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Learning Annex: Communist Chinese Torture Taught at Gitmo

Does an interrogation class covering "coercive management techniques" like sleep deprivation, prolonged constraint, and exposure sound like something that would be conducted in modern America, or 1950s communist China? The answer is both!

During the Korean War, the US Air Force studied Chinese "torture" tactics used to obtain often false confessions from captured Americans. Recently, CIA and Guantanamo interrogators have become students of the tactics, according to the New York Times. Specifically, an entire interrogation class taught at Gitmo in December 2002 focused on the coercive techniques. To find out how the teachers explain the purpose of the class,


Documents released include statements by trainers explaining that the class was used to present “the theory and application of the physical pressures utilized during our training.” The theories included information like "filthy, infested surroundings . . . reduces prisoner to ‘animal level’ concern." Since 2005, Congress has outlawed the use of coercion in the military. But under President's Bush approval the CIA still can use secret methods, explains the article.

I am confused why the US has taught Chinese tactics outlined in the 1950s' report titled "Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War." Do you think this class means American officials have forgotten the lessons of history?


xoAESxo xoAESxo 8 years
that man in the pictures name is John Ploch. he was a great uncle. sadly in 2000 he died. but he was a prisinor of war in Korea. he had his elbow cut off. and many other bad things happen to him. his family was told he was dead but a year later John returned. i remeber my uncle johnny. and he was a great man. bless him.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
I second that request!
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Auntie C., please, oh, God, please write a book. This is some of the best stuff I've read on CS! You are brilliant whoever you are.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
Just think of Gitmo as a Military version of Law and Order, Criminal Intent. That should appease the bleeding hearts, I hope.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Are they learning this so they don't REPEAT those mistakes? If that is the intent, I think it is a good idea. Otherwise, I am not sure what the purpose of this would be...
stephley stephley 9 years
It's a great picture - I thought it had to be from a movie.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
The picture is of Army Pfc. John Ploch, one of the returned Americans who had not been reported a POW, sitting at table in dazed disbelief as he is processed during Korean War prisoner exchange at Freedom Village. 1953.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
It's good to see that America is once again the leader at something.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LOL! Man I've seen that face plenty of times in Vegas. That's why I don't gamble. In regards to the article I think it is important to study torture techniques for the sake of knowledge if one is in a related field in the military. However, that does not necessarily give them license to use it. If it’s not taught how can they learn from history?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I think it's quite interesting that these tactics are referred to openly as eliciting false ("I'll tell you anything you want to hear if you'll just stop hurting me") confessions.
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