Wednesday, June 28, 2006

American Soldier Trains His Killers

A few weeks before he died, a depressed Spc. Patrick Ryan McCaffrey called his father from Iraq and told him that he had just been fired upon by the Iraqi troops he was helping to train.

"They were on night patrol, and they had been fired upon by what they thought were 12 insurgents. They killed several of them, and three surrendered," said Bob McCaffrey on Tuesday in a phone interview with The Chronicle. "Some of the dead ones were part of the group that they had been training for a week, and the survivors were also part of that group."

McCaffrey said that his 34-year-old son notified his commanding officer but "was told to keep his mouth shut." A month later, on June 22, 2004, his son was dead. The Army said his unit was ambushed by enemy forces on a patrol near Balad, Iraq.

On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said that the Army's Criminal Investigation Command has concluded that McCaffrey, from Tracy, and 2nd Lt. Andre Demetrius Tyson, 33, of Riverside, were killed by Iraqi soldiers who were patrolling alongside the U.S. soldiers.

"It's god-awful," said Bob McCaffrey, a Redding rancher and Army veteran. "It underlies the lie of this whole situation in Iraq. It's all to me a pack of lies."


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