The Case of Allen West

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Allen R. Naugle, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, spent four months in Iraq and Kuwait and is slated to return home soon. Another officer, Army Lt. Col. Allen West, faces charges for allegedly improper interrogation of a detainee, prompting a number of conservatives to rally to the man's defense. When Naugle received an online petition urging "Col. West's reprieve from prosecution and return to duty," he e-mailed this reply to his colleagues:

It is indeed rare that I find myself in complete disagreement with the conservative establishment, but this is one of those times. I find it distressing and troubling that Christians and conservatives are espousing, in essence, that the ends justify the means.

I take no issue with Lt Col West's motives. He was jealous with the lives of his soldiers. For that, he is to be commended. I too zealously guard those whom the people of the United States entrust to my care. But I cannot, and will not, place my life and theirs in higher import than the rule of law.

If Lt Col West is indeed guilty of that which he is being charged, he violated DOD and Army standards. He may have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He may also have violated the Geneva Conventions, to which the U.S. is a signatory, and which carry the force of law for the U.S. Armed Forces. To put it quite simply, he may have crossed the line from aggressive soldiering to criminalized inhumanity.

We, as a nation, object when other nation-states use torture, in whatever form, against U.S. personnel, be they military or civilian. And rightly so. Torture has no place in a civilized society. However, if we are to support West's actions, then we have no moral or intellectual standing to object when others detain and torture Americans in order to extract information that could potentially save the lives of those who would engage in violence against us.

It is only a very short intellectual distance from torturing purported 'enemies' to winking at the torture of detainees in America. And that would take us one step further away from representative democracy, and one step closer to a place we dare not approach. And that is a step that Christians and conservative should be actively oppposing!

Perhaps, once the facts are in evidence at his trial, he will be adjudged as to have committed no crime. But in any event, the ends do not justify the means, however noble the cause may or may not have been. And morality is not situational. No man, especially someone who has taken an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America, is above the law.

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  1. It is often said that military command has less interest in entering conflict than their civilian masters. It might have something to do with the fact that these guys realise the actual cost of these endeavours. The other reason why the military folks are often (at least on the surface) more level headed is that they don’t have to get up in front of the citizens and rally support for a cause. They’re just following orders. Politicians and other elected officials have a different agenda altogether.

  2. Oops, and another thing….Well done Col. Naugle, it’s good to see somebody prepared to stand up for basic rule of law and humane treatment. I love his comment about morality not being situational. Classic!

  3. After a year or so, the colonial mind-set will have sunk in enough that no one will question such activities.

  4. Cheers for Lt. Col Naugle!

  5. Good job for Lt Col Naugle for keeping the moral high road. The rule of law is an important law to keep.

  6. Once again joe and I agree. Although I would change “ideological cheerleaders” to “civilian masters”, and include all politicians, not just right-wingers like Hannity and company.

  7. Applying Naugle’s commitment to principle over effectiveness of outcome would alter many debates. If Jean Bart is correct, it becomes more important to acknowledge such demonstrations of character before they are overwhelmed.

  8. Once again joe and I agree. Although I would change “ideological cheerleaders” to “civilian masters”, and include all politicians, not just right-wingers like Hannity and company.

  9. Of course the rule of law has a much better chance if you’re not murdered.

  10. After a year or so, the colonial mind-set will have sunk in enough that no one will question such activities.

    Hopefully not, but we shall see.

    I wonder if that has happened in the Ivory Coast?

  11. You’ve got to be kidding me. The guy fired his weapon away from the detainee to scare him. What the hell is wrong with that?

  12. Anon @ 2:19-

    If that’s all he did then maybe it isn’t so bad and he’ll be acquitted. Naugle’s point was not about the specifics of the case, it was about the general attitude of the guy’s defenders. Defend him by saying “his actions were in accord with federal and military law”, not “the ends justify the means.”

    Although I have a certain sympathy for that attitude in some severe cases, that sympathy is tempered by the knowledge that very bad things can happen when military personnel are allowed to disregard the rule of law. I’m not paranoid enough to think we’ll turn into Zimbabwe, but I think the reason we won’t turn into Zimbabwe is that most people in uniform care deeply about the rule of law, and they will not tolerate colleagues who don’t share that attitude.

  13. Yes, the gun was fired away from his head, however, the good Colonel first threatened to kill the detainee and then fired a shot near his head. Tell me if any cop in the United States would get away with that, even if it did save lives.

    Now, I admit, soldiers are not police officers but, we all trust them not to abuse their power.

    If any of my soldiers did something like that, I’d turn their sorry asses in myself.

  14. I’d say the problem with this story is both LTC West and LTC Naugle are right. I also think it’s intersting that LTC Naugle is in the Air Force, who do most of their killing (and very little dying) from 30,000 feet.

  15. Yes, the gun was fired away from his head, however, the good Colonel first threatened to kill the detainee and then fired a shot near his head. Tell me if any cop in the United States would get away with that, even if it did save lives.

    The point that commentators have been making is that scaring the shit out of someone is not torture. Naugle writes to say that we must not allow torture, but I think that most of the commentators who have criticized the prosecution of West would not be doing so, had he actually tortured anyone. Whether or not Americans cops could get away with similar behavior is irrelevant, in my opinion. I’m sure West didn’t Mirandize the guy he was interrogating, either.

    Also, condoning torture wouldn’t “take us one step further away from representative democracy”; the two things have nothing to do with one another. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that a large majority of Americans would, if asked “a soldier fired his gun to scare a prison into giving up information. the information then prevented American soldiers from being killed. should the soldier be prosecuted for firing the gun?”, would answer “no”. 🙂

    The facts of the case may well be worse for West than what has come to light so far. But, based on what I have heard and read thus far, I’m very glad West did what he did.

  16. bennett, I certainly second that emotion, as well. But I was referring, specifically, to those who fetishize militarism, warfare, and conquest.

  17. “I’m much more impressed with military personnel than with their ideological cheerleaders back home.”

    I’m not buying it. As a former member of the USN I know that what the brass says in public is a far cry from how the system actually handles things. I served in the mid 80’s. At that time things ran this way:
    Get the job done any way you can. If something “bad” happens (i.e. someone dies, or something expensive breaks) conduct an investigation. Said investigation will find a scapegoat responsible. The first choice of scapegoat is ‘one of the dead guys’ next an enlisted guy, but if there’s enough paperwork covering everybody’s ass sometimes an officer will have to be held responsible. In the event that the scapegoat is dead, a simple “it was his fault” finding is sufficient to sweep the whole thing under the rug. If an enlisted man, sometimes prison and hard labor, other times a mere ‘other than honorable’ discharge. If an officer, official reprimand and demotion for a couple of years till the flap blows over then reinstatement to former rank. The system breaks down when the civilian press takes an interest. The case of Seaman Clayton Hartwig is absolutely typical of my experience.

  18. Look, if there’s any evidence he did anything wrong, prosecute him and let the court decide. But I haven’t heard anyone allege the guy did anything worse than fire his weapon to scare the prisoner. It’s silly to call that torture, and it’s silly to prosecute him.

  19. Try this hypothetical:

    Terrorists have planted some kind of really bad, bad bomb in an unknown American city. You have one of the terrorists in custody, and he apparently knows where the bomb is. He smugly sits in his cell and says, “I will not talk, Crusader dogs. Fuck you Jew-Christian pigfuckers, etc., etc. Where’s my ACLU attorney?”

    If you don’t get the information out of him, and soon, many thousands if not millions will die. What do you do?

  20. shoot the hostage!

    oh, sorry….

  21. Tough cases make bad law, Tom. I’d violate the law, with the full expectation of prosecution.

  22. I actually agree with joe. Every time Dershowitz says we should have tortue warrants, I cringe. No law enforcement official should be obligated to torture a prisoner. If there’s really a situation like Tom describes, most cops would torture the suspect. I seriously doubt any DA would bring charges for it, and if they did, no jury would convict. I’m comfortable with that.

  23. A veteran of military circa 1980s, I take exception to Warren’s post. It’s dead wrong.

  24. But West didn’t torture anybody.

  25. Well, on the general question of torture (rather than the specific case at hand) I accept that if the clock is ticking on, say, a nuke in Los Angeles (as in the show 24), suspects will be tortured. It’s not good, but it’s better than the alternative. After the crisis has blown over, the people who did the torture (i.e. broke the law) can expect an investigation with the full benefit of 20/20 hindsight. If it turns out that the torture was unnecessary (e.g. the necessary info on the bomb’s location came from some other source) or unproductive (e.g. the suspect didn’t break, or died before he could talk) the cops who broke the law can expect to be punished for, well, breaking the law. But if it turns out that the torture was necessary, it will be forgotten.

    Not a perfect system, but one that I accept for nightmare scenarios. For any scenario short of nightmare, however, I am against torture for a lot of reasons, including the fact that a suspect is just a suspect, not somebody whose guilt has been established beyond a reasonable doubt.

  26. Thoreau,

    It might depend on your definition of nightmare scenario. If I or any of my small team of men might be gunned down in the next half hour based on whether or not a suspect gives us some information, that’s a pretty personal nightmare scenario. It’s hard to imagine a military officer thinking, “We might all be dead soon if we don'[t get the word out of this guy, but at least we haven’t taken one step further away from representative democracy.”

    This is a situation that none of us, unless we are actually there making a decision in real time, can truly judge one way or the other.

  27. Tom From Texas,

    Thus no one is really ever accountable; because we could never really be there. Is this how the legal system in Texas works? *LOL*

  28. As an earlier poster said, I would violate the law, torture the terrorist (with no small degree of satisfaction, I am ashamed to admit), and THEN ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES. If Col West is guilty as charged, I will have mixed feelings, but no doubts whatsoever that punishment is necessary. Col Naugle is correct, the temptation to use torture in extreme cases will lead to the use of torture in many cases, and finally the use of torture in ALL cases. Do we really need to look at Saddam’s torture chambers again to remember where this begins?

    Suggesting that any of us would choose the deaths of millions (or thousands, or dozens, or …) to preserve a ‘no-torture’ principle is nonsense, of course. But it would still be wrong, and that isn’t changed, whatever we might decide in a desparate moment…

  29. Scott-

    I like your answer. There may be cases where torture is necessary to save lives, but there should probably still be consequences for torture in such cases. The person doing the torture should have to decide whether the ends not only justify the means, but whether they are also worth receiving punishment for.

    And I can’t agree with Tom’s idea that none of us, unless we are actually there making a decision in real time, can truly judge one way or the other. There’s a reason why we have laws. There’s a reason why the military has procedures. One might disagree with the particular laws and procedures in place, but the idea that nobody can judge another person’s actions in a time of extreme pressure debases the whole concept of the rule of law and military discipline.

  30. Good shot, JB. I am still proud of the fact that well into my childhood, if a Texan caught his wife in bed with another man, he could legally shoot the cheatin’ bitch. If he plugged the guy, however, he could swing.

    This is all a case of situational ethics. Col. West did what seemed appropriate to him at the time. Let the evidence be sifted and a fair verdict reached.

    And to echo a previous poster re Col Naugle of the USAF, let it be remembered that the U.S. Air Force and its predecessor killed more German, Japanese, North Vietnamese and Iraqi civilians than the U.S. Army and Marines combined. Air Force pilots just never had to look any of them in the eyes.

  31. The linked article is a little light on details. I seem to recall hearing the detainee was actually a police officer. Not that it matters much as to the soldier’s guilt or innocence, but it is a bit odd (if true) that a police officer would withhold information on illegal activity about to take place. Maybe that makes him an unlawful combatant?

    If I were in the soldier’s position, I’d scare the prisoner and turn myself in. HAHAHAHA – fooled you! I’d get the info, shoot him dead if I thought I could get away with it, and look around to make sure none of the nerdy guys saw me do it. If I thought some dickhead would turn me in, I’d fire a few round next to his head and…opps, forgot, this is serious talk here…

  32. Does anyone have any info as to how the details of Col. West’s alleged activities came to light? Were any media present? Disgruntled GIs? A soldier with a conscience? An Iraqi?

  33. Yes the suspect was posing as an Iraqi police officer and was a double agent.

  34. To: I’m Just Curious How Many Characters The Hit & Run Software Will Accept For Posters’ Names So I Am Typing A Really Long Sentence Here — Let’s See If It All Fits, Shall We. (Inspired By “AM Talk Show Host of Your Choice” Up Above)

    From: Sam

    Thanks for the kind words in favor of Naugle. We appreciate it. Please come back.

  35. “Does anyone have any info as to how the details of Col. West’s alleged activities came to light?”

    I seem to remember from watching O’Reilly a few days ago that West himself reported the incident to his command at some point after he was back in the U.S.

  36. Thanks, Doug. If such is so, then this case is getting curiouser and curiouser.

  37. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’m much more impressed with military personnel than with their ideological cheerleaders back home.

    Good for you, Col. Naugle.

  38. I completely agree. Some of the right wing radio hosts were really, seriously creeping me out on this one. Good to know they’re not speaking for the military.

  39. F@*king Liberal Lt. Col. Naugle! These are terrorist scum, there is nothing human about them! Torture them, get the info, then torture some more!

  40. Wow: That was eloquent.

  41. Anybody else receive an e-mail from the Colonel? Just curious.

  42. Mark Bowden has a piece in the Atlantic a few months ago that talked about such things. He has an interview on atlantic online. Also, a tiny thread, or at least links, at:

    http://gmapalumni.org/boards/viewtopic.php?p=99#99

    (Prof Rochard Shultz at Fletcher asks these exact questions of the international diplomacy students. You’d be surprised at the responses…)

  43. You who believe Lt Col West didn’t torture that prisoner should review the Geneva Conventions Relative to the Treatment of POWs. You might think differently if you actually read the law for yourself vice parroting what others have said it says.

  44. Sadly, Lt. Colonel Naugle has probably commited a career ending sin. He went public with a dissenting position, and worse, he was right. If only he were running for office. Men of his character are rare.

  45. Tom from Texas

    As I recall the Tex law was the other way around, one was allowed to shoot the male lover but not the wife; this was based on the Spanish belief that women were weak and unable to resist the immportunes of seducers (like smooth talking Frenchmen, like JB:)), unlike the Anglo-Saxon/Irish attitude that all guys chase pussy and that any chic unable to resist is just a slut (this is the attitude that prevailed elsewhere in North America until the 1970’s).

    But to get on this thread, joe et al who have observed the dedication to duty and the rule of law of Col. Naugle, it again makes me realize that the American miltary is (generally) in good hands (but not the US govt).

    Jean Bart:

    “After a year or so, the colonial mind-set will have sunk in enough that no one will question such activities.”

    Remember however bad it gets “the colonial mind-set” never quite “[sinks]…in ” in America. In the end a strange American decency and idealism takes over, at least I hope it wlll,…this time.

  46. YOU IDIOTS!

    There won’t be any morality to uphold if we’re all dead!

    You can’t fight this enemy “by the rules”. The entire reason for going to war is to save American lives. It’s seems moronic to sacrifice lives for some moral high ground. Win the war and bring home the troops ALIVE!

  47. I believe that what the good Colonel did was ethical under the circumstances. I do not believe that _he_, as a serving American military officer, should have been doing it . . . setting this as an example to his personnel and by extension to the US military as “something an officer does.” By definition his actions represent the Congress of the United States of America.

    I am deeply concerned about the slippery slope presented here, and by the abject failure of many people involved in this issue to recognize the consequences of turning a vile and horrid necessity into some sort of twisted virtue.

    In the language of military citations, a particularly brave or noble act is recognized as being “in the highest traditions of the United States Army.” Lt. Col. West’s conduct was NOT and should NOT be part of the tradition of the United States Army.

    Therefore, I believe that Lt. Col. West should be hit up for one count of “conduct unbecoming an officer” and dismissed from military service on that ground.

  48. Since I started this thread, I’ll throw a post in. I’ve gotten weary of the Nintendo Warriors who want to draw a distinction between ground and aerial combat.

    30,000 feet or 3 feet is irrelevant. Combat is combat. I carried three litters, all with dead troopers on them, in the past four months. I have a blood stain on a combat boot that will be a forever reminder to me about the horrors, and rigors, of combat. I watched C-130s and H-60s popping flares as they flew out of Baghdad, hoping that the SAM would miss. I somehow doubt that those aircrewmen found their combat experience any less terrifying than the tankers in the 1st Armored.

    Lt Col West was a battalion commander. It’s obvious that his brigade commander lost faith in him, as his commander fired him fairly quickly on learning of the incident. He was in the position of command because he had been adjudged to be someone who could handle the pressures, ALL of them. Whether he committed a crime remains to be determined, but what is obvious is that he couldn’t handle the pressure, and he lost the confidence of his commander.

    And remember that more airmen in the Eighth Air Force died over Europe than the sum total of Marines who have been killed in combat over the entire course of US history.

    Lastly, do not deign to lecture warriors as some did in their comments. Unless you’ve been there, you have no standing to do so.

  49. I was looking at Nightline last night and former CIA agents were talking about how if a captive becomes too uncooperative we hand them over to countries not so squeamish when it comes to torture. Which is to say we engage in torture only we out-source the work. This is a case of the Frenchmen snacking on Foie Grois congratulating himself on being too sensitive to ever harm an animal.

    The more I think about what West did the more I approve of his actions. He was not systematically torturing Iraqi prisoners, he was not randomly filling pits with summery executions, he, on one single occasion, in a matter that was time sensitive and specific, threatened to shoot a known Iraqi operative to save Americans and by all accounts was successful.

    The prisoner was not killed. The enemy was foiled. American lives were saved. It could not have gone any better.

    To me this is like canning Patton for slapping an ENEMY solider. War is not an exercise in manners. We are playing for keeps and if a bit of unorthodox coercion that would have us cheering if tv cop Andy Sipowicz did it is going to be used as an excuse deny a real person his pension after 20 years of service– something is way out of balance and shame on us.

    Perhaps there is something to this case that has not been made public. Or perhaps West’s self-righteous detractors see themselves as the heroic Captain Vere hanging Billy Budd to satisfy the niceties of the Geneva convention. If the latter, satisfy the niceties with a letter of reprimand then solute Col. West and allow him to retire with honer.

  50. If I’m not mistaken, the Geneva convention is not kind to spies either…

  51. LTC KILLED NOBODY
    HE HURT NOBODY
    HE SAVED AMERICAN LIVES…

    If this is against the law, then the LAWS must change!!!

  52. OK….I have sat here now and read I think almost every comment made and some of them make me wanna puke….1st off and most importantly I can stand up and say I have known LTC West since he was a young CPT….He is a outstanding officer, even if some of the pantywaists posting here thinks differently. I have been in contact with LTC West and his family.
    2nd point I would like to stress is that I am a retired NCO….with combat time in both Vietnam and Desert Storm and believe me the rules our police have to follow can not be applied in combat…and for those that think we are NOT in comabt I dare you to contact any of the next of kin of those soldiers killed recently. Also please someone remind me again what country have we been in combat with that followed the rules of the Geneva Convention??? Now before you all go even farther to the left on me….I know and truly believe we should be above those actions…but lets look at what few facts we do know..Did LTC West stike the “suspect”??…NO…
    Did he shoot him even after he found out the “suspect” was in fact a spy??…NO….
    Soooo what did he do…he obtained info about a planned attack on LTC West’s troops and foiled that attack…..and it was LTC West himself that once the info was obtained he went to his commander and gave a FULL report.
    I know this will upset some of you…but guess what….I don’t care…I just thought you needed to look at this from a real vets viewpoint.
    My full support and prayers go out to LTC West…his family and ALL the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines still over there.

  53. I agree with Ric Riggs. It seems that some people think only qualified those who have served in combat have a right to judge here. While others are simply armchair generals. Well I have served in the Republic of Vietnam from 66 to 68 and have had the VSM awarded 5 times so I believe that qualifies me. Here is my letter to the White House. Maybe it will never be read but my $100 dollar check to Col. West ‘s wife to help pay the attorneys bill will make a difference.

    Dear Mr. President.

    After 9/11 I commented to my wife that I was not sure the United States had the stomach for war. This was based in part by interviews made by the New York Post with people on the street asking if they would serve if their country asked them to. The responses varied but one that sticks in my mind is a drama major that replied, “War was not for him, but that other people are more suited for that task, that he was a lover and anyway he was trying to get his degree”.

    That response troubled me and I hoped that this was not the norm as I expected this to be a protracted war. It is because of brave men like Lt. Col. Allen B. West that individuals like the ones interviewed by New York Post can sleep safely at night. Over the years I have seen the military degraded by the concept of political correctness, which can only serve to help on enemy. We fight people who are prepared to kill themselves over a cause not unlike the kamikaze pilots of the Second World War. We cannot be weak at heart.

    Atrocities occur that is a fact of war; from his reported actions I do not believe his actions were in the same class as war atrocities. Since 9/11 you have shown exemplary leadership and determination in this war of ideals. I trust you will review this case carefully and protect this individual from what appears to be an injustice.

    Courage is defined as “The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery”. We need more men like Lt. Col. West.

    God Bless you and the United States of America.

  54. If your son/daughter was a member of LTC West’s unit (suffering numerous ambushes/guerilla warfare/etc), what would you want him to do?

  55. This is very interesting. Let me get this strait. You can drop a bomb that kills 10,000 of the enemy, but if you yell at him and punch him you get kicked out of the US armed forces???? Hmm does not sound right. Maybe I read this issue wrong.

  56. Maybe they should have stuck a bomb to the Iraqi’s back and dropped him out of a helicopter from 20,000 ft.!! Make it look like a sucide bomber accident.

  57. That is dumb. How can it be a suicide bomber from 20,000 ft? He would have landed like a pancake. They could have put him in a crate and tried to mail it to Sadamm. When he opens it boom!!! Plus they can find out where the dirty bastard is.

  58. (1) Geneve Convention as quoted is inapplicable. It applies to POW, which the cop was not.
    (2) Portions of Geneva apply to civilians in occupied country. Highly questionable if a cop working for us would get that protection – but a “leagle beagle” would have to answer that one.
    (3) Psychological pressure of this type is not, as far as I know, against Geneva accords nor against US military law nor most certainly against US military tradition. LTC Naugle’s statements are extreme as applied to the case. Yes, if West tortured someone, he crossed the line – but torture is not defined as psychological pressure anywhere outside the near boundary of the wacko left.
    (4) No one seems to have discussed the Army values, which are official policy. One of them is loyalty. I have carried in my wallet for 23 years a card which states (paraphrased) that you don’t leave your buddies behind and you don’t let ’em die. That IS official Army policy.
    Conclusion 1: Psyops against a thug to save your men is not only not illegal, it is mandatory for US Army personnel, and particularly officers (commissioned or noncommissioned) into whose care those men are given.

    Next….
    If the Ahab was in fact an enemy agent (and in some sense he clearly was – it is not disputed that he possessed correct information about a planned ambush) guess what folks – Geneva convention applies all right…and it specifically says he has NO PROTECTION AT ALL. You can shoot a spy out of hand, no trial, no nuttin’, honey. I can look up the article if anyone cares to know. When you operate against a lawful combatant without benefit of the required minima, you are an unlawful combatant and lose all status and protection. On that basis, LTC West is probably completely clear vis a vis the psywar bit he played.
    Doubt me? Hell, I’ve done this with our own troops. As an XO (twenty years ago), I wanted to show my troops what real psychological pressure meant. I was running our OPFOR during an exercise. We took prisoners, smeared them with ketchup, “beat” heavy pillows and sleeping bags and had OPFOR guys grunt and scream (while the “victim”, out of sight of other the waiting prisoners) had his mouth taped shut. They talked right smartly. Did I get in trouble? No, because I didn’t do anything illegal under the law of war – at least according to the Division JAG, who got asked.
    I completely agree with LTC Naugle that allowing torture is terribly dangerous. Rommel conducted war the way he did quite specifically because he said it was beastly enough without losing control of your men, and allowing barbarism guaranteed you would lose control. Would I do it if my men’s lives depended on it?
    You don’t know until you are there, my friends.
    LWizzel
    26 years
    USMC / US Army

  59. Ok Mr. Naugle, your all wrong! This guy saved his whole unit and now there gonna put him in jail for it? That’s bull. I also learned that West went to my High School in Atlanta. I’m totally on this guy’s side. By the way, what kind of name is Naugle?

  60. Ahem. Retired soldier here. Mission completion and jealous protection of the lives of those under his command – the ONLY things that matter. Seems to me (not very bright artilleryman that I am) that LTC West satisfied both requirements in one action. His enemies were, thanks to the information he elicited, unable to assassinate him or his men. Mission complete. Lives protected. EOM.

  61. I think a reprieve should be given, and the punishment light. Though the rules were broken, they saved the lives of his men. In a pressure situation such as this, he had to think fast. Yes he broke the law, but with extenuating circumstances. Intimidation is not torture. In America, that is coersion. We should consider this before passing judgement

  62. The Genevea Convention was written by imbeciles. It is stupid to make rules of war, which are never followed by one of the sides in a war. Think about it: Name me a single war since they were instituted where both sides followed the Genevea convention. The only thing the Geneva convention does is let innocent people die on the side that actually follows it.

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