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TBR News November 24, 2016

Nov 24 2016

The Voice of the White House  

Washington, D.C.  November 24, 2016: “One would think by now that the facts of the 9/11 attacks were well established. One would also think that the causes and effects of the Christmas Day SEA Tsunami would be equally established. Or that the increasing risk of serious hurricanes in the southeastern part of the United States is well understood.

It has become a burgeoning industry to invent reasons and excuses for various events that have an absolute basis in provable fact.

French writers have claimed that “Soviet missiles” struck the Pentagon.

They did not.

Other “experts” claim that the WTC disaster was caused by: the Chinese Communists, ex-KGB personnel, the Illuminati, the CIA, the United States Army, the notorious Hidden Hand, East German scientists, renegade Albanian goat herders, the Boy Scouts, the gay community, Satanists, trained lemurs, the Mossad, or the Mother Teresa Hate and Destruction Society of Hoboken, New Jersey.

It was not.

The same deluded people who eagerly find evil plots in earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorists, wildfires and chronic beach erosion also believe in the Return of Jesus, black helicopters, the Easter Bunny, the Bilderburgers, the Trilateral Commission, and the monumentally evil Skull and Bones society.

Such people exist in all societies and in all times. The Greeks believed in the gods walking around Greece, fornicating with civilians and goats, the Egyptians believed in Sacred Snakes and Scientologists believe that poor, crazy and fat L. Ron Hubbard was a God Incarnate.

At least once a week, some poor soul in Bad Seepage, Ohio, writes an email to me wanting me to publish a twenty page illiterate rant about how the CIA and the local YMCA are destroying her brain using “power waves” from microwave transmission towers or one gentleman in Yuma, Arizona who wants me to alert the nation to the “absolute fact” that an immense army of Chinese is poised at the northern Mexican border to invade America.

All of these fantasies are attested to by non-existent “experts” such as “Army Officers,” “Famous Scientists” or other ‘”experts,”  none of whom can ever be located, probably because they are Imaginary Friends such as small children speak with while playing in the sand box.”

Kurds, Shi’ite fighters to coordinate after sealing off Mosul

November 24, 2016

by Isabel Coles, Saif Hameed and Ulf Laessing


ERBIL/BAGHDAD, Iraq-Iraqi Kurdish and Shi’ite forces agreed to coordinate movements after cutting off Mosul from the rest of the territory held by Islamic State in western Iraq and Syria in support of a U.S-backed offensive to capture the city, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Thursday.

Islamic State retaliated to the advance with a massive truck bomb in Hilla, hundreds of kilometers away from the front lines.

The attack killed at least 80 people, most of them Iranian pilgrims returning from the Shi’ite holy city of Kerbala, according to police and medical sources.

The agreement between the Kurds and the Shi’ite groups was reached at meeting on Wednesday between commanders of Kurdish Peshmerga forces deployed in Sinjar, west of Mosul, and Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the Iranian-backed Badr Organisation.

Badr is the biggest component of the paramilitary coalition known as Popular Mobilisation, or Hashid Shaabi, which deployed southwest of Mosul to complete the encirclement of Islamic State’s last major city stronghold in Iraq.

Mosul was already ringed to the north, south and east by Iraqi government forces and the Peshmerga. Iraq’s U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service units breached Islamic State defenses in east Mosul at the end of October and are fighting to expand their foothold there.

The offensive started on Oct. 17 with air and ground support from a U.S.-led coalition. It is turning into the most complex campaign in Iraq since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, and empowered the nation’s Shi’ite majority.

Al-Amiri “came in order to coordinate with us,” said Mahma Xelil, the mayor of Sinjar, a city where Islamic State committed its worst atrocities after taking over the region two years ago, killing and enslaving thousands from the Yazidi minority.

Controlling the road will make it easier for the Iraqi army to enter Tal Afar, Xelil said. “There must be cooperation between us to prevent ISIS from moving their equipment and their fighters,” he added, referring to Islamic State.

Sinjar was recaptured a year ago by the Peshmerga, forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq. It lies west of Tal Afar, another stronghold of Islamic State, 60 km (40 miles) west of Mosul.

Another Iranian-backed group, Kata’ib Hezbollah also met with the Peshmerga, according to the TV station of the organization. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday Popular Mobilisation leaders on Thursday at the Tal Afar air base, just south of the town, state TV said.

“The joining of these forces greatly reduces the freedom of movement of ISIL insurgents in and out of Mosul,” said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, referring to Islamic State. “They have already lost the effective ability to move in large numbers, but now this has been made more difficult for them.”

Another prominent leader of the Popular Mobilisation units, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, said on Wednesday the Shi’ite forces had linked up with the Peshmerga near Sinjar, completing the encirclement of a region that extends from Mosul and Tal Afar.

Mohandes said Popular Mobilisation would try next to separate Mosul from Tal Afar, which lies on the route between Mosul and Raqqa, the main city of the militant group’s self-styled “caliphate” in Syria..


Thousands of civilians fled Tal Afar as Popular Mobilisation closed in on the town, which is mostly populated by ethnic Turkmen.

The exodus is worrying humanitarian organizations as some of the civilians are heading into insurgent territory, where aid cannot be sent to them, provincial officials said on Wednesday.

Those fleeing Tal Afar are Sunnis, who are in a majority in Nineveh province in and around Mosul. Tal Afar also had a Shi’ite community, which fled in 2014 when the Sunnis of Islamic State swept through the region.

Abadi tried to allay fears of ethnic and sectarian killings in Tal Afar, saying any force sent to recapture it would reflect the city’s diversity.

The Iraqi military estimates there are 5,000 to 6,000 insurgents in Mosul facing a 100,000-strong coalition of Iraqi government units, Kurdish peshmerga and Shi’ite militias.

Mosul’s capture is seen as crucial toward dismantling the caliphate, and Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, believed to have withdrawn to a remote area near the Syrian border, has told his fighters there can be no retreat.

The militants are dug in among more than a million civilians as a tactic to hamper air strikes. They are moving around the city through tunnels, driving suicide car bombs into advancing troops and hitting them with sniper and mortar fire.

“We are controlling large parts of the eastern side,” the commander of the Counter Terrorism Service, Talib Shaghati, told reporters in Bartella, one of the first villages taken from Islamic State after the offensive started. “One of the challenges we face … is the presence of civilians.”

Nearly 69,000 people are registered as displaced by the fighting, moving from villages and towns around the city to government-held areas, according to U.N. estimates.

The figure does not include the thousands of people rounded up in villages around Mosul and forced to accompany Islamic State fighters to cover their retreat toward the city as human shields. It also does not include the 3,000 families which have fled Tal Afar.

Earlier this month, the bodies of at least 20 people killed by Islamic State were hung up across Mosul- five crucified at a traffic junction – to warn residents against cooperating with the Iraqi military.

“Mosul’s residents are part of the security forces. They are cooperating with us,” Shaghati, the Counter Terrorism commander said. “They give us information.”

(Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Patrick Markey and Giles Elgood)

Far-right backers of Trump stir concerns in Israel

Israel is shocked by the anti-Semitism of „alt-right“ Trump supporters. However, the government is keeping silent, and there’s little show of solidarity with liberal Jews in the States.

November 24, 2016


After the “alt-right” conference last weekend one thing was clear: far-right extremists in the USA are feeling emboldened. Calls of “Hail Trump” and an anti-Semitic speech were followed by Nazi salutes. While Trump’s electoral victory and a spike in anti-Semitic incidents has left the American liberal Jewish community in shock, reactions in Israel have not been quite as pessimistic.

But now, opposition politicians in Israel have sounded the alarm. Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni of the center-left “Zionist Union” twittered: “Deeply disturbed by white nationalists’ Nazi salute. World leaders must say: no place for this in liberal democracy.” The leader of the liberal “Yesh Atid” party, Yair Lapid, called on American politicans to “publicly condemn expressions of Nazi sympathy and rising anti-Semitism.”

Trump not a fan of far-right

Trump has strongly disavowed the white nationalist movement, which has been given a platform on the “Breitbart” website of Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But Bannon’s appointment is just one example of a whole string of incidents with alleged anti-Semitic appeal – another was Trump’s Anti-Clinton election campaign poster, featuring a photo of Hillary, dollar bills and a Star-of-David-like symbol with the words “most corrupt candidate ever.” After social media backlash, the star was replaced by a circle several hours later.

In the currently tense climate in the US, the influential Anti-Defamation League, an organization dedicated to the fight against hatred of Jews, has warned that “the American Jewish community, our community, has not seen this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse since the 1930s. ”

However, among most politicians in Israel there is an unspoken consensus: the results of the democratic American elections have to be accepted and restraint is the order of the day so as not to alienate the country’s most important ally. Netanyahu officially welcomed Trump’s election. In the prime minister’s right-wing coalition, some see Trump as an ideological partner. The nationalists hope for a green light so they can continue West Bank settlement expansion.

A minister of the nationalistic-religious party “The Jewish Home” even wrote a letter of support to Trump’s controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon. And Education Minister Naftali Bennett, of the same party, met recently with Trump advisers to discuss alternatives to the two-state solution. Netanyahu also reacted with an unusual move: he instructed the members of his cabinet not to contact members of the Trump team anymore until future US policy has been outlined.

Good for Israel – Bad for American Jews?

Up til now, Trump himself has clearly sided with Israel. That’s why the right-wing camp in Israel supports him. Having the US president on their side on important issues like security – for example, making the prevention of a nuclear Iran a top priority – is more important to them than the worries of American Jews. So perhaps a blind eye is turned to far-right anti-Semitism in the US.

The journalist Tal Shalev, chief political correspondent of the Israeli news-site “Walla”, is concerned about this development because it could harm relations between Israel and American Jews. “It’s a dilemma for Israel, as in, what’s good for the country is bad for the Jews in the US. Israel needs to show more solidarity with the American Jewish community,” she told Deutsche Welle.

The left-wing newspaper “Haaretz” also sees a threat to Israeli-US-Jewish community relations here, but there’s a silver lining: “Never before has there been such a golden opportunity for liberal Jews in both countries to understand each other, to reach out to each other, to make common cause with each other, to support each other in time of need.”

The political commentator and intellectual Yaron London doesn’t see the situation as dramatically. According to him, it’s not the current wave of anti-Semitism that’s causing a rift between Israel and the American diaspora, but rather world views that are steadily drifting apart. In fact, he says, “a little bit of anti-Semitism in the US –  just a taste – is good for us Israelis. It calms our doubts about whether establishing the State of Israel was a good idea, because contrary to all hopes, living here has not led to a normal existence for us.”

Reddit CEO admits he modified posts on Donald Trump supporters’ ‘subreddit’

November 24, 2016


The CEO of user-generated news aggregator Reddit has admitted he modified posts on the most-visited Donald Trump community page of the discussion site after its users insulted him.

The controversy kicked off earlier this week after the New York Times countered unfounded ‘fake news’ claims that a Washington, DC, pizza restaurant was home to a child abuse ring allegedly run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign head John Podesta.

There was no evidence to support the claims, but the allegations became viral – on Reddit, too, with the ‘r/Pizzagate’ community gaining momentum.

That’s when Reddit intervened by shutting down the related ‘subreddit’ and posting, “We don’t want witchhunts on our site.”

Not everyone was satisfied with the step, though. The ‘r/The_Donald’ community was outraged and began leaving insulting comments for Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, using his Reddit username ‘u/spez’ to ensure he received notifications of their messages.

Sometime after ‘f**k u/spez’ was thrown around on the site, the users of ‘r/The_Donald’ started noticing that something weird was happening to their posts. On Wednesday, they took to Reddit to write that their posts had been modified so that the community moderators would receive notifications about insults, instead of the Reddit CEO.

Huffman responded by posting the following comment confirming the modifications and adding that he had personally altered posts to change the comment tags – much to his team’s displeasure:

“Hey Everyone,

“Yep. I messed with the ‘f**k u/spez’ comments, replacing ‘spez’ with r/the_donaldmods for about an hour. It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagatestuff. As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.

“F**k u/spez.”

Following the comment, users blasted Huffman for having crushed the credibility of Reddit.

“This calls into question all of reddit’s security protocols. How many other reddit employees have root level access to the database, and are able to make any change without consulting with another employee? We don’t know. That means there could be any number of rogue employees running around and shadow editing comments, shadow banning people, etc., and we would have no way to prove it,” one user posted.

Reddit declined to issue an official comment on the controversy.

The site’s CEOs are no strangers to hostility – from their online users and their own colleagues. Last year, former CEO Ellen Pao received a tidal wave of denigrating and offensive comments following the sacking of very popular moderator of ‘Ask Me Anything’ section, Victoria Taylor.

Even board members were appalled by the comments, with member Sam Altman calling Pao’s treatment “sickening.”

Donald Trump Makes the New York Times Great Again!

November 23 2016

by Jon Schwarz

The Intercept

As Donald Trump’s presidential campaign shifted from hilarious to terrifying, the New York Times newsroom produced a gusher of tremendous journalism, digging deep into critical subjects, explicating Trump’s lies and frauds, and providing those Americans who wanted it with the information they desperately needed.

Then Trump was elected. And now that he’s not just potentially powerful but genuinely powerful, the paper appears to be returning to its traditional role of feebly accommodating presidents rather than actually holding them accountable.

According to the Times itself, Reince Priebus, Donald Trump’s chief-of-staff-to-be, tried to trick Trump into canceling his interview with the Times on Tuesday because Priebus was worried Trump “could face questions he might not be prepared to answer.”

Priebus shouldn’t have worried.

All of the Times’ top editors and reporters together, given a golden opportunity, found themselves unable to perform basic journalism. They let Trump skate on literally everything.

Even worse, other outlets then took the useless Times interview and misreported what Trump said.

Here are all the gruesome ways it went wrong:

  1. Vague, easy-to-evade questions

Dean Baquet, editor of the Times, went first with this slurry of words:

BAQUET: You energized a lot of people in the country who really wanted change in Washington. But along with that — and this is going to create a tricky thing for you — you also energized presumably a smaller number of people who were evidenced at the alt-right convention in Washington this weekend. Who have a very …

TRUMP: I just saw that today.

BAQUET: So, I’d love to hear you talk about how you’re going to manage that group of people who actually may not be the larger group but who have an expectation for you and are angry about the country and its — along racial lines. My first question is, do you feel like you said things that energized them in particular, and how are you going to manage that?

Trump predictably responded that “I disavow the group” and then blathered on about how he has no idea why neo-Nazis love him and whatever’s going on it isn’t his fault.

Here’s a better way Baquet could have asked a question on this subject:

While running for president in 2008, Barack Obama delivered a nationally-televised speech disavowing Jeremiah Wright, pastor of his church, and explaining his perspective on the history of race in the United States. Will you give a similar speech disavowing the bigots and white supremacists who’ve enthusiastically endorsed you?

Many (though not all) of the questions from other editors and reporters were just as bad. Thomas Friedman’s meandering, pillow-soft inquiries, complete with his transparent attempts to butter Trump up, have to be read to be believed. Friedman instinctively ingratiates himself with the powerful like a beta chimp.

  1. Little follow up

Trump has proven that he never answers questions, he just opens his mouth and a random assortment of sounds comes out for several mind-numbing minutes. Yet for the most part the Times’s staff was totally unprepared for this.

For instance, when White House correspondent Julie Davis asked Trump about Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman who will be his chief White House strategist, Trump said, “If I thought he was a racist, or alt-right, or any of the things that we can, you know, the terms we can use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.”

Davis did not then point out that just four months ago Bannon said that under his leadership Breitbart had become “the platform for the alt-right.”

Similarly, no one asked Trump why, if his “company is so unimportant to me relative to what I’m doing,” he won’t put his assets into a blind trust, or why Trump apparently believes it’s impossible for him to sell his real estate holdings.

Times reporter Michael Barbaro, to his credit, did try to press Trump on whatever arrangements he’s going to make with his shoddy empire, though with no success. Barbaro was finally reduced to asking, “Can you promise us when you decide exactly what that is, you’ll come tell the New York Times about it?”

  1. Critical questions unasked

Here are ways that several subjects should have been broached with Trump but were not:

“Will you veto any bill from congressional Republicans that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits or privatizes the programs?”

“Your tax plan would raise taxes on half of single parents, while allowing you to pass your fortune onto your children largely or completely untaxed. Why is this fair?”

“You said during the debates that ‘of course’ you’ve used loopholes that have allowed real estate developers like yourself to sometimes avoid paying taxes altogether. How will you close these loopholes?”

“Michael Flynn, your pick for national security adviser, has said that ‘fear of Muslims is rational,’ and endorsed a video that begins ‘Islam … wants 80 percent of humanity enslaved or exterminated.’ Do you agree with him?”

“The director of the National Security Agency said, in reference to Wikileaks’ release of hacked emails of various Democrats, ‘This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.’ Will you declassify the evidence for this, and support a congressional investigation into whatever happened?”

  1. Botched coverage by other outlets

Here’s the headline on the Los Angeles Times story about the New York Times interview: “Trump shifts on at least 3 prominent issues: Climate, torture and prosecution of Clinton.”

Other headlines have included, “Donald Trump changes his mind on climate change, Clinton, the press in meeting with The New York Times“, In Stunning Reversal, Trump Scraps His Calls to Bring Back Torture, Trump Reverses Course on Clinton, and many others like them.

While some of these stories are more equivocal in the ninth paragraph, anyone who just glances at them will get a highly misleading impression.

First, nothing Trump says means anything specific. Trump supporter Peter Thiel actually sees this as a selling point.

Second, Trump did not actually say he’d changed his mind on any of these issues.

In fact, on torture he made that explicit — that while Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, his potential defense secretary, had told him torture was a terrible idea, “I’m not saying it changed my mind.”

When he was asked about prosecuting Clinton, and whether he was “taking that off the table,” he specifically said he was not doing so.

On global warming, he merely said, “I have a totally open mind” and that “I think there is some connectivity” between human activity and the climate. Maybe this is an improvement from believing that global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese. But not necessarily.

So even given the best possible circumstances, the best corporate media outlet in the U.S. failed miserably. This suggests that longtime political organizer Mariame Kaba was completely right when she said this, and it’s going to be on all the rest of us to invent something new:


Trump defeated Clinton by 10,704 votes in Michigan: unofficial tally

November 23, 2016


Republican President-elect Donald Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes in the state of Michigan, according to certified unofficial county-by-county results released on Wednesday by the Michigan secretary of state.

Trump received 2,279,543 votes compared with Clinton’s 2,268,839, according to figures posted on the secretary of state’s website. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 172,136 votes and Green candidate Jill Stein won 51,463.

Nine other candidates shared a total of nearly 30,000 additional votes in the presidential campaign in Michigan, the figures showed. The results will remain unofficial until they are reviewed and approved by the Board of State Canvassers on Nov. 28.

Some media organizations did not call a winner of the presidential race in Michigan on election night because of the closeness of the race. Michigan is the last state where the winner was not yet clear.

The final unofficial tally gave Trump a slightly narrower victory than previous counts. A count as of Nov. 15 reported by CNN, for example, showed Trump winning 2,279,805 votes and Clinton winning 2,268,193, a margin of 11,612 votes.

If Trump is declared the winner in Michigan, he will have accumulated 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232.

Clinton is leading in the popular vote by more than 2 million, according to the Cook Political Report.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Lech Walesa sees support for Polish government ebbing as money runs out

November 23, 2016

by Marcin Goclowski and Pawel Florkiewicz


ARLAMOW, Poland-Poland’s ruling conservatives are undoing the progress the country has made during more than 25 years of democracy but they will be swept from power once they run out of cash to fund their welfare programs, Lech Walesa said in an interview.

Walesa, who led the Solidarity trade union that overthrew communism in 1989 and became Poland’s first freely elected president since World War Two, also urged critics of the government to support a new grassroots pro-democracy movement.

“There isn’t much that can be done while populism is working,” said Walesa, now 73. “We need to wait until … they run out of money to spend. Then the masses will return to support those who oppose what is going on in Poland right now.”

“Poland used to have a bad reputation. We fixed it and things became fine and now they are taking us back again,” said Walesa, speaking in a mountain resort in southeastern Poland where he was once imprisoned by the communist authorities.

The right-wing, eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS) won a landslide victory in last year’s election on a platform of increased social spending, Catholic family values and nationalism.

The government remains popular but the economy is slowing and its efforts to reform the constitutional court and assert control over state media have drawn criticism from the European Union and rights groups.


PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski once worked with Walesa in the Solidarity movement but they later fell out. Kaczynski accuses Walesa of collaborating with the communist regime and then of presiding over a sharp rise in economic inequality after 1989.

Walesa, a Nobel peace laureate, has retired from active politics but remains an outspoken and divisive figure in Poland.

He told Reuters opponents of the PiS government should support the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD), which has organized anti-government protests this year.

Walesa also criticized the government’s recent costly decision to cut Poland’s retirement age – to 60 for women and to 65 for men, reversing a phased move under the previous government towards 67 for all Poles. [nL8N1DH59U]

“They (PiS) are giving everything away. When the whole world is working more, we are working less,” Walesa said. “We are going be uncompetitive.”

Economists say PiS has the financing for its welfare plans, including a near-universal child subsidy, in the near term, but slowing growth could threaten their sustainability.

The Polish economy slowed to 2.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of this year from 4 percent in the last three months of 2015. Economists polled by Reuters expect the economy to expand by 3.1 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2017.

Walesa said Poland’s issues with democratic standards were part of a broader populist revolt that included Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president and the growing popularity of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

“We have forgotten what democracy is and we seem to have lost faith in it,” he said. “The world keeps searching now and in this search Poland has gone too far right …”

Asked about Russia, Poland’s historic foe, Walesa said he expected President Vladimir Putin to hold back on further military action in eastern Europe after the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

“Putin has experienced such losses that he is now thinking how to extricate himself,” Walesa said, adding that the cost of Moscow’s conflict with the West was becoming too heavy to bear.

(Editing by Justyna Pawlak and Gareth Jones)

Thwarted France attackers planned December strike on Paris

Suspects arrested last week in an anti-terror raid had planned to attack Paris on December 1, police sources said. The suspects had researched the Champs-Elysees Christmas market and Disneyland Paris among other sites.

November 24, 2016


French police sources said on Thursday that several suspects arrested last week in anti-terror raids were planning to launch attacks in and around the nation’s capital on December 1.

Seven suspects were arrested last weekend in the eastern French cities of Strasbourg and Marseille following an eight-month investigation, although two were later released. The remaining five suspects’ custody was extended under legislation covering investigations into imminent terror attacks.

One of the suspects told investigators that attacks were planned and named the police crime-investigation headquarters at the Quai des Orfevres and France’s DGSI domestic security department as targets.

Investigators also found that the group conducted online research of the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysees avenue and the Disneyland Paris theme park outside the city. They also researched several cafe terraces in the northeast of the capital.

Some of the members are believed to have taken orders from a jihadist based out of Syria. Police uncovered two handguns, an automatic pistol, a submachine gun and jihadist propaganda during the raids.

France has been under a state of emergency since a wave of attacks in the country last year, giving police wider powers. Over 230 people were killed in extremist attacks in France since the beginning of 2015.

In January of 2015, gunmen targeted the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine as well as a Jewish supermarket.

In November last year, members who pledged allegiance to the militant “Islamic State” group carried out a series of coordinated attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, France’s national stadium as well as bars and restaurants in eastern Paris. A total of 130 people died in the attacks.

This past July, a self-radicalized extremist drove a truck through crowds watching Bastille Day fireworks in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86.

Turkish economy poised to shrink for first time in nearly 7 years

Economists expect the Turkish economy to narrow in the third quarter as economic growth slows significantly.

November 24, 2016


The state of emergency rule introduced in Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt and the declining tourist income following a crisis with Russia has hampered economic growth.

Industrial production, one of the leading indicators of economic growth, dropped 3.1 percent in the third quarter and the consumer confidence index fell in November. If the economy shrinks in the third quarter this will be the first time since the third quarter of 2009.

Economists predict that the government will miss its 3.2 percent growth forecast this year while the 2017 growth forecast of 4.4 percent is also at risk.

“The coup attempt slowed down domestic demand by eroding consumer and real sector confidence in the third quarter,” said Inan Demir, an emerging markets economist at Nomura in London, adding that the slowdown in the economy already started in the second quarter.

Demir also said that he expects the economy to narrow 1 percent in the third quarter and sees 2.7 percent year-end growth, but he warned that downside risks remained.

Slowdown in economic activity

Economic activity weakened due to slowing domestic demand following the implementation of the state of emergency and continuing political uncertainty after the July 15 coup attempt.

Russian sanctions following Turkey downing of a Russian jet last year has also hampered tourism income.Investment economist Muammer Komurcuoglu said he expected 0.5 percent economic growth, but couldn’t rule out a slip in the economy in the third quarter.

“In tourism income, there were losses in the high season – July, August, September- that impacted [the economy] a lot. Another factor is that the economic impact of the July 15 coup attempt was highest in the third quarter. These all pull economic growth downwards.”

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced last month that the government would revise its year-end growth forecast to 3.2 percent, down from 4.5 percent.

2017 growth at risk

Regional political tensions, attacks staged by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or “Islamic State” in Turkey, operations in Syria and Iraq on top of steps expected from the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB) all increase the downside risks to growth in the coming period. Economists said that even the 2017 growth forecast of 4.4 percent was also at risk.

QNB Finansbank economist Deniz Cicek is one of them. “For 2017 growth, it will be critical whether there will be a significant recovery in the last quarter of this year and the first of quarter of 2017.  In an environment where global bond yields are rising and external conditions are negative, we think political and geopolitical uncertainties will remain. Therefore, we think a 2017 growth forecast of 4,4 percent is optimistic. Our own forecast is 3 percent.”The government is working on measures, including tax breaks, to revive the economy. The central bank said in its monetary policy committee meeting decision on Thursday: “Recently released data indicate a deceleration in economic activity for the third quarter.” Turkey’s Statistics Institute is scheduled to announce third quarter growth data on Dec. 12.

Surprise rate hike

The Turkish lira hit a record low against the dollar due to domestic security woes and the surge in the U.S. dollar after Donald Trump’s election victory.

The central bank on Thursday raised interest rates in a surprise move to support the lira. The bank raised the policy rate to 8 percent from 7.5 percent. It also increased its overnight lending rate – the highest of the multiple rates it uses to set policy – to 8.5 percent from 8.25 percent.

“Exchange rate movements due to recently heightened global uncertainty and volatility pose upside risks on the inflation outlook. The Committee decided to implement monetary tightening to contain adverse impact of these developments on expectations and pricing behavior,” the central bank said in a statement. A weaker lira could potentially slow already weak economy activity, economists said.

“For us today’s meeting was mainly about sending a strong signal to markets that the central bank is ready to act to support the severely battered lira. Allowing the currency to weaken significantly would have negative implications in terms of inflation and growth, as a volatile lira may undermine the fragile confidence among households and corporations,” said Piotr Matys, a strategist at Rabobank in London, adding that contrary to market consensus of no change in rates, they expected a 25 basis point hike in the policy rate.

“Still, the measures implemented by the CBRT at today’s meeting should provide the lira with much needed respite in the short term,” Matys said.

The central bank also announced that it reduced foreign exchange reserve requirement ratios for all maturity brackets to provide dollar liquidity to the financial system. The lira bounced back from its historically low levels following the rate decision.

Pleading innocence, wanted general says Turkey’s purge ruining military

November 23, 2016

by Robin Emmott


BRUSSELS-A sacked Turkish general, wanted in connection with a failed coup attempt in July, has told Reuters in an interview that the government’s purge of top commanders and pilots is inflicting deep long-term damage on the second-biggest army in NATO.

Mehmet Yalinalp, who was head of NATO’s air command strategy in Germany at the time of the coup attempt, said he was fired a week later. He is one of hundreds of Turkish NATO officers to have been dismissed, some of whom have requested asylum in Europe.

“The impact is disastrous,” Yalinalp said of the crackdown since the July 15 putsch, in which he denies involvement.

“The military is weakening. We are losing our personnel because they are taken into indefinite custody,” he added, referring to officers held in prison awaiting trial. “It may take years, even decades to recover.”

Beyond his anger at the destruction of his career, Yalinalp said the purge had sapped morale, undermined competence and left the military without enough pilots to fly its F16 jets.

Turkish officials roundly reject such suggestions. They say the military has become more loyal and effective with the removal of rogue officers, some of whom commandeered tanks, jets and helicopters in their attempt to seize power.

Since the coup attempt, Turkey has launched a military incursion into Syria to clear Islamic State militants from its border, and stepped up its campaign against Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.

That is evidence, the officials say, that it is able to maintain its commitments to NATO and keep defending Turkey.

“The activities of the Turkish Armed Forces inside and outside our borders are being carried out without a hitch, and operations are continuing without interruption,” one senior Turkish official told Reuters.

NATO, which condemned the coup attempt, considers Turkey a crucial ally in the war against Islamic State, strategically located between West and East and bordering both Syria and Iraq.

Asked about the status of Yalinalp, a second senior security official said: “There is an arrest warrant for him. He will be detained if he enters the country.”

The official said the issuing of such a warrant meant that there was concrete evidence against the general, either based on the testimony of another suspect or from his usage of a smartphone messaging app believed by the authorities to have been used by the coup plotters.

Yalinalp said he was never told specifically what the accusations against him are and disputes there is any evidence against him.


According to a decree published in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Aug. 1, Yalinalp was reassigned to Ankara by the defense ministry along with 43 other generals. He said other officers who returned had been arrested.

“Some of my old classmates are in custody now, generals who were on vacation at the time … highly educated people,” the 48-year-old said in an interview in Brussels. He is now applying to study for a doctorate in Germany.

Yalinalp said that while the 5,000-or-so officers purged were a fraction of Turkey’s almost 400,000-strong army, they were the best educated, on whose experience the military depended. Around 150 out of roughly 360 generals have been detained since the abortive coup.

“It takes 25, 30 years to mature as a senior officer, to plan, to think and to act as a general. We can barely find enough talented people to fly our jets,” he said. Turkey’s 240 F16 jets now have only 200 pilots, he said.

“That is very detrimental. If you cannot fly your aircraft you are going to be weak, you are going to be incompetent.”

He said soldiers still in service were receiving hate emails, suffering low morale and living in fear of arrest.

The Turkish military does not disclose its combat pilot numbers, but the air force in September made a public appeal to hundreds of former airmen to return to its depleted ranks.

A military source said this month the response had been “below expectations”, but the defense ministry has launched a system to allow former combat pilots now in civil aviation to return on secondment.

Turkey has sacked or suspended more than 125,000 state officials, from soldiers and police officers to tax inspectors and judges, since the July coup attempt, drawing condemnation from Western allies and rights groups and shaking confidence in the country’s democratic credentials.

President Tayyip Erdogan has rejected criticism of the purges, accusing the West of siding with coup plotters, and has suggested Turkey could become part of a security bloc dominated by NATO’s Cold War foe Russia.

“If the military mindset in Turkey changes, that might mean that the axis of the country shifts from West to East, away from the United States,” Yalinalp said.


The general previously served as a senior squadron commander at the Akinci air base outside Ankara, a hub of the coup attempt. The air force played a major role in the abortive putsch, in which more than 240 people, most of them civilians, were killed.

Yalinalp was also one of a small group of senior officers to win surprise promotion in 2014, becoming brigadier general, according to military records published in the Official Gazette. He was then posted to NATO’s Ramstein air base in Germany.

At least seven others in that group have been jailed pending trial on suspicion of playing key roles in the coup attempt, according to Turkish media.

But Yalinalp said his career path is no evidence of wrongdoing. He said he was having dinner near Ramstein with British and American colleagues on the night of July 15.

According to Yalinalp, the main evidence against him is a list of Turkish generals provided by coup plotters.

He said his dismissal began with a call from a lower ranking officer asking him if he had resigned. Confused, he spoke to more senior generals investigating the events of July 15.

“I told them I had nothing to do with the list, or with the coup plotters. I’m not a part of any group or illegal organization,” Yalinalp said.

He said the list made no sense. “There are generals on the list accused of supporting the coup who still work in the air force, they haven’t been pursued,” he said.

Reuters could not independently verify this.

Yalinalp said the detention of a general posted to the Turkish embassy in Washington convinced him not to return.

The colleague, Brigadier General Yavuz Celik, accepted retirement and went back to Turkey but was soon arrested. Yalinalp doubted that generals of such experience would have been involved in the events of July 15.

“If they were pulled into a coup attempt that was doomed to fail from the beginning, they would have refused it.”

(Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun in Ankara and Humeyra Pamuk in Istanbul; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mark Trevelyan)

 CIA Interrogation Methods: The Official Paper

November 22, 2016

by Harry von Johnston, PhD



Your virtuous interrogator, like the virtuoso in any field, will tell you that formulating the principles of his art would be a presumptuous and sterile procedure. Interrogators are born, not made, he almost says, and good interrogation is the organic product of intuition, experience, and native skill, not reducible to a set of mechanical components. Yet the organic whole can usefully be dissected, and examination will reveal its structural principles.

This article selects from the many different ramifications of the interrogation art that genre which is applicable to suspected agents under arrest, and sets forth some of the principles and procedures which characterize it. The essay is slanted toward relatively unsophisticated cases, and does not cover the subtler techniques which should be used, for example, against a suspected double agent, nor those required when access to the subject or the control of his person is limited. It does, however, treat interrogation as a process designed to yield the highest possible intelligence dividend. Such an interrogation is usually incompatible with one intended to produce legal evidence for a court conviction, since statements by the accused may be barred as court evidence on the ground that they were made under duress, during prolonged detention without charge, or in some other violation of legal procedures.

An interrogation yields the highest intelligence dividend when the interrogee finally becomes an ally, actively cooperating with the interrogator to produce the information desired. It is to a discussion of principles and procedures helpful in transforming a recalcitrant prisoner into something approaching an ally that this article is devoted. This kind of interrogation is essentially a battle of wills in which the turning-point is reached as the subject realizes the futility of his position. It usually develops in three tactical phases: a) breaking the cover story; b) convincing the subject that resistance is pointless and acquiescence the better part of valor; and c) getting active cooperation.

The question of torture should be disposed of at once. Quite apart from moral and legal considerations, physical torture or extreme mental torture is not an expedient device. Maltreating the subject is from a strictly practical point of view as short-sighted as whipping a horse to his knees before a thirty-mile ride. It is true that almost anyone will eventually talk when subjected to enough physical pressures, but the information obtained in this way is likely to be of little intelligence value and the subject himself rendered unfit for further exploitation. Physical pressure will often yield a confession, true or false, but what an intelligence interrogation seeks is a continuing flow of information.

No two interrogations are the same. The character, behavior, and degree of resistance of each new subject must be carefully assessed, and his estimated weaknesses used as the basis of a plan for intensive examination and exploitation. Each interrogation is thus carefully tailored to the measure of the individual subject. The standard lines of procedure, however, may be divided into four parts: a) arrest and detention; b) preliminary interview and questioning; c) intensive examination; and d) exploitation. The first three stages may often be merged; they constitute the softening-up process during which the cover story is broken and the subject may be shown up as a liar, an important step in making him realize the futility of further resistance.

In the matter of proving the subject a liar a word of caution is necessary. Showing some subjects up as liars is the very worst thing to do, because their determination not to lose face will only make them stick harder to the lie. For these it is necessary to provide loopholes by asking questions which let them correct their stories without any direct admission to lying.

When the cover story and the will to resist have been broken, when the subject is ready to answer a series of carefully prepared questions aimed at an intelligence target, the exploitation can begin, often in a veiled spirit of cooperation and mutual assistance. At this stage the interrogation may for example be moved to an office assigned the subject, where he might even be left alone for a few minutes to show that he is being trusted and that there is something constructive for him to do. This feeling of trust and responsibility can be very important to a broken subject, because he may now have suicidal inclinations; he must be given something to occupy his mind and keep him from too much introspection.

We shall examine in detail each stage of the interrogation procedure after a word on the language problem. Without doubt an interrogator using the subject’s language is in a much better position than one who has to work through an interpreter. But the interrogation skill is infinitely more important than the language skill, and a good linguist should not be substituted for a good interrogator. In the absence of an interrogator who speaks the language, an interpreter should be used, preferably one with some training in interrogation techniques. It is very important that the interpreter not only report accurately what both parties say but also reflect as faithfully as he can their inflection, tone, manner, and emphasis. He should try to become part of the furniture in the room rather than a third personality, and the interrogator should act as though he were not there.

Arrest and Detention

The interrogations officer, since his critical objective is breaking the subject’s will to resist, should attempt to control the psychological factors in every aspect of the subject’s life from the earliest possible stage, normally the time of arrest. If possible, he should plan in advance the conditions of arrest and immediate detention. If the subject is already in detention, the principles set down in the following paragraphs may be applied to his removal from ordinary detention to the place of interrogation.

The arrest should take the subject by surprise and should impose on him the greatest possible degree of mental discomfort, in order to catch him off balance and deprive him of the initiative. It should take place at a moment when he least expects it and when his mental and physical resistance is at its lowest. The ideal time which meets these conditions is in the early hours before dawn, when an abrupt transition from sleep to alert mental activity is most difficult.

If the arrest cannot be made during the pre-dawn sleep, the next best time is in the evening, when a person is normally relaxed in his own home. One is most impressionable when relaxing at home, as witness the findings of advertising firms who have studied the impact of television commercials. A less desirable time is in the morning when the day’s routine begins, especially in the case of underground personnel, because they will have thought through the day ahead of them and steeled themselves to its risks.

The police detachment which effects the arrest, or removal from detention to the interrogation center, should impress the prisoner with its cool efficiency and assurance.   This scene is important enough to justify a rehearsal, if necessary. A subject arrested by three or four ill-dressed, clumsy policemen is more likely to regain his composure after the initial shock and draw some confidence from his superiority over his captors. If he is abruptly awakened by an arresting party of particularly tall, smart, well-equipped and business-like officers, he will probably be exceedingly anxious about his future.

The arresting party should also be schooled in observing the prisoner’s reactions and in the techniques for a quick but thorough search of his room and person. In ordinary arrests there are arguments for having the prisoner witness the searching of his room: he cannot then claim theft or willful damage to his property; he can be asked questions about what is found; and his reactions may help the searchers uncover hidden objects. But during the search preceding an intelligence interrogation it is usually better to have the subject out of the room; his ignorance as to what has been found there will foster uncertainty and uneasiness in his mind. One member of the arresting party should be specifically charged with watching the prisoner’s reaction to everything that goes on.

Other aspects of the arrest and the conditions of initial detention should be governed by the interrogator’s preliminary assessment of the subject’s personality and character on the basis of records, reports, and any other sources available. If, for example, the prisoner belongs to a subversive organization which makes a practice of stressing the harsh and summary treatment its members should expect if they let themselves fall into the hands of the security authorities, the arresting party might make a point of treating him correctly and even courteously. This unanticipated finesse might disconcert his antagonism and be a useful factor in winning him over later.

Some of the alternative detention conditions from which the interrogator must choose according to his preliminary assessment of the subject are: a) a long period or brief interval between arrest and initial questioning, b) solitary confinement or quartering with other prisoners, c) comfortable or discomfiting accommodations, and d) subjection to comprehensive personal search or no. Some subject-types would be enabled by any delay between arrest and questioning to firm up a cover story, regain their composure, and fortify themselves against the interrogation. On the other hand, a prisoner left in solitary confinement for a long period with no one, not even his custodian, speaking a word to him may be thoroughly unnerved by the experience. When this course is chosen it is important to deprive the prisoner of all his personal possessions, especially of things like snapshots and keepsakes, symbols of his old life which might be a source of moral strength to him.

Other techniques which may or may not be employed at this stage, according to the subject’s personality, include the use of a stool-pigeon, the double stool-pigeon routine, microphoning the cell and doctoring it in other ways. The double stoolpigeon technique has two stool-pigeons in the cell when the prisoner arrives. One of them befriends him, warns him that the other is a stool-pigeon, and if possible enlists his help in agitating for the removal of this plant. When the third man has been removed the subject may have come to trust his fellow-agitator and confide in him. The cell can be doctored by having messages written on the walls, either with deceptive content recommending for example some attendant as a sympathetic channel to the outside or with discouraging and depressive impact.

The Preliminary Interview

The preliminary interview is not intended to obtain intelligence, but only to enable the interrogators to make a firm assessment of the character and type of subject with whom they will have to deal. It is useful to have the interrogators – preferably two of them – seated behind a table at the far end of a long room, so that the subject after entering will have some distance to walk before taking his chair in front of them. This device will enable them to observe his poise and manner, and may often quite unsettle the subject. The interrogators should sit with their backs to the main source of light in order to obscure their faces, veil their expressions, and place a strain on the prisoner.

The subject can be placed under further strain by providing him an uncomfortable chair, say one with a polished seat and shortened front legs so that he tends to slide off it, or one with wobbly legs. On the other hand, an opposite technique has sometimes been successful: the prisoner is made so comfortable, after a hearty lunch with beer, that he drops his guard in drowsiness.

The interview must of course be recorded, either on tape or in stenographic notes. The interrogators must on no account try to do this job themselves; it would distract them from the critical task of framing questions and steering the course of interrogation according to the implications of the subject’s replies. Whether the stenographer or recorder should be concealed or visible depends on the subject’s sophistication and the state of his alert. If the recording process is not evident some subjects may become careless of what they say when they see that the interrogators are not taking notes, whereas a visible recording would alert them to be more cautious. For others, consciousness of a recording going on in full view may be unnerving, and they may betray the weak links in their stories by showing signs of distress at these points.

At a later stage of the interrogation it may be of value to play back to the subject some part of this recording. The sound of his own voice repeating his earlier statements, particularly any with intonations of anger or distress, may make a psychological breach in his defenses.

The attitude of the interrogators at the preliminary interview should usually be correct, studiously polite, and in some cases even sympathetic. It is imperative that they keep their tempers both now and throughout the interrogation. The prisoner may be given the true reason for his arrest or a false one, or he may be left in doubt, according to the circumstances of the case. The interrogators must try to determine whether his usually vigorous protestations of innocence are genuine or an act, but they should not at this stage give any indication of whether they believe or disbelieve him. A clever prisoner will try to find out how much the interrogators know; they should at all costs remain poker-faced and non-committal.

At this interview the interrogators should do as little as possible of the talking, however many questions they are anxious to have answered. The prisoner should be asked to tell his story in his own words, describe the circumstances of his arrest, give the history of some period of his life, or explain the details of his occupation. The object is to get him to talk without prompting in as much continuous narrative as possible; the more he talks the better the interrogators can assess his personality.

Personalities are individual, but some typing of subjects can be done cutting across factors of race or background. One category displays no emotion whatever and will not speak a word; another betrays his anxiety about what is going to happen to him; a third is confident and slightly contemptuous in his assurance; a fourth maintains an insolent attitude but remains silent; a fifth tries to annoy his interrogators by pretending to be hard of hearing or by some trick like repeating each question before answering it.

After the interview the interrogators should confer, formulate their assessment of the subject’s character, and work out a plan of intensive examination, including the kind of detention conditions to be applied between questionings. The details of this plan will vary widely, but it will be based on two principles, that of maintaining psychological superiority over the prisoner and that of disconcerting his composure by devices to bewilder him.

The Intensive Examination

The intensive examination is the scene of the main battle of wits with the prisoner, having the critical objective of breaking his cover story. The cover story, if it is a good one, will be a simple explanation of the subject’s activities as a straight-forward normal person, plausible even to his close friends, containing a minimum of fabrication and that minimum without detail susceptible to a check or ramifications capable of development. Its weakness may often lie in the subject’s abnormal precision about certain details, especially when two or more subjects are using the same cover story.

The most difficult subject is one who will not talk at all, and prolonging his solitary confinement usually increases the difficulty of getting him to talk. It is best to put him into a labor gang or some such group of prisoners where he may be drawn into conversation. After some days or perhaps weeks he may be communicating normally with these others, and may have concluded that his interrogators have given him up for good. At that time some incident can be created involving the labor gang which requires that they all be questioned. If innocuous questions are put to the silent prisoner rapidly in a routine and indifferent manner, he may answer them. He may then find it hard to revert to complete silence if caught off guard as the questioning is switched without break to matters of real interest. The device of starting with questions easy for the subject to answer is useful with many whose replies to significant questions are hard to elicit.

Everything possible must be done to impress upon the subject the unassailable superiority of those in whose hands he finds himself and therefore the futility of his position. The interrogators must show throughout an attitude of assurance and unhurried determination. Except as part of a trick or plan they should always appear unworried and complete masters of the situation in every respect. In the long and arduous examination of a stubborn subject they must guard against showing the weariness and impatience they may well feel. If a specialist in the subject’s field is used to interrogate him, say scientist to interrogate a prisoner with a scientific specialty, this interrogator must have unquestioned superiority over the subject in his own field.

Many prisoners have reported amazement at their own capacity for resistance to any stable pressures or distresses of an interrogation, such as onerous conditions of confinement or the relentless bullying of a single interrogator. What is demoralizing, they find, is drastic variation of cell conditions and abrupt alternation of different types of interrogators. A sample device in the regulation of cell conditions for unsophisticated prisoners is the manipulation of time: a clock in a windowless cell can be rigged to move rapidly at times and very slowly at others; breakfast can be brought in when it is time for lunch or in the middle of the night’s sleep; the interval between lunch and dinner can be lengthened to twelve or fifteen hours or shortened to one or two.

The questioning itself can be carried out in a friendly, persuasive manner, from a hard, merciless and threatening posture, or with an impersonal and neutral approach. In order to achieve the disconcerting effect of alternation among these attitudes it may be necessary to use as many as four different interrogators playing the following roles, although one interrogator may sometimes double in two of them:

First, the cold, unfeeling individual whose questions are shot out as from a machine-gun, whose voice is hard and monotonous, who neither threatens nor shows compassion.

Second, the bullying interrogator who uses threats, insults and sarcasm to break through the subject’s guard by making him lose his temper or by exhausting him.

Third, the ostensibly naive and credulous questioner, who seems to be taken in by the prisoner’s story, makes him feel smarter than the interrogator, gives him his rope and builds up false confidence which may betray him.

Finally, the kind and friendly man, understanding and persuasive, whose sympathetic approach is of decisive importance at the climactic phase of the interrogation. He is most effectively used after a siege with the first and second types, or after a troubled sleep following such a siege.

The course of the intensive questioning cannot be standardized, but some useful procedures are outlined in the following paragraphs.

When the subject is brought in he is asked to tell again the story he gave at his preliminary interview. Then he is asked to repeat it, and again a third time. He will be annoyed and with luck might even lose his temper. He at least will be worried about possible inconsistencies among the four versions he has given. In some cases it will be better that the interrogator not disclose his awareness of any such inconsistencies; in others it may be advantageous to emphasize them by making a comparison in his presence and perhaps playing back a recording.

If the cover story is still intact, the next step is to probe for detail. One of two interrogators questions rapidly into many details of a particular aspect of some incident. Then the other puts detailed questions on another aspect of the same incident. Then the first takes up a third aspect, and so on alternately for some time. The object is to force the subject to invent detail hastily. Finally, without any break, the interrogators start going back over their detail questions a second time; and the subject, not having had time to fix his improvisations in mind, is most unlikely to remember them.

By deliberately misquoting the subject’s replies the interrogator may often succeed in confusing him, or better yet in irritating him and making him lose his temper. A talkative subject should always be encouraged to give full and lengthy explanations; he is likely of his own accord to get mixed up and introduce inconsistencies into his story. Catching the subject in a lie of relatively little importance sometimes unnerves him and starts his resistance crumbling.

A not too sophisticated subject can be told that his fellow-conspirators have let him down, that an informer among them has betrayed his secret, or that some of them are in custody and have been persuaded to talk. Incriminating testimony from others, true or false, can be read to him, or a hooded man can pretend to recognize and identify him. The subject can be placed in profile at a window while two guards lead a “prisoner” past outside who will send in word that he recognizes his true identity.

Sometimes a very long period of silence while the interrogators are pretending to go over critical evidence will unnerve the subject.

The whole procedure is a probe for an opening – a confession of guilt, an admission to having lied, a state of confusion or even extreme concern on some particular point. Once an opening is found, however small, every effort is concentrated on enlarging it and increasing the subject’s discomposure. At this stage he is allowed no respite until he is fully broken and his resistance at an end.

The Exploitation

When the subject has ceased to resist his interrogators and is ready to talk freely he must be handled with great care, both because this attitude may change and because he may now have suicidal impulses. He should get better treatment and better detention conditions. He should be induced to ally himself with his interrogators, and encouraged to believe that he is doing something useful and constructive in assisting them. It is often important to keep him hard at work regardless of whether the product of his efforts is of any real value; he could be asked to write out a lot of details about his subversive organition, for example, whether or not such information were required. The object is to keep him busy, to keep his mind occupied, to prevent his having time for introspection.

Since interrogators for the exploitation must be well acquainted in the particular field of information involved, it may now be necessary either to introduce new specialist interrogators or to give the earlier ones a thorough briefing in this field. Which course is better will depend on the subject’s character, the way he was broken, and his present attitude toward those who have been handling him. Sometimes only a fresh interrogator can get real cooperation from him. Sometimes, on the other hand, he is so ashamed of having broken that he is unwilling to expose himself further and wants to talk only to his original questioner. And sometimes he has built up a trustful and confiding relationship with his interrogator which should not be destroyed by the introduction of another personality.





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