Front-line duty

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IN ATTEMPTING to justify his previous proposition on whistle-blowers among our front-line troops, Neil Sinclair (Letters, 15 November) tells us that, as a nurse, he would have reported abuse of patients.

Presumably, he would not have witnessed a massacre of other patients in the ward. The war situation involves merciless killing. The last thing soldiers would want would be some pious individual reminding them that life is precious, when they have just seen enemies and friends being blown to pieces.

There are, of course, situations where whistle-blowing is correct. The front line is not one of them. The soldier who was imprisoned is more sinned against than sinning. He was sent out to kill the enemy and we have punished him for doing just that. It is nonsense to believe that, by our Gilbertian sense of duty, we have earned the undying respect of our enemies. We have surely provoked their laughter and their contempt.

Frank McDonald