Labeled as I/R Operations, the military states that such operations are necessary because, “I/R operations facilitate the ability to conduct rapid and decisive combat operations; deter, mitigate, and defeat threats to populations that may result in conflict; reverse conditions of human suffering; and build the capacity of a foreign government to effectively care for and govern its population.” (1)
Though written in the typical bureaucratic speak, the document is an interesting read because it states the Army’s policy in interacting with various types of detainees and internees. The document is available in its entirety at PublicIntelligence.net, but below is a brief summary of the 326 page document.
Policies for Civilian Internees
The document details various policies for particular individuals such as Civilian Internees (CIs), Dislocated Civilians (DCs), and Detainees. The difference between these labels being that CIs and DCs are individuals who have not necessarily committed any sort of crime, but must be interned to protect themselves or the government.
Though no crimes may have been committed these individuals could be considered a threat for various reasons. Basically, the document states that these individuals can be interned at the whim of the government, but are “protected” under the Geneva Conventions.
Detainees are usually individuals that have committed a crime or unlawful act against the government. According to the document, these individuals are handled differently than CIs and DCs.
“Upon capture, Soldiers must process detainees using the “search, silence, segregate, speed, safeguard, and tag (5 S and T)” technique.” The 5ST technique is a checklist to guide soldiers on how to implement detainee operations until detainees are sent to another law enforcement agency or location. The technique is as follows:
–> Search – Confiscate any weapon, intelligence, and personal items from the individual.
–> Silence – Cut off all communication between detainees going as far to “Silence uncooperative detainees by muffling them with a soft, clean cloth tied around their mouths and fastened at the backs of their heads.”
–> Segregate – Keep the individuals separated as much as manpower will allow.
–> Speed – Remove the individuals from any sympathizers as quickly as possible.
–> Safeguard – Protect the individuals and their confiscated property from combatants, other detainees, and any other risk.
–> Tag – Assign each individual with a number that can be linked to their confiscated personal effects.
The document also outlines the roles of specific military personnel; however, the section on PSYOP team’s roles is the most interesting. The PSYOP (Psychological Operations) team has a whole host of roles, but the two that seem to stand-out, along with gaining the attention of conspiracy theorists, is the identification of political activists and the implementation of programs that “produces an understanding and appreciation of U.S. policies and actions.”
Moreover, there is an interesting note on page 56 that states, “PSYOP personnel use comprehensive information, reorientation, and educational and vocational programs to prepare detainees and DCs for repatriation.”
Protecting Citizens or Sinister Motive?
So, what does it all mean? That answer depends whole-heartedly on who you ask. If you ask the military and government officials, it’s all about protecting American citizens in case a catastrophe would hit. However, there are many others who believe the plan has a much more sinister motive.
The ideas run rampant from preparing the country to be run as a police state to the systematic destruction of America and the American people. When the document was first released many conspiracy theory websites took the document and ran with it; describing it as proof of the dark agenda of the proverbial “men behind the curtain.”
Personally, I will not say one way or another about how I feel about the document, but I will urge everyone to read it and tell us your thoughts about FM 3-39.40: Internment and Resettlement Operations in the comments section below.