Ex-Iraq commander accuses Bush Admin of ‘gross incompetence’

Dandelion Salad

By John Byrne
ICH
05/03/08 “Raw Story

In a new memoir set to be published May 6, the former commander of US forces in Iraq provides new intimate details of the goings-on at high levels of the Bush Administration in the first year of the Iraq war.

His sharp tongued conclusion: “Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars were unnecessarily spent, and worse yet, too many of our most precious military resource, our American soldiers, were unnecessarily wounded, maimed, and killed as a result. In my mind, this action by the Bush administration amounts to gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.”

An excerpt from Sanchez’s book, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story, published in TIME, buries the quotation on the third page of the article.

Sanchez commanded the US military in Iraq from 2003-2004. The three-star general was relieved of his commander in 2004 following the Abu Ghraib scandal, and in 2005, was told his career was over and he wouldn’t be promoted to a fourth star.

The primary reason appears to be his involvement in authorizing harsh tactics for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners.

In a memo acquired by the ACLU through a freedom of information act request, Sanchez authorized techniques to be used against prisoners which included “environmental manipulation,” such as heating or cooling a room or using an “unpleasant smell,” isolating prisoners, and disrupting sleep patterns. Sanchez later denied ever authorizing interrogators to “go to the outer limits” and called the ACLU “…a bunch of sensationalist liars, I mean lawyers, that will distort any and all information that they get to draw attention to their positions.”

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