The orders were illegal. The other part of it that bothers me more than that is this:
Torture does not obtain good intel. Fear either. It's an anachronistic procedure that is mainly myth (probably from the days of the Catholic purges). Put anyone in enough pain and they will tell you anything you want to hear. I'd suggest a reading of any of the American prisoners of the North Vietnamese if you doubt any soldiers ability to withstand pain.
To gain good intel requires treating prisoners with respect and dignity. One must be above what the prisoners are expecting and what they have received from their own folks. And intell is what gets people's lives saved, on both sides, by theoreticaly bringing (or at least hastens) the end of the conflict.
I must also say that what has occurred with regard to the Iraqi prisoners is not, in my opinion, torture by and large. The electric wires and beatings certainly are. But stacking them up naked is more of a Frat House prank. The negative side of it is the lack of adherence to a standard of what America purports to be, kind, caring, compassionate, and peaceful, makes the US appear to be no better than the idiots out chopping heads off.
In reality those chopping heads off are much more sadistic than anything I've witnessed. They are torturing the world with their garbage. My guess is they are making more enemies than anything else. Sorry for the thread drift -
And the General is either a National Guard or Reservist. Not regular Army. Just a clarification point from a statement made above.