Gen. Shelton served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs under Presidents Clinton and Bush 43. Photo: Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images
Before the confirmation process for Gina Haspel gets underway, 109 retired military officers representing the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard — including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Henry Hugh Shelton — signed a letter expressing concern over her nomination as CIA director. A key quote:
"[W]e do not accept efforts to excuse her actions relating to torture and other unlawful abuse of detainees by offering that she was 'just following orders,' or that shock from the 9/11 terrorist attacks should excuse illegal and unethical conduct. We did not accept the 'just following orders' justification after World War II, and we should not accept it now ... Individuals in the service of our country, even at the lowest levels, have a duty to refuse to carry out such actions."