Torture, according to US Senator John McCain “compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies”.  That distinction became less clear this week.

The Senate intelligence committee’s report into torture by the CIA in the years after 9/11 makes difficult reading, including many cruel and unusual techniques that yielded little information but certainly “stained” the national honour.

Bad things happen in war but they happen in business too: scandals in banking and healthcare may not be as gut-wrenching but they all have their roots in poor leadership.

What does this mean for leadership?

It is the role of leadership to tirelessly ensure that the ‘how’ is aligned to the ‘why’: if the ‘why’ was freedom and justice in the world then torture was a very unlikely ‘how’.

This report is a positive step but oversight would have been better than hindsight.