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Impeach Bush

General: Brass knew of prison techniques
Washington Bureau Published August 20, 2004
By Stephen J. Hedges

WASHINGTON -- An Army investigation into allegations of prisoner mistreatment by U.S. soldiers in Iraq ignores the role top commanders in Iraq may have played in approving and monitoring prisoner interrogations there, according to an Army Reserve general who was once in charge of the prison.

Pentagon officials said the Army report into abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, which will be released early next week, will implicate about two dozen people but found no wrongdoing among officers above the rank of colonel.

But Janis Karpinski, the Army Reserve brigadier general in command of detention facilities in Iraq when the abuses occurred, said top officers in Iraq were aware of the interrogations and had knowledge of the techniques that were used.

Specifically, she said Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, visited Abu Ghraib in September 2003 and, shortly afterward, began to receive daily reports on interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

Those reports, she said, came from Col. Thomas Pappas of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, which directed interrogations at Abu Ghraib. Pappas is expected to come in for heavy criticism in the Army report. But Karpinski insists that blame should go higher.

`Tremendous pressure' claimed

"Col. Pappas did not act on his own," Karpinski said in an interview. "I do know he was under tremendous pressure all along. . . . The pressure was intensified immediately following Gen. Miller's visit, and it never got any better."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to discuss the report's details but said of Karpinski's claim: "She's wrong."

"This report does address chain-of-command issues above the 205th MI brigade," Whitman said. "This is a very thorough, comprehensive investigation; it will be illuminating on many fronts."

In testimony before Congress, Miller has denied that he approved the use of abusive interrogation tactics. Pappas, in an earlier statement to investigators, reportedly said Miller approved the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners.

Karpinski also said Gen. Barbara Fast, Pappas' immediate commander and the head of Army intelligence in Iraq, knew of the interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib and frequently visited the prison.

"Gen. Miller was giving Gen. Fast instructions," Karpinski said. "There's no doubt in my mind about Gen. Miller's involvement in this."

An Army official said neither Miller nor Fast would be available for comment Thursday.

A Defense Department official with knowledge of the report declined to comment on Karpinski's claims. The official said the report thoroughly examined abuses at the prison, and who carried them out. A handful of outside contractors hired by the military to conduct interrogations, the official said, will also be implicated.

A report last month by Army Lt. Gen. Paul Mikolashek, the Army's inspector general, found that only a limited number of people at the prison were involved in the abuses.

"These abuses should be viewed as what they are--unauthorized actions taken by a few individuals and, in some cases, coupled with the failure of a few leaders to provide adequate supervision and leadership," Mikolashek wrote.

A soldier in January reported evidence of prisoner abuse in Iraq. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then the U.S. commander in Iraq, ordered an investigation, and military officials announced that claims of abuse had been made.

Sanchez assigned Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba to examine the accusations; his report offered disturbing details about the treatment of prisoners by U.S. captors and military police officers assigned to guard them.

But it was not until pictures of soldiers abusing prisoners were made public in April that the abuse allegations became a full-fledged crisis.

Top investigator replaced

Maj. Gen. George Fay, a reserve officer serving as second in charge of Army intelligence, was assigned to investigate further. In June, the Army replaced Fay with Lt. Gen. Anthony Jones, deputy commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, explaining that Fay's rank did not allow him to question officers serving above him.

So far, seven enlisted soldiers from a military police company have been charged with abuses.

Karpinski said that when Miller came to Iraq a year ago, he told her that he had been sent by the secretary of defense. Karpinski has said that Miller told her that he wanted to "Gitmoize" Abu Ghraib. Karpinski said that she took that phrase to mean bringing Guantanamo interrogation tactics to Iraq.

Miller, in congressional testimony in May, said he instructed guards to observe prisoners, not mistreat them.

Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune

Commentary:
I put this story up to show how inept the media is. Just days before the report was issued, they were reporting on what it was going to say. I wish the media would stop guessing and reporting spin as news. Why don't they write the story AFTER the report is written? Do they fear being accurate will harm their credibility?

Later, I'll prove that almost everything in this article is patently false. For example, no one is saying only a few people were involved anymore. Also involved were intelligence personnel and military doctors who falsified documents on the cause of death of inmates killed while in prison.

It's also important to note that most of these military investigations don't allow investigator to look at high ranking officials. This in itself should require an independent investigation of the war crimes committed by US personnel, by a NON MILITARY commission.

At least four high ranking military personnel will have the carriers end because of the report. This article is simple wrong.