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statements that you have made as statements to the committee during the period to which I have referred since I announced that you
would proceed but not under oath—if the statements you have made and the answers you have given to the questions are true and you so swear under your oath.
Captain CUMBY. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. We had to make this exception or deviation from the rules of the committee in that fashion this afternoon in order to expedite the hearing, due to two circumstances, that so many members of the committee are pressed with other obligations and, too, because of the fact that it isn't anticipated that any testimony given in this hearing by you high officials in the military and those who have already testified would lead to any controversy or possibility of perjury. For that reason the Chair deviated from the rule in this fashion so we might proceed with the hearing.
Now 3 members of the committee are present, 1 more than a quorum. So we can proceed.
(Members of the committee present at this point: Senators McClellan, McCarthy, and Mundt.)
Mr. KENNEDY. There is another matter I wanted to touch on with you.
Senator McCARTHY. Bob, could I make a very brief comment to keep the record straight here?
We are talking about the collaboration of the prisoners with the Communists. I think we should keep in mind that a man who is a prisoner under the complete control of the enemy may well do things that he normally would not do. I don't think we should judge him by the same rules that we would judge a man who is completely a free agent. I say that merely because I have been somewhat disturbed by some of the court-martials that we have had. This is no discredit whatsoever to your investigation. I think you are doing a tremendous job here in exposing this situation, but I do think we should
keep that in mind. Mr. KENNEDY. I think what we are trying to inquire into, Senator, is if the Communists were more effective with prisoners than anybody has been in the past, what is the reason for that?
Senator McCARTHY. They are more ruthless and, being more ruthless, I assume they would be more effective at getting some of the prisoners to deviate to their side.
Captain CUMBY. Mr. Kennedy, I didn't want to give the impression to this committee that there were no acts of brutality or acts of torture when I said I didn't think that that was characteristic. There certainly were acts of torture by both the Chinese and the North Koreans, such as starving a major to death and watching him and laughing while he reached the point of insanity; such as beating a sergeant until blood ran from his eyes, nose, and ears. The Chinese and the Koreans did that kind of thing. I don't want to give the impression that all was sweet and nice and that everybody did everything simply because that is exactly what they wanted to do.
There was a mixture of brutality which was fantastic, some of it unbelievable, committed against Americans by the Chinese and by the North Koreans. The North Koreans were not the only people who committed those acts of brutality.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you mean to imply that was the exception and not the rule?
Captain CUMBY. When brutality and torture were used in direct connection with an interrogation or indoctrination it was the exception rather than the rule; yes, sir. I will stand on that.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, they did not rely on it and that was not their principal means and method.
Captain CUMBY. They relied 100 percent on deception. Let me read you this. This is an extract from a document, a captured document. This was part of a directive that the Chinese send down to their interrogators. This is what the Chinese sent down to their interrogators. I am quoting this part of a captured document:
The American newspapers are calling us uncivilized because of the way the Koreans treated the American prisoners before we took command of the people's struggle in Korea. Don't give the prisoners any excuse for getting information out of North Korea to support the Americans in their charge that we are not civilized. Be kind to the American prisoners. Share what you have with them. Pretend that you are their friends. Don't threaten them, but use deception.
The CHAIRMAN. Use deception.
Captain CUMBY. That is the key to their indoctrination. That was the key to their interrogation, not brutality.
The CHAIRMAN. You understood when I referred to torture and brutality I was referring to physical torture and brutality?
Captain CUMBY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, there was mental torture and mental brutality imposed upon them in the process of deception and the other fringes that went along with it. Is that correct? You regard the process they followed as a mental torture?
Captain Cumby. Yes, sir; that is involved. This harassment, this humiliation, which I didn't go into, those are all factors that operate on the mentality of the individual.
The CHAIRMAN. They have a depressing and demoralizing effect. Captain Cumby. That element of humiliation was most degrading. They used that and employed it very, very widely:
Senator McCARTHY. Let me ask you this question: While they may not have physically tortured some of the prisoners, did your interrogation indicate that—I don't know how to describe it—that there was not mental torture but mental strain put upon the man to get him to confess to something that wasn't true?
Captain Cumby. I can only speak from those cases that I handled. I saw no widespread use of that. I think that is one of the misconceptions that we have, that every time a man has committed an act he did that simply because somebody hit him over the head or somebody punished him. That just is not true.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further?
Senator Mundt. When you say that they employed deception, do you mean that they placed before the prisoners false promises of reward, trying to lure them through their avarice, greed, ambition in some way, promising that if they would come over on the side of the Communists they would get some handsome reward which otherwise would be denied to them?
Captain CUMBY. Take this, Senator Mundt, as an example. Take the 201 file that they built up, the dossier that they built up on every
prisoner over there. Say they called a man in to interrogate him. The interrogator has this file. He has the man's name written on it. In many cases they had “confidential” in English. He said "All right, I have all the information I need about you. I know everything about you. I know everything about your mother, father, brothers. I know everything. But I want to talk with you about something just in general.”
So he starts asking him a few routine questions. Then he will suddenly say, “How many men were in the company when you were captured?"
He says, “Gee, I don't know, sir. We operated in platoons, 10 over here, 10 over there. I don't know.”
“What is the strength of a typical infantry company?"
Many soldiers don't know. Actually, they don't. He says “I don't know,' or he might make a stab at it. Then he will come up with a facsimile of one of our army manuals. He will say, "The authorized strength of an infantry company is thus and so. I told you I had the information. I just wanted to see if you were honest.”
Some fell for that. Feeling that he had the information, in many cases he proceeded to tell him what he wanted, thinking that he had it, when actually in most of those cases they didn't have the information that they were asking. If they had it they wouldn't have asked for it in the first place.
I talked with a prisoner who said, "I was interrogated by a Chinese and the first thing he told me was, 'Now, look, it doesn't make sense for us to be enemies. We are not enemies. We are friends. You are here with us. We are going to try to make your stay here as pleasant as possible. There is no point of difference. You are a working man. I am a working man. We both are members of the so-called proletariat. There is no difference between us. The difference is with your capitalists back on Wall Street who started this war??
This fellow told me that he believed that this Chinese was his friend.
That is deception, just as that directive said. That is how it worked.
The CHAIRMAN. He pretended to be his friend when he wasn't his friend, pretending to be helpful and sympathetic when all he was trying to do was to destroy the man's faith in his own country and thus convert him to communism.
Captain CUMBY. That is right.
Senator MUNDT. Was there any evidence, quite apart from physical and mental torture, of the fact that the Chinese employed constant use of repetition, a long drawn-out series of interrogatories, so the person became so mentally fatigued so that his alertness failed to function?
Captain CUMBY. Yes, sir; that was employed.
All of those were techniques and tactics and procedures that they followed.
Senator McCARTHY. Just 1 or 2 questions. I have been rather surprised at the fact that the Turkish soldiers so far as I know didn't succumb to any of the tortures, either mental or physical, and a sizable number of American soldiers did. I don't know whether the Turkish
people are educated better in the evils of communism than our American youth, but would you say that if we had a better indoctrination of the soldiers on the evils of communism, if our professors in the colleges taught the evils of communism, perhaps in another future conflict we would have less of what we had in Korea ?
Captain CUMBY. Indoctrination, yes, sir.
Senator McCarthy. The chairman points out to me that I merely mentioned colleges. The public schools should have indoctrination in regard to the evils of communism. If and when a young man enlists or is drafted the indoctrination should continue. Then we might have much less deviation if and when they are captured. Would you
Captain Cumby. Yes, sir. I don't think you have a chance to fight communism unless you have an awareness of what it is all about.
Senator McCARTHY. I should perhaps use the word “teaching” instead of "indoctrination."
Could I say one further thing: How do you account, if you can-you need not answer this if you don't feel qualified—how do you account for the fact that the Turkish soldier didn't deviate at all as far as we know, and so many Americans did? Is it because of their closeness to the Communist menace, or what?
Captain CUMBY. There are a number of reasons, Senator McCarthy, but Major Pannel is a specialist in that. He is an expert on that. He has done considerable work on it and he is to testify before this committee. It probably would be unfair for me to muddy the water since he has it down perfectly.
Senator MCCARTHY. All right. I will withdraw the question. The CHAIRMAN. Any further questions?
Mr. KENNEDY. There is one further matter I wish to discuss with you, and that is the question of the special treatment of Negro troops by the Chinese Communists. Did they segregate them, when they were captured ?
Captain CUMBY. The Chinese and the Communists had a very rigid system of segregation, segregated according to rank, segregated according to race, segregated according to nationality. That system of segregation serves two purposes, first for control, second, to achieve th objective, that is to make a direct appeal to certain national groups and racial groups.
They had the Negro separated. They had the Filipino segregated. They had the Turks segregated.
Mr. KENNEDY. Did they have special propaganda?
Captain CUMBY. Yes, sir. To each segregated group their propaganda, their indoctrinational material was tailored to fit that particular group, to appeal to that particular group.
Senator McCARTHY. Could I ask a question, Bob: Am I correct that from your investigations and interrogations you are convinced that the Communists have no respect whatsoever for the rules of the Geneva Convention insofar as the treatment of prisoners of war is concerned ?
Captain CUMBY. They had absolutely none. As far as they were concerned, that didn't exist.
Senator McCARTHY. Just one further question: Was the New York Daily Worker distributed in the camps of the prisons?
Captain Cumby. Regularly, yes, sir.
Senator McCARTHY. That is the Communist paper, of course.
Senator McCarthy. I think I have no further questions, Mr. Kennedy.
Senator MUNDT. No questions.
Mr. KENNEDY. Is there anything else on this whole matter that you think we should bring out?
This is a booklet, Mr. Chairman, which was prepared by the Army on this subject on which the captain did more than half the work. I didn't know but that we should put that in as an exhibit for reference.
Senator McCARTHY. It does look exceptionally good, Mr. Kennedy. Mr. KENNEDY. Will you identify it, Captain?
Captain CUMBY. This is a pamphlet on Communist interrogation and indoctrination and exploitation of prisoners of war.
Mr. KENNEDY. You did about 60 or 70 percent of the work on that?
I think the committee should thank you for the cooperation you have given the staff and compliment you and for your intelligent testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair wishes to ask you one or two more questions for clarification before you go, Captain.
You have been referring to roughly one-third of the prisoners who continued to cooperate or attend the indoctrination meetings, and so forth. Did you mean one-third of all the American prisoners that were captured or to what group do you relate the one-third?
I didn't want an erroneous impression to go out. Did you have in mind one-third of all prisoners or did you have in mind one particular camp?
I am trying to get it clarified.
Captain CUMBY. I am afraid, Senator, I can't break down that whereby it will reflect anything other than I stated, that roughly onethird attended the courses after it was no longer compulsory.
The CHAIRMAN. You are referring in that statement to one particular camp or to all the camps insofar as you have information?
Captain Cumby. That was the prison population of the North Korean prisons under Communist command.
The CHAIRMAN. All the prisons, is what you had in mind!
The CHAIRMAN. I wasn't sure about that. I didn't know whether you were speaking of the information you had with respect to the one particular camp. I think you identified Camp 12, didn't you, or something?
Captain CUMBY. I identified Camp 12 and Camp 5. There were a number of other camps.
The CHAIRMAN. It wasn't quite clear in my mind and I don't think it was with the press, as to whether you were relating that one-third to one particular camp or if you meant to include all of them.
Captain CUMBY. It was the total population.