Combined Military Interrogation Center (CMIC)


The Combined Military Interrogation Center (CMIC) was a joint U.S.-South Vietnamese interrogation operation designed to collect intelligence from the soldiers of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) or People's Liberation Army Forces (PLAF, more popularly known as the Viet Cong, or VC) who were either captured or who had "rallied," i.e., deserted. The Center was established in Saigon in July 1965, and quickly became the focal point for tactical and strategic exploitation of intelligence from human sources (HUMINT). The CMIC was only one of several major interrogation centers in Saigon. The CIA sponsored National Interrogation Center (NIC) and the National Chieu Hoi Center for defectors also interrogated PAVN and PLAF soldiers and cadre on a variety of subjects. Unfortunately, while some heavily censored NIC reports are available by FOIA from the CIA, the Agency has not released these valuable records as a body.
The Center interrogated enemy soldiers for a wide-range of military information, including Order of Battle, tactics, weapons, and the enemy's political infrastructure. These reports were disseminated widely throughout the intelligence community in both Vietnam and Washington. CMIC reports were held at the "Confidential" level to protect the identity of the "Source" who was providing the intelligence. Each source was assigned a CMIC source
number. Following the enemy soldier's interrogation, a report was written using a standard format, including an Intelligence Information Report (IIR) number to aid in processing and retrieval. The IIR number can be found on the upper right hand corner of the original document, and is seen as highlighted and underlined text in the Web site. By clicking your mouse on the IIR number, the full text of the document appears.
In addition to acquiring military information, CMIC interrogators also sought intelligence on U.S. POW/MIAs. This POW/MIA information had an unclassified code-name called "Brightlight." While the total number of CMIC reports from 1965 to the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973 numbers in the thousands, only a small percentage of those reports deals with either POW/MIA information or on the enemy political infrastructure. For example, for the years' 1971-1973, a total of 1775 CMIC reports were created. Of those, only 275 contain information on U.S. prisoners or enemy prisons.
While CMIC reports have appeared in sanitized form since 1978, only recently has the National Archives (NARA) declassified the entire collection. The CMIC collection is currently at NARA II in College Park, MD. The reports on this Web site are scanned copies of the original CMIC documents, and any mis-spellings or errors in punctuation are exactly as they appear in the original. Occasionally, sketches or wiring diagrams on enemy organizations
were included in the reports, but for technical reasons we were unable to add those.
For a more detailed description of the CMIC, please see Sedgwick D. Tourison, Jr.'s, Talking with Victor Charlie, An Interrogator's Story, by Ivy Books, NY, NY, and The Role of Military Intelligence 1965-1967, by Major General Joseph A. McChristian, Vietnam Studies, Department of the Army, Washington, DC. Combined Document Exploitation Center (CDEC)

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