Three Mansions In London

Ben Smith finds a 2005 article on a long-buried alleged torture center in three houses in London in the Second World War. I was unaware of this story and it is indeed disturbing, revealing credible allegations of classic torture techniques used later by Bush and Cheney. I was aware of accusations of mistreatment of prisoners in Europe, detailed here, but the Cobain story on the London Cage cannot be dismissed as the work of people far from supervision (and miscreants in the field found guilty of mistreatment were court-martialed). Equally, however, this needs noting:

It is impossible to discern, from the War Office archives, whether [commander Lieutenant Colonel Alexander] Scotland was regarded by this time as a maverick whose methods were to be quietly overlooked, or whether he was acting with clear, official approval...  It is clear, however, by late 1946 there was "disquiet about his methods" being expressed at the headquarters of the British army of the Rhine.

The man who ran the center was trained in the German army in Namibia, and may have been acting independently. If Churchill or others at the highest levels of command knew about and approved of this torture, then they are complicit and equally guilty of these war crimes. But that is not at all clear from the historical record - and the notion that "Churchill tortured" goes beyond the facts as they appear. It is clear that America's torturing was engineered and premeditated from the first month of the war from the top down - as is now clear from legal memos directed from the White House.