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, read more.

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?

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