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U.S. does all it can to train Iraq police

July 13, 2006

Re "Police Abuses in Iraq Detailed," July 9

In this article, I was incensed by the comment attributed to a so-called senior military leader who said, referring to U.S. police trainers assigned to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior headquarters, "they sit up there on the 11th floor of the ministry building and don't talk to the Iraqis." Until last April, I served as a colonel in the U.S. Army assigned as a senior advisor to the Ministry of Interior; I worked directly with the head of the Internal Affairs Directorate. The team of which I was a part -- the Ministry of Interior transition team, a unit of the civilian police assistance training team -- could not have been more engaged with our Iraqi counterparts on a daily basis. All of us devoted a significant portion our long days working hands-on with ministry officials.

My impression is that the source of the negative statements never had the guts to come out to the Red Zone to see what we were doing there, or he or she would not have had the audacity to say what was reported.

COL. DAVID F. EVERETT (RET.)

Mamaroneck, N.Y.

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Re "Baghdad Jolted by Sectarian Killing Sprees and Bombings," July 10

After each bloody, multiple explosion in Iraq, this administration issues a vigorous denial that our troops are caught squarely in the murderous crossfire of a religious war. And I feel like some confused kid in the back seat who realizes he's being lied to but keeps demanding to know, "Are we there yet?" If not now, when?

SHELDON WILLENS

Los Angeles

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