FNT: Will Kimbrough- (I’m Trying To Be Less) Polite

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Enhanced Interrogation=The Gestapo’s “Verschärfte Vernehmung”

A conservative (but anti-Bush) blogger wondered where the term ‘enhanced interrogation’ came from, a reader told him:

Well, “enhanced interrogation techniques” is a fairly decent English translation of the Gestapo euphemism “verschaerfte Vernehmung” which was the code word for torture in the Third Reich.

On investigation it was revealed-

It’s a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court.

It was found the victims were not uniformed, the techniques at first did not include waterboarding (the Nazis were more humane than Bush) but eventually the full range were included and after the war a Norwegian court trying some torturers found all their lies and excuses were no mitigation and sentenced them to death.

the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn’t-somehow-torture – “enhanced interrogation techniques” – is a term originally coined by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death.

This is worth noting because as I type this I am listening to Democracy Now! with interviews about psychologists who cooperate in torture and one (Dr. Nina Thomas) who still defends her role with the APA, enabling torture. So let’s just reiterate the courts finding to all the interrogators their superiors and their enablers in the media

There was no mitigation and they were sentenced to death.

The Pyramid Of Baghdad

How strange, as I was reading David Phinney’s latest report on the de-facto slave labour being used to build the uber embassy in Baghdad when I followed a link to a virtual plan of the embassy Except the website went kaput, because-

A US architect working on the construction of a massive new US embassy in war-torn Baghdad quickly removed plans and drawings of the proposed compound from its website Thursday after a protest from the State Department, officials said.

“Our desire would be that this not be in the public domain,” State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said after officials called the firm of Berger Devine Yaeger within minutes of learning from a reporter that the embassy plans had been posted on its website.

“We work very hard to ensure the safety and security of our employees overseas and this kind of information out in the public domain detracts from that effort,” Gallegos told AFP. “When it was brought to our attention that these drawings were on their website, they were contacted by department officials and subsequently agreed to take it down,” he said.

D’oh. Which is a shame as I wanted to peruse this enormous 104 acre behemoth and of course there is more reporting on the plans being yanked (pun intended) than the story of how it is being built:

But what bothered Chapman more was the disappearance of seven workers from India, Pakistan and the Philippines who were listed as “missing” on First Kuwaiti rosters. Fearing they may have been killed and dumped into the Tigris, he began pressing embassy officials overseeing the project to investigate. “They told me to forget about it because the workers had probably found other jobs.”

Since workers were rarely allowed outside the project area, it was a mystery how they would have found other jobs. Even more puzzling was that they may have left without passports. First Kuwaiti keeps most passports locked up in a storage room.

In October, workers from Ghana on the embassy site told Chapman that they expected to get jobs in Dubai but were then sent to Iraq. Chapman wanted to report these incidents to the inspector general but says he was discouraged from doing so.

FKTC (First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting) has been accused of pushing by low-paid workers from the Philippines and Nepal into Iraq. The workers say they were recruited for jobs in Kuwait, but when they arrived at First Kuwaiti, they were then told those jobs had disappeared.

The workers say FKTC managers offered them a few options: Either hit the streets of Kuwait without a dime, food or a visa until the police take you to jail — or go to Iraq. (Oh, and by the way, pay back the plane fare that got you to Kuwait in the first place before you leave town.)

First Kuwaiti Trading and Contracting, a Kuwait Firm sponsored by Mohammad I. H. Marafie of the powerful Marafie family and managed by Wahdid al Absi, a Christian Lebanese who may have growing political influence in Lebanon.

Although no journalist is allowed on embassy site, prostitutes are smuggled in by First Kuwaiti managers, according to former employees. Prostitutes are a “breach of security,” says one former manager for the company.