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Ex-US Iraq commander says in new book that military tortured, killed detainees

[JURIST] Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez [JURIST report], a former US commanding general in Iraq, said in a new book published Tuesday that there is "irrefutable evidence" that the US military tortured and killed detainees in Afghanistan at the end of 2002. In Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story [book website], Sanchez said that designating detainees as "enemy combatants" and denying them Geneva Convention protections was ultimately responsible for abuses later documented at Bagram Airbase [JURIST news archives] in Afghanistan and Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. The New York Sun has more.

Sanchez retired from the military in 2006 saying he was "forced" to leave [Monitor report] because of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal [JURIST news archive] which occurred during his tenure as the commander of all US forces in Iraq. While he was commander of the Army V Corps [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in 2003, Sanchez wrote three memos that called for harsher interrogation methods [JURIST report] including the use of dogs [JURIST report], sleep deprivation, and stress positions, but only with written approval. In 2005, US Army Inspector General Lt. Gen. Stanley Green determined that criminal accusations against Sanchez were unsubstantiated [JURIST report].

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