December 2-3, 2016 -- Colonel Westhusing still haunts David Petraeus

publication date: Dec 2, 2016
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December 2-3, 2016 -- Colonel Westhusing still haunts David Petraeus

Disgraced former Central Intelligence Agency director and Central Command chief General Petraeus may be on Donald Trump's short list for a Cabinet position or some senior advisory role, but for those who knew Army Colonel Ted Westhusing, Petraeus's possible role in the incoming administration is extremely troubling. For Petraeus, who must continue to report to a parole officer as a result of his federal conviction for mishandling classified information by sharing it with his girlfriend, Paula Broadwell, his criminal record is the least of his worries.

Serious questions remain concerning the death of Col. Westhusing in Iraq in June 2005. According to the Army, Westhusing took his own life with his service pistol in a trailer near Baghdad Airport. It based its decision solely on a "suicide" note said to be written in Westhusing's handwriting. According to WMR's January 2006 report on Westhusing's death, Westhusing, the Army's top military ethicist and professor at West Point, did not commit suicide in a Baghdad trailer as was widely reported in the mainstream media five months later. At the time of his death, Westhusing was investigating contract violations and human rights abuses by US Investigations Services (USIS), formerly a federal agency, the Office of Federal Investigations (OFI), which once operated under the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and was privatized.

Days before his supposed suicide by a "self-inflicted" gunshot wound in a Camp Dublin, Iraq trailer, West Point Honor Board member and Iraqi police and security forces trainer Westhusing reported in e-mail to the United States that "terrible things were going on in Iraq." He also said he hoped he would make it back to the United States alive. Westhusing had three weeks left in his tour of duty in Iraq when he allegedly shot himself.

Westhusing was in possession of incriminating evidence stemming from the U.S. Army's "train and equip" program for Iraqi police that could have sunk Petraeus's career as early as 2005.
It is noteworthy that after Westhusing's death, two Army generals, both responsible for training Iraqi forces, Petraeus, the Commander of the Multi National Security Transition Command Iraq (MNSTCI), and Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, the Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, were quickly transferred without much fanfare to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Fort Hood, Texas, respectively. Those sorts of high-level transfers during warfare are more indicative of a military cover-up than in a normal end-of-tour rotation.

There is evidence that Petraeus was in cahoots with USIS, owned by the Bush family-connected Carlyle Group since 1999.
With the Iraq invasion, USIS obtained lucrative Pentagon private security contracts in Iraq. At a 2004 job fair in Falls Church, Virginia, USIS was advertising for "interrogators" and "protection specialists" for "overseas assignments." While he was in Iraq training Iraqi police and overseeing the USIS contract to train police as part of the Pentagon's Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, Westhusing received an anonymous letter that reported USIS's Private Services Division (PSD) was engaged in fraudulent activities in Iraq, including over-billing the government. In addition, the letter reported that USIS security personnel had murdered innocent Iraqis. After demanding answers from USIS, Westhusing reported the problems up the chain of command, a hierarchy that included Petraeus. After an "investigation," the Army found no evidence of wrongdoing by USIS. Then, Westhusing turned up dead in a trailer, the Army quickly ruling it a "suicide."

According to the Los Angeles Times, all of the witnesses who claimed Westhusing shot himself were USIS employees. In addition, a USIS manager interfered with the crime scene, including handling Westhusing's service revolver. The USIS manager was not tested for gunpowder residue on his hands. A year following Westhusing's death, the President of USIS Professional Services Division (PSD), Bill Monet, abruptly left the company. Monet was hired in June 2005, the same month Westhusing died.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Princeton roommate of Carlyle Chairman Emeritus and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, covered up the USIS fraud and quickly ordered Petraeus transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Petraeus is, at the very least, a material witness in the event the investigation of the Westhusing death is re-opened as a homicide. Being convicted for sharing classified information with his main squeeze while CIA director and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan may be the least of Petraeus's worries.

While he was commander of U.S. and Allied forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus was also sitting on another Army "cold case" homicide. In 2006,
WMR was contacted by Westhusing's family during our investigation. They not only urged us to dig deeper on the death of Col. Westhusing but said they were also calling on behalf of the Pat Tillman family. Tillman was the star NFL player who enlisted in the Army after 9/11, became disillusioned with the war in Afghanistan, and was "fragged" by members of his own unit in Khost province on April 22, 2004. Tillman's diary, uniforms, and other possessions were burned by his unit in order to cover up his assassination by U.S. forces. The U.S. military theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan were nothing more than scenes from the old "Wild West," thanks to the presence of mercenary brigands from companies like USIS, Carlyle Group, and Blackwater, the former mercenary firm owned by Erik Prince, the brother of Trump's incoming Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. On June 29, 2014, James Risen of The New York Times reported that a senior Blackwater manager threatened to kill the chief U.S. State Department investigator of Blackwater's dubious operations in Iraq unless the State Department called off the investigation. The incident occurred in 2007 as State's chief investigator Jean Richter focused on problems with Blackwater's $1 billion State Department contract.

DCIA David Petraeus.jpg
The ghost of Colonel Ted Westhusing [left] continues to haunt David Petraeus's [right] chances for a senior position in the Trump administration.

In July 2006, William H. Lash III, a high-powered Washington attorney who served as
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance from 2001 to 2005 and was responsible for a special task force that assisted companies in securing contracts in U.S.-occupied Iraq, was found dead in his Fairfax, Virginia home. Police found Lash and his 12-year old autistic son in a first floor bedroom with gunshot wounds to the upper bodies. Police concluded that Lash shot his son and then himself. Neighbors and colleagues expressed shock at the news, all saying that Lash showed no signs of tension or depression and that was very devoted to his son. A month earlier, Phillip Merrill, Vice President Dick Cheney's handpicked head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank at the time of dubious loans being made by the bank to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, supposedly committed suicide with a shotgun and threw himself into the Chesapeake Bay with an anchor tied around his legs.

It may be an impossible task to search the files for incriminating evidence on those who may have been involved in the suspected murders of Colonel Westhusing, Tillman, Lash, Merrill, and others. When the Carlyle Group, through USIS, assumed control of OFI, it also received an underground treasure. Carlyle took over a
converted limestone mine in Boyers, Pennsylvania. The mine, built during the Cold War to safeguard files in the event of a nuclear conflict, contains millions of government files, including those held by the federal Employee Service and Records Center. That means that the Carlyle Group has access to sensitive personnel files on millions of current and past government employees as well as contractors who have applied for security clearances.

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