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American WWII Interrogators speak out against torture; "I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity"

Posted by PowerToThePeople 
For six decades, they held their silence.

The group of World War II veterans kept a military code and the decorum of their generation, telling virtually no one of their top-secret work interrogating Nazi prisoners of war at Fort Hunt.

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.

Blunt criticism of modern enemy interrogations was a common refrain at the ceremonies held beside the Potomac River near Alexandria. Across the river, President Bush defended his administration's methods of detaining and questioning terrorism suspects during an Oval Office appearance.

Several of the veterans, all men in their 80s and 90s, denounced the controversial techniques. And when the time came for them to accept honors from the Army's Freedom Team Salute, one veteran refused, citing his opposition to the war in Iraq and procedures that have been used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. [...]

"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."

From [www.washingtonpost.com]

***

"When they say there’s not enough money, they mean there’s not enough money for YOU." - Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee.
Ve haf vays of making you talk............. Vud you care for some strudel...?

"I hate it when people compare Dick Cheney to Darth Vader. Vader never avoided military service." -John Fugelsang
I wonder if the Nazis tortured? - Cas

I guess you meant to ask if they tortured allied soldiers. I don't know. But they sure tortured a lot of Jews and other people that they wanted to cleanse all of Europe from.
From OD's link.

U.S. District Judge John Bates gave the new president and his Justice Department until February to tell him whether they want to change the government's position on the definition of "enemy combatant." Prisoners from U.S. detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan are challenging their detention as so-called enemy combatants in federal court.

"The new presidential administration may wish to review the government's current position regarding the appropriate definition of 'enemy combatant' to be used in these and other habeas cases," Bates said Thursday.
American prisoners were tortured at the hands of the Japanese, who considered any soldier who did not fight to the death to be worthy of contempt. The tales told by American survivors of their brutality is hair-raising.

The sinking of America to to that level of depravity is due to the rise of right-wing "values"-- of winning at any cost, of glee at heaping humiliation on the helpless, and their weird hang-up on homosexuality that makes them want to emasculate other men.

We can only hope that this can be looked upon as a short, sad chapter in American history.
The main thrust of my link was that one of the released "detainees" is now the head of al Qaeda in Yeman, the home of the attack on the Cole. But I guess that's a lie since all the detainees are innocent.
"But I guess that's a lie since all the detainees are innocent." -OD

Why do you always post such lame-ass stupid crap, olde dude?

"I hate it when people compare Dick Cheney to Darth Vader. Vader never avoided military service." -John Fugelsang
Just repeating others...
Who here said all the Gitmo detainees are innocent? Nobody, that's who. So why do you lie like that?

"I hate it when people compare Dick Cheney to Darth Vader. Vader never avoided military service." -John Fugelsang
How do we know they're all guilty?
Most of those released DID NOT rush off and join up with Al qaeda. However if I was an innocent man that was imprisoned and tortured for no reason I would want pay back. Gitmo has probably created more terrorists than it imprisoned
I am not sure whether the Nazis actually tortures - in the definition of torture - Prisoners of War taken in the course of action. They did torture some that were taken in other ways. For example some who infiltrated by parachute ot in other ways to contact the Resistance or to spy.

This was one way they were fed false information about D-Day when a a young officer was parachuted in with the intent of having him captured and cracking under torture, He did not know that, of course or that the information he had was false.

At the Scopes Monkey Trial, Clarence Darrow gave a brilliant speech, but the cynical journalist H.L. Mencken told him "You may as well have shouted it up a waterspout in Outer Mongolia for all the effect it will have on your listeners ..

Ditto here.
olde dude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The main thrust of my link was that one of the
> released "detainees" is now the head of al Qaeda
> in Yeman, the home of the attack on the Cole. But
> I guess that's a lie since all the detainees are
> innocent.

Olde,
There are a lot of Americans arrested by cops for garden variety crimes, then released either because they are innocent or because of a lack of evidence against them. Undoubtedly some of these released people later go on to commit other unrelated crimes. But that doesn't mean we should keep every person who was ever arrested in jail permanently because they might commit a crime.

As for the Gitmo detainees, some are no doubt guilty of very bad crimes and some of some of not so bad acts. Some are probably innocent. But there is one constant, those detainees all have brothers, cousins and others who resent their relatives being imprisoned without charge. While it's interesting that one former detainee is now working for al Qaeda, I'd like to know how many middle easterners have become radicalized and terrorists because of a family member is locked up in Gitmo.

All of the Gitmo detainees should get trials. If they are guilty, lock them up. If innocent, let them go. I'm not sure about the legality, but to be prudent, all of them should have a chip secretly implanted (like pets get) so they can be tracked for the rest of their lives. The sad fact is that even if any of these guys were innocent, after seven years in jail without trial they hate America now.
I'm not sure about the legality, but to be prudent, all of them should have a chip secretly implanted (like pets get) so they can be tracked for the rest of their lives.

That's an intriguing idea, Curt. It's highly illegal, but... they are potential terrorists. Is it possible to stick a chip in someone without them noticing? Otoh, I wonder about what kind of ethical precedent that would set. confused smiley
No one should be tortured, whether they be innocent or guilty. Torture degrades the fabric of civilization.
Pondy- I figure that if this site can make sweeping lies, innuendos, and suppositions about Republicans or conservatives, it's fair game. If you're too nancy to put up with the filth that is spewed here when you don't like it, don't allow the filth when you do.

Curt- Because of the fingerprinting that is being done now in Iraq, many that stated they were in Jordan and Syria are actually wanted for homicides in the US. What I get is that since one MAY be innocent, we should let them all go and close Gitmo. You (all) assume these are innocent people. They were taken in acts of war. Why would we spend the money, time and energy to get a goat farmer to Gitmo. If it's small stuff, either the Iraqis can handle it, or we keep them in country.

The chip idea would be completely ineffictive. They'd be taken out within hours anyway. AND you'd only have evidence AFTER the crime was committed anyway. By the time they blow themselves up in the middle of a mall, do you really need the chip?
You got any links to back up your claim that many Iraqis (or people fingerprinted in Iraq) are guilty of US homicides?
"Sweeping lies, innuendos, and suppositions about Republicans or conservatives"?

Examples? One even?

"I hate it when people compare Dick Cheney to Darth Vader. Vader never avoided military service." -John Fugelsang
Hey olde.dude why don't you let olde dude speak for himself. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Obama certainly is not talking about letting all the Gitmo prisoners go. He's just pushing ahead a judicial review of their status and seeking an alternate site for their confinement. Given some reports I've seen, it's really hard to justify holding some of the people imprisoned based on weak evidence of their involvement in terrorism.

____________________________________________
Start calling young men "Spiderman" even if they're black..
They were taken in acts of war. - od

Some were. Others were turned in by Afghani citizens for a bounty, sometimes as high as $5000. Some were foreign fighters, some were completely innocent.
To olde.dude, olde dude or whoever,
The former detainee who is now an al Qaeda leader in the NY Times story was apparently released by the Bush administration. Evidently there was reason to think he was not guilty, otherwise they wouldn't have set him loose.

If the Bush administration wanted to created more terrorists, I can't think of a more effective way than incarcerating innocent people without charge, submit them to "enhanced interrogation" and house them with real terrorists who then would spend seven years indoctrinating them.
The revenge factor is probably also at play.

If I was swept off the street, hooded, shackeled, and taken to Gitmo or a black site gulag and tortured and held in captivity for years, I might become a terrorist just from that experience.

The BushCo terrorist policy is BONEHEADED and ANTITHETICAL TO REDUCING TERROR.
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