Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who served a tumultuous year as commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, retired from the Army on Wednesday, calling his career a casualty of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
“That’s the key reason, the sole reason, that I was forced to retire,” Sanchez said for a story in Thursday’s editions of The (McAllen) Monitor. “I was essentially not offered another position in either a three-star or four-star command.”
Sanchez had been a candidate to become the next commander of U.S. Southern Command but was passed over after the prisoner abuse scandal exploded into an international controversy. He was criticized by some for not doing more to avoid mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.
An Army spokeswoman declined comment early Thursday. more
Sanchez got fired for a number of failures. Abu Ghraib was just his biggest and most public. He continued a failed policy. He didn’t recognize that he was fighting an insurgency until the insurgency was kickin’ our butt 24/7. He was asleep at the wheel.