Ceserver readers ore SMART PROGRESSIVE INVOLVED INFLUENTIAL GOOD LOOKING \($o are 06server oavertisersr Get noticed by Texas Observer folks all over the state and nation. Let them know about your bookstore, service, restaurant, non-profit organization, event, political candidate, shoe store, coffee house, boutique, salon, yoga studio, law practice, etc. Tha Texas Obsarver ADVERTISE IN THE OBSERVER! REASONABLE RATES GREAT EXPOSURE Call 512-477-0746 and ask for Julia Austin ore-mail [email protected] Rea, 56server reaaersr Consider advertising your business or non-profit in the Observer. GOOD FOR YOU GOOD FOR THE OBSERVER After Westhusing’s death, there was a great deal of speculation. Some family members and friends began wondering if he had been murdered. Westhusing was supposed to leave for the U.S. on July 7. Yet he killed himself on June 5. Why, they asked, couldn’t he stick it out for just one more month? Much of the speculation focused on USIS and the contractors. Did Westhusing have evidence that the contractors wanted to keep quiet? There were conflicting stories from the contractors about how they discovered Westhusing’s body. One manager said that the first time he went to find Westhusing after lunch on June 5, the door to Westhusing’s room was locked. But on a second visit, he said, he found the door unlocked. Further, one of the first people to find Westhusing in his room, a military contractor, moved Westhusing’s pistol from its original position, claiming he had done so for safety reasons. That person was never checked for gunpowder residue. While there were some odd details about his death, the Army’s investigation quickly concluded it was a suicide. An Army psychologist who looked into Westhusing’s case concluded that despite his superior intellect, his ability to accept the fact that some Americans were only in Iraq for the money was \(C surprisingly limited. He could not shift his mind-set from the military notion of completing a mission irrespective of cost, nor could he change his belief that doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do should be the sole motivator for businesses!’ Twelve days after Westhusing’s body was found, Army investigators talked with Michelle Westhusing. She told them the suicide note found near her husband’s body matched “almost verbatim” the discussions she had had with him, and that the handwriting matched her husband’s. She said Westhusing had “lost faith in his commanders” and “did not trust the Iraqis as far as he could spit.” Asked by investigators if she had anything else to add, she replied, “The one thing I really wish is you guys to go to everyone listed in that letter and speak with them. I think Ted gave his life to let everyone know what was going on. They need to get to the bottom of it, and hope all these bad things get cleaned ups’ It appears that Michelle didn’t get her wish. In September 2005, the Army’s inspector general concluded an investigation into allegations raised in the anonymous letter to Westhusing shortly before his death. It found no basis for any of the issues raised. Although the report is redacted in places, it is clear that the investigation was aimed at determining whether Fil or Petraeus had ignored the corruption and human rights abuses allegedly occurring within the training program for Iraqi security personnel. The report, approved by the Army’s vice chief of staff, four-star Gen. Richard Cody, concluded that “commands and commanders operated in an Iraqi cultural and ethical environment often at odds with Western practices.” It said none of the unit members “accepted institutional corruption or human rights abuses. Unit members, and specifically [redacted name] and [redacted name] took appropriate action where corruption or abuse was reported.” The context, placement and relative size of the redacted names strongly suggest that they refer to Petraeus and Fil. Last November, Fil returned to Iraq. He is now the commanding general of the Multinational Division in Baghdad and of the 1st Cavalry Division. On February 12, Petraeus took command of all U.S. forces in Iraq. He now wears four stars. And as in 2005, Petraeus’s main job in Iraq will be building up beleaguered police and military. He made that point clear in a open letter to U.S. soldiers and civilians serving in Iraq, which he had distributed on the day he took command. His letter declared that, “Shoulder-to-shoulder with our Iraqi comrades, we will conduct a pivotal campaign to improve security for the Iraqi people. Together with our Iraqi partners, we must defeat those who oppose the new Iraq.” Austinite Robert Bryce is an Observer contributing writer. MARCH 9, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21
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