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Frank Rich's "Gestapo" Tactics

"Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those 'good Germans' who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo."

Columnist Frank Rich's super-sized Sunday op-ed, "The 'Good Germans' Among Us," ripped into America, likening war supporters to the Nazi Gestapo.


"Our moral trajectory over the Bush years could not be better dramatized than it was by a reunion of an elite group of two dozen World War II veterans in Washington this month. They were participants in a top-secret operation to interrogate some 4,000 Nazi prisoners of war. Until now, they have kept silent, but America's recent record prompted them to talk to The Washington Post.


"'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 M.I.T. physicist whose interrogation of Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, took place over a chessboard. George Frenkel, 87, recalled that he 'never laid hands on anyone' in his many interrogations, adding, 'I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity.'"


Perhaps American and German soldiers had more culture in common than Americans and fanatical Muslims (besides, chess is discouraged under Islam).


Later Rich moved from ignorance of radical Islam to anti-American offensiveness.


"But we must also examine our own responsibility for the hideous acts committed in our name in a war where we have now fought longer than we did in the one that put Verschärfte Vernehmung on the map....As the war has dragged on, it is hard to give Americans en masse a pass. We are too slow to notice, let alone protest, the calamities that have followed the original sin....Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those 'good Germans' who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It's up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war's last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country's good name."