Journal: Chuck Spinney Sends–On Torture–While Obama Signs Law Blocking Release of Torture Photos

09 Terrorism, 10 Security, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Methods & Process, True Cost
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Shades of Abu Ghraib

by Alistair Horne

National Interest

10.27.2009

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

THE GRISLY subject of torture is back with us again, with fresh allegations of CIA misconduct. It is a subject which first came to occupy my thoughts when I was writing a book on the Algerian War, A Savage War of Peace, back in the 1970s. It has never left me.

. . . . . . .

YET NOT everyone was to become an apologist. Slowly, dissent and discord would rise. General Jacques de la Bollardière, a distinguished senior officer, highly decorated for his courage during World War II and sentenced to death in absentia by the collaborationist Vichy regime, was one such voice.   . . .

The terrible danger there would be for us to lose sight, under the fallacious pretext of immediate expediency, of the moral values which alone have, up till now, created the grandeur of our civilisation and of our army.

For this fundamental breach of military discipline, the general was sentenced to sixty days “fortress arrest,” the most severe punishment meted out to any senior officer in the Algerian War to date.

About the same time as this, however, Governor General Lacoste received a letter of resignation from an even more influential figure, Paul Teitgen, the prefect of Algiers.

Meanwhile, with a tip of the hat to Steady Info’s Bookmarks

Obama signs law blocking release of torture photos

“We are disappointed that the president has signed a law giving the Defense Department the authority to hide evidence of its own misconduct, and we hope the defense secretary will not take advantage of that authority by suppressing photos related to the abuse of prisoners,” Jameel Jaffer, national security director for the ACLU, said in a statement.

Phi Beta Iota: We strongly recommend the entire piece be read, and believe it should also be a standard item for reading by all officers at each level of their career.   Robert Steele sent Mike Hayden a letter strongly advising against torture, and also was one of a handful of CIA clandestine officers (along with Admiral Turner) that signed the letter to Senator McCain.  History will judge us all.  Not a single intelligence leader in the past three decades is likely to survive that judgment.  Will Durant among many others makes clear that the strategic loss of moral standing is a catastrophic consequence of tactical torture.