Bush Scandals List

277. Donald Vance (whistleblower) held for 3 months without charge by US military

Donald Vance was an American working for an Iraqi private security firm. He suspected that the company was involved in supplying arms to militias and death squads associated with the Shia dominated Interior Ministry. On a trip to Chicago in October 2005 he met with and agreed to be an informer for the FBI. On April 15, 2007, feeling unsafe, he phoned the US embassy and a military rescue team was sent to extract him. He told the team of two large weapons caches and was taken to the embassy where he was interviewed by embassy personnel. Later that night he and another American Nathan Ertel were handcuffed, blindfolded, and taken to Camp Cropper where for the next 97 days, Vance was interrogated, sleep deprived, and denied access to an attorney. In a truly Kafkaesque twist, Vance was being held for knowledge of the activities that he was informing on to the FBI. Ertel was designated as “innocent” on May 7 although it took 18 more days for him to be released. For his part, Vance was held until July 20, 2007 although the military knew of his FBI connection within the first 3 weeks of his detention. On December 18, 2006, Vance filed suit against the US government and Donald Rumsfeld for violation of his Constitutional rights. This is that rare combination of brutal and clueless that distills in a single episode why the Bush Administration should not be allowed expansive Executive powers, why the Iraq adventure was doomed from the get go, and why whistleblowers should be given combat pay.

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