Abu Ghraib Investigation: Army report faults some military intelligence personnel
Iraq-USA, Politics, 8/26/2004
The U.S. Army general investigating military intelligence abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad in late 2003 says there were 44 instances of detainee abuse that could generate criminal charges.
At a Pentagon briefing yesterday, General Paul Kern said there was no single cause for the prisoner abuse. He said the three common factors that led to the abuse were individual misconduct, a lack of discipline and a lack of leadership.
"We discovered serious misconduct and a loss of moral values," Kern said of some intelligence interrogations.
The Fay Report, which is named for Major General George Fay who conducted the massive investigation, focuses on abuses of detainees that occurred when they were interrogated by military intelligence soldiers and civilian interrogators. This report does not include an investigation of abuses caused by seven U.S. military police guards, who have already been charged by the Army with abuse of prisoners.
But Kern also said the highly unstable situation in Iraq following the fall of the Hussein regime served to distract the most senior military leadership from realizing there was a problem sooner.
Kern said 29 military intelligence soldiers and six civil intelligence contractors were involved in the abuse cases, directly or indirectly, by failing to report instances of abuse. He said the soldiers will be dealt with through their respective commands consistent with military justice, and the civilian contractors will be dealt with by the U.S. Justice Department. Kern said his investigating team had no authority to try those accused.
In addition, Kern said there were eight "ghost detainee" cases found in the investigation, and those cases will be turned over to the Defense Department Inspector General and the respective agency inspector generals for civilians involved in the abuse cases. Ghost detainees were prisoners held without formal notification to observers from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Abu Ghraib prison -- formally known as the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility -- was actually operated by both Iraqi authorities and U.S. soldiers, Kern said. The prison, built by the Hussein regime, was designed to hold 12,000 prisoners. In the course of the U.S.-led campaign to oust Hussein, much of the prison was destroyed, he said.
The report produced by Lieutenant General Anthony Jones and Major General Fay came one day after a report from a review panel led by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger indicated that senior leadership in the Pentagon bore some responsibility for the detainee abuses.
The internal Fay Report, made public August 25, focuses on the activities of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade at the prison, and actions by some military police soldiers in the 800th Military Police Brigade, which was responsible for operating the prison.
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