U.S. Government Used COMMUNIST Torture Techniques Specifically Designed to Produce FALSE Confessions

George Washington's picture

As I noted in 2009:

Senator Levin, in commenting on the Senate Armed Services Committee report on torture declassified today, drops the following bombshell:

last week's release of the Department of Justice Office of Legal
Counsel (OLC) opinions, it is now widely known that Bush administration
officials distorted Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape "SERE"
training - a legitimate program used by the military to train our troops
to resist abusive enemy interrogations - by authorizing abusive
techniques from SERE for use in detainee interrogations. Those decisions
conveyed the message that abusive treatment was appropriate for
detainees in U.S. custody. They were also an affront to the values
articulated by General Petraeus.


In SERE training, U.S. troops
are briefly exposed, in a highly controlled setting, to abusive
interrogation techniques used by enemies that refuse to follow the
Geneva Conventions. The techniques are
based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers
during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting
false confessions for propaganda purposes.
Techniques used in SERE training include stripping trainees of their
clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their
heads, subjecting them to face and body slaps, depriving them of sleep,
throwing them up against a wall, confining them in a small box,
treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing
lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. Until recently, the
Navy SERE school also used waterboarding. The purpose of the SERE
program is to provide U.S. troops who might be captured a taste of the
treatment they might face so that they might have a better chance of
surviving captivity and resisting abusive and coercive interrogations.

Levin then documents that SERE techniques were deployed as part of an
official policy on detainees, and that SERE instructors helped to
implement the interrogation programs.


The senior Army SERE
psychologist warned in 2002 against using SERE training techniques
during interrogations in an email to personnel at Guantanamo Bay,

[T]he use of physical pressures brings with it
a large number of potential negative side effects... When individuals
are gradually exposed to increasing levels of discomfort, it is more
common for them to resist harder... If individuals are put under enough
discomfort, i.e. pain, they will eventually do whatever it takes to
stop the pain. This will increase the amount of information they tell
the interrogator, but it does not mean the information is accurate. In
fact, it usually decreases the
reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he
believes will stop the pain... Bottom line: the likelihood that the use
of physical pressures will increase the delivery of accurate
information from a detainee is very low
. The likelihood that the
use of physical pressures will increase the level of resistance in a
detainee is very high... (p. 53).

I also pointed out:

McClatchy fills in some of the details:

senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation
issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq


For most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld,
especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida
and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had
told them were there."


It was during this period that CIA
interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees
repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid
Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released
Justice Department document...


When people kept coming up empty,
they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he
continued."Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA .
. . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that
pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam . . .


former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army
investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties
between al Qaida and Iraq.


"While we were there a large part of
the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida
and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al
Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The
more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . .
. there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might
produce more immediate results."


"I think it's obvious that the
administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link
(between al Qaida and Iraq)," [Senator] Levin said in a conference call
with reporters. "They made out links where they didn't exist."


recalled Cheney's assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer
had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, in the Czech
Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.


The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.


other words, top Bush administration officials not only knowingly lied
about a non-existent connection between Al Qaida and Iraq, but they
pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed
at extracting false confessions to attempt to create such a false

Writing about this today, Paul Krugman says:

say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a
pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So
it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.

There’s a word for this: it’s evil.

The Washington Post reported the same year:

what you've seen on TV, torture is really only good at one thing:
eliciting false confessions. Indeed, Bush-era torture techniques, we
now know, were cold-bloodedly modeled after methods used by Chinese
Communists to extract confessions from captured U.S. servicemen that
they could then use for propaganda during the Korean War.

So as
shocking as the latest revelation in a new Senate Armed Services
Committee report may be, it actually makes sense -- in a nauseating way.
The White House started pushing the use of torture not when faced
with a "ticking time bomb" scenario from terrorists, but when officials
in 2002 were desperately casting about for ways to tie Iraq to the
9/11 attacks -- in order to strengthen their public case for invading a
country that had nothing to do with 9/11 at all.


Trowbridge writes for the Detroit News: "Senior Bush administration
officials pushed for the use of abusive interrogations of terrorism
detainees in part to seek evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq,
according to newly declassified information discovered in a
congressional probe.

I wrote last month:

of the two senior instructors from the Air Force team which taught
U.S. servicemen how to resist torture by foreign governments when used
to extract false confessions has blown the whistle on the true purpose behind the U.S. torture program.


Truth Out reported yesterday:

Jessen's notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael

Kearns, a "master" SERE instructor and decorated veteran who has previously held high-ranking positions within the Air Force Headquarters Staff and Department of Defense (DoD).


and his boss, Roger Aldrich, the head of the Air Force Intelligence's
Special Survial Training Program (SSTP), based out of Fairchild Air
Force Base in Spokane, Washington, hired Jessen in May 1989. Kearns,
who was head of operations at SSTP and trained thousands of service
members, said

Jessen was brought into the program due to an increase in
the number of new SERE courses being taught and "the fact that it
required psychological expertise on hand in a full-time basis."


then the chief of Psychology Service at the US Air Force Survival
School, immediately started to work directly with Kearns on "a new
course for special mission units (SMUs), which had as its goal
individual resistance to terrorist exploitation."


course, known as SV-91, was developed for the Survival Evasion
Resistance Escape (SERE) branch of the US Air Force Intelligence
Agency, which acted as the Executive Agent Action Office for the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. Jessen's notes formed the basis for one part of
SV-91, "Psychological Aspects of Detention."




was one of only two officers within DoD qualified to teach all three
SERE-related courses within SSTP on a worldwide basis, according to a
copy of a 1989 letter written Aldrich, who nominated him officer of the year.




Jessen notes clearly state the totality of what was being
reverse-engineered - not just 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' but
an entire program of exploitation of prisoners using torture as a
central pillar," he said. "What I think is important to note, as an
ex-SERE Resistance to Interrogation instructor, is the focus of Jessen's
instruction. It is exploitation, not specifically interrogation. And
this is not a picayune issue, because if one were to
'reverse-engineer' a course on resistance to exploitation then what
one would get is a plan to exploit prisoners, not interrogate
them. The CIA/DoD torture program appears to have the same goals as
the terrorist organizations or enemy governments for which SV-91 and
other SERE courses were created to defend against: the full
exploitation of the prisoner in his intelligence, propaganda,
or other needs held by the detaining power, such as the recruitment
of informers and double agents. Those aspects of the US detainee
program have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story
in the American press."




wrote that cooperation is the "end goal" of the detainer, who wants
the detainee "to see that [the detainer] has 'total' control of you
because you are completely dependent on him, and thus you must comply
with his wishes. Therefore, it is absolutely inevitable that you must
cooperate with him in some way (propaganda, special favors, confession, etc.)."




said, based on what he has read in declassified government documents
and news reports about the role SERE played in the Bush
administration's torture program, Jessen clearly "reverse-engineered" his lesson plan and used resistance methods to abuse "war on terror" detainees.

we have the two main Air Force insiders concerning the genesis of the
torture program confirming - with original notes - that the whole
purpose of the torture program was to extract false confessions.

Indeed, it worked ... producing false confessions, and delaying by years our ability to obtain actionable intelligence:

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notadouche's picture

Mr Washington, your the expert on such matters and I don't think I've seen this question posed anywhere in the media but I would like to know your opinion if you please.  After the hit on bin Laden was carried out, why would the US feel the need to take the dead body with them?  They didn't want him alive obviously or they could have taken him alive.  If they had time to carry a dead body, they certainly could've chosen to take him alive.  Why bother?  What would be the point in taking a dead body during a fire fight, loading it in a copter that had to be full being they lost the other one, only to throw him out to sea?  I certainly don't get it and don't know why it's never been asked.  You have any thoughts?

High Plains Drifter's picture


let us not tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories about 911.


either you are with us or you are with the terrorist......

firefighter302's picture

You seem to conclude an entire Nation as "communist" because of the choices of a handful of people in one instance.

It's actually the choice of a select mega wealthy few, who are behind scenes pulling the strings, not the Nation of people, at all.

The majority of people are displeased with these unConstitutional choices, imho.


JR's picture

Unfortunately, if tyrants rule the country and the people do not oppose them, then they are the cooperating subjects of tyrants. IOW, if Communists control the country, the people are under communist control. When prisoners are tortured, it’s not government minions who are torturing them, it’s the people of United States of America because the salaries of those CIA operatives are paid by you and me. The American colonists were unhappy with British rule; but the complaining and the letters were not enough.

People who do not resist and are apathetic might profess to be innocent while under the control of a handful of tyrants, but this does not divorce them from the tyranny; it is they who are paying the taxes, paying the military, buying the newspapers that support the tyrants.  That money we send in every week or quarter to the U.S. Treasury is used by the financial power elites for their private purposes - i.e., the impoverishment of the people and the increasing loss of freedom in America.


kitetoa's picture

You should watch the documentary here and read the files :


Flakmeister's picture

GW, it doesn't make the US communist (despite what some posters here seem to think for other reasons), what is does is put the last nail in the coffin of any claim of the US to have the moral ascendency. Once upon a time, that claim was earned and deserved.

JR's picture

Americans and their freedoms are victims of a plot to convert the U.S. to world socialism by a mammoth power network whose control has resulted from Communist agitation and Socialist legislation – world socialism that the international bankers and business cartels will control.

Bill Clinton’s mentor at Georgetown University, Dr. Carroll Quigley, spilled the beans on their plot to destroy the United States.

It turns out that the Communist Party is merely a branch of a much larger conspiracy by some of the world’s richest men.

In Tragedy and Hope , Quigley exposed - and praised - the elite insiders’ quest to attain global control. Quigley believed that they are the hope of the world. And all who resist -  the tragedy.

In a spirit of kindness, he urged the little people not to fight the noose already around their necks. According to The Naked Capitalist, a review of Quigley’s book, Dr. Quigley felt certain that those who do resist will only choke themselves to death.

Quigley explains how the richest men in the world finance both Communist revolution and Socialist legislation and other forms of violence and revolution to further their world-wide conspiracy. By providing the funds, "the monopoly money dynasties, the international bankers, make both kings and democratic rulers subservient to their will.”

Who are these people? Connect the dots to the wealthy tax-exempt foundations that dominate American education, to those who control the press and TV and radio, to the powerful control centers in both the Democrat and the Republican parties, to the manipulators now in control of the White House, to the owners of the Federal Reserve System, and yes, to the war mongers who are behind U.S. torture policy.

Connect the dots and weep…or resist.

falak pema's picture

why should the "richest men" be part of communist conspiracy? It's like saying Casanova or Don Juan were part of the international conspiracy to castrate all male philanderers of that age. Or that Pope Innocent III was an Illuminati whose aim was to bring down the papal church. Or that Isaac Newton was a mystic who hated rational science. Or that Marie Antoinette hated to eat cake.

So what are we supposed to resist except your navel gazing?

This is not a communist conspiracy but a naked Capitalist conspiracy of Oligarchs. Why the smokescreen of Communism? Unless you think that the international communist movement since Lenin was in cahoots with J D Rockefeller. That would be the scoop of the century!!

JR's picture

To select from the rich doesn’t mean a selection of the tyrants, but to select from the tryants is to produce some of the world’s most wealthy men.

Dr. Quigley shows that the core of the control is in the financial dynasties of Europe and America who have exercised political control through the formation of international financial combines.  He traces the immense power and control of the Rothschilds, the Bank of England, J.P. Morgan (Rothschilds), and the Rockfellers.  By 1900, according to Dr. Quigley, “the influence of these business leaders was so great that the Morgan and Rockefeller groups acting together, or even Morgan acting alone, could have wrecked the economic system of the country.”

According to the New York Times on May 3, 1931, “One sixth of the total wealth of the world was represented by members of the Jekyll Island Club,” – the international bankers who met in secret to set up the Fed cartel to reduce competition and thereby increase profitability.

That figure did not include the Rockefeller group or the European financiers.  Says G. Edward Griffin: "When all of these are combined (the seven men who represented the world’s leading bnking consortia: Morgan, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Warburg, and Kuhn-Loeb) the…estimate that one-fourth of the wealth of the world was represented by these groups is probably conservative.”

As to your last remark, John Maynard Keynes as co-founder of the IMF/World was a Fabian Socialist; Harry Dexter White was exposed as a member of a Communist espionage ring in Washington while he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. The Communists were enthusiastic about both the IMF and the World Bank as the "the goal of the organizations was to create a world currency to control the economies of all nations.

"Furthermore," says Griffin, "the World Bank was seen as a vehicle for moving capital from the United States and other industrialized nations to the underdeveloped nations, the very ones over which Marxists have always had the greatest control."

Collectivism, socialism and despotism are the economic systems of choice for the oligarchs to establish because central control is achieved by simply corrupting the top political leaders. Today's example is the ease of the oligarchs' use of the Chinese economy for its own purposes in that the Communist Party mechanism eliminates the bother of working with multiple businesses and elected officials, i.e., fewer palms to grease.

In America, corruption of the two political parties, the third world immigration explosion, leverage over the media, and virtual control of top congressional and executive branch positions provide an ever-increasing socialized form of government. It costs more to control, but as a superpower, it's worth it.

IdioTsincracY's picture


"...naked Capitalist conspiracy of Oligarchs.."

Nicely worded!

Population Bubble's picture

GW, you sure know how to attract the pro-government sock puppets around here.

tony bonn's picture

mr washington - this absolutely the finest reporting and analysis i have read on the subject and i can always count on you to speak the truth and expose evil.....

thank you thank you thank you.....the cia is the voice of satan....the lies told about the colonization of the middle east would make hitler blush....

Clowns on Acid's picture

GW...as per usual...mixing and matching terminology (what is torture?...has it been defined?) just like the soft morons at the Huffing and Puffing Post. Cutting and pasting from the biased research one can find pretty much anywhere.

Where's the value?

Senator Levin is one of the biggest fucktards in the Senate save for Harry Reid.


ConfederateH's picture

Anyone quoting Levin is an automatic dickweed.  Good job, GW.  BTW, it takes a lot of nerve to call yourself GW and be a Levin ass-kisser.

George Washington's picture

All of those who said it's not torture - including radio personality Mancow (and see this) and writer Christopher Hitchens - have changed their tune as soon as they got waterboarded themselves for even a few seconds.

Pretend tough guy Sean Hannity said years ago that he would get waterboarded for charity. But for years on end, he has chickened out.

People who advocate waterboarding might talk tough. But as former Navy Judge Advocate General Admiral John Hutson said:

Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that’s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.

Indeed, George Washington - the father of our country and one tough man - was against torture.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson - the number two man at the State Department under Colin Powell - said

"Let Me Waterboard Donald Rumsfeld and Then We'll See If He Says It's Torture or Not!"


ConfederateH's picture

Torture is when you would rather die then have it continue.  Would Bin Laden rather have been waterboarded and seen his children waterboarded like Christopher Hitchens, or is he happier that they are dead.

Your using GW as your handle is disgusting.

Population Bubble's picture

Provide the source for your definition of torture, please.

I would happily lie under torture to get them to stop way before I got to the dying part.  Fucking idiot.

George Washington's picture

Um ... in fact ... George Washington - the father of our country and one tough man - was against torture.

Population Bubble's picture

Don't take our word for it.  Subject yourself to a voluntary 10 sessions of waterboarding.  Let's see if you make it past the first without trying to end the experiment.  If you make it through all ten sessions then I think we may be willing to accept your "expert testimony".

ConfederateH's picture

This is little better than that old "chickenhawk" argument.  Why get your panties out of a bunch and grow a pair .

Population Bubble's picture

I have no idea what insanity you are spewing, but if you'd like I can dangle my pair in your face while I'm waterboarding you, perhaps even tickle your nose with my ass hair.  That might get you through all ten sessions.

falak pema's picture

and torture has no national or ideological basis apart from those ideologies that have patented it historically as official "ideological" cleansing technique "to purify the soul".

Something that our GW hasn't or doesn't want to grasp. Pity.

It's like lying, stealing, raping or murdering...just human crimes...

George Washington's picture

Yes ... waterboarding is torture:

  • Everyone claiming waterboarding is not torture has changed their tune as soon as they were exposed to even a small dose of it themselves. See this, this and this
ConfederateH's picture

You claim torture is not partisan, but you are seeping in partisanship and you quote partisan sources like Wapo and McClatchey.  Even worse you quote Levin, whose rank partisanship IS TORTURING THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!

topcallingtroll's picture

Obamao wants all your cell phones to have a special chip installed so that he can send important presidential texts.

No you cannot opt out.

You can opt out of the other government texts such as amber alerts, etc.

Check it out on drudge.

I dont know who is worse. Bush or Obama.

Rynak's picture

Different paintjob, same car.

dexter_morgan's picture

two sides of the same coin apparently, but they all just seem to be sock puppets of some puppet master lately.

taxpayer102's picture

Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, didn't drop any bombshell; he knew years ago of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld's illegal/immoral torture mandate. Just another liar.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

If you are in the greatest idealogical struggle of the 21st century, you need torturing tools at your disposal.

falak pema's picture

"If you are in the greatest idealogical struggle of the 21st century..."

Are you going to torture the Yuan? the euro? in this struggle of the century...?

topcallingtroll's picture

Ben has got them both on the rack right now.

Iron maiden comes next if they dont promise to behave.

falak pema's picture

If you believe that you are Ben's natural son and I'd hate to be in your dixie shoes.

Xennady's picture

I clicked randomly on your links. Here's one of them:

A former FBI interrogator -- who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects -- says categorically that torture actually turns people into terrorists

This turned out to be about some guy named Jack Cloonan. Googling gave me this quote from Jack: "I worked as a special agent for the FBI's Osama bin Laden unit from 1996 to 2002."

From here, BTW: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2008/0801.cloonan.html. Other sources indicate he retired in 2002.

Let's think about this. What happened on no-torture Jack's watch that might have caused folks to think he should um..."retire".

Thinkin'...hmmm...Oh! Oh! I Know!!

The 9/11 attack. You've heard of that, right? Yeah, that's why this guy is out claiming "torture" doesn't work. Because he failed I say again he failed to stop so far the most devastating terrorist attack in US history. Yeah, if I failed that badly I'd probably want to deflect blame too. I'd be selling a bullshit story just like he is.

And I'd be just as wrong.

Population Bubble's picture

Lol, you believe the official conspiracy theory of 9/11. What a knob.

Rynak's picture

More importantly, he provides zero plausible evidence that the connections between his dots actually exist. In fact, even one of his three dots, is an assumption (that he was fired because he didn't prevent 9/11 ... while that may be true, his post provides nothing that would make this probable).

Again, that he has zero evidence, does not make his claimed scenario untrue... there just so far is no reason to assume that it is true. Yet, he uses this speculation, to supposedly disprove someone else. Fail.

dexter_morgan's picture

Dang it, you'll be gettin junked now for pointing this stuff out!

Drnumbers's picture

Do you know how stupid that sounds, that torture, or gitmo create terrorists?  Are you freaking serious.  Anyone dumb enough to sign up to a predetermined fate is an idiot.  If this draws out the dumbasses in a society, than a thank you is in order.  We have Facebook and DAncing with  the stars.  Repressive societies and internal threat and torture creat terrorists.  You may not get this, but just like the gang problem in poor communities, threats to those who may snitch motivates people into and staying in lifestyles.  Just like many Americans, myself included, get frustrated that Muslims are not vocal against terrorists and other bad muslims.  You know why they don't speak out...fear.  They have no fear of us.  They fear their own guys cutting their heads off, raping their daughters.  But you go ahead and claim that some supposed/real torture activity is the real rallying cry. 

I could give a crap about what Clark or any gov official says, I do not have any faith in them.  I have faith in human nature.  Torture is all subjective.  Castrating and beheading William Wallace because he will not declare himself a subject of the King is torture, getting him or anyone who may have info that may save innocent lives, different story. These clows all come out piping the company line and stating the obvious to appease the whiny bed wetters.  The same bedwetters would curse the same people out if something happened to them. 

I feel like I am debating Obama.  Freaking morons.  Move to fantasy land at Disneyworld!

Population Bubble's picture

If someone tortured me or my loved ones then I would be out for revenge.  If I am out for revenge on a government then I am a "terrorist".  Ergo, torture begets terrorism.  You know, "eye for an eye".  Not that hard to grasp the logic there.

rapier's picture

This was 'news' 4 years ago.

There is no such thing as a "communist" torture technique.

The utility of a confession lies not in its truth. 

We didn't set out to get untrue confessions.  We set out to tortue people because some like to do it. Communist, Nazi or Christian patriot all can like it.

subscriptionblocker's picture

Maybe, maybe, maybe.... but my minds eye can't shake that image of your mom cooking while you stand there with almost a roll of duct tape covering your mouth.

JR's picture

A people as gullible as Americans have no future.

Paul Craig Roberts writes today in “Americans Are Living in 1984”:

“Americans have succumbed to propaganda that has conditioned them to believe that they are under attack by practically omnipotent adversaries. Proof of this is broadcast every day. For example, on March 9, I heard over National Public Radio in Atlanta that Emory University, a private university of some distinction, treated its 3,500 graduating class to a commencement address by Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.

“This is the agency that has goons feeling the genitals of young children and adults and which has announced that it intends to expand this practice from air travelers to shopping malls, bus and train stations. That a serious university invited such a low-lifer, who clearly has no respect for American civil liberty and is devoid of any sort of sense of what is appropriate, to address a graduating class of southern elite is a clear indication that the Ministry of Truth has prevailed. Americans are living in George Orwell's 1984.

“For those who haven't read Orwell's classic prediction of our time, Big Brother, the government,  could tell the 'citizens' any lie and it was accepted unquestioningly. As a perceptive reader pointed out to me, we Americans, with our 'free press,' are at this point today: 'What is really alarming is the increasingly arrogant sloppiness of these lies, as though the government has become so profoundly confident of its ability to deceive people that they make virtually no effort to even appear credible.'”