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KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation (Annotated)

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KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation is the oldest of the "torture manuals". KUBARK is a CIA cryptonym, and is how the CIA refers to itself. This extremely controversial manual lists psychological and physical ways to get information from hostile or non-hostile people. Techniques are divided into non-coercive interrogation and coercive interrogation. In the section “Le KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation is the oldest of the "torture manuals". KUBARK is a CIA cryptonym, and is how the CIA refers to itself. This extremely controversial manual lists psychological and physical ways to get information from hostile or non-hostile people. Techniques are divided into non-coercive interrogation and coercive interrogation. In the section “Legal and Policy considerations” it is mentioned that certain types of interrogation require approval: “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. If the detention is locally illegal and traceable to KUBARK, except that in cases of extreme operational urgency requiring immediate detention, retroactive Headquarters approval may be requested by priority cable.” Other topics included are: Types of sources (giving personality categories such as “the character wrecked by success” or “the average or normal character”), the psychology behind interrogation, and how to set up an interrogation plan (including room setting, lighting, making an interrogatee physically or mentally uncomfortable, etc.). Some of the non-coercive interrogation techniques given are named: Nobody Loves You, The All-Seeing (or Confession is Good for the Soul), The Informer, The Witness, Ivan Is a Dope, Joint Interrogators, Spinoza and Mortimer Snerd, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Alice in Wonderland, Regression, The Polygraph, Graphology. Coercive counterintelligence techniques are given as well, such as: Deprivation of Sensory Stimuli, Threats and Fear, Pain, Heightened Suggestibility and Hypnosis, Narcosis, and Debility. The original CIA documents show a date of July 1963. Two versions have been released to the public via FOIA requests. This is the most recent version available, declassified in 2014. Previously redacted information has been included, and noted. Words, terms, names, and phrases that are either dated or require specialized knowledge, have been defined or expanded on in footnotes. All known CIA cryptonyms have been left as is in the original document, but with the first use of the word in the text defined in the footnotes (i.e. KUBARK for CIA or PBPRIME for the United States). This document also has an index and descriptive bibliography, as well as recommended reading.


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KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation is the oldest of the "torture manuals". KUBARK is a CIA cryptonym, and is how the CIA refers to itself. This extremely controversial manual lists psychological and physical ways to get information from hostile or non-hostile people. Techniques are divided into non-coercive interrogation and coercive interrogation. In the section “Le KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation is the oldest of the "torture manuals". KUBARK is a CIA cryptonym, and is how the CIA refers to itself. This extremely controversial manual lists psychological and physical ways to get information from hostile or non-hostile people. Techniques are divided into non-coercive interrogation and coercive interrogation. In the section “Legal and Policy considerations” it is mentioned that certain types of interrogation require approval: “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. If the detention is locally illegal and traceable to KUBARK, except that in cases of extreme operational urgency requiring immediate detention, retroactive Headquarters approval may be requested by priority cable.” Other topics included are: Types of sources (giving personality categories such as “the character wrecked by success” or “the average or normal character”), the psychology behind interrogation, and how to set up an interrogation plan (including room setting, lighting, making an interrogatee physically or mentally uncomfortable, etc.). Some of the non-coercive interrogation techniques given are named: Nobody Loves You, The All-Seeing (or Confession is Good for the Soul), The Informer, The Witness, Ivan Is a Dope, Joint Interrogators, Spinoza and Mortimer Snerd, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Alice in Wonderland, Regression, The Polygraph, Graphology. Coercive counterintelligence techniques are given as well, such as: Deprivation of Sensory Stimuli, Threats and Fear, Pain, Heightened Suggestibility and Hypnosis, Narcosis, and Debility. The original CIA documents show a date of July 1963. Two versions have been released to the public via FOIA requests. This is the most recent version available, declassified in 2014. Previously redacted information has been included, and noted. Words, terms, names, and phrases that are either dated or require specialized knowledge, have been defined or expanded on in footnotes. All known CIA cryptonyms have been left as is in the original document, but with the first use of the word in the text defined in the footnotes (i.e. KUBARK for CIA or PBPRIME for the United States). This document also has an index and descriptive bibliography, as well as recommended reading.

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