Monday, November 12, 2007

After the Reich


DOUG SAUNDERS, in the Globe and Mail, 10 November 2007, has written an excellent article about Giles MacDonogh's book After the Reich. ( Germany then, Iraq now: On the interpretation of nightmares)

Saunders writes:
"This is a Second World War that we have not heard much about, but one that still sounds very familiar.

"In Germany, the Americans operated prisons on the sites of former Nazi concentration camps that often adopted the torture techniques of their previous masters.

"Tens of thousands of suspected insurgents were left to starve or freeze to death, or were subjected to beatings, mock executions and humiliating abuses while hooded. There was summary justice, thousands of executions carried out with no trial, atrocities committed by soldiers.
"Profit-seeking contractors and private-sector opportunists abused their security contracts and made profits from political connections on a scale greater than in Iraq. There was leadership chaos, with plans invented after the fact and money arriving years too late. There was widespread civilian starvation and misery.

"At one point, when it became evident that thousands of German military prisoners were starving to death, which was against the Geneva Conventions on treatment of prisoners of war, the U.S. leadership simply changed the statutes so that the prisoners would no longer be classified as prisoners of war – exactly what happened six decades later in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."


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1 comment:

Shimmy said...

Mock executions are not necessarily torture unless they take place in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. If waterboarding is torture, then torture is not constitutional.

Hooray for our chains!

 
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