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  • Truth Serum

    The ongoing debates on the use of torture // enhanced interrogation techniques got me thinking about "Truth Serums".

    In some of the old World War II movies when trying to get information out of prisoners they would inject them with Sodium Pentothal as a "Truth Serum".

    Supposedly this would loosen a prisoner's tongue and get him to give up information.

    Medicine has come a long way since the 1940's. I would think that the U.S., Soviets, Chinese etc. have been working on better more effective "Truth Serums".

    And if you want to go down a very dark hole you could torture some one with medications, inflicting horrible pain. And not leave a mark other than an IV puncture wound and give them something to make them forget everything that happened and all the information they gave up.
    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

  • #2
    Hell if you want to go that way you could addict someone to heroin then give them their medicine when they made you 'happy'.
    Credo quia absurdum.


    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
      The ongoing debates on the use of torture // enhanced interrogation techniques got me thinking about "Truth Serums".

      In some of the old World War II movies when trying to get information out of prisoners they would inject them with Sodium Pentothal as a "Truth Serum".

      Supposedly this would loosen a prisoner's tongue and get him to give up information.

      Medicine has come a long way since the 1940's. I would think that the U.S., Soviets, Chinese etc. have been working on better more effective "Truth Serums".

      And if you want to go down a very dark hole you could torture some one with medications, inflicting horrible pain. And not leave a mark other than an IV puncture wound and give them something to make them forget everything that happened and all the information they gave up.
      Typically sodium thiopental, yes I knew some high speed low drag guys that had it on hand.
      My worst jump story:
      My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
      As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
      No lie.

      ~
      "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
      -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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      • #4
        There's no 'truth serum'; some believed that getting a subject intoxicated on a substance which leaves them with most of their memory access intact could be a useful tool.

        I've interviewed a lot of drunks and stoners and gotten a great deal of information, more than I would have they been clean, but the problem is the an intoxicated subject cannot stay focused, and often will mingle wishes, desires, and the truth.

        They often are very poor on details, too.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #5
          When I see videos of the people jumping out of the windows of the WTC to avoid being incinerated I think enhaced interrogation didn't go far enough.
          Anyone have a claw hammer?
          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
            There's no 'truth serum'; some believed that getting a subject intoxicated on a substance which leaves them with most of their memory access intact could be a useful tool.

            I've interviewed a lot of drunks and stoners and gotten a great deal of information, more than I would have they been clean, but the problem is the an intoxicated subject cannot stay focused, and often will mingle wishes, desires, and the truth.

            They often are very poor on details, too.
            A "Truth Serum" would not be a perfect interrogation tool. It would be just one more interrogation technique. As with any interrogation technique of a hostile prisoner you would have to be suspect of information given.

            That said, if you can't use "harsh interrogation techniques" or out right torture on an uncooperative prisoner it would be worth a try.

            A little Sodium Pentothal or whatever your drug of choice is followed by some valium or Ativan when the interrogation is through. The prisoner would have no idea what they had said.

            Heroin addicts when brought out of an overdose will answer any questions you ask.

            Sodium Pentothal is an 80 year old drug. Opiates have been with us for 1,000 of years. I am willing to bet that between the CIA, KGB and host of other spy agencies much more effective drugs have been produced for this purpose.
            Last edited by 17thfabn; 18 Dec 14, 00:44.
            "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
            Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
              ....
              Sodium Pentothal is an 80 year old drug. Opiates have been with us for 1,000 of years. I am willing to bet that between the CIA, KGB and host of other spy agencies much more effective drugs have been produced for this purpose.
              Any evidence any of these are regularly used?

              To digress to a old Viet Nam era story I heard several times; Special Forces team captured some HQ pers from a Charlie regiment. They wanted the Regiment commander who they suspected were in the lot they had, but the VC were not giving up anything. They selected a sad sack looking individual, probablly the guy who cleaned the latrines and tossed him out the chopper door at 500+ feet altitude. The other suspects all became talkative but when iterrogated again individually they told the same story. The sorry looking SOB killed was the Colonel

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                Any evidence any of these are regularly used?

                :
                I have no evidence. I wasn't a secret squirrel. I would think the use of these types of drugs would be a very well kept secret. (If there is such a thing as a well kept secret any more)
                Last edited by 17thfabn; 29 Dec 17, 14:42.
                "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  H2O and a rag = Truth Serum

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
                    The ongoing debates on the use of torture // enhanced interrogation techniques got me thinking about "Truth Serums".

                    In some of the old World War II movies when trying to get information out of prisoners they would inject them with Sodium Pentothal as a "Truth Serum".

                    Supposedly this would loosen a prisoner's tongue and get him to give up information.

                    Medicine has come a long way since the 1940's. I would think that the U.S., Soviets, Chinese etc. have been working on better more effective "Truth Serums".

                    And if you want to go down a very dark hole you could torture some one with medications, inflicting horrible pain. And not leave a mark other than an IV puncture wound and give them something to make them forget everything that happened and all the information they gave up.
                    The ideal solution for the military, intelligence and justice communites is a reliable "truth drug" that provides answers without suffering.

                    for some strange reason, the public finds that horrifying, while not caring a bit about the massive and illegal surveillance carried out on every citizen 24/7.

                    Imagine how fast and reliable our court systems would be if we simply gave a dose of a drug, got the true statement from the suspect or accused, and then acted accordingly. No false sentences, no executions of innocents... just justice for all.

                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                    • #11
                      Imagine how fast and reliable our court systems would be if we simply gave a dose of a drug, got the true statement from the suspect or accused, and then acted accordingly. No false sentences, no executions of innocents... just justice for all.
                      Not a tinsy bit of ethical dilemma there?
                      History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

                      Pierre Vidal-Naquet

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Darth Holliday View Post
                        H2O and a rag = Truth Serum
                        No - it equals torture. Try it yourself sometime.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluenose View Post
                          Not a tinsy bit of ethical dilemma there?
                          Of course there is, unless you are really serious about justice, which is why America today shies away from the issue while conducting massive illegal surveillance operations, and that is the crux of the American dilemna - how much for how long can they get away with before they are forced by the people to produce results commensurate with the gross civil rights violations?

                          Personally, I'm all in favor of a true truth serum. If I'm accused of something, better to have the truth on the record that submit myself to a fatally flawed justice system that favors the rich, the famous, the politically correct minority of the day, women, criminals and the powerful at the expense of all of the rest of us.

                          Spend a few days in a courtroom and you will begin to understand just how biased our justice system has become. Remember the recent "rich kid" defense? The perp was awarded the status of not guilty by reason of being from an affluent family.
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                          • #14
                            Personally, I'm all in favor of a true truth serum. If I'm accused of something, better to have the truth on the record that submit myself to a fatally flawed justice system that favors the rich, the famous, the politically correct minority of the day, women, criminals and the powerful at the expense of all of the rest of us.
                            Undertaken by a system that you claim is inherently flawed? It is a very difficult line to draw.

                            What is 'truth'? How do you demarcate? How effective is the serum? What else might be dredged? Is this not getting towards thought police?

                            Strike me as another idea that sounds possible in principle, dangerous in reality beyond a few very specific circumstances.
                            History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

                            Pierre Vidal-Naquet

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                              No - it equals torture. Try it yourself sometime.
                              In fact Mountain Man...I HAVE

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