Investigating the Death of Mowhoush

by TChris

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer is being investigated in the death of Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, a top officer in Saddam Hussein's military at a Qaim detention facility on Nov. 26, 2003.

Mowhoush, who had turned himself in Nov. 10, died during an interrogation conducted by Welshofer and another officer, according to a summary of investigative reports obtained by The Denver Post. Investigators also are looking into whether "Other Governmental Agency" employees, a term often used to describe CIA officers, beat Mowhoush in the days before his death, according to the summary.

There isn't any doubt that the Geneva Conventions applied to Mowhoush, who was a military officer. Nor is there much doubt that the protections afforded by those agreements were ignored.

"It is estimated that MG Mowhoush was interrogated at least once each day he was in custody," the investigative summary says. "Approximately 24 to 48 hours prior to (Nov. 26), MG Mowhoush was questioned by (other governmental agency officials), and statements suggest that MG Mowhoush was beaten during that interrogation." A CIA spokeswoman declined to comment.

When Welshofer and his partner took over, they slid a sleeping bag over Mowhoush's head and rolled him from his back and to his stomach while asking questions, the documents allege. Then, Welshofer sat on Mowhoush's chest and placed his hands over the general's mouth, the report says. Mowhoush died during the interrogation, and both officers were reprimanded, the documents say.

The military later issued a press release stating that Mowhoush died of natural causes. No word yet on whether the investigation will affect the Welshofer's anticipated transfer to Fort Huachuca, Ariz., "to teach military intelligence."

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