Gestapo

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Collaborators leave town tomorrow; then I rejoin the outside world.

As a followup to the previous post, Andrew sullivan goes on to do some research and makes very, very explicit the parallels between the "enhanced interrogation" of the Bush regime and the "enhanced interrogation" of the Gestapo.

In Norway, we actually have a 1948 court case that weighs whether "enhanced interrogation" using the methods approved by president Bush amounted to torture. The proceedings are fascinating, with specific reference to the hypothermia used in Gitmo, and throughout interrogation centers across the field of conflict. The Nazi defense of the techniques is almost verbatim that of the Bush administration...

The victims, by the way, were not in uniform. And the Nazis tried to argue, just as John Yoo did, that this made torturing them legit. The victims were paramilitary Norwegians, operating as an insurgency, against an occupying force. And the torturers had also interrogated some prisoners humanely. But the argument, deployed by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Nazis before them, didn't wash with the court. Money quote:

As extenuating circumstances, Bruns had pleaded various incidents in which he had helped Norwegians, Schubert had pleaded difficulties at home, and Clemens had pointed to several hundred interrogations during which he had treated prisoners humanely.

The Court did not regard any of the above-mentioned circumstances as a sufficient reason for mitigating the punishment and found it necessary to act with the utmost severity. Each of the defendants was responsible for a series of incidents of torture, every one of which could, according to Art. 3 (a), (c) and (d) of the Provisional Decree of 4th May, 1945, be punished by the death sentence.


It occurs to me that no matter how many medals and pardons Bush hands out as his term winds down, the next President would be well within his or her rights to extradite the whole lot of them to Brussels. I bet the ICC would be delighted to take the case.

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Valid, but I don't think it'll happen. Can you imagine the shitstorm that would ignite?

At this stage I'm more afraid of the damage the Repubs have done to the rule of law than I am of a Constitutional showdown. If Bush et al don't pay for their crimes, the folks who are junior functionaries in the current administration will be back in 20 years to try it again because they'll know they can get away with it.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on June 1, 2007 11:04 PM.

Enhanced Interrogation was the previous entry in this blog.

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