Talk:U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals

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Should be "The Torture Manuals"[edit]

An article about torture manuals in general should be titled "Torture manuals". This article is about something definite which is called by the name "The Torture Manuals", so the article should also have the definite article. I'll move it now. Gronky 18:44, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

It should be "OLD" Torture manuals. Did history end in 1991? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Death squads[edit]

Exactly what is the source for that the manuals were used by "Right-wing Death squads all over Latin America"? And why should death squads be limited to the relatively mild torture techniques described in these manuals? Ultramarine 06:24, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

The source was linked, but I changed the wording to militaries and added a second source. Bmedley Sutler 07:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

You say "relatively mild torture techniques described in these manuals". The methods may be described as relatively mild but I prefer to describe them as subtle and duplicitous. However, the effect on the victim is amazingly powerful. Done correctly these methods can induce what is popularly known as a "mental breakdown". Furthermore, the victim can relatively easily be made to enter a traumatized state very similar to that found in those who suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some people are more resistant than others and will experience less of this. The manual describe the personality types and their responses." --Standwalkrun 03:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Changing the title[edit]

"The Torture Manuals" is pov. Only a small part of the manuals deals with coercive techniques. As per Wikipedia:Naming conflict#Descriptive names "Choose a descriptive name for an article that does not carry POV implications." Also problematic since there are other books describing torture. So I propose "Army and CIA training manuals declassified 1996-97" Thoughts? Ultramarine 10:52, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

This page moved. Well done. How do you move a page? --WilliamRoper 05:22, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. There is a move button at the top of each page.Ultramarine 12:26, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

The page has been moved again. The above reasons still applies. Unless explanations are given, I will move to a better name.Ultramarine 12:26, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Read the rules. "For instance, what do we call the controversy over Qur'an handling at Guantanamo Bay? The article is located at Qur'an desecration controversy of 2005. Note that the title makes no statement about who is the (more) guilty party/" Read it. It uses 'descration'. It does not say 'Qua'ran handling incident'. It says desecration. Read also "A number of methods can be used to identify which of a pair (or more) conflicting names is the most prevalent in English.The Google test. Using Google's advanced search option, search for each conflicting name and confine the results to pages written in English; also exclude the word "Wikipedia" (as we want to see what other people are using, not our own usage). Note which is the most commonly used term. Your atempts to label the article with a name that no one will ever search for and isn't even found on Google is POV. You will not sweep this article under the rug. You must stop your propaganda campaign. Wikipedia is not the 'PR Division' of the Bush white house. I will be joing the complaints against you for your 'bad faith'. Bmedley Sutler 13:11, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
If you continue to make personal attacks, I will report you. Read Wikipedia:No personal attacks and Wikipedia:Civility. Consider this an official warning.Ultramarine 13:28, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
You did not respond to my points. 1. Only a small part of the manuals deals with coercive techniques, so it is incorrect to describe them as torture manuals. 2. Also problematic since there are other books describing torture. Google tests only applies to different possible correct names.Ultramarine 13:30, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Ultramarine. "Torture manuals" is a bit too POV in my view. John Smith's 22:00, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

While the POV issue with the manuals described here is a legitimate one, the very entity being described here is delimited by the term "The Torture Manuals". The new name raises exactly parallel issues with precision since there are also other U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals, which could properly become its own page. Options:
  • Just run the thing in scare quotes
  • Keep the new un-POV title, run the Torture Manuals in bold and explain in the opening paragraph.
While were at it, lets keep in mind that this page is in large part a jump page for the specific manuals. And keep our tempers to a minimum.--Carwil 00:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The current name is neutral but as you point out somewhat ambiguous. Furthermore, "interrogation manuals" is not correct regarding the army manuals which deals with many other topics beside interrogation. I still think that "Army and CIA training manuals declassified 1996-7" is neutral and not ambiguous. Note also that other pages can redirect or disambiguate here so people searching for "Torture manuals" will find this page regardless of the main title.Ultramarine 08:15, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
"Army and CIA training manuals declassified 1996-7". That name is so bad. No one cares what years they were declassified, and it could be thought to be a 'masking' of the name to make it harder to find. It is OKay now if 'Torture Manuals' re-directs to this article. This name will work. It was made by an administrator too. You will probably be blocked if you move it so don't. Bmedley Sutler 22:50, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Please respond to my two point above. Wikipedia should not have incorrect or ambiguous names.Ultramarine 09:22, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
PMFJI. I am inclined to believe that the title should describe the major part of the content or major purpose for visitng this article on the Wikipedia and that is to learn about these field guides for torture or interogation techniques. They are training manuals but that is not as important as their content. They are declassified but that only hints at what the contain.
The danger in trying to be too accurate about the title is that the baby will get thrown out with the bathwater. Some will value high levels of accuracy but too grate a level is counterproductive. Remember how Mr Gradgrind (Hard Times by Charles Dickens) lost the humanity and directness of meaning in this:
'Bitzer,' said Thomas Gradgrind. 'Your definition of a horse.'
'Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.' Thus (and much more) Bitzer.
'Now girl number twenty,' said Mr. Gradgrind. 'You know what a horse is.'
--Standwalkrun 03:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Good points. 6 months too late. I will change it back to torture manuals. We will see what happens. Travb (talk) 03:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Um nevermind, there is no tab for moving the page. Its protected.[1] Maybe call an RFC?Travb (talk) 03:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Reasons against "Torture manuals" is still valid. If anything it should be corrected to "Army and CIA training manuals declassified 1996-7" for clarity.Ultramarine 14:20, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


The box lists several allegations regarding the manuals. The ultimate source for this is this article: [2]. However, even accepting this source, there is no mention there of the years 1982-1991 or of, for example, "arresting a target’s family members". Furthermore such a largely unsourced article (or having to little information to find the claimed cited sources) is inappropriate for such a prominent box. I propose we reduce this to the claims actually made in the article and make a proper attribution regarding the claims. Like, "SOA watch claims that the manuals included materials on motivation by fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, false imprisonment, the use of truth serum, torture, execution, false imprisonment, extortion and other techniques."[3] Objections? Ultramarine 10:37, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I will add this link to the box [4] Its all in there. I can change the date back to 1963 too. Okay? Bmedley Sutler 22:37, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Also I wrote on your page. You keep using only one source sometimes a non important one. The documents thmselves say these claims, so to make it so that people only think SOA watch makes the claims is misleading. Please stop doing this with one less important source. Thank you. Bmedley Sutler 23:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Most of these things are not mentioned on the page you cite. You cannot cite 7 entire books as as source, you have to be more specific, page numbers etc.Ultramarine 08:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. The box is fine. The box contains all the methods taught at SOA. Every one was used there. Bmedley Sutler 18:28, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
You have given no source for this claim, except the the largely unsourced SOA watch article which does not mention some of the things in the box or the other article above which mentions even fewer. Again, you cannot cite 7 entire books, Wikipedia requires pages number/quotes when citing long books.Ultramarine 18:32, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
All of those techniques were taught at SOA. Are you denying that any of them were not taught there between 1963 and 1991? Which ones? I will find more links to good 'RS' sources and add them to the box too. Bmedley Sutler 20:27, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

HERE: "Amnesty confirms that after years of refusals to acknowledge that torture was being taught, the Pentagon finally admitted in 1996 that seven training manuals used at the SOA for nearly ten years advocated execution, torture, and blackmail.

Likewise, U.S. Army intelligence manuals, also used at the SOA, were distributed to thousands of military officers from eleven South and Central American countries. These manuals include instructions on how to use “fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, executions and the use of truth serum.” PFD Link I will add this link tonight. Bmedley Sutler 20:34, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

That only includes some of the things mentioned in the box and only for the year 1982-991.Ultramarine 23:06, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

"Based on older manuals"[edit]

They are based on older manuals back as far as the 1960's that show the US advised torture and electrocution.[5]" That is not mentioned in source, they describe the CIA manuals already described, but that the army manuals used the CIA manuals is not stated.Ultramarine 19:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It's all in there. In the GWU page. Read it. Maybe it should be execution not electrocution. It talks about having good current (for electric torture like Abu Gharib). Do you like that is says 'execution' instead? Bmedley Sutler 22:45, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
No, the page does not state that the army manuals was based on the CIA manuals. Give a specific quote if claiming this.Ultramarine 09:00, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
"Indeed, similar material had already been incorporated into seven Spanish-language training guides. More than a thousand copies of these manuals were distributed for use in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru, and at the School of the Americas between 1987 and 1991.Bmedley Sutler 17:50, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Similar material does not mean the same. The source does not clam that the CIA manuals were used for the army manuals.Ultramarine 17:54, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I will find the source or change the words slightly. Bmedley Sutler 18:29, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
As the person making a claim, you have to provide the source as per WP:V. If no source then material can be removed anytime which will be done. If you find a source, then you can this sourced material.Ultramarine 18:35, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Atlacatl Battalion[edit]

Which source claims that the methods used were inspired by the manuals? Ultramarine 19:41, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Chomsky article. Read it again. Its in there. Bmedley Sutler 22:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I cannot find that he blames the manuals. Give an exact quote please.Ultramarine 08:56, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
"The Jesuits were murdered by the Atlacatl Battalion, an elite unit created, trained and equipped by the United States. It was formed in March 1981, when fifteen specialists in counterinsurgency were sent to El Salvador from the US Army School of Special Forces. From the start, the Battalion was engaged in mass murder. A US trainer described its soldiers as "particularly ferocious....We've always had a hard time getting them to take prisoners instead of ears." Bmedley Sutler 17:47, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Does not mention the manuals.Ultramarine 17:54, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
More than a thousand copies of these manuals were distributed for use in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru, and at the School of the Americas between 1987 and 1991. An inquiry was triggered in mid 1991 when the Southern Command evaluated the manuals for use in expanding military support programs in Colombia." Bmedley Sutler 19:09, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Still does not connect the manuals and the Atlacatl battalion.Ultramarine 08:39, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I will find a better link or we can re-word it. Bmedley Sutler 18:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
As the person making a claim, you have to provide the source as per WP:V. If no source then material can be removed anytime which will be done. If you find a source, then you can this sourced material.Ultramarine 18:34, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Ultramarine on this one. I am moving this sentence to talk:

Many argue that these or similar methods were used by the U.S.-trained Honduran Battalion 3-16, known for its brutality, El Salvador's U.S.-trained Atlacatl Battalion, suspected of killing large numbers of civilians, priests and nuns, and by other militaries in Latin America.[1][2][3][4][5]

Travb (talk) 00:58, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I think some references that make these claims was added later, have a look at the last one, section "From Bad to Worse: The CIA Manuals"Ultramarine 01:04, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
My mistake again, please edit the sentence as you see fit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Travb (talkcontribs) 01:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
What happened was on 15:03, 9 May 2007 [6] User:Carwil added his sentence:
Its methods were used by the U.S.-trained Honduran Battalion 3-16, known for its brutality.[6]
Instead of adding it after the refences I had added before, he instead did something which bugs the hell out of me, he piggybacked his sentence onto mine.
Textbook Repression: US Training Manuals Declassified with the "From Bad to Worse: The CIA Manuals" was added by me BEFORE this user added this sentence piggy backed on my references.
The added National Catholic Reporter article which this user added states this:
In 1983, the KUBARK manual provided the model for the CIA’s “Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual,” whose methods were used by the brutal, U.S.-trained Honduran Battalion 3-16 during the tenure of then-U.S. ambassador to Honduras John Negroponte, now ambassador to Iraq.
As Ultramarine states above, the Chomsky article mentions the attrocities of Atlacatl battalion, but does not link it to the manuals.
Travb (talk) 02:12, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

The list[edit]

The list on this page is from page 10 of the Amnesty International pdf file.

Which refers to the article: SOA Watch, “Pentagon Investigation Concludes that Techniques in SOA manuals were ‘mistakes.’” February 21, 1997.

Online here:

But the soaw article, from what I can find (there are several links off of the article) does not mention kidnapping at all. Travb (talk) 00:58, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


The current name "U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals" is neutral but 1) not correct regarding the army manuals which deals with many other topics beside interrogation and 2) not correct more generally since the article only have material regarding the manuals declassified in 96-97, not all manuals (interrogation or not) that the US have. As such a better name would be "U.S. Army and CIA training manuals (declassified in 96-97)". Thoughts? (See also earlier discussion above).Ultramarine (talk) 10:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The manuals was used in intelligence courses. So unless objections I will change the name to "U.S. Army and CIA intelligence training manuals (declassified in 96-97)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ultramarine (talkcontribs) 12:10, 30 November 2007 (UTC)


This article is so biased against US Army and the CIA it's not even funny. --Topk (talk) 08:11, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Yea this is the most bias article I have ever read I seriously think it needs a complete revision. Please real the manuals before you comment on them. Some of the Items in this article are in no way related to any manual. FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation??? Or the new 2.23 manual ?? not listed but 1967 or older manuals are? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Willblew (talkcontribs) 17:52, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

BIG boxes[edit]

The big boxes overwhelm the article. Is there any way to make them less imposing? (talk) 20:09, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Done.Ultramarine (talk) 12:55, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

added shortcut[edit]

For the Bush administration memos, see Torture Memos

Igottheconch (talk) 20:15, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

I tried to add a working link to to replace the dead National Catholic Reporter, November 5, 2004, link, but got a spam notice. So I did something irregular: left the dead link and suggested a Questia link that doesn't offer the whole article and then suggested googling for Yopienso (talk) 18:25, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Vietnam: Phoenix Program[edit]

I believe there was a TV documentation about the CIA's work in Vietnam. Made in the 70s or 80s. See also: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:43, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Hodge, James; Linda Cooper (2004). "Roots of Abu Ghraib in CIA techniques". National Catholic Reporter.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  2. ^ Gill, Lesley (2004). The School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence in the Americas. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3392-9.  p. 49
    *Priest, Dana (1996). "U.S. Instructed Latins On Executions, Torture; Manuals Used 1982-91, Pentagon Reveals". The Washington Post: Section: A Pg. A01.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference lisa was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Chomsky, Noam (1993). "The Crucifixion of El Salvador". What Uncle Sam Really Wants. 
  5. ^ Haugaard, Lisa (1997). "Textbook Repression: US Training Manuals Declassified". Covert Action Quarterly magazine.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  6. ^ James Hodge and Linda Cooper, "Roots of Abu Ghraib in CIA techniques," National Catholic Reporter, November 5, 2004.