YOUR VIEWS | Fort Hunt Prison Was Not Squeaky Clean


To the editor:

I noted your articles clear contention that the World War II German prisoner facility at Fort Hunt was operated humanely, and that U.S. staff there did not engage in harsh treatment or extralegal measures (Address with a Hidden Past, July 9-15, 2009). In particular, I noted Rep. Jim Morans praising comments about the Fort Hunt facility, and his criticism that the U.S. government recently has violated the rule of law with impunity, in terms of such prisoner treatment matters.

However, in perusing the National Park Services own website about Fort Hunt Park, I found a strikingly different tone. Its article entitled Fort Hunt: the Forgotten Story says the following:

… [the World War II prisoner] operations at Fort Hunt were not exactly legal according to the Geneva Code of Conventions. Prisoners from whom the Allies felt they might obtain valuable information, particularly submarine crews, were transferred to Fort Hunt immediately after their capture. There they were held incommunicado and questioned incessantly until they either volunteered what they knew or convinced the Americans that they were not going to talk. Only then were they transferred to a regular POW camp and the International Red Cross notified of their capture.

Im surely no expert on this subject, but it seems to me that a simple check of some reliable sources calls into question the main thrust of your page one expose.

Daryl M. Plunk