But its soldiers cannot be allowed to do their own thing, within or without the law.
True, no wrongdoing has been proved, but this episode emphasises the need to ensure that they act and fight under orders as much as any humble infantry squaddie.
Their record is remarkable, both in theatres of war and counter-terrorist operations – most famously ending the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege in London.
Thus these allegations are a serious embarrassment to the Army, and to the elite regiment based at Hereford.
Sometimes, it has been resistant even to telling the central chain of command what they were doing – most often, targeting individuals alleged to be Taliban commanders.In Iraq, while the US Army thought poorly of the performance of its British allies in the south around Basra, American generals were full of praise for the achievements of SAS hit squads.