It’s not called ‘dirty war’ for nothing; so it’s no surprise to individuals who are associated and sort of know the ins-and-outs of that kind of war, reappear at different points these conflicts, he says. A generation later, and half the world away, ‘s war Iraq was going from bad to worse. It Marc Staal Jersey was 2004 – the neo-cons had dismantled the Ba’athist party apparatus, and that had fostered anarchy. A mainly Sunni uprising was gaining ground and causing problems Fallujah and Mosul. There was a violent backlash against the US occupation that was claiming over 50 American lives a month by 2004. The US Army was facing unconventional, guerrilla insurgency a country it knew little about. There Mark Messier Jersey was already talk Washington DC of using the option Iraq and the who would spearhead that strategy was already place. after the invasion March 2003 Steele was Baghdad as one of the White House’s most important consultants, sending back reports to Rumsfeld. His memos were so valued that Rumsfeld passed them on to George Bush and Cheney.
Rumsfeld spoke of him glowing terms. We had discussion with General Petraeus yesterday and I had a briefing today from a named Steele who’s been out there working with the security forces and been doing a wonderful job as a civilian as a matter of fact. 2004 Petraeus arrived Baghdad with the brief to train a new Iraqi police force with emphasis on counterinsurgency. Steele and serving US colonel James Coffman introduced Petraeus to a small hardened group of police commandos, of them among the toughest survivors of the old regime, including General Adnan Thabit, sentenced to death for a failed plot against Saddam but saved by the US invasion. Thabit, selected by the Americans to run the Special Police Commandos, developed a close relationship with the new advisers. They became friends. advisers, James Steele and Colonel Coffman, were all from special forces, so I benefited from their experience … but the main person I used to contact was Petraeus. With Steele and Coffman as his point men, Petraeus began pouring money from a multimillion dollar fund into what would become the Special Police Commandos. According to the US Government Accounts Office, they received a share of $8bn fund paid for by the US taxpayer. The exact amount they received is classified. With Petraeus’s almost unlimited access to money and weapons, and Steele’s field expertise counterinsurgency the stage was set for the commandos to emerge as a terrifying force.
One more element would complete the picture. The US had barred members of the violent Shia militias like the Badr Brigade and the Mahdi Army from joining the security forces, but by the summer of 2004 they had lifted the ban. Shia militia members from all over the country arrived Baghdad by the lorry-load to join the new commandos. These men were eager to fight the Sunnis: sought revenge for decades of Sunni-supported, brutal Saddam rule, and a to hit back at the violent insurgents and the indiscriminate terror of -Qaida. Petraeus and Steele would unleash this local force on the Sunni population as well as the insurgents and their supporters and anyone who was unlucky enough to get the way. It was classic counterinsurgency. It was also letting a lethal, sectarian out of the bottle. The consequences for Iraqi society would be catastrophic. At the height of the civil war two years later 3 bodies a month were turning up on the streets of Iraq – of them innocent civilians of sectarian war. But it was the actions of the commandos inside the detention centres that raises the most troubling questions for their American masters. Desperate for information, the commandos set up a network of secret detention centres where insurgents could be brought and information extracted from them. The commandos used the most brutal methods to make detainees talk. There is no evidence that Steele or Coffman took part these torture sessions, but General Muntadher Samari, a former general the Iraqi army, who worked after the invasion with the US to rebuild the police force, claims that they knew exactly what was going on and were supplying the commandos with lists of people they wanted brought. He says he tried to stop the torture, but failed and fled the country. We were having lunch. Col Steele, Col Coffman, and the door opened and Captain Jabr was there torturing a prisoner. He was hanging upside down and Steele got up and just closed the door, he didn’t say anything – it was just normal for him. He says there were 13 to 14 secret prisons Baghdad under the control of the interior ministry and used by the Special Police Commandos. He alleges that Steele and Coffman had access to all these prisons and that he visited one Baghdad with both men.