Petraeus and Pentagon linked to torture units in Iraq
A new 15-month investigation published Tuesday by the Guardian and BBC Arabic links General David Petraeus to sectarian police commando units in Iraq that operated secret detention and torture centers to get information from insurgents. “These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the U.S. occupation and accelerated the country’s descent into full-scale civil war,” the report noted.
The investigation found that the Pentagon sent veteran of America’s “dirty wars” in Central America, Colonel James Steele, to oversee the torture centers. Another retired colonel worked with Steele to set up the detention centers and reported directly to Petraeus when the general was sent to Iraq in 2004.
Via the Guardian:
The allegations made by both American and Iraqis witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary, for the first time implicates US advisors in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that General David Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an advisor to this abuse. Coffman reported to Petraeus and described himself in an interview with the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes as Petraeus’s “eyes and ears out on the ground” in Iraq.
“They worked hand in hand,” said General Muntadher al-Samari, who worked with Steele and Coffman for a year while the commandos were being set up. “I never saw them apart in the 40 or 50 times I saw them inside the detention centres. They knew everything that was going on there … the torture, the most horrible kinds of torture.”
Read the full article at: salon.com