LESSONS USED IN THE INDOCTRINATION OF AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR

Created: 9/15/1969

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eries of four lessons is given American prisoners captured in the area of Front 7. Tho first, offerrief historical review, emphasizes tho unjustnoss of the current American participation in the war. Tho second develops the themo that the war isplit in American society The third dwells on racial discrimination in the LS and links tho Negroes' struggle for civil rights to the Viet Cong cause. The last concerns the clemency policy of the Viet Cong toward American prisoners. Directed discussions follow each of the lessons. End Summary.

* irit indoctrination lesson given American prisoners of warin therea of Quang Tri proposes to Show them that their country's participation in tho war is un-just and immoral. It is also designed to help tho prisoners nderstand and sympathize with tho Viet Cong insurgency The lesson begins.with the situation following the Geneva Accords

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l . oting that tho latter provided for the withdrawal

of the French Army and the holding of free electionsunification. It then states that the French their responsibility for supervising these electionsthe Algerian war and handed South Vietnam (SVN) over to tho

t." Americans in ordor to repay them for their help during the

Indo-China Var. The course material goes on toDiem regime as having been established by the Americans, 'having been completely depondent on them, and asthe cruelest in Vietnamese history. The Thieu-Ky.ment is then described as representing the elite only,populace; and Its support by the US is purported not to be

.j -in the latter's national interest.

... 2. This lesson also claims that SVN hasirtual colony of the US, that the latter has taken over in all aspects of its life, and that this has not boon to the good. Examples of this takeover aro seen in the American participation in

Diem's overthrow, the continued presence of US troops in the ^the complete dependence of SVN economically on Ameri-_ can aid, and the corruption of the manners and morals,

Vietnnmeso women (attributed in large part to the of American arts and entortainment). The Americans aro blamed for the spread of venereal disease ln the country,of adequate public hospital facilities, the growing gaptho rich nnd tlie poor, the violation of . customs and manners, and the destruction of temples,villages, and

this lesson contrasts what lt contendsjust and winning cause of tho Viot Cong (VC) with the

1 .. unjust and losing one of the Government of Vietnam (GVN) and

American supporters. Comparisons aro drawn here withvictory in thoir own War of Independence and with

the failure of the French to defeat tho Vietnamese. Specifically, the lesson states that *he Americanshot win because the unjustness of their cause has alienated world public opinion, because thoy lack the support of the majority of the Vietnamese people, and because the American public will be increasingly split as the protracted guerilla warfare of the Viet Cong results in continued attrition of men and money/ The Viet Cong, on the other hand, aro pictured as having tho support of world public opinion because of the justness of their cause, as being able to mobilize the patriotic zeal of the Vietnamese,peopleesult-of the-"Americanand as being experienced gueirillu Warriorsi

second lesson aims at showing the POW's thatcohesiveness of the US Is being ruptured by its"absurdo continue tho First it claims that America is facing economicof the war, that tens of billions of dollars abe spent on tho Vietnam, effort, that unemploymentln America are on the increase, that tlie dollar isin value, and that America's overseasbeing lost to France, West Germany, and Japan. Thenpoints out what It considers to be the politicalcaused by the war, that tho split within the DemocraticRepublican Parties over tho war (anti-war congressmenparties are noted here) has compounded thebetwoen tho two parties (which in turn is cited asof tho John F. and Robert Kennedy assassinations)the American people have shown their opposition toand support of the Vietnamese people in many -

_ ' , bloody demonstrations, burning of draft carda, and solf-im-

gi.

a Vietnamese, you are going against tho conscience and concepts of humanity and justice held by most of your fellow Americans. (Field comment. As presented by the source, this lesson soems ill-organized, building up an anti-war case basod upon national self-interest and then switchingoralistic appeal.)

. 5. The third lesson concerns racial discrimination in America ond is designed to make Negro POW's fully aware of "thoir condition of slavery" so that thoy will oppose the US Government. The line is pressed here that racialis caused by the American Government and not by thepeople, who respect all races. It'is stated that the government fosters racial discriminationoans of reducing tho collective strength of the people, thus making thoireasier. The point is then made that Negroes aro also human beings, are intelligent, and can contribute to society and that all people have the right to equal treatment according to the letter of the US Constitution. Thiswith the "facts" of segregation and the brutality and economic privation to which the American Negro has been subjected. The situation wheroby the Negrooldier fighting ln Vietnam is pictured as being of no benefit to him but only to the largo industrial corporations which are growing rich off the war. The civil rights movement is praisedtruggle against genocide, and the assassination of Martin Luther King is presentedign that the UShas embarked uponourse of extermination. Finally, tho Negro struggle in America is likened to the struggle of the Vietnamese "people" against "aggression".

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6. The final lesson deals with the application of tho VC "clemency policy" towards US POW's. Tlie purpose of this lesson is to convince the prisoner that this policy steins from tho humane spirit of tho resistance forces. It is stated that tho POW himself is hot considered an enemy and that it is only the "imperialists" who fall into this category. The prisoners are told that despite the fact that thoy resisted the VC and committed atrocities against them, they will not be subjected to cruelty. Nevertheless, it is announced thnt throe levols of treatment will be 'meted ovit to Americans coming under VC oontrol, depending on whother they orealliers or thoso willing to serve as penotration agents;hose who dosert on the battlefield or who put up no resistance to being captured; or POW's, those forced to surrender on the battlefield. Xt is further stated that only weapons, binoculars, radios, compasses, helmets, watches, and fountain pons will be taken from the prisoners and that thoy will bo left with what is considerod their personalhecks, money orders, contracts, pictures, clothes, shoes, field bags, belts, lighters, combs, nndinally, notion -I*

lesson:

following procedures are used in teaching each

a* e classrobm presentation consists of an oral

timoiously-prepared standard text? Th, timo Required varies from six to eight hours. It is civon

iStSEJST o minute-break between

receptivity of the

b. The discussion period lasts three or four davs even longer depending on the receptivity of the "

particular groyp of. POff's. Tho tndoctrinator fields the discussion questions and monitors the subsequent discussion which lt is hoped will ensue among tho POif's. He keeps tbe discussion keyed to the particular question and observes what part of the classro-VC view and what part does not. Vhon approximately two-thirds of the classpro-VC, tho discussion stops and the text of that particular lesson is re-written for its final presentation ln class before proceeding to the next lesson. If two-thirds of the class fail toro-VC view, the text is re-written again, presented again, and discussed again, or else thoindoctrinator is replaced by another one from the next higher echelon. .

c. The presentation of tho revised text requires two to three hours.

8. Field Dissem: STATE, USUACV. USAID, CORDS, 7th Air Force, Dir/JUSPAO (Mr. NickelSARV,I9 SAG, OSI, CINCPAC PACFLT, PACAF, ARPAC

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