The CIA's 1963 Torture Manual In Its Entirety, Part II

Josh Clark

3. The greedy, demanding character. This kind of person affixes himself to others like a leech and clings obsessively. Although extremely dependent and passive, he constantly demands that others take care of him and gratify his wishes. If he considers himself wronged, he does not seek redress through his own efforts but tries to persuade another to take up the cudgels in his behalf -- "let's you and him fight." His loyalties are likely to shift whenever he feels that the sponsor whom he has chosen has let him down. Defectors of this type feel aggrieved because their desires were not satisfied in their countries of origin, but they soon feel equally deprived in a second land and turn against its government or representatives in the same way. The greedy and demanding character is subject to rather frequent depressions. He may direct a desire for revenge inward, upon himself; in extreme cases suicide may result.

The greedy, demanding character often suffered from very early deprivation of affection or security. As an adult he continues to seek substitute parents who will care for him as his own, he feels, did not.

The interrogator dealing with a greedy, demanding character must be careful not to rebuff him; otherwise rapport will be destroyed. On the other hand, the interrogator must not accede to demands which cannot or should not be met. Adopting the tone of an understanding father or big brother is likely to make the subject responsive. If he makes exorbitant requests, an unimportant favor may provide a satisfactory substitute because the demand arises not from a specific need but as an expression of the subject's need for security. He is likely to find reassuring any manifestation of concern for his well-being.

In dealing with this type -- and to a considerable extent in dealing with any of the types herein listed -- the interrogator must be aware of the limits and pitfalls of rational persuasion. If he seeks to induce cooperation by an appeal to logic, he should first determine whether the source's resistance is based on logic. The appeal will glance off ineffectually if the resistance is totally or chiefly emotional rather than rational. Emotional resistance can be dissipated only by emotional manipulation.

4. The anxious, self-centered character. Although this person is fearful, he is engaged in a constant struggle to conceal his fears. He is frequently a daredevil who compensates for his anxiety by pretending that there is no such thing as danger. He may be a stunt flier or circus performer who "proves" himself before crowds. He may also be a Don Juan. He tends to brag and often lies through hunger for approval or praise. As a soldier or officer he may have been decorated for bravery; but if so, his comrades may suspect that his exploits resulted from a pleasure in exposing himself to danger and the anticipated delights of rewards, approval, and applause. The anxious, self-centered character is usually intensely vain and equally sensitive.

People who show these characteristics are actually unusually fearful. The causes of intense concealed anxiety are too complex and subtle to permit discussion of the subject in this paper.

Of greater importance to the interrogator than the causes is the opportunity provided by concealed anxiety for successful manipulation of the source. His desire to impress will usually be quickly evident. He is likely to be voluble. Ignoring or ridiculing his bragging, or cutting him short with a demand that he get down to cases, is likely to make him resentful and to stop the flow. Playing upon his vanity, especially by praising his courage, will usually be a successful tactic if employed skillfully. Anxious, self-centered interrogatees who are withholding significant facts, such as contact with a hostile service, are likelier to divulge if made to feel that the truth will not be used to harm them and if the interrogator also stresses the callousness and stupidity of the adversary in sending so valiant a person upon so ill-prepared a mission. There is little to be gained and much to be lost by exposing the nonrelevant lies of this kind of source. Gross lies about deeds of daring, sexual prowess, or other "proofs" of courage and manliness are best met with silence or with friendly but noncommittal replies unless they consume an inordinate amount of time. If operational use is contemplated, recruitment may sometimes be effected through such queries as, "I wonder if you would be willing to undertake a dangerous mission."

5. The guilt-ridden character. This kind of person has a strong cruel, unrealistic conscience. His whole life seems devoted to reliving his feelings of guilt. Sometimes he seems determined to atone; at other times he insists that whatever went wrong is the fault of somebody else. In either event he seeks constantly some proof or external indication that the guilt of others is greater than his own. He is often caught up completely in efforts to prove that he has been treated unjustly. In fact, he may provoke unjust treatment in order to assuage his conscience through punishment. Compulsive gamblers who find no real pleasure in winning but do find relief in losing belong to this class. So do persons who falsely confess to crimes. Sometimes such people actually commit crimes in order to confess and be punished. Masochists also belong in this category.

The causes of most guilt complexes are real or fancied wrongs done to parents or others whom the subject felt he ought to love and honor. As children such people may have been frequently scolded or punished. Or they may have been "model" children who repressed all natural hostilities.

The guilt-ridden character is hard to interrogate. He may "confess" to hostile clandestine activity, or other acts of interest to KUBARK, in which he was not involved. Accusations levelled at him by the interrogator are likely to trigger such false confessions. Or he may remain silent when accused, enjoying the "punishment." He is a poor subject for LCFLUTTER. The complexities of dealing with conscience-ridden interrogatees vary so widely from case to case that it is almost impossible to list sound general principles. Perhaps the best advice is that the interrogator, once alerted by information from the screening process (see Part VI) or by the subject's excessive preoccupation with moral judgements, should treat as suspect and subjective any information provided by the interrogatee about any matter that is of moral concern to him. Persons with intense guilt feelings may cease resistance and cooperate if punished in some way, because of the gratification induced by punishment.

6. The character wrecked by success is closely related to the guilt-ridden character. This sort of person cannot tolerate success and goes through life failing at critical points. He is often accident-prone. Typically he has a long history of being promising and of almost completing a significant assignment or achievement but not bringing it off. The character who cannot stand success enjoys his ambitions as long as they remain fantasies but somehow ensures that they will not be fulfilled in reality. Acquaintances often feel that his success is just around the corner, but something always intervenes. In actuality this something is a sense of guilt, of the kind described above. The person who avoids success has a conscience which forbids the pleasures of accomplishment and recognition. He frequently projects his guilt feelings and feels that all of his failures were someone else's fault. He may have a strong need to suffer and may seek danger or injury.

As interrogatees these people who "cannot stand prosperity" pose no special problem unless the interrogation impinges upon their feelings of guilt or the reasons for their past failures. Then subjective distortions, not facts, will result. The successful interrogator will isolate this area of unreliability.

7. The schizoid or strange character lives in a world of fantasy much of the time. Sometimes he seems unable to distinguish reality from the realm of his own creating. The real world seems to him empty and meaningless, in contrast with the mysteriously significant world that he has made. He is extremely intolerant of any frustration that occurs in the outer world and deals with it by withdrawal into the interior realm.

He has no real attachments to others, although he may attach symbolic and private meanings or values to other people.

Children reared in homes lacking in ordinary affection and attention or in orphanages or state-run communes may become adults who belong to this category. Rebuffed in early efforts to attach themselves to another, they become distrustful of attachments and turn inward. Any link to a group or country will be undependable and, as a rule, transitory. At the same time the schizoid character needs external approval. Though he retreats from reality, he does not want to feel abandoned.

As an interrogatee the schizoid character is likely to lie readily to win approval. He will tell the interrogator what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear in order to win the award of seeing a smile on the interrogator's face. Because he is not always capable of distinguishing between fact and fantasy, he may be unaware of lying. The desire for approval provides the interrogator with a handle. Whereas accusations of lying or other indications of disesteem will provoke withdrawal from the situation, teasing the truth out of the schizoid subject may not prove difficult if he is convinced that he will not incur favor through misstatements or disfavor through telling the truth.

Like the guilt-ridden character, the schizoid character may be an unreliable subject for testing by LCFLUTTER because his internal needs lead him to confuse fact with fancy. He is also likely to make an unreliable agent because of his incapacity to deal with facts and to form real relationships.

8. The exception believes that the world owes him a great deal. He feels that he suffered a gross injustice, usually early in life, and should be repaid. Sometimes the injustice was meted out impersonally, by fate, as a physical deformity, an extremely painful illness or operation in childhood, or the early loss of one parent or both. Feeling that these misfortunes were undeserved, the exceptions regard them as injustices that someone or something must rectify. Therefore they claim as their right privileges not permitted others. When the claim is ignored or denied, the exceptions become rebellious, as adolescents often do. They are convinced that the justice of the claim is plain for all to see and that any refusal to grant it is willfully malignant.

When interrogated, the exceptions are likely to make demands for money, resettlement aid, and other favors -- demands that are completely out of proportion to the value of their contributions. Any ambiguous replies to such demands will be interpreted as acquiescence. Of all the types considered here, the exception is likeliest to carry an alleged injustice dealt him by KUBARK to the newspapers or the courts.

The best general line to follow in handling those who believe that they are exceptions is to listen attentively (within reasonable timelimits) to their grievances and to make no commitments that cannot be discharged fully. Defectors from hostile intelligence services, doubles, provocateurs, and others who have had more than passing contact with a Sino-Soviet service may, if they belong to this category, prove unusually responsive to suggestions from the interrogator that they have been treated unfairly by the other service. Any planned operational use of such persons should take into account the fact that they have no sense of loyalty to a common cause and are likely to turn aggrievedly against superiors.

9. The average or normal character is not a person wholly lacking in the characteristics of the other types. He may, in fact, exhibit most or all of them from time to time. But no one of them is persistently dominant; the average man's qualities of obstinacy, unrealistic optimism, anxiety, and the rest are not overriding or imperious except for relatively short intervals. Moreover, his reactions to the world around him are more dependent upon events in that world and less the product of rigid, subjective patterns than is true of the other types discussed. C. Other Clues

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The true defector (as distinguished from the hostile agent in defector's guise) is likely to have a history of opposition to authority. The sad fact is that defectors who left their homelands because they could not get along with their immediate or ultimate superiors are also likely to rebel against authorities in the new environment (a fact which usually plays an important part in redefection). Therefore defectors are likely to be found in the ranks of the orderly-obstinate, the greedy and deriding, the schizoids, and the exceptions.

Experiments and statistical analyses performed at the University of Minnesota concerned the relationships among anxiety and affiliative tendencies (desire to be with other people), on the one hand, and the ordinal position (rank in birth sequence) on the other. Some of the findings, though necessarily tentative and speculative, have some relevance to interrogation. (30). As is noted in the bibliography, the investigators concluded that isolation typically creates anxiety, that anxiety intensifies the desire to be with others who share the same fear, and that only and first-born children are more anxious and less willing or able to withstand pain than later-born children. Other applicable hypotheses are that fear increases the affiliative needs of first-born and only children much more than those of the later-born. These differences are more pronounced in persons from small families then in those who grew up in large families. Finally, only children are much likelier to hold themselves together and persist in anxiety-producing situations than are the first-born, who more frequently try to retreat. In the other major respects - intensity of anxiety and emotional need to affiliate - no significant differences between "firsts" and "onlies" were discovered.

It follows that determining the subject's "ordinal position" before questioning begins may be useful to the interrogator. But two cautions are in order. The first is that the findings are, at this stage, only tentative hypotheses. The second is that even if they prove accurate for large groups, the data are like those in actuarial tables; they have no specific predictive value for individuals.

VI. Screening and Other Preliminaries

A. Screening

[approx. 2/3 line deleted] some large stations are able to conduct preliminary psychological screening before interrogation starts. The purpose of screening is to provide the interrogator, in advance, with a reading on the type and characteristics of the interrogatee. It is recommended that screening be conducted whenever personnel and facilities permit, unless it is reasonably certain that the interrogation will be of minor importance or that the interrogatee is fully cooperative.

Screening should be conducted by interviewers, not interrogators; or at least the subjects should not be screened by the same KUBARK personnel who will interrogate them later.

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Other psychological testing aids are best administered by a trained psychologist. Tests conducted on American POW's returned to U. S. jurisdiction in Korea during the Big and Little Switch suggest that prospective interrogatees who show normal emotional responsiveness on the Rorschach and related tests are likelier to prove cooperative under interrogation than are those whose responses indicate that they are apathetic and emotionally withdrawn or barren. Extreme resisters, however, share the response characteristics of collaborators; they differ in the nature and intensity of motivation rather than emotions. "An analysis of objective test records and biographical information is a sample of 759 Big Switch repatriates revealed that men who had collaborated differed from men who had not in the following ways: the collaborators were older, had completed more years of school, scored higher on intelligence tests administered after repatriation, had served longer in the Army prior to capture, and scored higher on the Psychopathic Deviate Scale - pd.... However, the 5 percent of the noncollaborator sample who resisted actively - who were either decorated by the Army or considered to be 'reactionaries' by the Chinese - differed from the remaining group in precisely the same direction as the collaborator group and could not be distinguished from this group on any variable except age; the resisters were older than the collaborators." (33)

Even a rough preliminary estimate, if valid, can be a boon to the interrogator because it will permit him to start with generally sound tactics from the beginning - tactics adapted to the personality of the source. Dr. Moloney has expressed the opinion, which we may use as an example of this, that the AVH was able to get what it wanted from Cardinal Mindszenty because the Hungarian service adapted its interrogation methods to his personality. "There can be no doubt that Mindszenty's preoccupation with the concept of becoming secure and powerful through the surrender of self to the greatest power of them all - his God idea - predisposed him to the response elicited in his experience with the communist intelligence. For him the surrender of self-system to authoritarian-system was natural, as was the very principle of martyrdom." (28)

The task of screening is made easier by the fact that the screener is interested in the subject, not in the information which he may possess. Most people -- even many provocation agents who have been trained to recite a legend -- will speak with some freedom about childhood events and familial relationships. And even the provocateur who substitutes a fictitious person for his real father will disclose some of his feelings about his father in the course of detailing his story about the imaginary substitute. If the screener has learned to put the potential source at ease, to feel his way along in each case, the source is unlikely to consider that a casual conversation about himself if dangerous .

The screener is interested in getting the subject to talk about himself. Once the flow starts, the screener should try not to stop it by questions, gestures, or other interruptions until sufficient information has been revealed to permit a rough determination of type. The subject is likeliest to talk freely if the screener's manner is friendly and patient. His facial expression should not reveal special interest in any one statement; he should just seem sympathetic and understanding. Within a short time most people who have begun talking about themselves go back to early experiences, so that merely by listening and occasionally making a quiet, encouraging remark the screener can learn a great deal. Routine questions about school teachers, employers, and group leaders, for example, will lead the subject to reveal a good deal of how he feels about his parents, superiors, and others of emotional consequence to him because of associative links in his mind.

It is very helpful if the screener can imaginatively place himself in the subject's position. The more the screener knows about the subject's native area and cultural background, the less likely is he to disturb the subject by an incongruous remark. Such comments as, "That must have been a bad time for you and your family," or "Yes, I can see why you were angry," or "It sounds exciting" are sufficiently innocuous not to distract the subject, yet provide adequate evidence of sympathetic interest. Tasking the subject's side against his enemies serves the same purpose, and such comments as "That was unfair; they had no right to treat you that way" will aid rapport and stimulate further revelations.

It is important that gross abnormalities be spotted during the screening process. Persons suffering from severe mental illness will show major distortions, delusions, or hallucinations and will usually give bizarre explanations for their behavior. Dismissal or prompt referral of the mentally ill to professional specialists will save time and money.

The second and related purpose of screening is to permit an educated guess about the source's probable attitude toward the interrogation. An estimate of whether the interrogatee will be cooperative or recalcitrant is essential to planning because very different methods are used in dealing with these two types.

At stations or bases which cannot conduct screening in the formal sense, it is still worth-while to preface any important interrogation with an interview of the source, conducted by someone other than the interrogator and designed to provide a maximum of evaluative information before interrogation commences.

Unless a shock effect is desired, the transition from the screening interview to the interrogation situation should not be abrupt. At the first meeting with the interrogatee it is usually a good idea for the interrogator to spend some time in the same kind of quiet, friendly exchange that characterized the screening interview. Even though the interrogator now has the screening product, the rough classification by type, he needs to understand the subject in his own terms. If he is immediately aggressive, he imposes upon the first interrogation session (and to a diminishing extent upon succeeding sessions) too arbitrary a pattern. As one expert has said, "Anyone who proceeds without consideration for the disjunctive power of anxiety in human relationships will never learn interviewing." (34) B. Other Preliminary Procedures

[approx. 2 lines deleted] The preliminary handling of other types of interrogation sources is usually less difficult. It suffices for the present purpose to list the following principles:

1. All available pertinent information ought to be assembled and studied before the interrogation itself is planned, much less conducted. An ounce of investigation may be worth a pound of questions.

2. A distinction should be drawn as soon as possible between sources who will be sent to [approx. 1/2 line deleted site organized and equipped for interrogation and those whose interrogation will be completed by the base or station with which contact is first established.

3. The suggested procedure for arriving at a preliminary assessment of walk-ins remains the same [approx. 4 lines deleted]

The key points are repeated here for ease of reference. These preliminary tests are designed to supplement the technical examination of a walk-in's documents, substantive questions about claimed homeland or occupation, and other standard inquiries. The following questions, if asked, should be posed as soon as possible after the initial contact, while the walk-in is still under stress and before he has adjusted to a routine.

a. The walk-in may be asked to identify all relatives and friends in the area, or even the country, in which PBPRIME asylum is first requested. Traces should be run speedily. Provocation agents are sometimes directed to "defect" in their target areas, and friends or relatives already in place may be hostile assets.

b. At the first interview the questioner should be on the alert for phrases or concepts characteristic of intelligence or CP activity and should record such leads whether it is planned to follow them by interrogation on the spot [approx. 1 line deleted]

c. LCFLUTTER should be used if feasible. If not, the walk-in may be asked to undergo such testing at a later date. Refusals should be recorded, as well as indications that the walk-in has been briefed on the technique by another service. The manner as well as the nature of the walk-in's reaction to the proposal should be noted.

d. If LCFLUTTER, screening. investigation, or any other methods do establish a prior intelligence history, the following minimal information should be obtained:

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5. All documents that have a bearing on the planned interrogation merit study. Documents from Bloc countries, or those which are in any respect unusual or unfamiliar, are customarily sent to the proper field or headquarters component for technical analysis.

6. If during screening or any other pre-interrogation phase it is ascertained that the source has been interrogated before, this fact should be made known to the interrogator. Agents, for example, are accustomed to being questioned repeatedly and professionally. So are persons who have been arrested several times. People who have had practical training in being interrogated become sophisticated subjects, able to spot uncertainty, obvious tricks, and other weaknesses. C. Summary

Screening and the other preliminary procedures will help the interrogator - and his base, station, [one or two words deleted] to decide whether the prospective source (1) is likely to possess useful counterintelligence because of association with a foreign service or Communist Party and (2) is likely to cooperate voluntarily or not. Armed with these estimates and with whatever insights screening has provided into the personality of the source, the interrogator is ready to plan.

VII. Planning the Counterintelligence Interrogation

A. The Nature of Counterintelligence Interrogation

The long-range purpose of CI interrogation is to get from the source all the useful counterintelligence information that he has. The short-range purpose is to enlist his cooperation toward this end or, if he is resistant, to destroy his capacity for resistance and replace it with a cooperative attitude. The techniques used in nullifying resistance, inducing compliance, and eventually eliciting voluntary cooperation are discussed in Part VIII of this handbook.

No two interrogations are the same. Every interrogation is shaped definitively by the personality of the source - and of the interrogator, because interrogation is an intensely interpersonal process. The whole purpose of screening and a major purpose of the first stage of the interrogation is to probe the strengths and weaknesses of the subject. Only when these have been established and understood does it become possible to plan realistically.

Planning the CI interrogation of a resistant source requires an understanding (whether formalized or not) of the dynamics of confession. Here Horowitz's study of the nature of confession is pertinent. He starts by asking why confessions occur at all. "Why not always brazen it out when confronted by accusation? Why does a person convict himself through a confession, when, at the very worst, no confession would leave him at least as well off (and possibly better off)...?" He answers that confessions obtained without duress are usually the product of the following conditions:

1. The person is accused explicitly or implicitly and feels accused.

2. As a result his psychological freedom - the extent to which he feels able to do what he wants to - is curtailed. This feeling need not correspond to confinement or any other external reality.

3. The accused feels defensive because he is on unsure ground. He does not know how much the accuser knows. As a result the accused "has no formula for proper behavior, no role if you will, that he can utilize in this situation."

4. He perceives the accuser as representing authority. Unless he believes that the accuser's powers far exceed his own, he is unlikely to feel hemmed in and defensive. And if he "perceives that the accusation is backed by 'real' evidence, the ratio of external forces to his own forces is increased and the person's psychological position is now more precarious. It is interesting to note that in such situations the accused tends toward over response, or exaggerated response; to hostility and emotional display; to self-righteousness, to counter accusation, to defense.... "

5. He must believe that he is cut off from friendly or supporting forces. If he does, he himself becomes the only source of his "salvation."

6. "Another condition, which is most probably necessary, though not sufficient for confession, is that the accused person feels guilt. A possible reason is that a sense of guilt promotes self-hostility." It should be equally clear that if the person does not feel guilt he is not in his own mind guilty and will not confess to an act which others may regard as evil or wrong and he, in fact, considers correct. Confession in such a case can come only with duress even where all other conditions previously mentioned may prevail."

7. The accused, finally, is pushed far enough along the path toward confession that it is easier for him to keep going than to turn back. He perceives confession as the only way out of his predicament and into freedom. (15)

Horowitz has been quoted and summarized at some length because it is considered that the foregoing is a basically sound account of the processes that evoke confessions from sources whose resistance is not strong at the outset, who have not previously-been confronted with detention and interrogation, and who have not been trained by an adversary intelligence or security service in resistance techniques. A fledgling or disaffected Communist or agent, for example, might be brought to confession and cooperation without the use of any external coercive forces other than the interrogation situation itself, through the above-described progression of subjective events.

It is important to understand that interrogation, as both situation and process, does of itself exert significant external pressure upon the interrogatee as long as he is not permitted to accustom himself to it. Some psychologists trace this effect back to infantile relationships. Meerlo, for example, says that every verbal relationship repeats to some degree the pattern of early verbal relationships between child and parent. (27) An interrogatee, in particular, is likely to see the interrogator as a parent or parent-symbol, an object of suspicion and resistance or of submissive acceptance. If the interrogator is unaware of this unconcsious process, the result can be a confused battle of submerged attitudes, in which the spoken words are often merely a cover for the unrelated struggle being waged at lower levels of both personalities. On the other hand, the interrogator who does understand these facts and who knows how to turn them to his advantage may not need to resort to any pressures greater than those that flow directly from the interrogation setting and function.

Obviously, many resistant subjects of counterintelligence interrogation cannot be brought to cooperation, or even to compliance, merely through pressures which they generate within themselves or through the unreinforced effect of the interrogation situation. Manipulative techniques - still keyed to the individual but brought to bear upon him from outside himself - then become necessary. It is a fundamental hypothesis of this handbook that these techniques, which can succeed even with highly resistant sources, are in essence methods of inducing regression of the personality to whatever earlier and weaker level is required for the dissolution of resistance and the inculcation of dependence. All of the techniques employed to break through an interrogation roadblock, the entire spectrum from simple isolation to hypnosis and narcosis, are essentially ways of speeding up the process of regression. As the interrogatee slips back from maturity toward a more infantile state, his learned or structured personality traits fall away in a reversed chronological order, so that the characteristics most recently acquired - which are also the characteristics drawn upon by the interrogatee in his own defense - are the first to go. As Gill and Brenman have pointed out, regression is basically a loss of autonomy. (13)

Another key to the successful interrogation of the resisting source is the provision of an acceptable rationalization for yielding. As regression proceeds, almost all resisters feel the growing internal stress that results from wanting simultaneously to conceal and to divulge. To escape the mounting tension, the source may grasp at any face-saving reason for compliance - any explanation which will placate both his own conscience and the possible wrath of former superiors and associates if he is returned to Communist control. It is the business of the interrogator to provide the right rationalization at the right time. Here too the importance of understanding the interrogatee is evident; the right rationalization must be an excuse or reason that is tailored to the source's personality.

The interrogation process is a continuum, and everything that takes place in the continuum influences all subsequent events. The continuing process, being interpersonal, is not reversible. Therefore it is wrong to open a counterintelligence interrogation experimentally, intending to abandon unfruitful approaches one by one until a sound method is discovered by chance. The failures of the interrogator, his painful retreats from blind alleys, bolster the confidence of the source and increase his ability to resist. While the interrogator is struggling to learn from the subject the facts that should have been established before interrogation started, the subject is learning more and more about the interrogator.

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