Seems everywhere I look there is news about how revenge corrodes the soul and how the ‘good guys’ often act badly.
Historical papers revealed by the Guardian in the last week told how during and immediately after WWII, Britain ran interrogation centres that sounded as bad as anything the Gestapo came up with. One in Germany that starved and tortured prisoners first targeted Nazi party members or former members of the SS then by late 1946…
suspected Soviet agents. Some were NKVD officers – Russians, Czechs and Hungarians – but many were simply German leftists. Others were Germans living in the Russian zone who had crossed the line, offered to spy on the Russians, and were tortured to establish whether they were genuine defectors.
By a depressing irony, “Of the 20 interrogators ordered to break the inmates of Bad Nenndorf… [six] were mostly German Jewish refugees who had enlisted on the outbreak of war.”
The revelations of the previous week were even more disturbing. During and after WWII, a torture centre was run in London – the “London Cage”. The fact that those tortured appear to have been largely SS men and those accused of war crimes does little to excuse the brutal conditions there.
And now by an odd coincidence Spielberg is about to release a film – Munich – about Israel’s decision to hunt down and assasinate the killers of 11 of its atheletes at the 1972 Munich games (reviewed here).
All of this makes one think about the way that things seem to be going both here in the UK and in the US where torture may now be illegal but evidence obtained under torture may be OK and where peaceful protesters against military recruitment are attacked by police.
Also see my earlier post-Abu Ghraib musings on a similar theme…
But hopefully with that out of my system I can return to our regularly-scheduled Xmas cheer!