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P.O.Box 1142
Old 12-19-2007, 05:10 PM   #1
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P.O.Box 1142

Very interesting story if you are interested in WWII history. What if the media of WWII had had a big front page expose on this "not exactly legal" operation?

According to a history cobbled together by the National Park Service, the unit was conceived as an Army/Navy installation to gather information from prisoners who had been captured or surrendered and were brought to the United States for questioning. Germany had superior technology, particularly in rocketry and submarines, and the information that was gleaned from interrogations gave the United States an advantage going into the Cold War and the space age.
In the beginning, the prisoners were mostly U-boat crew members who had survived the sinking of their submarines in the Atlantic Ocean. As the war progressed, P.O. Box 1142 shifted its attention to some of the most prominent scientists in Germany, many of whom surrendered and gave up information willingly, hoping to be allowed to stay in the United States.
The prisoners stayed at Fort Hunt for as little as two or three weeks and as long as nine months. They were held incommunicado; when they had told everything they knew, they were transferred to regular POW camps elsewhere in the United States, and the Red Cross was then notified of their capture. After the war, some returned to Germany, and some stayed in the United States, slipping into the fabric of American life.

No mention of waterboarding however...
Further explanation was forbidden. The more than 3,400 prisoners who stayed there were off the books, too, partly because operations at Fort Hunt were "not exactly legal" according to the Geneva Conventions, the National Park Service said.
WP: WWII interrogators break silence - Washington Post -

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Old 12-19-2007, 06:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Very interesting story if you are interested in WWII history. What if the media of WWII had had a big front page expose on this "not exactly legal" operation?

No mention of waterboarding however...

WP: WWII interrogators break silence - Washington Post -
Great read, I was impressed by these two paragraphs in the article

His past revisited him once, at a scientific conference in Paris. In passing, he locked eyes with another scientist, a man he had interrogated in a cramped cell years ago.

"He looked at me, and I heard him say to someone in German: 'That was my prison warden,' " Mandel said. The two men shook hands. The exchange was respectful and friendly, he said.

The article leads me to beleive that the prisoners were not tortured and the information was coaxed out of them.

It was a wonderful read and a part of American history which needs to be told and recorded. KUDOS to the National Park Service and Park Rangers.

War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Seek peace, and pursue it. - Psalms 34:14
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