The pictures were accompanied with a video, that shows one sailor crying while detained.
A filmed apology by one US sailor during their brief detention was a major propaganda win for Iran.
“Had that Navy sailor been SERE trained, he would have made that statement, but he would have injected stuff so any English speaker watching it would have said ‘Oh, he’s being coerced to make that statement,'” former Navy SEAL and SERE graduate Brandon Webb told Business Insider.
The Navy’s SERE school or
Survive, Evade, Resist, and Escape teaches soldiers how to survive if they are captured and tortured by the enemy.
During SERE school troops are trained “how to tell these half truths, and how to tell them just enough but not be taken advantage of for PR purposes,” Webb told Business Insider.
Webb explained that SERE training draws from the experiences of POWs in Vietnam, who were famously tight-lipped even in the face of brutal, inhumane treatment.
A perfect example of half truths comes from then-Navy pilot Sen. John McCain when he was held as a POW in Vietnam for nearly six years.
McCain gave the names of the Green Bay Packer’s offensive line to his captors as faux-information in order to receive medical treatment for his perceived cooperation.
“When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed,” McCain wrote in his memoir “Faith Of My Fathers.”
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