Fri, 12 Oct 2007
US veterans who interrogated Nazi prisoners during World War II have sharply criticized the Bush administration for torturing suspects.
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 between the World War II interrogation techniques and the ones that have been authorized by the US administration during President Bush's tenure.
"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.
"We did it with a certain amount of respect and justice," said John Gunther Dean, 81, who became a career Foreign Service officer and ambassador to Denmark.
"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."
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 exposure to extreme cold.
The Washington Post
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