... The CI agent also should investigate other organizations that are not yet under the guerillas' control, since doubtless these will include members who sympathize with the insurrectionary movement; for that reason, it is essential to identify those persons."

("Handling of Sources," p. 75)

"The CI agent could cause the arrest of the employee's parents, imprison the employee or give him a beating as part of the placement plan of said employee in the guerilla organization."

("Handling of Sources, p. 79, included in Pentagon's excerpts.)

"The employee's value can be increased... by means of arrests, executions or pacification."

("Handling of Sources," p. 80, included in Pentagon's excerpts.)

"If the agent suspects that he could have difficulty in separating an employee, it will be necessary to make up a reason to convince the employee that the separation is to his advantage. This could be by convincing him that he has been compromised by the guerillas. That continuing working for the government could result in serious consequences for the employee and his family. If the employee does not believe this story, other measures could be taken to convince him placing anonymous telegrams or sending anonymous letters. Many other techniques could be used which are only limited by the agent's imagination."

("Handling of Sources," p. 155, included in Pentagon's excerpts)

From "Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla":

"Guatemala and Costa Rica

Historically, the United States has had little to do with Guatemala and Costa Rica. Generally speaking, Costa Rica has always been a model of a stable democracy. In the middle of the 1950s, Guatemala was governed by a communist government. A coup d'etat directed by the United States replaced the government. During this time, the international communist Ernesto Che Guevara appeared in Guatemala. Apparently, the CIA head in Guatemala, H.R. Alderman had Guevara in prison but he was freed, thinking he didn't have much importance within the communist movement. The rest is history; Guevara went to Mexico where he joined Fidel Castro's forces to invade Cuba. Now that we know a little about the history of Central America, we are going to study each country from the point of view of terrorism."

("Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla," p. 69)

"Another function of the CI agents is to recommend CI targets for neutralization. CI targets can include people, installations, organizations, and documents and materials. A CI target is someone or something that fits within the previously described categories; it may or may not be hostile.

Persons who are targets can often prove to be valuable sources of intelligence. Some example of these targets are government officials, political leaders, and members of the infrastructure. Installations that are targets can provide information of significant value. The continued operation of these installations during combat can put in danger the commander's mission.... Organizations or groups that are able to be a potential threat to the government also must be identified as targets. Even though the threat may not be apparent, insurgents frequently hide subversive activity behind front organizations. Examples of hostile organizations or groups are paramilitary groups, labor unions, and dissident groups."

("Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla," p. 112)

"CI agents are also involved in recommending measures of control and [sic] of population to the authorities. These recommendations are based in the domestic and external support for the insurgents as well as the capacity to carry them out.

These measures can be divided into three forms of control: surveillance, restriction and coercion. These measures are designed principally to detect and control the movement of human and material resources. The adequate application of these measures will break the support relationship between the population and the insurgent and at the same time provide a physically and physiologically secure environment for the population."

("Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla," p. 113)

"Measures of Controlling the Population and Resources

1. Surveillance. To control the movement of supplies, equipment, and people, it will be necessary to control and monitor the population's activities. Surveillance measures are used to identify insurgents, identify those who support them, and identify the manner in which aid is provided to the insurgents. Restrictive measures are those that are aimed to isolate the insurgent from the general population, physically and psychologically, denying him his principal source of supply.

1. ID Cards. An effective system of identification is fundamental to the program for controlling the population and resources.

2. Registration. A program of registering families is used to supplement the system of ID cards. This is the system of inventorying all families by house, making a list of all members of the family who live in the house along with the family's resources. One can also note the presence of insurgent tendencies and affiliations among the population.

3. Control by block. The purpose of block-by-block control is to detect the individuals who are supporting or sympathizing with the insurgents and the type of support they are providing.

4. Police patrols. Police patrols can be compared to reconnaissance patrols. Their purpose is to detect sources of insurgent support, sympathizers, and routes used by the insurgent forces for intelligence, logistics, and routine activities and to act to prevent these activities.

Restrictive Measures. Once the collection of information about the insurgents' supply system has been effective, the government forces can efficiently implement restrictive measures.

1. Control of travel and transportation. A program of control of the population and resources must include a system of passes.

2. Curfew. Curfews can be an effective method to restrict movement between specific hours through a specific area or specific routes. The purpose is to permit the authorities to identify violators and take actions based on the premise that anyone who violates the curfew is an insurgent or sympathizes with the insurgents until he can prove the contrary.

3. Checkpoints. It is of little use to establish a program of passes and ID cards unless there is a system of verifying these official papers. Therefore, establishing checkpoints in all travel routes is necessary once the use of passes has started...."

("Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla," pp. 118-119)

From the army manual "Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology":

"It is essential that domestic defense intelligence agencies obtain information about the political party or parties that support the insurgent movement, the quantity of influence that the insurgents exercise, and the presence of the insurgent movement in the nonviolent public attacks against the government."

("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," 1989, p. 49)

"The subversive actions are directed towards achieving changes in the political, economic and social structure of society, frequently through psychological means. In this way, the insurgent tries to influence the opinions, attitudes, feelings and desires of friendly, hostile and neutral people to achieve behavior that is favorable to his objectives. During Phase I (subversion), intellectual and emotional persuasion is the principal arm of the insurrection."

("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," 1989, p. 50)

"The insurgents try to influence the direction, control and authority that is exercised over the nation in general and in the administration of the political system. The insurgents are active in the areas of political nominations, political organizations, political education, and judicial laws. They can resort to subverting the government by means of elections in which the insurgents cause the replacement of an unfriendly government official to one favorable to their cause. The insurgent activity can include disbursing campaign funds to gain members and organizing political meetings for their candidates. They can attempt to use bribes or place informants in key areas to counteract government action. They can launch propaganda attacks to discredit and ridicule political leaders and government officials. Also, insurgent leaders can participate in political races as candidates for government posts."

("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," 1989, p. 51)

"The CI [counterintelligence] personnel must be able to....

D. Recommend CI targets for exploitation. The CI targets include personalities, organizations and groups, as well as documents and materials. A CI target is someone or something that fits within these categories and that can or cannot be hostile to our cause. Persons who sympathize with our cause are also of CI interest since it is not favorable to our interests to protect these people or groups." [sic; meaning of last sentence unclear in Spanish]

F. Recommend measures of controlling the population and resources.... These measures fall within three types of control: surveillance, restriction, and enforcement. The surveillance measures include searches, ID cards and pass books, and control over areas. Restrictive measures include curfews, travel passes, rationing, and restricted areas. Enforcement measures include arrest and exile."

("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," 1989, pp. 73-74.)

Communism is "a kind of pseudo-religion, given that it has a founder, a mythology, a sacred book, a clergy, a place of pilgrimage and an inquisition. The founder is Marx; the mythology is communist theory; the sacred book is Das Kapital; the clergy are members of the Communist Party; the place of pilgrimage is Moscow; and the inquisition [by] the state (KGB) and others. Truly, as Marx said, communism is 'the spectre surrounding Europe.' Today this spectre is surrounding the whole world. You can't hope to convince a devoted communist of the errors in his doctrine, but you ought to be able to point out to an impartial person the fallacies of the communist ideology; and you ought to feel more justified in the validity of the democratic doctrine in light of the fallacies you have learned to discover in communist doctrine."

("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," 1989, p. 128)

From army manual "Combat Intelligence":

"Indications of an Imminent Guerilla Attack

6. Demonstrations by minority groups

7. Increase in propaganda activities in a particular area. The guerilla forces, in general, begin to distribute propaganda of various types, in which they include the approximate hour and date of an attack about to take place. This is a positive indication that they are going to launch an attack. Actions like that act to improve the image that the guerillas present to the people. Such actions help them achieve control over the population.

8. In some zones, the local population, including children, don't speak or associate with U.S. troops or host country troops. This invariably indicates one of two things: that guerillas dominate the area or that they intend to launch an attack.

10. A high level of desertions among the paramilitary forces in the host country.

11. Visits of strangers to towns, cities, etc.

16. Celebration of national and religious festivals, as well as birthdays of leaders or key people in the guerilla forces or in a sponsoring power."

("Combat Intelligence," pp. 161-2)

"Indicators of Control [of the Population] by the Guerilla Forces

2. The local populace refuse to provide intelligence to government forces."

("Combat Intelligence, p. 163)

"II. Are the insurgents carrying out psychological operations?

a. Propaganda (indicator)

(1) Accusations of government corruption.

(2) Circulation of petitions that embrace the insurgents' demands.

(3) Attempts to discredit or ridicule government or military officials.

(4) Characterization of government and political leaders as U.S. puppets.

(5) Promotion of a popular front government.

(6) Propaganda urging youth to avoid the draft or soldiers to desert

(7) Characterization of the armed forces as the enemy of the people.

(8) Slogans against the government, the armed forces, or the United States (spoken, posters, graffiti, pamphlets, commercial radio, etc.)

(9) Petitions or pamphlets that embrace Cuban or Nicaraguan philosophy.

(10) Appeals to people to sympathize with or participate in demonstrations or strikes.

(11) Accusations that the government has failed in its responsibility to meet the basic needs of the people.

(12) Accusations that the military and police are corrupt or that they aren't with the people.

(13) Accusations of brutality or torture by the police or armed forces.

(14) Propaganda in favor of revolutionary groups, Cuba, or Nicaragua.

(15) Propaganda with the objective of linking certain ethnic groups in a united international class.

b. Promotion of popular discontent. (indicator)

(1) Labor discontent.

(a) Energetic campaigns of union organizing or recruiting.

(b) Extremist propaganda in favor of the interests of the workers.

(c) Violent workers' demonstrations.

(d) Worker demonstrations against the government.

(e) Strikes.

(f) Changes in labor leadership.

(g) Persecution of labor leaders by the security forces or private groups.

(2) Rural Discontent.

(a) Demonstrations to demand agrarian reform.

(b) Land takeovers.

(c) Persecution of peasant leaders by security forces or private groups.

(3) Economic Discontent.

(a) Peasants refuse to pay taxes or rents.

(b) Protests about high unemployment, low salaries, or against the national economic plan.

(4) Religious Discontent.

(a) Clergy embracing liberation theology.

(b) Clergy involved in activities concerning political, rural or labor discontent.

(c) Adult men receiving refuge or food from clergy or help from them....

c. Popular organizing. (indicator)

(1) Unusual meetings among the population.

(2) Migration of population from areas previously occupied

(3) The population avoids travelling, working, or living in certain areas.

(4) Civilians avoid military forces or show their displeasure at cooperating with them....."

("Combat Intelligence," pp. 167-169)

From CIA manual "Human Resource Exploitation Manual -1983":

"I. Control - The capacity to cause or change certain types of human behavior by implying or using physical or psychological means to induce compliance. Compliance may be voluntary or involuntary.

Control can rarely be established without control of the environment. By controlling the subject's physical environment, we will be able to control his psychological state of mind."

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. A-6)

"Design and Management of a Facility [for questioning detainees]

II. Security Considerations

A. Should be constructed in a reasonably secure area, secure from demonstrations, riots, etc.

B. Should not be easily observed from outside by unauthorized personnel.

C. Should be able to withstand an attack.

E. Overhead and bunker protection from shelling.

G. Firing ports in the outside wall of the facility.

H. External fencing of dense material to detonate rockets.

I. Entry and exit of all personnel must be strictly controlled by a system of badges, with photos, identifying personnel and indicating areas of access (e.g. different color backgrounds). Badges never leave the facility. They are picked up and turned at reception."

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. E-2)

"Tapes [of interrogation] can be edited and spliced, with effective results, if the tampering can be kept hidden. For instance, it is more effective for a subject to hear a taped confession of an accomplice than to merely be told by the 'questioner' that he has confessed."

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. E-7)

"I. Apprehension.

A. The manner and timing of arrest can contribute substantially to the 'questioner's' purpose and should be planned to achieve surprise and the maximum amount of mental discomfort. He should therefore be arrested at a moment when he least expects it and when his mental and physical resistance is at its lowest.

The ideal time at which to make an arrest is in the early hours of the morning. When arrested at this time, most subjects experience intense feelings of shock, insecurity, and psychological stress and for the most part have great difficulty adjusting to the situation.

B. As to the manner of the arrest, it is very important that the arresting party behave in such a manner as to impress the subject with their efficiency. The subject should be rudely awakened and immediately blindfolded and handcuffed....

II. Handling upon arrival at the facility.

A. Subject is brought into the facility blindfolded and handcuffed and should remain so during the entire processing.

B. Any time the subject is moved for any reason, he should be blindfolded and handcuffed.

C. Subject should be required to comply immediately and precisely with all instructions.

F. Subject is completely stripped and told to take a shower. Blindfold remains in place while showering and guard watches throughout.

G. Subject is given a thorough medical examination, including all body cavities, by the facility doctor or nurse.

K. Total isolation should be maintained until after the first 'questioning' session. Conditions can be adjusted after this session.

L. Subject should be made to believe that he has been forsaken by his comrades.

M. Throughout his detention, subject must be convinced that his 'questioner' controls his ultimate destiny, and that his absolute cooperation is necessary for survival."

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. F-1-F-3)

"F. News from Home

Allowing a subject to receive carefully selected letters from home can help create an effect desired by the 'questioner.' For example, the subject may get the idea that his relatives are under duress or suffering. A suggestion at the proper time that his cooperation or confession can help protect the innocent may be effective."

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. J-6)

"2. A cooperative witness can sometimes be coached to exaggerate the subject's involvement or accuse him of a worse crime than the matter at hand. Upon hearing these remarks from a recording, a subject may confess the truth about the lesser guilt in order to provide himself with an alibi.

3. If the witness refuses to denounce the subject, the 'questioner' elicits and records remarks from him denouncing someone else known to him, for example, a criminal who was recently convicted in court. During the next session with the subject, these remarks, edited as necessary, are played back so that the subject is persuaded that he is the subject of the remarks."

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. J-8)

"D. Threats and Fear

The threat of coercion usually weakens or destroys resistance more effectively than coercion itself. For example, the threat to inflict pain can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain. In fact, most people underestimate their capacity to withstand pain. In general, direct physical brutality creates only resentment, hostility, and further defiance.

The effectiveness of a threat depends on the personality of the subject, whether he believes the 'questioner' can and will carry out the threat, and on what he believes to be the reason for the threat. A threat should be delivered coldly, not shouted in anger, or made in response to the subject's own expressions of hostility."

( "Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. K-8)

"4. Are coercive techniques to be used? Have all supervisors in your direct chain of command been notified and given approval? Has headquarters given approval?"

( "Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. L-4)

"VII. Exploitation and Disposal

A. What disposition of the subject is to be made after 'questioning' ends?

1. If the subject is suspected of being a hostile agent, and he has not confessed, what measures will be taken to ensure that his is not allowed to operate as before?

2. If the subject is to be used operationally, what effect (if any) will the 'questioning' have upon the operation?

3. If the subject is to be turned over to another service, how much will he be able to tell them about your service and methods?

4. If the subject is to be turned over to the courts for prosecution, will he be able to cause embarrassment to your service because of his detention and 'questioning'?

B. Have any promises been made to the subject which are unfulfilled when 'questioning' ends? Is he vengeful or likely to strike back? How?

C. Has a quit-claim been obtained?

D. If psychological regression was induced in the subject during the 'questioning' process, how is it planned to restore him to his original mental condition?"

("Human Resource Exploitation Manual - 1983," p. L-6 - L-7)

Excerpts from the CIA's "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation - July 1963":

"The interrogation of a resistant source who is a staff or agent member of an Orbit intelligence or security service or of a clandestine Communist organization is one of the most exacting of professional tasks. Usually the odds still favor the interrogator, but they are sharply cut by the training, experience, patience and toughness of the interrogatee. In such circumstances the interrogator needs all the help that he can get. And a principal source of aid today is scientific findings. The intelligence service which is able to bring pertinent, modern knowledge to bear upon its problems enjoys huge advantages over a service which conducts its clandestine business in eighteenth century fashion. It is true that American psychologists have devoted somewhat more attention to Communist interrogation techniques, particularly "brainwashing" than to U.S. practices. Yet they have conducted scientific inquiries into many subjects that are closely related to interrogation: the effects of debility and isolation, the polygraph, reactions to pain and fear, hypnosis and heightened suggestibility, narcosis, etc...."

"The legislation which founded KUBARK specifically denied it any law-enforcement or police powers. Yet detention in a controlled environment and perhaps for a lengthy period is frequently essential to a successful counterintelligence interrogation of a recalcitrant source. [section whited out] This necessity, obviously, should be determined as early as possible.

The legality of detaining and questioning a person, and of the methods employed, [section whited out]."

("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 7)

"Interrogations conducted under compulsion or duress are especially likely to involve illegality and to entail damaging consequences for KUBARK. Therefore prior Headquarters approval at the KUDOVE level must be obtained for the interrogation of any source against his will and under any of the following circumstances:

1. If bodily harm is to be inflicted.

2. If medical, chemical, or electrical methods or materials are to be used to induce acquiescence.

3. [whited out]

("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 8)

"The profound moral objection to applying duress past the point of irreversibly psychological damage has been stated. Judging the validity of other ethical arguments about coercion exceeds the scope of this paper. What is fully clear, however, is that controlled coercive manipulation of an interrogatee may impair his ability to make fine distinctions but will not alter his ability to answer correctly such gross questions as 'Are you a Soviet agent? What is your assignment now? who is your present case officer?"

("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 84)

"The following are the principal coercive techniques of interrogation: arrest, detention, deprivation of sensory stimuli through solitary confinement or similar methods, threats and fear, debility, pain, heightened suggestibility and hypnosis, narcosis, and induced regression." ("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 85)

"1. The more completely the place of confinement eliminates sensory stimuli, the more rapidly and deeply will the interrogatee be affected. Results produced only after weeks or months of imprisonment in an ordinary cell can be duplicated in hours or days in a cell which has no light (or weak artificial light which never varies), which is sound-proofed, in which odors are eliminated, etc. An environment still more subject to control, such as water-tank or iron lung, is even more effective."

("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 90)

"If a coercive technique is to be used, or if two or more are to be employed jointly, they should be chosen for their effect upon the individual and carefully selected to match his personality."

("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 103)

"38. Are coercive techniques to be employed? If so, have all field personnel in the interrogator's direct chain of command been notified? Have they approved?

39. Has prior Headquarters permission been obtained?

43. Are threats to be employed as part of a plan? Has the nature of the threat been matched to that of the interrogatee?"

("KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation--July 1963," p. 109)

[Note on translation of excerpts: The excerpts from "Terrorism and the Urban Guerilla," "Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," "Combat Intelligence" and the selections from "Handling of Sources" not included in the Pentagon's excerpts were translated by the author of this memo. "Counterintelligence," "Human Resource Exploitation" and "KUBARK" were available in English. In some cases the Spanish appears to be a bad translation from English.]

 

Latin America Working Group
424 C Street NE
Washington DC 20002
Phone: (202) 546-7010
Email: lawg@lawg.org

© 2009 Latin America Working Group