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Thread: P.O. Box 1142

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    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Default P.O. Box 1142

    Is this some sort of spam thread, you may be asking. No, this is a local history thread. P.O. Box 1142 was the code name for the top-secret military interrogation center during WWII located on the grounds of Fort Hunt in Fairfax County. Thousands of war prisoners were brought to the facility to be interrogated by U.S. military officials. The methods used were relatively mild in the history of warfare. One particularly brutal tactic was to engage the prisoner in a fierce game of... chess. (Things were apparently different back then.)

    After the war ended, most of the buildings were torn down. The site is now Fort Hunt Park, which lies just off the Mt. Vernon Trail and the GW Parkway, about a mile east of Mount Vernon.

    The WashCycle posted an item about proposed changes and improvements to the park today. You can comment on the NPS proposal:

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document...cumentID=48013


    If you just want to read about P.O. Box 1142, check out these old articles from NPR and the W. Post:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=93635950

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...100502492.html

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    baiskeli's Avatar
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    Yes, the Wash Po history is cool. Note that the interrogators said they got more intelligence using their tactics than our modern, fascist, unAmerican torture ever did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Yes, the Wash Po history is cool. Note that the interrogators said they got more intelligence using their tactics than our modern, fascist, unAmerican torture ever did.
    Not too related, but our modern torture isn't really that modern... Teddy Roosevelt's Administration used similar water-type techniques on Fillipinos over 100 years ago. Go further back and we tarred and feathered the taxman.

    Back to the Ft Hunt--interesting on the location. I had no idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    Not too related, but our modern torture isn't really that modern... Teddy Roosevelt's Administration used similar water-type techniques on Fillipinos over 100 years ago. Go further back and we tarred and feathered the taxman.
    Well, yeah, if you go back far enough.

    But we shouldn't be going backwards.

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    In general, our treatment of German POWs as a whole was pretty progressive and brilliant. We separated hard core political nazis from apolitical German soldiers. We didn't do much with the sequestered Nazis, but the others were offered many opportunities. The Army drafted university professors to teach the Germans English, democracy, and American history. The aim was to accept the fact that someday they were going to have to let these prisoners go and up until then the ordinary German had a very tainted exposure to concepts like democracy. Many of the German POWs went home to Germany and became pro-western bulwarks in the new West Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan von Buckingham View Post
    In general, our treatment of German POWs as a whole was pretty progressive and brilliant. We separated hard core political nazis from apolitical German soldiers. We didn't do much with the sequestered Nazis, but the others were offered many opportunities. The Army drafted university professors to teach the Germans English, democracy, and American history. The aim was to accept the fact that someday they were going to have to let these prisoners go and up until then the ordinary German had a very tainted exposure to concepts like democracy. Many of the German POWs went home to Germany and became pro-western bulwarks in the new West Germany.
    Yeah, that's another way we're going backwards.

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