Exclusive: Did Federal Agents Torture Iranians in Iraq in 2003?

by DAVE GAUBATZ May 6, 2009
Since our fearless leader recently jeopardized the lives of thousands of counterintelligence and counterterrorism officers and has made our country more vulnerable to attack by Islamic terror groups, I believe it is time former Agents like me to begin to educate the public on the intelligence we gathered in 2003 during “interrogations.”
 
Many Agents put their lives on the line each day to obtain intelligence from the field in Iraq to protect our troops and America. We did not have convoys to escort us throughout the country. Daily, on a routine basis, it was two agents working alone and driving in very hostile areas. We would interview as many Iraqis as possible in a 12 -16 hour day. Our interviews pertained to weapons, tactics, and enemy groups operating against our forces throughout Iraq.
 
After several weeks in the field, we began to know the locations and methods the insurgents were using. Many were hiding in hospitals and schools, and had stolen former Iraqi police vehicles.
 
For several weeks in 2003, an Agent I will identify as “Adele” and I worked together. She was a very tough person and cared for her country. Just within the last year, I heard “Adele” was severely injured by an insurgent attack.
 
“Adele” and I traveled through the streets of Nasiriyah and other cities. If we saw something suspicious or thought we might be able to obtain intelligence to help our country, we would routinely pull over a carload of people, or go into a building in which we suspected enemy forces were hiding. Again, Adele and I were many miles from the nearest U.S. forces (backup), and we seldom had a radio or cell phone. We each had a 9mm and an M16 rifle. The protective vest I had was a 1980 model.
 
On one such occasion, we pulled over a suspicious vehicle carrying six Iranians. We had been provided intelligence from several Iraqis that Iranians were pouring into southern Iraq by the thousands. Their purpose was to begin arming insurgents with advanced weapons, and to begin recruiting Iraqis to provide intelligence on the locations and movements of our U.S. forces. The Iranians were also paying Iraqis to carry out suicide bombings against our forces.
 
In June 2003, Adele and I saw an Iraqi government vehicle we knew to be stolen. We also saw the six people inside had AK-47 assault rifles. We cut them off and forced them into a small parking lot. The Iranians seemed very surprised and must have thought we had backup in the location, but we did not.
 
We knew we were overpowered, so we had to use our training and field wits to get out of the situation safely while still obtaining intelligence. Adele and I got out of our vehicle with our weapons to the side. We were acting as though we simply wanted to talk and approached the vehicle in a very relaxed and calm manner. I spoke some Arabic and gave a basic “Peace be upon you” Islamic greeting and placed my right hand on my heart. This seemed to surprise the armed men. They had expected us to rush from our vehicles with weapons drawn and possibly begin firing. They did not expect a Caucasian man and woman in civilian attire to get out of the vehicle and be courteous. Adele and I had worked together for several weeks and knew how to respond. Immediately, I observed several boxes of hand grenades in the vehicle and some of the men had grenades with the pins pulled and in their hands. Again to get out of this we needed to use our wits. I did the unexpected and again greeted the men with a basic Islamic phrase of hello and my name. They just smiled. This was the signal Adele needed. She immediately raised her M16 and pointed it at the heads of the men inside the car. I then snapped my M16 up into a firing position and at the heads of the Iranians I was closest to.
 
They were caught by surprise. As Adele kept her M16 (which we always kept in the fire position) at eye level with the men, I slowly began disarming them. We retrieved dozens of hand grenades, rifles, and other weapons. Then we had them exit the vehicle. We began a field interrogation. This interrogation was not intended to be nice. One of the Iranians spoke some English. They knew and we knew we were outnumbered, but at that moment we had the upper hand. They were on the ground and we had our weapons sighted in a few inches from their faces.
 
Adele and I interviewed them for about 15 minutes. We understood it would only be a matter of a short time before their backups would arrive. We were able to determine they were indeed Iranians who had crossed into Iraq, and were mobilizing forces to begin attacks on U.S. forces. We obtained their identification and snapped photographs. At this point we heard gunfire nearby. Adele and I got in our vehicle and sped off toward the nearest U.S. forces, 15 miles away. We wrote our intelligence reports that night. The reports were classified and sent to all levels of our government. We received commendation notices of from senior Republican and Democrat leaders. None of them asked us how we obtained the intelligence. This was not a concern. They were simply pleased we had obtained intelligence that was going to save the lives of our young men and women.
 
How things have changed now. Some of the same politicians who were providing congratulations to us in 2003 are now telling our enemies and our supporters that actions such as pointing an M16 to the heads of enemy combatants to get them to talk is torture and illegal.
 
Readers can view some of my “war notes” and photographs at www.daveg.us.
 
I go to sleep each night proud to have served my country – and yet sometimes feel like crying because some of the leaders we have in office now will turn on our troops, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and law enforcement officers at the slightest opportunity for political advantage. 
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dave Gaubatz spent 20 years as an active duty USAF (Special Agent/OSI), 3.5 years as a civilian 1811 Federal Agent, trained by the U.S. State Department in Arabic, and was the first U.S. Federal Agent to enter Iraq in 2003. He is also a counterterrorism counterintelligence officer. Gaubatz currently owns "Wahhabi CT Publications" and conducts CT Research on behalf of high profile non-profit organizations. His website is here, and he can be reached at davegaubatz@gmail.com.

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