The Journal Gazette
Thursday, November 25, 2021 1:00 am

Officer who reported Mideast abuses dies

Associated Press

NEWBERRY, Mich. – A former Army officer and Detroit native who reported in 2005 that military prisoners in the Middle East were being beaten and abused by U.S. soldiers has died.

Maj. Ian Fishback died suddenly Nov. 19, according to his obituary from the Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He was 42. No cause of death was listed.

Fishback's family says he died in an adult foster care facility in Michigan, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Fishback wrote about the abuses in a letter to top aides of Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia, according to the newspaper.

McCain and Warner were senior Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Warner was the committee's chair.

Fishback and two other former members of the 82nd Airborne Division reported that prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq were assaulted, exposed to extreme temperatures, stacked in human pyramids and deprived of sleep in an effort to extract intelligence from them, or just to amuse the soldiers, The Times reported.

Fishback also said Army superiors ignored his complaints.

“Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees,” Fishback wrote in the letter to McCain.The allegations of abuse eventually led the U.S. Senate to approve anti-torture legislation in 2005.

Fishback's family said in a statement on the funeral home's website that the community had supported him “through his recent difficult times.”

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