Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Disturbing Survey

This, on the front page of today's Washington Post, is disturbing:

More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about insurgents, the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the life of a fellow soldier.

In addition, about two-thirds of Marines and half the Army troops surveyed said they would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying civilian property unnecessarily. "Less than half of Soldiers and Marines believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect," the Army report stated.

The Post reports that the Army has responded by changing its training to place more emphasis on battlefield ethics.

[Update: A redacted version of the report is available here.]