Intelligence & Warfare
Military Projects - Resisting Interrogation
Shocked by the apparent success of Communist interrogations (as in the cases of Cardinal Mindszenty, William Oatis, and the Purge Trials), intelligence agencies sought to examine the Communist techniques that lead to such remarkable results so they could attempt to protect agents or soldiers from external mind control. Accordingly, the CIA commissioned the “Communist Control Techniques,” report which was finished in April 1956 by Harold Wolff and Lawrence Hinkle. Both scientists were neurological psychiatrists at Cornell University, and Wolff would later become President of the American Neurological Association.
The study concluded that their interrogation techniques were based on traditional police interrogation techniques. The disturbance of the relation of the prisoner and his environment through prolonged isolation was regarded to be very effective creating “situations of frustration” (p. 114). Drugs and hypnosis played no significant role. Thus, the “confessions” were a result of “police control pressures”.
As a reaction to the threat of Communist interrogation techniques President Eisenhower decreed by executive order in August 1955 the Code of Conduct for captured members of the armed forces: