School of the Americas: Report of the Latin Americ
Latin America Working Group
a project of the National Council of Churches
110 Maryland Ave., NE - Box 15
Washington, DC 20002
INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT ON ARMY MANUALS
A FEEBLE RESPONSE; WHAT THE RECENTLY DECLASSIFIED MANUALS CONTAIN
The Department of Defense's Inspector General issued a report February 21
admitting that in using certain army manuals in training Latin American
militaries, "from 1982 through early 1991, many mistakes were made and
repeated by numerous and continuously changing personnel in several
organizations from Panama to Georgia to Washington, D.C." Despite this, the
report concludes there is no "evidence that the lengthy episode was a
deliberate attempt to violate Department of Defense policies." Therefore,
there is no reason to pursue the issue of individual responsibility.
In essence, the report claims that because these numerous U.S. personnel did
not know that it was against U.S. policy to train Latin American militaries
to use threats or force with prisoners, "neutralize" opponents, hold
prisoners in clandestine jails, and infiltrate and spy upon civilian
organizations and opposition political parties, all techniques described in
the manuals, no disciplinary action was necessary. The report does not
examine any systemic problem that might have led to "numerous and changing
personnel" over a ten-year period lacking a working knowledge of human
rights. Thus the report fails to assign either individual or collective
responsibility for training Latin American militaries to violate human
rights and use profoundly anti-democratic methods--a frame of mind that led
Latin American militaries to kill thousands of civilians in the wars of the
1980s. If this failure to assign accountability happened abroad, we would
call it impunity.
The Inspector General's report, however, does contend that since the 1991-92
investigation into the manuals, little corrective action has been taken to
ensure that such abhorrent training materials are no longer used. The
Department of Defense's principal corrective action in response to the
manuals was to issue a March 1992 memorandum regarding proper oversight of
materials for training foreign militaries and intelligence services. The memo
lacked the force of a directive, was overlooked at most agencies, and did not
make agencies more likely to seek approval for foreign training materials
from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The memo also focused on the
mobile training teams sent abroad, neglecting the role of the School
of the Americas. The Inspector General's main recommendation is to reissue
this memo as a directive, which on 2/5/97 the Assistant Secretary of
Defense's office agreed to do. Issuing a vague directive, however, is a
feeble response to a serious systemic failure.
The Inspector General's report keeps the School of the Americas at
the center of this controversy by
asserting that it was at the School of the Americas that these
objectionable materials from the 1960s were
put back into circulation. "Formulation of a 382-hour Spanish
language course of instruction on military
intelligence for foreign students at the SOA was the genesis of a
nearly 10-year problem."*
No Admission, No Accountability
The Pentagon and the School of the Americas admit that the recently
declassified manuals contain passages that violate U.S. policy--references
to executions, beatings, blackmail, use of truth serum and the payment of
bounties for enemy dead. But their public statements to date attempt to
minimize the implications by speaking of "two dozen short passages" or
"words or phrases" that contradict U.S. policy included in hundreds of pages
of innocuous text. The Inspector General's report also takes this minimizing
approach, referring to "several passages." An analysis and selection of
excerpts from the army training manuals prepared by the Latin America
Working Group reveal that their entire framework is in direct contradiction
to democratic values. In the name of defending democracy, these manuals
trained Latin American militaries in profoundly anti-democratic methods. A
1980s CIA manual declassified in January is even more abhorrent, in its
explicit discussion of "coercive techniques." Passages from this manual are
also included in the LAWG packet.
The Pentagon has told the public that the offending material has
been withdrawn. However, there are compelling reasons to question whether
U.S. training materials for Latin American militaries have been thoroughly
reviewed and revised. First, the slow, piecemeal surfacing of these manuals
and the limited investigations at each point, usually in response to efforts
by journalists, members of Congress and human rights advocates, suggest that
there may be many other objectionable 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. The Inspector
General's report is hardly reassuring on this issue. Oversight appears not to
have greatly improved since 1992.
The second reason to question whether the curriculum has been
updated is that as of this writing the U.S.
government has not even admitted the full scope of the problem.
While the Pentagon acknowledges that the
manuals' references to beatings and executions are unacceptable, it
has not commented upon the fact that the
manuals trained Latin American militaries in techniques that violate
democratic principles and the rule of
law. To cite just one example, the manuals advise Latin American
militaries to spy on opposition political
parties. When the U.S. government spied on an opposition party, it
was called Watergate, and a President
faced impeachment because of it. But the Pentagon's statements do
not even mention this as a problem.
To rectify the damage these manuals did to Latin America and to U.S.
democratic values, a much more thorough accounting is needed than contained
in this extremely weak Inspector General's report.
* Individuals and agencies must be held accountable for the
production of the manuals and the failure to
oversee them, with disciplinary action taken; this should include
the CIA as well as the army manuals;
* If, as the Inspector General contends, no laws were broken, then
laws must be changed to make it illegal to
teach foreign militaries and intelligence services to use torture and
other techniques that violate fundamental
* There must be a thorough review, with participation by human
rights experts, of all materials, including
not only manuals but also lesson plans and readings, used in
training foreign militaries and intelligence
services; this must be far deeper than removing a couple of dozen
* Better systems for regular oversight and accountability must be
set up; and
* The government should engage in a wider public debate about
whether, in today's world, U.S. training for
Latin American military and intelligence forces is necessary.
For more information, contact:
On the manuals:
Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group, (202) 546-7010
Carlos Osorio, National Security Archive, (202) 994-7000
On human rights efforts regarding the School of the Americas:
Joy Olson, Latin America Working Group, (202) 546-7010
Father Roy Bourgeois, School of the Americas Watch, (706) 682-
The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) is a coalition of over
sixty organizations including churches,
human rights groups, grassroots organizations and development
agencies committed to a just U.S. policy
towards Latin America.
*A memo declassified in November 1996 and released to the
National Security Archive this week detailing a
phone conversation between Major Vic Tise, the instructor at the
School of the Americas when the lesson
plans for counterintelligence training were drawn up in 1982, and
the Office of the Assistant Secretary of
Defense on 31 July 1991, sheds light on the origin of the manuals.
Major Tise states that military
intelligence training (or a certain kind of military intelligence
training) given by the United States to Latin
American countries from 1965-66 until 1976 was halted by the
Carter Administration "for fear the training
would contribute to human rights violations in other countries."
When Major Tise was asked in 1982 to
develop counterintelligence course materials, he turned to Project
X materials. The materials he developed
were then sent to high-level army supervisors who sent them back
"approved but UNCHANGED."
Recently Declassified Army and CIA Manuals Used in Latin America:
An Analysis of Their Content
by Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group
February 18, 1997
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
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
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.
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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.
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
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)
THESE CONTAIN THE IDENTITIES AND LOCATIONS OF
PERSONS WHOSE CAPTURE AND
DETENTION ARE OF FOREMOST IMPORTANCE TO THE
a. Enemy agents known or suspects [sic], persons involved in
espionage, sabotage, politics, and subversive
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
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)
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
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
("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
("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
("Handling of Sources," p. 35)
"The CI agent must offer presents and compensation for
information leading to the arrest, capture or death
("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
("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
("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 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
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
("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
("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
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
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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
("Revolutionary War, Guerillas and Communist Ideology," 1989,
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.
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
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
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
("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
(4) Characterization of government and political leaders as U.S.
(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
(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
(14) Propaganda in favor of revolutionary groups, Cuba, or
(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.
© Violent workers' demonstrations.
(d) Worker demonstrations against the government.
(f) Changes in labor leadership.
(g) Persecution of labor leaders by the security forces or private
(2) Rural Discontent.
(a) Demonstrations to demand agrarian reform.
(b) Land takeovers.
© Persecution of peasant leaders by security forces or private
(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
© Adult men receiving refuge or food from clergy or help from
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
(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
("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
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)
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
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
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
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
("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'
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
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
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."
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
("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
("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.]
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