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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Modern Wars & Warfare > Military Medicine

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Military Medicine Discuss aspects of this specialist field not covered in other forums.

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  #1  
Old 14 Dec 14, 22:36
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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.
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  #2  
Old 14 Dec 14, 22:43
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Hell if you want to go that way you could addict someone to heroin then give them their medicine when they made you 'happy'.
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Old 14 Dec 14, 23:38
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Quote:
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.
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  #4  
Old 15 Dec 14, 00:23
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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.
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Old 15 Dec 14, 01:07
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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?
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  #6  
Old 17 Dec 14, 18:34
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Quote:
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.
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  #7  
Old 25 Jan 15, 08:49
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Quote:
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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Old 28 Dec 17, 23:02
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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)
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Old 29 Dec 17, 14:35
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H2O and a rag = Truth Serum
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Old 29 Dec 17, 17:20
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Quote:
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.

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Old 29 Dec 17, 18:06
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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?
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Old 29 Dec 17, 18:09
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Originally Posted by Darth Holliday View Post
H2O and a rag = Truth Serum
No - it equals torture. Try it yourself sometime.
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Old 29 Dec 17, 18:16
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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.
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Old 29 Dec 17, 18:41
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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.
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Old 29 Dec 17, 20:07
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No - it equals torture. Try it yourself sometime.
In fact Mountain Man...I HAVE
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