Monday, December 22, 2014

Verschärfte Vernehmung

I remember reading a book by Condorcet, translated from the French. It was elegant and easy reading prose. Perhaps it was just an excellent translator, or even in translation there is a flow of French clarity. Now, German sounds klunky, and German word length appears longer, but each language makes sense in its own sphere. Now, much of the world has adopted the words 'television' and 'refrigerator'. Not too long ago these were new inventions. They were not items that existed in cultures for centuries. The Germans decided to use German words instead of adopting the new coinages. 'Fernseher' is a direct translation for 'television'. 'Kühlschrank' is a cold (or cooling) cupboard, not a direct translation, but an adequate local description. It is true, that, more languages and people recognise 'television' and 'refrigerator', than 'Fernseher' und 'Kühlschrank'; but they are accurate, straight forward, honest words.

'Verschärfte Vernehmung' is an orwellian term from the Third Reich. The first word's base is 'scharf' which is the exact same word as 'sharp', the prefix acts as an intensifier. 'Vernehmung' is an interrogation or verbal examination. After the war, those who conducted such things were prosecuted, and imprisoned. They were torturers, and the law did not permit this.

Now, Sunday, the New York Times [click] has called for prosecution of torturers who conducted Verschärfte Vernehmung, or as it is called in English, 'enhanced interrogation'. The list would include "Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers".

Until the aftermath of the 2006 elections, it was not possible to get a microphone to criticise the fascism of the régime. I wrote several times in the previous journal [click] touching on torture. After 2006 the power of the busheviks was dwindling. bushjr, himself, was known to be unhappy with his senior ruling partner. In the 2008 elections, the Republican Party was in a public panic about possible war crimes prosecution. Many Democrats within America (but not professional government officeholders) wanted investigation and prosecution. The new president, and his attorney general never acted, nor spoke on this. The Republicans were wanting to stall, or derail the confirmation of Holder, on the fear of such action. There has been this bipartisan pass on the criminality of Republican Party government criminality concerning international law.

The New York Times (even when it is less than perfect) is the standard of the press. We see repeatedly, when the 'conservative' or the 'reich wing' spout an issue, it is often echoed and continued through out the press, even when it is nonsense or mendacious. We wait to see if the press will call and cry for justice.
addendum: Why is torture done? Because it is effective? No, it is done because it is cruel.
Shakespeare told us it was ineffective:
PORTIA: Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack,
Where men enforced do speak anything. — The Merchant of Venice III. ii. 33-4.
John McCain is a typical Republican, they goosestep the entire programme. But when some of these Republicans actually encounter something real, they can make an exception on that one thing they know. McCain was tortured. On this subject, he is knowledgeable. He is publicly always against it.

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