From the beginning of the Algerian War, the central issue for most of its
critics was the use of torture. When confronted with evidence of torture,
French governments during the war claimed that it was the result of aberrant
behavior by individual soldiers or police officers. Yet, it was used systematically.
Beginning in 1955 every regiment of the French army had an interrogation
officer attached to it whose job it was to gain information by all
means, including torture. Special training schools were established instructing
the officers on “interrogation” techniques. Hundreds of thousands of
Algerians were tortured during the war. These facts have been known for years
and have been most recently documented in a dissertation based on the
French army archives.