The Search for Colonel James Steele: US Special Forces Veterans Links General Petraeus With Torture In Iraq

Source: Photo News Gamma Liaison

Bradley Manning Plea Update:
Freedom of the Press Foundation Bradley Manning Audio
Michael Ratner On The Bill Keller’s Bradley Manning/Wikileaks NYT Op Ed
Ten Years Later: Iraq US-led Invasion
Remembering Hugo Chavez
Free Lynn Stewart: Compassionate Release Petition

The Search for Colonel James Steele: US Special Forces Veterans Links General Petraeus With Torture In Iraq

A 15-month investigation and documentary film by the Guardian and BBC Arabic has revealed how US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq. Steele and another special forces veteran retired Colonel James Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus. Petraeus as listeners may know was tasked with organizing Iraqi security services.

Patrick Farrelly:

The projections that they made about being welcome in Iraq were just not true.
It looked like the insurgency at that point in 2004 was just getting off the ground.
This is where they turned to General Petraeus, I know he’s seen in the think tanks in Washington as the scholar warrior.
Rumsfeld called upon him to go back into Iraq and to organize a pretty massive police force in Iraq.
He hooked up with 2 people there, Colonel James Coffman and Colonel James Steele.
Mill Group is essentially a bunch of military advisers who are training the Salvadorian security forces to fight the guerrillas.
Colonel James Steele was the guy in charge of the American advisers who were training these people and also directing these forces.
Counter-insurgency force went from 400 to 17 thousand.
What the United States needs really badly is intelligence, they need to know who the insurgence are and where they can get them.
That’s Steele’s expertise, having these guys on the ground, they draw in thousands of people and basically torture them for information.
It’s Steele’s job to collate that information so that they can then hand it over to the US military. The US can then go after the insurgence informed for the first time.
Part of the Wikileaks discovery, in terms of the war-logs which was released by Bradley Manning to wikileaks, shows this entire pattern of US soldiers coming across these detention centers,
– they’re giving consistent reports of seeing torture of seeing abuse.
Frontline: The Gangs Of Iraq.
It’s a production line. These young men come in, these people were hung up on ceilings, nails pulled out with pliers, it was water boarding.
They turned the city library (in Iraq) into a torture center.
It became this interrogation and torture mill, that no doubt produced a lot of information.
For empire, people like James Steele are very very important.
Empires tend to roam into other people’s countries, and you know.
Where did the sectarian civil war come from? Who played a part in bringing this about?
James Steele, lives in Texas, at one point he was Vice President of Enron.
The public is not really aware of what’s being done in the name of US taxpayers in foreign lands.
I think its clear that the Sunni community is completely disenfranchised. I think its still in a state of terror.

Guest – Patrick Farelly, a TV, radio and print journalist who has worked in the US and Ireland. Farrelly was producer of Michael Moore’s Emmy award-winning NBC/BBC2 series TV Nation and later Bravo/Channel 4 co-production Awful Truth. He was the founding editor of the New York based weekly newspaper Irish Voice and has also been features editor of the New York Post. He has also worked for HBO, Discovery, PBS and Irish broadcasters RTE and TG4.

You can find a report from with Maggie O’Kane, Executive Producer, of the Guardian documentary about the role of Col. James Steele in supporting torture, death squads and brutal sectarian conflict during the height of the Iraq war. Steel’s reports went directly to Rumsfeld and Cheney.
Link to report

Share This Episode