Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 15:30:01 -0500 (CDT)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Winkel)
Subject: News Reports on CIA Torture Manuals (1997)
Probe demanded into use of CIA torture manuals; Latin American official calls for independent probe
By Mark Matthews, The Baltimore Sun, Wednesday 29 January 1997, Final Edition
WASHINGTON -- The human rights group Amnesty International called yesterday for an independent investigation into the origin and use of CIA training manuals that instructed interrogators on the use of torture and other forms of coercion.
"Clearly the creation, use and dissemination of these manuals raises troubling and disturbing questions about the U.S. commitment to human rights," said Carlos Salinas, a Latin America advocate in the group's Washington office.
Those responsible for the documents need to be held accountable, Salinas said. "This accountability needs to be established by a thorough, independent investigation establishing who was instructed to do what and when."
Amnesty International is a long-established human rights organization known for campaigning against inhumane treatment of political prisoners worldwide.
The CIA released two interrogation training manuals last week after The Sun, pursuing a 2-year-old Freedom of Information Act request, threatened to sue the agency.
One, entitled "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual -- 1983," discusses inflicting pain or threatening pain, inducing dread, depriving prisoners of food and sleep, making them maintain rigid positions for long periods, stripping them naked, and keeping them blindfolded or in prolonged solitary confinement.
This manual, used in Latin America during the early 1980s, appears to have been compiled from training courses given to members of the Honduran military.
The second document, a 1963 manual called "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation," contains similar instructions, plus references to electric shock. Some members of the intelligence community believe that it formed a basis for the later manual.
A CIA spokesman, Mark Mansfield, said yesterday that the agency now opposed such inhumane treatment.
"We respect and are committed to internationally recognized human rights standards," "and we do not engage in activities that could be construed as support for, encouragement of or complicity in human rights violations," Mansfield said.
Mansfield said he couldn't comment on Amnesty International's call for an investigation, since the agency had only seen press reports of Salinas' remarks. However, he added, "We will cooperate fully with congressional committees charged with our oversight on this or any other matter."
The CIA's inspector general is now investigating the agency's past relationship with the Honduran military. The review, expected to continue for another several months, grew out of an earlier internal agency review of thousands of pages of documents on the CIA role in Honduras.
But Salinas said, "Clearly an inspector general would not be enough."
Pub Date: 1/29/97
LOAD-DATE: January 30, 1997
Copyright 1997 Inter Press Service