A. Explanation of Purpose
This manual cannot teach anyone how to be, or become, a good interrogator. At best it can help readers to avoid the characteristic mistakes of poor interrogators.
Its purpose is to provide guidelines for KUBARK interrogation, and particularly the counterintelligence interrogation of resistant sources. Designed as an aid for interrogators and others immediately concerned, it is based largely upon the published results of extensive research, including scientific inquiries conducted by specialists in closely related subjects.
There is nothing mysterious about interrogation. It consists of no more than obtaining needed information through responses to questions. As is true of all craftsmen, some interrogators are more able than others; and some of their superiority may be innate. But sound interrogation nevertheless rests upon a knowledge of the subject matter and on certain broad principles, chiefly psychological, which are not hard to understand. The success of good interrogators depends in large measure upon their use, conscious or not, of these principles and of processes and techniques deriving from them. Knowledge of subject matter and of the basic principles will not of itself create a successful interrogation, but it will make possible the avoidance of mistakes that are characteristic of poor interrogation. The purpose, then, is not to teach the reader how to be a good interrogator but rather to tell him what he must learn in order to become a good interrogator.
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The interrogation of a resistant source who is a staff or agent member of an Orbit intelligence or security service or of a clandestine Communist organization is one of the most exacting of professional tasks. Usually the odds still favor the interrogator, but they are sharply cut by the training, experience, patience and toughness of the interrogatee. In such circumstances the interrogator needs all the help that he can get. And a principal source of aid today is scientific findings. The intelligence service which is able to bring pertinent, modern knowledge to bear upon its problems enjoys huge advantages over a service which conducts its clandestine business in eighteenth century fashion. It is true that American psychologists have devoted somewhat more attention to Communist interrogation techniques, particularly "brainwashing", than to U. S. practices. Yet they have conducted scientific inquiries into many subjects that are closely related to interrogation: the effects of debility and isolation, the polygraph, reactions to pain and fear, hypnosis and heightened suggestibility, narcosis, etc. This work is of sufficient importance and relevance that it is no longer possible to discuss interrogation significantly without reference to the psychological research conducted in the past decade. For this reason a major purpose of this study is to focus relevant scientific findings upon CI interrogation. Every effort has been made to report and interpret these findings in our own language, in place of the terminology employed by the psychologists.
This study is by no means confined to a resume and interpretation of psychological findings. The approach of the psychologists is customarily manipulative; that is, they suggest methods of imposing controls or alterations upon the interrogatee from the outside. Except within the Communist frame of reference, they have paid less attention to the creation of internal controls -- i.e., conversion of the source, so that voluntary cooperation results. Moral considerations aside, the imposition of external techniques of manipulating people carries with it the grave risk of later lawsuits, adverse publicity, or other attempts to strike back.
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B. Explanation of Organization
This study moves from the general topic of interrogation per se (Parts I, II, III, IV, V, and VI) to planning the counterintelligence interrogation (Part VII) to the CI interrogation of resistant sources (Parts VIII, IX, and X). The definitions, legal considerations, and discussions of interrogators and sources, as well as Section VI on screening and other preliminaries, are relevant to all kinds of interrogations. Once it is established that the source is probably a counterintelligence target (in other words, is probably a member of a foreign intelligence or security service, a Communist, or a part of any other group engaged in clandestine activity directed against the national security), the interrogation is planned and conducted accordingly. The CI interrogation techniques are discussed in an order of increasing intensity as the focus on source resistance grows sharper. The last section, on do's and dont's, is a return to the broader view of the opening parts; as a check-list, it is placed last solely for convenience.
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