General H.R. McMaster, who was confirmed last week as White House National Security Advisor, is widely regarded as one of the best military men of his generation.
But a retired senior U.S. Military Police officer, Colonel Arnaldo Claudio, 61, has a different view of the decorated three-star Lieutenant General.
In an exclusive interview with Univision Investiga Claudio alleged that McMaster violated the human rights of hundreds of detained Iraqis in 2005.
Claudio said he was sent to investigate concerns about detainee operations in the city of Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq while McMaster, 54, was the commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment battling Islamic militants.
What he saw in April 2005 shocked Claudio. At a camp designed for 250 detainees, more than 900 prisoners were being held in conditions that violated U.S. regulations and the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of prisoners of war.
He found between 300 and 400 detainees, some kneeling, others lying side-by-side in the sand, tied together with plastic hand-cuffs, and without food or water, he said.
When he got out of his car he was immediately overwhelmed by the stench of urine and the defecation, Claudio said.
“It was really brutal,” he said.
The prisoners appeared to be severely dehydrated. “Their skin was completely dry … you can see the lips that were just cut because of dryness. You can see their hair, the dirtiness of the hair. I mean just, just … inhumane,” said Claudio.