Saturday, June 30, 2012

Poland: Still Torturing after All These Years

As a country, Poland over the last few centuries has sort of faded in and out, like the light of a firefly. But when it flares into existence, it has distinguished itself at an activity engaged in by repressive (read: all) states everywhere: the detention and torture of political prisoners for information and useful confessions, often for other countries, such as the USSR since World War II.

But Poland outdid itself in 1945-1947, when it extracted from Rudolf Höss, former comandant of Auschwitz, a "confession" to having overseen the murder of 4.5 million or so Jews there. It rewarded Höss for his monumental fabrication by hanging him, even while the Holocaust edifice was being erected on the cornerstone of his writings.

Today, we note reports that the CIA has found in Poland a congenial host for its torturing enterprise, having established and operated a "black site" in that country, as well as, it is fair to note, a few others (Poland has no monopoly in this, unfortunately).

The "confessions" extracted from the CIA's unfortunate detainees there, we may dismiss as having been gained by means of torture.

Those of Höss, of course, are a different matter. Because he was a Nazi?