Writes Doug Valentine:
Here is a fascinating documentary done by the Guardian on the CIA's Phoenix-style paramilitary program run in Iraq. It focuses on Col. James Steele, who apparently ran the program through a direct pipeline from Rumsfeld; Petraeus was also aware and most likely involved. The paramilitaries had various interrogation centers in which torture was used regularly. Also involved was a Col. James Coffman.
The documentary says that Steele was introduced to counterinsurgency in the Vietnam War where he was in the Black Horse Regiment, from 1968-1969. Then to El Salvador to be involved in or run the Phoenix-style program there. After that some involvement in Nicaragua. And then on to Iraq. Here is the related article.