The first CIA agent to die in the war on terror was an evangelical Christian. He was killed on Sunday morning, November 25, 2001.
Questioning an Al Qaeda fighter in northern Afghanistan, Johnny "Mike" Spann asked the prisoner why he had come to Afghanistan. The prisoner shouted, "To kill you!" He lunged for Spann's throat, unleashing a prison riot. As prisoners rushed toward Spann, he fired on his attackers. When his weapons were empty, the prisoners killed Spann and booby-trapped his body.
The war on terror is a fight against fanatics. The day before Spann was killed, two prisoners carried out successful suicide attacks with grenades on two commanders of the Northern Alliance (America's Afghan allies). The next morning, a Western television crew recorded Spann and another CIA agent saying American officers would guarantee to abide by the Geneva Conventions only with prisoners they held—not with those in our Afghan allies' hands.
Spann didn't live long enough to experience the many dilemmas of terrorist interrogation, torture, and prisoner abuse. But had he done so, to whom could he have turned for Christian counsel? Could he have confided to his local pastor secrets that he was sworn to never divulge? The agent's job is uniquely dangerous, fraught with complex ethical dilemmas that few pastors and theologians have experienced.
In recent months, Christianity Today interviewed Christians serving in the military and intelligence services to gain their perspective on the fight against Al Qaeda, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and particularly the role of Christians in applyinig aggressive, torture-like interrogation methods.
Spying and the Bible
Christians told CT that they desperately needed biblical insight, because Christians ...1
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