Propaganda. Captors commonly exploit captives for taped apologies, admissions,
confessions, and other discrediting statements or attempt to implicate them in a “criminal
act” to justify the captors’ actions or abuse. In addition, captives might be exhibited and
paraded for local crowds and accused of targeting and killing civilians or targeting
culturally sensitive property or destroying their local economic livelihood. U.S. captives
should try to resist exploitative attempts for propaganda by the captor and make
reasonable efforts to avoid signing confessions, making propaganda broadcasts,
conducting “news interviews,” etc., that could cause harm to the United States,
themselves, or other captives. They should present logical reasons for noncompliance,
but understand that the threat of death by a terrorist for noncompliance is more realistic
than the same threat made by a government constrained by legal or moral bounds. If
forced to sign or make a statement, all captives should attempt to degrade the propaganda
as much as possible and to provide the minimum amount of information.
Media Exploitation. Captors may also use print or video media reporting about
captives’ home units or their families’ and friends’ reactions to exploit captives or
weaken their will to resist. Captives’ family members can expect rapid and intensive
media attention and should be prepared in advance with some simple guidelines to avoid
supporting captors’ objectives. The USG or the contractor may offer captives’ families
prompt personal support and guidance on public affairs; families should be encouraged to
accept that support. Family members and friends should avoid speculating about
captives’ activities or disclosing personal information. Brief statements of support for the
captive, hope for their safe return, and faith in the USG to bring the captive home are less
likely to support captors’ objectives of weakening a captive’s will or hope.
Human Shields. Captors...