Ten years late is better than never. In all wars there are extremes, there is death, there are atrocities, but that is not to say there are not laws which govern conflict in order to reduce unnecessary and disproportionate suffering. In our rush for revenge and to placate our fears after 9/11 — and to be sure there were few calls for restraint in those days — we made a big mistake and broke those laws; we took actions that were against who we are as a people, and not surprisingly our enemies were able to use the results to further harm our country. Congress has at last taken a strong measure to heal these self-inflicted wounds.
We registered the domain veterans-against-torture.org, have pointed it to our IP address, and added the title. It’s important that this site be a conduit not just for former experienced interrogators and intelligence professionals but for any veteran who wants to put forward his or her voice in support of human rights.
Charles has done a wonderful job with an essay about where to go now that we’ve got the anti-torture legislation passed.
From my perspective, I believe it would be valuable to have the themes of the Sherwood Moran letter work as the psychological and tactical basis for our new FM. It outlines the skills necessary for effective and humane intelligence interrogation. In fact, if I had only 24 hours to train an interrogator, I would hand him the Moran letter, tell him to memorize its contents, and move forward with the mission. Let it be the first thing read by our young intelligence professionals; put it at the very opening of the manual.