RealNews

How Colonel Risked His Career by Menacing Detainee and Lost

In western Broward County, where Lt. Col. Allen B. West, 43, is preparing to start life over as a high school social studies teacher, the grass is green, the air is moist and the pressure is barometric. Iraq seems very far away, as does the night last August when Colonel West used his gun to coerce an Iraqi police officer during an interrogation. Intent on foiling a reported plot to ambush him and his men, Colonel West, a battalion commander, made a calculated decision to intimidate the Iraqi officer with a show of force. An interrogation under way was going nowhere, Colonel West said in an interview, and he chose to take the matter into his own hands. “This could get ugly,” he told his soldiers. But, he said, he imposed limits: “This man will not be injured and he will not have to be repaired. There will be no blood and no breakage of bones.” Still, Colonel West wanted the Iraqi policeman, Yehiya Kadoori Hamoodi, to think “this was going to be the end” if he did not divulge what he knew. So Colonel West presided over what he considered a time-sensitive interrogation that grew steadily more abusive until he himself fired a pistol beside Mr. Hamoodi’s head. Full Story

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