WW II interrogators question current techniques

6th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 October 2007, Washington (dpa) - US veterans who interrogated Nazi prisoners during World War II have sharply criticized the harsh techniques used by the current administration to extract information from suspected terrorists, the Washington Post reported Saturday. The men who interrogated nearly 4,000 German war prisoners at a military base in Fairfax County, Virginia had spoken little about their own methods until a ceremony for veterans near Alexandria on Friday, where many drew sharp contrasts with t

6 October 2007

Washington (dpa) - US veterans who interrogated Nazi prisoners during World War II have sharply criticized the harsh techniques used by the current administration to extract information from suspected terrorists, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

The men who interrogated nearly 4,000 German war prisoners at a military base in Fairfax County, Virginia had spoken little about their own methods until a ceremony for veterans near Alexandria on Friday, where many drew sharp contrasts with the current techniques that critics and human rights groups have called torture.

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

President George W Bush on Friday defended the use of harsh interrogation measures by US intelligence officials and insisted that the United States does not torture detainees. His comments came after a New York Times report that a secret US administration memo in 2005 explicitly authorized tactics including head-slapping, simulated drowning and extreme cold.

The World War II interrogators questioned mainly German scientists and submarine personnel, sometimes for weeks on end without reporting their presence to the Red Cross as required by the Geneva Conventions. But the veterans said any transgressions on their part should not be used to justify the procedures being used now.

"I feel like the military is using us to say, 'We did spooky stuff then, so it's okay to do it now,'" 81-year-old Arno Mayer, professor of European history at Princeton University told the Post.

DPA

Subject: German news

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