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ACLU Says Top Iraq Commander May Be Guilty of Perjury

HeadlineApr 01, 2005

The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking him to open an investigation into possible perjury by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the theater commander at the outset of the Iraq invasion. The ACLU said that a memo sent by Gen Sanchez flatly contradicts sworn testimony given by him before the Senate Armed Services Committee, in which he denied authorizing highly coercive interrogation methods. The ACLU called for the appointment of an independent special counsel by the attorney general.” The ACLU obtained a physical copy of the memo under an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, and released a hard copy on Tuesday. The memo is dated September 14, 2003 and was signed by Lt. Gen. Sanchez. It laid out specific interrogation techniques, modeled on those used against detainees at Guantanamo Bay for use by coalition forces in Iraq. These include sleep “management,” the inducement of fear at two levels of severity, loud music and sensory agitation, and the use of canine units to “exploit [the] Arab fear of dogs.” During sworn testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Sanchez flatly denied approving any such techniques in Iraq, and said that a news article reporting otherwise was false.

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