Fri November 3, 2006
By Kevin Elston
11/03/06 – Army specialist Alyssa Peterson was an Arabic speaking interrogator assigned to the Tal-afar airbase in far northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border. According to the Army's investigation into her death, obtained by KNAU 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 have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. Army spokesperson Valerie Flores says all records of those techniques have now been destroyed.
Instead she 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.
Alyssa Peterson graduated from Flagstaff High School earned a psychology degree from Northern Arizona University on a military scholarship. She was trained in interrogation techniques at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona, before being deployed to the Middle East in 2003.
For Arizona Public Radio, I'm Kevin Elston