America's Hired Death Squads and Torture Teams Are Still Operating in Iraq

10/04/2013 21:05
 

Death squads, torture, secret prisons in Iraq, and General David Petraeus are among the featured atrocities in a recently-released new British documentary – James Steele: America’s Mystery Man in Iraq – the result of a 15-month investigation by Guardian Films and BBC Arabic, exploring war crimes long denied by the Pentagon but confirmed by thousands of military field reports made public by Wikileaks. 

The hour-long film explores the arc of American counterinsurgency brutality from Viet-Nam to Iraq, with stops along the way in El Salvador and Nicaragua.  James Steele is now a retired U.S. colonel who first served in Viet-Nam as a company commander in 1968-69.  He later made his reputation as a military advisor in El Salvador, where he guided ruthless Salvadoran death squads in the 1980s. 

When his country called again in 2003, he came out of retirement to train Iraqi police commandos in the bloodiest techniques of counterinsurgency that evolved into that country’s Shia-Sunni civil war that at its peak killed 3,000 people a month. Steele now lives in a gated golf community in Brian, Texas, and did not respond to requests for an interview for the documentary bearing his name. 

James Steele: America’s Mystery Man in Iraq  is online 

News coverage of this documentary has been largely absent in mainstream media.  The Guardian had a report, naturally, at the time of release and DemocracyNOW had a long segment on March 22 that includes an interview with veteran, award-winning reporter Maggie O’Kane, as well as several excerpts from the movie she directed.   

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