HUMINT Training, Detainee Interrogation, and SOF F3EAD Targeting

Bypass

Evil Genius
Verified SOF
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
728
Location
Halfway between Heaven and Hell
Interesting. My TL was amazing at getting information from Iraqis. He could have written a book on the subject. Every time I walked in a room with him the Locals thought I was a local as well until I opened my mouth and spoke with a southern drawl. We had a lot of fun pretending to be their friends while gathering information and working with ODA 515 and 561. I miss those days.

Great read BTW OP.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,516
Location
Tun Tavern
Back in my rifle platoon commander days I would roll up insurgents in Iraq without any HET support which made tactical questioning much less effective. It turned out, however, that one of our Iraqi Army soldiers used to be a Republican Guard interrogator. He told me the best way to get information out of a prisoner was to strip them down, make them sit naked on a bottle of Pepsi, and beat them with sticks. He would hit them with a rebar if he thought they were lying and smack them with a broom stick if he thought they were telling the truth. Meanwhile they have a Pepsi bottle up their butt lest we forget step one of the doctrinal Iraqi intelligence collection cycle. I wasn’t that sold on his interrogation system to be honest, but boy would those prisoners sing when he whipped that Pepsi bottle out of his backpack. Much to his disappointment, all of our detainees opted for American detention and were willing to offer any and all information they had to avoid taking a ride on a Pepsi-cola rectal pogo stick.
 

Bypass

Evil Genius
Verified SOF
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
728
Location
Halfway between Heaven and Hell
I'd love to hear more of what you can share about those days!
I remember one time when we were on the lookout for Muqtada Al Sadr and his lieutenants we were talking with this Iman and the guy stared at me the whole time while my TL was asking him questions. Later in the conversation he looked at me and said "You have many Arabic qualities. Where are you from?" I responded "I am a large part native American." He said "Ah, I see." then told us where we could find one of Sadr's Henchmen which led to an early morning raid with the 25th ID and ODA 515.
We found like 3 guys that day. It worked out great and our supported units were happy with us which made life a lot easier for a 3 man PSYOP team since we can't function on our own. We need a unit to work with because a one truck convoy just won't cut it. Some folks think PSYOP just hands out fliers and does TV and radio spots or drops leaflets but on a 3 man team there is a lot more to it than that. PSYOP soldiers wear many hats.

Edit; And no shots were fired that day.
 
Last edited:

Bypass

Evil Genius
Verified SOF
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
728
Location
Halfway between Heaven and Hell
I'd love to hear more of what you can share about those days!
Back in my rifle platoon commander days I would roll up insurgents in Iraq without any HET support which made tactical questioning much less effective. It turned out, however, that one of our Iraqi Army soldiers used to be a Republican Guard interrogator. He told me the best way to get information out of a prisoner was to strip them down, make them sit naked on a bottle of Pepsi, and beat them with sticks. He would hit them with a rebar if he thought they were lying and smack them with a broom stick if he thought they were telling the truth. Meanwhile they have a Pepsi bottle up their butt lest we forget step one of the doctrinal Iraqi intelligence collection cycle. I wasn’t that sold on his interrogation system to be honest, but boy would those prisoners sing when he whipped that Pepsi bottle out of his backpack. Much to his disappointment, all of our detainees opted for American detention and were willing to offer any and all information they had to avoid taking a ride on a Pepsi-cola rectal pogo stick.
I almost forgot the ODA teams had a Marine recon unit attached to them (or simply working along side them) as well. Great group of guys.
This was at FOB Delta in Al Kut Iraq. Circa 2004
 

LimaPanther

Recon Marine
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
276
In Nam it was amazing what a roll of trip wire or a bore brush could do when the suspect was stripped. Wire for the males and brush for the females. Of course that would be highly not allowed today but when in the field and need info now and not later all is fair in love or war.
 

NovemberWhiskey

Unverified
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
84
How much is that 'info' though...

Been tortured. At a point you'd tell the interrogator whatever you think makes them stop, just so you can breathe a minute.

I highly question and oppose that thought material extracted via torture is good intel.

And the things it does to the people doing the interrogations are not pretty either. Unless they're total sadistic psychopaths.
 

Kheenbish

Verified Military
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
222
How much is that 'info' though...

Been tortured. At a point you'd tell the interrogator whatever you think makes them stop, just so you can breathe a minute.

I highly question and oppose that thought material extracted via torture is good intel.

And the things it does to the people doing the interrogations are not pretty either. Unless they're total sadistic psychopaths.
I disagree to an extent.

Enhanced interrogation used in a manner that they weren't originally designed for or by personnel who aren't properly trained, then yes the techniques are not useful.

On the other hand when used by a professional, the techniques can greatly enhance the process of extracting useful intelligence.

Additionally, the intelligence gained, like all actionable intelligence, should be properly corroborated with other intelligence to prove it's worth.

I recommend reading
Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America by Bill Harlow and James E. Mitchell, Ph.D.
 

Florida173

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
1,948
Location
NCR
Back when I was HUMINT I did mostly source operations, but I did quite a few interrogations. I'd say that as long as you've done some resilience training (only half kidding, gotta figure yourself out) you can compartmentalize accordingly.
 

NovemberWhiskey

Unverified
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
84
@Kheenbish, I agree to an extent (and will read up, as haven't read that book), I'm just always concerned about the untrained personnel, and good service people made to assist them as superiors - who are broken by it decades later.

That and then vigilante justice in and by the military but that would be entirely other thread and not topical remotest.
 

NovemberWhiskey

Unverified
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
84
Would edit to add: I'm not trying to get heat in here with the topic, much less accusing anyone of misconduct or approving of gross human rights violations - nor am I saying what people do in conflict to keep their unit / allies / country safe is by default immoral.

Different rules in those sandboxes and very well aware pretty Western treatment of captives isn't a thing with douches quick to behead.

I'm mostly musing out loud it's a complex issue, and way more complicated in reality than effectively lined up on paper, for both sides of the fence (interrogator / interrogated.)
 

LimaPanther

Recon Marine
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
276
In my post above I never said anyone was tortured. I said it was amazing what a roll of trip wire and a bore brush could do, Use your imagination what you would do when asked what was ahead and told what could be done, to your genitals, if you weren't told. We always called in for those captured to be extracted for further interrogation. You have to understand that there was a bounty on all of us green faces (our war paint) and we didn't want to be surprised.
 

Florida173

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
1,948
Location
NCR
@NovemberWhiskey , Post Abu Ghraib, things changed dramatically regarding oversight within the perspective of the DOD. Doing interrogations meant that pretty much everything i did in the room with a detainee was highly scrutinized.

Not quite sure I know what you mean by "untrained personnel," but anything and everything that wasn't within legal bounds was subject to harsh UCMJ and only school qualified and theater approved interrogators would have an opportunity with the detainee
 
Top