US soldier who objected to interrogation techniques in Iraq, found dead

Alyssa Peterson was an Arabic speaking interrogator assigned to the Tal-afar airbase in far northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border. According to the US Army's investigation into her death, obtained by KNAU Arizona Public Radio through the Freedom of Information Act, Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She asked to be transferred to other duties after completing only two interrogations in an area known as the cage.

Army spokespersons for her unit refused to describe the interrogation techniques Peterson objected to. Army spokesperson Valerie Flores said all records of those techniques have now been destroyed.

Instead, Peterson was assigned a base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards. She was sent to routine suicide prevention training. But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle. Her death was initially called a "non combat weapons discharge". Now, Arizona Public Radio has learned she committed suicide two weeks after saying she could not carry out interrogations using techniques she considered cruel.

Alyssa Peterson (KNAU Arizona Public Radio, 3 November 2006)