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Home Action Statements of Support & Solidarity Counterintelligence Manuals Timeline
Counterintelligence Manuals Timeline PDF Print E-mail

1960's CIA?s ?KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation ? July 1963? written and put into use. This manual is the source of much of the material in the CIA?s ?Human Resource Exploitation ? 1983,? with some passages lifted verbatim. The KUBARK manual was written for use by US agents against communist, notably Soviet, subversion, not for training foreign military. It may or may not have been used by US agents operating in Latin America. It appears to be intended for use worldwide.

The US Army?s ?Project X,? run by the Army Foreign Intelligence Unit to provide training to US allies around the world, writes training guides drawn from counterinsurgency experience in Vietnam. Materials from this program are later used to create course material and training manuals for the School of the Americas.
1982 A Southern Command officer, Major Victor Tise, using training materials from the archives of ?Project X? program retained in the files of the Army Intelligence School at Fort Huachuca, AZ, puts together course materials and manuals for use at the SOA. He then sends the manuals to DoD headquarters ?for clearance? and they come back ?approved but UNCHANGED.?
1982?1987?Human Resource Exploitation ? 1983? is used by CIA and Green Beret trainers in at least seven US training courses conducted in Latin America countries, including Honduras, according to a June 1988 memo placed inside the manual (the discrepancy between the 1982 use and the 1983 date on the manual is not explained).
1983 CIA training manual ?Human Resource Exploitation ? 1983? written (allegedly)
1984 CIA manual for training the Nicaraguan Contras in psychological operations was discovered; it?s a big public scandal
1985 In response to the 1984 scandal, a page advising against using coercive techniques was inserted into the CIA?s still-secret ?Human Resource Exploitation ? 1983.? Handwritten changes were introduced haphazardly into the text as well.
1987 Seven Spanish-language manuals, based in part on lesson plans used by SOA instructors since 1982, are drafted by US Army military intelligence officers in Panama
1987-1991 As many as 1,000 copies of the seven Spanish-language manuals are distributed for use at the SOA and throughout Latin America, in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru
1989-1991 These same manuals are used at the SOA
1988 As a result of a June Congressional hearing, prompted by allegations in the New York Times that the US had taught Honduran military officers who used torture, the HRE manual surfaces for the first time.
1991-1992 An investigation by the DoD is triggered when the Southern Command evaluates the manuals for use in expanding military support programs in Colombia. The nine-month investigation concludes that the authors of the manuals and SOA instructors ?erroneously assumed that the manuals, as well as the lesson plans, represented approved doctrine.?
1992 March: Secretary of Defense Cheney receives an investigative report, classified as ?SECRET,? on ?Improper Material in Spanish-Language Intelligence Training Manuals.? Cheney concurred with ?corrective action? and recall and destruction of as many of the manuals as possible.
1994 The Baltimore Sun files a FOIA request for the CIA training manuals.
1996 June: The CIA training manuals are mentioned in a passing reference in the President?s advisory Intelligence Oversight Board?s report on Guatemala; this report is made public in response to the high level of interest and pressure from human rights and grassroots organizations.

Sept 20: the Pentagon releases to the public the seven training manuals. A selection of excerpts is distributed to the press at this time.

Sept 21: Washington Post article ?U.S. Instructed Latins on Executions, Torture?
1997 Jan: The SOA sends out an ?information paper? in response to public inquiries on manuals claiming that the training material merely contained several passages with ?words or phrases inconsistent with US government policy? Jan 24: The ?KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation? and ?Human Resource Exploitation ? 1983? are finally declassified in response to the Baltimore Sun?s 1994 FOIA request (and subsequent threat of a lawsuit). These two manuals deal exclusively with interrogation and are more obviously unprincipled than the Army manuals, in that they each have a chapter devoted to ?coercive techniques.?


?Declassified Army and CIA Manuals Used in Latin America: An Analysis of Their Content" by Lisa Haugaard. Feb. 18, 1997. Latin America Working Group.

?Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past? by Thomas Blanton and Peter Kornbluh. May 12, 2004. National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 122.

Department of Defense, ?USSOUTHCOM CI Training-Supplemental Information,? Confidential, July 31, 1991. PDF format.

Compiled by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , SOA Watch, May 2004


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