Report: Trainers at Guantanamo used old Chinese methods
Military trainers at Guantanamo Bay based an entire interrogation class on a chart of "coercive management techniques" copied from a decades old report on methods used to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners during the Korean War, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The trainers, who went to Guantanamo Bay in December 2002, used the information showing the effects of techniques including "sleep deprivation," "prolonged constraint" and "exposure," but did not say, and may not have known, that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist procedures, according to the report.
The recycled chart is the latest evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Times wrote.
Several documents, including the chart, were made public at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing June 17, according to the Times.
But committee investigators were not aware of the chart’s source in the half-century-old journal article, a connection pointed out to The New York Times by an independent expert who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In 2002, the training program, known as SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape, became a source of interrogation methods both for the CIA and the military, the Times reported.
In what critics describe as a remarkable case of historical amnesia, officials who drew on the SERE program appear to have been unaware that it had been created as a result of concern about false confessions by American prisoners, the Times noted.