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...though in a sense known to be true, are inadmissible." - George Orwell
General Paul Aussaresses is the quintessential French military man who played a key role in numerous junctures in recent French history, from fighting in the French underground during the Nazi occupation, to the war in Indochina, and finally, and most critically, in the Algerian war of independence, which spanned 1954-62. The depth and intensity of these experiences, particularly since much was on the losing side in a war, are unknown to Americans. There is a small group of others whose experiences spanned the same events; in general they have remained silent, nursing their memories in the French countryside, but as the inevitable appointment with the "grim reaper" draws nearer, they have elected to preserve their memories on paper. Helie de Saint Marc, a French sergeant, broke his silence in 1990. After the French resistance, and Indochina, he was so determined not to lose in Algeria that he joined the mutiny led by four French generals. The mutiny failed, and de Saint Marc spent five years in prison. The story is available at:Helie de Saint Marc (French Edition)
Aussaresses, though he did not consider it such, had his own personal mutiny, and betrayed his scruples about the use of torture, eventually fully embracing this tactic, and going on to teach its use to Americans (Special Forces troops at Ft. Bragg, in 1966), as well as the Brazilian military dictatorship in the `70's.
Aussaresses broke his silence 10 years after de Saint Marc, and only a few months prior to the events of 9-11, a pretext for the Americans to again embrace torture.Read more ›