General: Abu Ghraib scandal forced me out of Army

November 4, 2006

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McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who served a tumultuous year as commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, retired from the Army on Wednesday, calling his career a casualty of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

“That’s the key reason, the sole reason, that I was forced to retire,” Sanchez said for a story in Thursday’s editions of The (McAllen) Monitor. “I was essentially not offered another position in either a three-star or four-star command.”

Sanchez had been a candidate to become the next commander of U.S. Southern Command but was passed over after the prisoner abuse scandal exploded into an international controversy. He was criticized by some for not doing more to avoid mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

An Army spokeswoman declined comment early Thursday.

The Army’s inspector general, Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Green, concluded last year that allegations of criminal wrongdoing by Sanchez were unsubstantiated.

Sanchez, 55, served for 33 years. As commander of the Army’s 5th Corps in 2003, he issued three memos authorizing harsher interrogation techniques such as stress positions, sleep deprivation and dogs at Abu Ghraib — but only with written authorization.

so his superior  (pictured here with his buddy Saddam) gave him written authorization!

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