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Officer Says He Threatened Iraqi

November 20, 2003|From Associated Press

TIKRIT, Iraq — An Army officer fought back tears Wednesday as he acknowledged threatening to shoot an Iraqi detainee to extract information about a planned attack, saying he was trying to protect his troops.

Lt. Col. Allen B. West made the statement on the second day of a U.S. military pretrial hearing on accusations that he threatened Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi by firing his gun near the man.

West is also accused of punching Hamoodi during the Aug. 20 interrogation in Taji, according to Lt. Col. Jimmy Davis, who presided at the hearing.

Davis is expected to rule in a few days. West, a decorated officer, was relieved of command of the 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment.

"I know that the method that I used was not the right method," West said.

During breaks in the hearing, sympathetic soldiers approached and comforted West.

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