By Julian Kulski, Special for USDR
The media is full of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s report on “enhanced interrogation tactics” used by the CIA after 9/11, in particular waterboarding, which the Senator has defined as “torture.” Please. Torture is what the Gestapo did in World War II.
I should know. During the war, I was recruited into the Polish resistance at age 12. When I was 14, I was arrested by the Gestapo. Throughout the war, the Germans who invaded and occupied my native Poland routinely tortured not only those who fought against them physically but anyone they believed to be their enemy—including women and children.
At Gestapo headquarters in Warsaw, I saw a woman whose breasts were cut off by Gestapo torturers. Next to her was a man whose face could be called neither human nor animal, with jaw and cheekbones dislocated, covered in coagulated blood, and a raw wound where his right eye should have been. One of my friends, a young woman in the resistance who was captured by the Gestapo, suffered beatings, kickings, wooden splinters driven under her nails, the rack (also known as the “bed of death”), and other unspeakable acts, until she finally took a cyanide capsule she had hidden in her clothes rather than endure any more. These were people from whom the Germans sought information.
Labeling as “torture” the CIA’s enhanced interrogation of people who would do us great harm is inaccurate and unfair. We are talking about people whose stated goals include destruction of the United States, and whose overt actions and those of their brethren have been directed at that goal. We are talking about the kind of people who take pride in beheading innocent Americans.
According to press reports, several past CIA directors and deputy directors, who interestingly were not interviewed for Senator Feinstein’s report, have indicated that enhanced interrogation did in fact generate useful intelligence, including information that led to finding Osama bin Laden. And U.S. Navy SEAL training includes a course on SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape), where interrogation tactics similar to those used by the CIA, including waterboarding, are used so if captured by an enemy the SEALs will be better able to withstand such tactics.
My friends and loved ones tortured by the Germans would gladly have traded places with anyone being waterboarded, handcuffed or isolated in coffins. And perhaps many of them would still be alive today.