[quote]When about two dozen veterans got together yesterday for the first time since the 1940s, many of the proud men lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects.
Back then, they and their commanders wrestled with the morality of bugging prisoners’ cells with listening devices. They felt bad about censoring letters. They took prisoners out for steak dinners to soften them up. They played games with them.
“We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture,” said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.[/quote]
Meanwhile… the NYT just did this little expose on the Bush Administration’s secret endorsement of torture being used on detainees…
[quote]…soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time [color=red]provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.[/color]
Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.[/quote]
What’s more, ironically, the implementation of these “harshest of techniques” is shown by the following article to be similar to that used by the Nazis themselves!
[quote]The phrase “Verschärfte Vernehmung” is German for “enhanced interrogation”. Other translations include “intensified interrogation” or “sharpened interrogation”. [color=red]It’s a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court. The methods, as you can see above (see URL), are indistinguishable from those described as “enhanced interrogation techniques” by the president.[/color] As you can see from the Gestapo memo, moreover, the Nazis were adamant that their “enhanced interrogation techniques” would be carefully restricted and controlled, monitored by an elite professional staff, of the kind recommended by Charles Krauthammer, and strictly reserved for certain categories of prisoner. At least, that was the original plan.
[color=red]Also: the use of hypothermia, authorized by Bush and Rumsfeld, was initially forbidden. 'Waterboarding" was forbidden too, unlike that authorized by Bush. As time went on, historians have found that all the bureaucratic restrictions were eventually broken or abridged. Once you start torturing, it has a life of its own. The “cold bath” technique - the same as that used by Bush against al-Qahtani in Guantanamo - was, according to professor Darius Rejali of Reed College, pioneered by a member of the French Gestapo by the pseudonym Masuy about 1943.[/color] The Belgian resistance referred to it as the Paris method, and the Gestapo authorized its extension from France to at least two places late in the war, Norway and Czechoslovakia. That is where people report experiencing it.
In Norway, we actually have a 1948 court case that weighs whether “enhanced interrogation” using the methods approved by president Bush amounted to torture. The proceedings are fascinating, with specific reference to the hypothermia used in Gitmo, and throughout interrogation centers across the field of conflict. [color=red]The Nazi defense of the techniques is almost verbatim that of the Bush administration…[/color][/quote]
AND, the following interview with a former US interrogator in Iraq shows exactly how torture affects those who implement it, ultimately leading to the way, as stated above, “all the bureaucratic restrictions were eventually broken or abridged. Once you start torturing, it has a life of its own…”
[quote]“At every point, there was part of me resisting, part of me enjoying,” Lagouranis said. “Using dogs on someone, there was a tingling throughout my body. If you saw the reaction in the prisoner, it’s thrilling.”
In Mosul, he took detainees outside the prison gate to a metal shipping container they called “the disco,” with blaring music and lights. Before and after questioning, military police officers stripped them and checked for injuries, noting cuts and bumps “like a car inspection at a parking garage.” Once a week, an Iraqi councilman and an American colonel visited. “We had to hide the tortured guys,” Lagouranis said.
[color=red]Then a soldier’s aunt sent over several copies of Viktor E. Frankel’s Holocaust memoir, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Lagouranis found himself trying to pick up tips from the Nazis. He realized he had gone too far.[/color][/quote]