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“Enhanced interrogation techniques,” Andrew Sullivan points out today, are derived from a program developed by the Gestapo during World War II – and, indeed, even the name that Bush uses is just a translation of the term the Nazis developed.
As the Bush administration cranks up again for public approval of its torture plans, its own expert panel – the Intelligence Science Board – points out that its claims supporting the program are, simply put, lies. They characterize the “enhanced interrogation techniques” as “outmoded, amateurish and unreliable” and, as a former senior State Department official stresses, “immoral.”
They go on to point out that rather than adopt the techniques used by the Gestapo, the United States would be far better advised to adhere to the practices the United States itself applied during World War II.
These techniques were ethical and proved highly effective.
But some of the experts involved in the interrogation review, called “Educing Information,” say that during World War II, German and Japanese prisoners were effectively questioned without coercion.
“It far outclassed what we’ve done,” said Steven M. Kleinman, a former Air Force interrogator and trainer, who has studied the World War II program of interrogating Germans. The questioners at Fort Hunt, Va., “had graduate degrees in law and philosophy, spoke the language flawlessly,” and prepared for four to six hours for each hour of questioning, said Mr. Kleinman, who wrote two chapters for the December report.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”