Travellers janual usually interviewed, debriefed, or queried through eliciting techniques. But at the outset of the interrogation, and perhaps for a long time afterwards, the person being questioned is not greatly concerned with communicating his body of specialized information to his questioner; he is concerned with putting his best foot forward. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, soundproof, dark and without toilets. The ideal solution would be to avoid all categorizing.

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It used electrical currents to inflict pain [source: The Boston Globe ]. The agency conducted trials investigating the effects of sensory deprivation [source: The Washington Post ].

The CIA found that the best methods for extracting information from detainees come not through the infliction of physical pain or torture, but through psychological torture. Although the brand of torture the CIA devised through more than a decade of trial and error may not inflict physical pain, it can still do some real damage.

Advertisement There is indeed a torture manual and the CIA literally wrote it. An introverted or shy detainee might be kept naked and perhaps sexually humiliated, for example. Clothes may also be taken simply to alienate the detainee and make him or her less comfortable. Creating a sense of unfamiliarity, disorientation and isolation seems to be the hallmarks of psychologically undermining a detainee in the purview of the KUBARK manual.

Practices like starvation, keeping inmates in small, windowless cells with unchanging artificial light and forcing inmates to sit or stand in uncomfortable positions stress positions for long periods of time have been decried or banned outright by the United States government.

So, too, are using hypnosis and drugs to extract information. Physical pain, however, is ultimately deemed counterproductive by the manual. The old adage that anticipation is worse than the experience appears to also have a basis in the shadowy field of torture. A newer book, largely a revision of the KUBARK manual, draws the same foundational conclusion -- that psychological torment is paramount to physical abuse. The Human Resource Exploitation Manual -- was first publicized as the result of an investigative report into the human rights abuses in Honduras.


Is there a torture manual?

This is the oldest manual, and describes the use of abusive techniques, as exemplified by two references to the use of electric shock, in addition to use of threats and fear, sensory deprivation, and isolation. According to a declassified report prepared for the Senate intelligence committee, the manual was developed from notes of a CIA interrogation course in Honduras. These manuals recommend arresting suspects early in the morning by surprise, blindfolding them, and stripping them naked. Suspects should be held incommunicado and should be deprived of any kind of normal routine in eating and sleeping.


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