Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance “Coercive Management Techniques”

3 07 2008

Here’s my “Stump the Yoo” question. Would the President endorse US military interrogators adopting Chinese Communist interrogation methods used to extract confessions, mainly false, from American prisoners during the Korean War?

Apparently, yes.

In fact, military trainers in Guantanamo Bay based an entire class on the Sadean techniques outlined in a 1957 Air Force document based on the accounts of US prisoners returning from North Korea, “some of whom had been filmed by their Chinese interrogators confessing to germ warfare and other atrocities.” The US military at the time (i.e. the 50s) wasn’t buying the so-called confessions, which it deemed the result of “brainwashing,” and used the Air Force document to develop a training program, SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), aimed at stiffening the resolve of military personnel, should they be captured, by exposing them to the harsh methods of the enemy. There is even a SERE course built into America’s Army: Special Forces, the first person shooter distributed for free by the US military as a recruitment tool.

In 2002, a chart copied verbatim from the 1957 Air Force report became a source of interrogation methods adopted by the military and the CIA, with the only change being the removal of the original title: “Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance.” Communist techniques used in Guantanamo (which, as the New York Times article notes, were long recognised by the US as torture) have included forcing prisoners to stand for excessively long periods of time, exposure to extreme cold, stress positions, and waterboarding. President Bush has given these torture methods (after all, that’s what Americans were happy to call them when the Communists were using them) the thumbs up, claiming that “they helped provide critical intelligence and prevented new terrorist attacks.” Because torturing people using techniques that have not proven to yield reliable confessions is what Jesus would do.

Via the commenter “minimalist” at Pharyngula.

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4 responses

1 10 2008
frankos

Well done for posting this. It is based heavily on the New York Time article but your piece is no worse for that. Thank you for the info.

9 10 2008
The Barefoot Bum

As I suppose you note in your strikeout, torture and coercive interrogation techniques precede communism by quite a bit. Note the techniques used by Americans in the Philippine–American War (1899–1902/1913), including the “water cure”, a technique akin to waterboarding.

9 10 2008
The Barefoot Bum

Wikipedia has a good article on the history of waterboarding.

9 10 2008
AV

Thanks, BB. It’s instructive to learn that the technique was employed by the Spanish Inquisition. Again: torture . . . it’s what Jesus would do.

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