The former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq took aim at Bernard Kerik in an exclusive interview with the Daily News Sunday, calling his efforts to train Iraqi police in 2003 "a waste of time and effort."
Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top military leader in Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004, blasted the former police commissioner for failing to produce results while Kerik was the interim minister of interior in 2003.
"I would be hard-pressed to identify a major national-level success that his organization accomplished in that time," ... "He is a very energetic guy. He is very confident - overconfident to an extent - and he is very superficial in his understanding of the requirements of his job," Sanchez said. "His whole contribution was a waste of time and effort."
Sanchez, who was in charge during Saddam Hussein's capture and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, said Kerik put U.S. soldiers in danger many times by not telling the Army about his police operations.
"I went to see Kerik and asked him to knock it off," Sanchez writes. "'You're going to wind up in a firefight with our soldiers,' I said. 'We've got troops patrolling the neighborhoods, and if they see a group of unknown armed Iraqis show up, they're going to engage.'"
Sanchez said Kerik focused more on "conducting raids and liberating prostitutes" than training the Iraqis.
"They'd get tips and they'd go and actually raid a whorehouse," Sanchez told The News. "Their focus becomes trying to do tactical police operations in the city of Baghdad, when in fact there is a much greater mission that they should be doing, which is training the police."
Sanchez said Kerik resisted communicating with Army leaders because of "a territorial issue."
Kerik disputed the allegations about his performance in Iraq - and said Sanchez was part of the problem.
Kerik denied arresting any prostitutes in Iraq and said the Army always knew about his operations.
"If we didn't notify them it's because they were involved in the operation," he said.
HT: TPM Muckraker: Sanchez: Kerik Was Focused on Busting Baghdad Whorehouses