The Washington Times reports that "The Army has filed a criminal assault charge against an American officer who coerced an Iraqi into providing information that foiled a planned attack on U.S. soldiers.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West says he did not physically abuse the detainee, but used psychological pressure by twice firing his service weapon away from the Iraqi. After the shots were fired, the detainee, an Iraqi police officer, gave up the information on a planned attack around the northern Iraqi town of Saba al Boor." This nineteen year veteran has been charged with one count of aggravated assault. I can argue that this is not torture, and he got the information he needed and it saved the lives of some of his men (and his own), and therefore his action was justified. Yet, I can also see how we Americans are inclined to take a different view of these matters having to do with means and ends than our less scupulous enemies. On the third hand, prudence may dictate that the severity of the "crime" may not be sufficient to throw the guy out of the Army, or to give him the maximum sentence of eight years. I gather an imebedded reporter filed this story. Interesting, worth reading.