General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top coalition commander in Iraq, has called for a truth commission to investigate abusive interrogation practices.
At an event last night at the Times Center in New York City, reports the Huffington Post, Sanchez blamed the Abu Ghraib abuses on a failure of civilian and military command at all levels, declaring “and that is why I support the formation of a truth commission.”In doing so, Sanchez became the first senior military officer from the Iraqi theater to call for a truth commission. His position is particularly noteworthy because Abu Ghraib occurred on his watch, and he’s been widely blamed for the abuses. He has said that his career was a casualty of Abu Ghraib. “That’s the key reason, the sole reason, I was forced to retire,” he has said.
Sanchez also fought back against Dick Cheney’s claim that torture helped stop terrorist attacks: “During my time in Iraq there was not one instance of actionable intelligence that came out of these interrogation techniques.”
Speaking to Huffpo after the event, Sanchez elaborated: “For the American people to really know what happened…this was an institutional failure, a personal failure on the part of many.” He continued: “If we do not find out what happened then we are doomed to repeat it.”
The event was organized by the Culture Project, and was moderated by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.