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  • Conrad commented on the blog post The Forgotten History of David Petraeus

    2011-08-01 15:06:14View | Delete

    Thanks for your piece. I have to admit, I’m a bit a surprised to hear this about Petraeus. I thought that that one of his great achievements was circulating strongly worded letters and directives to his subordinates about not engaging in torture. I even heard an interview from a general who credited Petraeus w/ stamping out torture. As as the FRAGO goes, I always thought that confusion was borne out of what Rumsfeld did, not Petraeus. And I’ve heard that the Iraqi military were using torture techniques that were unrelated to what we were doing. That’s just what I’ve read. Of course, you’re dead on about torture occurring after 2004, under his command. Not sure how much of that he was really aware of. Some of those cases of post-2004 torture was written about in the book None of Us Were Like This Before. I just read Kevin Gosztola’s interview with the author (Joshua Phillips), and was wondering if Petraeus should’ve been responsible for the investigations into detainee abuse that Gosztola and Phillips discussed. It seems to me that is one way in which Petraeus should have taken action to stop torture. If he failed to do so then it would seem he’s definitely responsible. Don’t you think?

  • Thank you Kevin for another great post. I thought the first interview was fantastic, and this one is also super. Part of what I really appreciate about it is the variation of your questions. You cover a pretty wide range of topics, and each of the answers deserve more attention. I’m very puzzled about why allegations of “rape, sodomy, electrocution, all kinds of sexual debasement…etc.” have not been investigated. How is that possible? If military investigators aren’t looking into that, then what are they investigating? Why even do an investigation in the first place? What’s the point?
    When are you writing on the ACLU case? I hope someone at the CIA is held accountable for something, no matter how long it takes. I remember when Jose Rodriguez destroyed the videotapes. How convenient, and I’m sure he wasn’t encouraged or ordered by anyone. Suuuuuure.
    I actually just stated reading the Phillips book, None of Us… I’m about 1/3 of the way in, and it’s great. I heard Phillips on a local radio interview, and decided to finally get the book after reading your interview. It actually has a much different take on things than I expected, and it’s not just another lefty book on torture. Actually it doesn’t across like a lefty book at, which I like.
    Anyhoo, the author doesn’t let anyone off the hook, but at the same time it’s a very empathetic approach, too, filled with different reportage and stories. So far, so good. I can definitely see the appeal. I’m not sure if I’ll give it five stars yet but think it’s worth a Salon. Just my two cents.

  • Great idea!!!

    I’ve heard him interviewed on a radio program and it significantly changed my perspective on torture in a number of ways. Actually, it also changed the way I thought about the military as well.

    I’m a bit surprised that he hasn’t been on Democracy Now, although I think he did appear on there years ago for an article he wrote about torture for the Washington Post (not war on terror stuff, but something else). Can’t wait to hear/read the FDL Salon and more Wikileaks stuff that you’re writing. Keep up the super work.

  • This is a really compelling interview on a number of levels.

    I was hoping to hear more about the author’s work on the Nation piece since I understand that it significantly changes our understanding about the nature of torture during the Iraq war. I understand the importance of Wikileaks, but it seems that this reported unearthed something about the specific ways in which torture and war crimes were buried and undetected. If that’s the case, there could (and should) be a serious congressional inquiry into these cases.

    I also wanted to learn more about how US forces on the ground got involved in torture. From what I understand, that’s one of the most compelling issues surrounding the book None of Us Were Like This Before. I think we as progressives want to chalk it up to Bush torture memos, but I’ve heard the author describe ways in which military forces were involved in torture well before then. If true, then there’s a lot more about this issue that we don’t fully understand (unless you just want to latch onto mass social-psychology).

    The story about the ways in which torture destroys those who are involved in it sounds just dreadful. Strange that we don’t know more about that. We should.

    Thanks for posting this. Looking forward to listening to the audio, and reading/hearing part II.

  • Conrad became a registered member

    2011-07-25 09:37:56View | Delete