Abu Ghraib - Chain of Command - Four Corners Report

  1. [font=franklin gothic medium]four corners is one of our most respected programs when it comes to investigative journalism. their unrelenting probing and high ethics have caused more than one government to fall. multi award winning, it is the program that politicians here watch.

    [font=franklin gothic medium]they just broadcast this program on abu grahib prison and the questions the program asked is "how far up the chain of command does the responsibility go" and "how much did our (australian) goverement know about this?".

    [font=franklin gothic medium]make no mistake the abu grahib scandal might just take down the howard goverment here - there are angry mutterings from many many people over this.

    [font=franklin gothic medium]because this is a full program transcript i have highlighted the reporter's name so that it is easier to follow.

    australian broadcasting corporation

    four corners

    chain of command

    four corners follows the chain of command up from the cell-block floor at abu ghraib and assesses the evidence that may implicate the highest levels of the us military.

    liz jackson, reporter: on january 17 this year, iraqi prisoner number 7,787 made the following statements to us army investigators about what had been happening at abu ghraib prison in baghdad.

    man: the first night they stripped us naked, they made us get on our hands and knees and they started to pile us up, one on top of each other. they kept beating us and calling us bad names. then they ordered us to hold our penises and stroke it, acting like we were masturbating.

    liz jackson: expecting, maybe, that he would not be believed, the prisoner added...

    man: take the photo negative from the night guard and you will find everything i said is true.

    liz jackson: the army high command had already seen the photos four days before, and called an inquiry. for months there had been reports of prisoners being abused and tortured and dying under interrogation, but the pictures were evidence they could not afford to ignore or deny.

    bob baer, former cia, iraq: they knew about this from the red cross in november and they decided to ignore it until january - till they produced the pictures.

    liz jackson: do you think without the pictures...?

    bob baer: i think without the pictures, we wouldn't be sitting here. i think people would just say, "i don't believe it. it's just iraqis complaining."

    liz jackson: the army's inquiry was confidential, the report produced was secret, but the report and the photos and then the video leaked to the media. seven low-level military guards will be court-martialled as a result, but their families feel that they are the scapegoats.

    bill lawson, ivan 'chip' frederick's uncle: the us government's desperately trying to convince you - "oh, they just got crazy. these were perverts. they were out here having a sex party at night-time." but in fact that's not what the latest reports are saying. they're saying that the us government specifically wanted these people humiliated, they wanted the photographs taken and so these guys were following orders.

    joann frederick, ivan 'chip' frederick's mother: so we feel he's been made a scapegoat.

    liz jackson: for...?

    joann frederick: for the chain of command.

    liz jackson: tonight, four corners reviews the case that the responsibility for these shaming images goes right to the top of the chain of command.

    oakland, maryland, on the border with west virginia - a three-hour drive west from washington, dc. this is the home state of the 372nd company of the us army - the reserve unit at the heart of the prisoner abuse scandal. all seven soldiers facing court martials come from the 372nd. their regular jobs before heading for iraq included bagging groceries, selling pizzas and working as prison guards.

    folks round here are mostly proud to be southern and christian. many still bear a deep resentment and suspicion of big government in washington, dc.

    bill lawson, ivan 'chip' frederick's uncle: they've ran over us here in west virginia for a long time and, of course, all of appalachia they have this stigmatism that, you know, we run around with bare feet and we're all illiterate hillbillies and dirt people and stump-jumpers or whatever you want to call them.

    liz jackson: bill lawson is the driving force in his family's campaign to free chip frederick and bring him back home. ivan 'chip' frederick is charged with being a ringleader in the sexual humiliation and physical abuse of iraqi prisoners. he's also bill lawson's nephew.

    bill lawson: we're not going to let them steamroll us even though they've got the big machine up there in washington. they're going to have to be responsible for what they did, and they're not gonna take these seven soldiers down if i've got anything to say about it, or our family has anything to say about it, until my last breath.

    liz jackson: most days, the frederick family meet up here at the old family home. his dad, red, his mother, joann, his sister, mimi, and bill's wife, vanessa. they talk strategy and tell each other stories about the chip frederick they know.

    mimi: say what chip told me today.

    bill: what did he tell you?

    mimi: he remembers when we shared our room in here, so he was describing the headboard, and he said, "do you remember it had a little hole in it?" he said, "i used to hide my oreo cookies in there!" (chuckles)

    bill: yeah, i know. i can remember when he was little and did things, you know, around here. and, you know, you think about those things now, you kind of forget about some of that stuff.

    liz jackson: the world knows chip frederick in a different setting - posing in this trophy shot sitting on top of a naked iraqi prisoner. this is the photo the family prefer to post on their 'free chip frederick' website which they set up six weeks ago.

    (displays photograph of chip frederick in army uniform with american flag)

    liz jackson: when did you get a sense of just how bad it was?

    joann frederick, ivan 'chip' frederick's mother: it was after that. it..it.. little bits at a time. then we start hearing on the news that there was prisoners abused and maybe even female detainees raped and that type thing we were hearing, and it just utterly scared us to death. we knew he wouldn't be involved in anything like that.

    liz jackson: every friday and saturday night the family get to see chip frederick for an hour or so via a satellite link to iraq, and they can chat via email. he's not been given a date for his court martial yet but the charges have been laid. frederick is charged with wilfully failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty and maltreatment, maltreatment of detainees, assaulting detainees, and committing indecent acts. but in the eyes of his family, chip frederick remains a decent man.

    but you knew that he was involved in the sexual humiliation of iraqi prisoners?

    joann frederick: did i know he was involved? i don't believe he was involved in that. uh...the, um... well, i really don't know how to answer that question. as far as touching them, you mean, actually being involved?

    liz jackson: i mean, putting them in positions that people would find humiliating.

    joann frederick: oh, i see, i see. well, um, the, uh, one girl - i forget what her name is, the one that poses in the pictures - had said the reason was that if they took pictures like that they could show them to the detainees that were coming in so that...and say, "this is what will happen to you if you don't talk."

    liz jackson: what do you think about doing that to people?

    joann frederick: i think that probably was legal humiliation.

    liz jackson: it was legal?

    joann frederick: i think, uh, i think that the geneva convention allows for some of that.

    liz jackson: it seems a long time since mother's day last year when chip frederick was called upon as an army reservist to serve his country in iraq, a war the family supports.

    bill lawson: you know, we're very conservative. we believe - chip believed - in what he was doing. when his mother said, "can't you get out of going to iraq?", he said, "no, this is part of my responsibility as an american."

    joann frederick: i think his idea of the whole thing was "if we can keep it over there it won't be over here."

    liz jackson: keep what over there?

    joann frederick: the war.

    liz jackson: chip frederick arrived in iraq two weeks after george bush announced that major hostilities were over. it's not what he found on the ground. he wrote to his sister on 16 july.

    extract from letter written by chip frederick: "dear mimi, they say back home that the war is over. it's not even close to being over. coalition forces are still getting attacked almost daily. one of my patrols got shot at last week with a rocket-propelled grenade. just missed them."

    liz jackson: brigadier general mark kimmitt is the spokesman for the coalition forces in iraq.

    brigadier general mark kimmitt, deputy director coalition operations, iraq: it was apparent that many of the units that had not been defeated in the war were starting to act up. we started seeing some problems out around the town of falluja and we were getting a number of security internees into the detention facilities. large numbers. there was not an expectation during the war that we would have this large number of internees and when it became apparent that this was a process that we would have to start up, and there were some challenges at that time, we called in the expert. the expert was major general geoff miller.

    liz jackson: major general geoffrey miller gained his expertise as the commander of the detention camp at guantanamo bay. he's well known as the man who implemented the new tough rules for interrogation approved by the white house in april 2003 for the so-called 'illegal combatants', deemed by president bush to fall outside the protection of the geneva convention. human rights organisations took exception to general miller's regime.

    ken roth, president, human rights watch: my concern with general miller in particular is that he seems to represent a roving regime of lawless interrogation. when he was at guantanamo, he was the one who initiated a 72-point matrix of stress interrogation techniques that were permitted - ranging from prolonged sleep deprivation, to stripping detainees naked under interrogation, hooding them, subjecting them to extremes of heat, cold, light, noise - a range of abuses like painful positioning that are clearly illegal. they violate the convention against torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

    (footage of us senate, 7 may 2004 plays)

    senator daniel akaka, democrat, hawaii: the principal focus of major general miller's team was on the strategic interrogation of detainees in iraq.

    liz jackson: so whose idea was it to send general miller to iraq?

    senator daniel akaka: is that secretary cambone's view too? he's behind you. can he respond?

    donald rumsfeld, us secretary of defense: certainly. respond.

    liz jackson: stephen cambone is donald rumsfeld's under secretary of defense for intelligence. steve cambone recently told the senate that he asked general miller to go to improve the flow of intelligence from prisoners in iraq.

    stephen cambone, under secretary of defense for intelligence: and he was asked to go over, in my encouragement, to take a look at the situation as it existed there. and he made his recommendations.

    liz jackson: was there a feeling that you were not getting information that was needed from the people who were being held at abu ghraib?

    brigadier general mark kimmitt: i think there was an understanding that what we were trying to do was optimise the process of detention in interrogation well within the rules of engagement, well within the rules of the geneva convention, well within the practices of international law.

    liz jackson: general miller arrived at abu ghraib at the beginning of september 2003. after just 10 days on the ground, he and his team produced a controversial set of recommendations, explicitly using as baselines procedures established at guantanamo bay. his first step was to recommend that a small group of military police should be dedicated to guarding just those prisoners regarded as 'high value' or 'security detainees' - those housed in the cells here, in the now notorious tier 1a.

    in early october, ivan 'chip' frederick was transferred to abu ghraib to become one of these dedicated guards at tier 1a.

    he was put in a leadership position.

    joann frederick: yes.

    liz jackson: why do you think that was?

    joann frederick: um, i'm not sure. uh, i know that...

    liz jackson: because he'd been a prison officer, or...?

    joann frederick: pardon me?

    liz jackson: because he'd been a prison officer?

    joann frederick: because he was a corrections officer. that's what...that was their theory. and he should know how to run a prison because that was his civilian job.

    liz jackson: general miller reported to the coalition high command that it was essential the guards at tier 1a should be "actively engaged in setting the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees". this included the guards taking directions from military intelligence officers, who actually conducted the interrogations at the jail.

    (footage from us senate, 19 may 2004 plays)

    senator john mccain, republican, arizona: general miller's report, as i understand it, had observations and recommendations.

    liz jackson: in recent senate hearings, senator john mccain quoted from guards at tier 1a who'd been asked on oath how this panned out on the ground.

    senator john mccain: soldier number one. question - "have you ever been directed by the mi, military intelligence personnel, or any government agency to soften up a prisoner prior to interrogation?"
    answer - "yes. sometimes they'd ask me to show a prisoner 'special attention'."

    soldier number two - "have you ever been told by mi personnel to work over a prisoner?"
    "yes, mi told us to rough them up to get answers from the prisoners."

    soldier number three - "have you heard mi insinuate to guards to abuse inmates of any type of manner?"
    "what was said?"
    answer - "they said, 'loosen this guy up for us. make sure he has a bad night, make sure he gets the treatment.'"

    you see my point, major general miller?

    liz jackson: major general miller told the senate this was not what he'd meant when he said that military police guards should be "actively engaged in setting the conditions for interrogation".

    major general geoffrey miller: the recommendation was that they conduct passive intelligence-gathering during this process. and by that, that meant to observe the detainees, to see how their behaviour was, to see who they would speak with and then to report that to the interrogators so the interrogators could better understand the attitude, with human dynamic of the detainee as he would come into the interrogation booth.

    liz jackson: this has now become the official us army line.

    brigadier general mark kimmitt, deputy director coalition operations, iraq: there were some accepted passive techniques that the military police could use to assist in, uh, the interrogation process.

    liz jackson: so you're saying that he was... the phrase that they should be 'actively engaged' actually meant that they should indulge in passive techniques?

    brigadier general mark kimmitt: uh, that has been misinterpreted by some people, yes. you're exactly right. uh, their techniques should be passive but their roles should be active.

    liz jackson: when chip frederick emailed his sister, he described his new role as a military police guard, and told her about his new friends in military intelligence, who let him watch them at work.

    extract from email written by chip frederick: "hey mimi, how is everything going? things here are about the same. it is very interesting to watch them interrogate these people. i have made some really close friends. they usually don't allow others to watch them interrogate but since they like the way i run the prison, they make an exception. we have a special housing unit where they house the inmates they interrogate. we have had a close bond with them since we help getting them to talk with the way we handle them. we've had a very high rate with our style of getting them to break. they usually end up breaking within hours."

    joann frederick: they always told him, "you're doing a fine job. just go back and do what you've been doing. it's fine, it's fine."

    bill lawson: the chain of command and mi wanted results, and these six gis gave them results with the photographs. of course, it got a little bit out of hand.

    liz jackson: brigadier general janis karpinski was the commander of all prisons in iraq at the time the photographs were taken. here, she's showing reporters around abu ghraib late last year when hidden inside tier 1a, the abuse was rife. she's the most senior officer suspended as a result of the scandal, faulted for failing to pay sufficient attention to what was happening at abu ghraib. she feels she is being scapegoated for the mistakes of others, that general miller's recommendations bred a culture of abuse. her lawyer is neal puckett.

    neal puckett, lawyer for brigadier general janis karpinski: we don't believe that general miller suggested any illegal activities or any illegal techniques be used. more likely is the fact that after his visit, after he encouraged that among the military intelligence personnel to use the mps, we think they did that. and we think that over a period of time we went from working inside the box to working outside the box and expanding and using a little bit of creativity in terms of what they'd asked the military police to do.

    liz jackson: that period of time is a short period of time. i mean, his visit happens in september and by october and november the kinds of abuses we see in the photographs are already happening.

    neal puckett: that's correct. and understand that at the same time, the military intelligence community in general was under extreme pressure to find the people who were setting off improvised explosive devices, to find the people on the decks of cards, to find saddam hussein and so the only way to do that is through human intelligence. so the pressure on the military intelligence folks to get more and better intelligence from the detainees was tremendous.

    liz jackson: where was that pressure coming from?

    neal puckett: i think it was coming from the top.

    liz jackson: when you say the top, are you talking about...?

    neal puckett: i'm talking about at least as high as coalition joint task force seven, at least as high as lieutenant general sanchez, perhaps even pressure above his level.

    liz jackson: lieutenant general ricardo sanchez is the most senior military commander in iraq. in november last year, sanchez gave control of the whole of abu ghraib to the military intelligence folks. it reflected the new priorities at abu ghraib, the shift in focus from detention to interrogation, and general karpinski was now clearly out of the loop. she was formally in command but no longer in control of the jail. she raised the matter at a meeting with general geoffrey miller.

    neal puckett: i mean, that's when general miller said we need to take control of the prison in order to 'gitmo-ise' it if you will, to make it more productive, as he believed that guantanamo bay was.

    liz jackson: the man who was given control of abu ghraib prison was the commander of the 205th military intelligence brigade, colonel thomas pappas. the order was signed in november, but here in tier 1 cell block, colonel pappas had effectively been in control since the beginning of september, within days of general miller's visit. it was here, from october to december, that the worst of the abuses occurred. colonel pappas has now admitted that under his command military intelligence officers did order military police to strip detainees and shackle them naked for days to the bars of their cells - somewhat more than a passive intelligence-gathering role.

    neal puckett: the fact that you even have the beginning of questionable interrogation tactics being authorised by colonel pappas - it's not a very far leap to believe that he may have authorized a few more that he's not willing to admit or tacitly agreed to, or at least didn't object to, or remained intentionally ignorant and just let the process work, so long as... again, if intelligence were being produced, why would the intelligence chain of command complain?

    liz jackson: "don't ask questions, just let the intelligence come in"?

    neal puckett: "give us the information, we don't care how you get it." unspoken.

    liz jackson: and unwritten?

    neal puckett: right. and definitely unwritten.

    liz jackson: do you believe that colonel pappas knew precisely what was going on?

    guy womack, lawyer for specialist charles graner: he had to know much of what was going on. did he know precisely what was going on? i don't know.

    liz jackson: guy womack is the lawyer for specialist charles graner. his client stands accused, along with chip frederick, of leading and directing the worst of the abuse. he's the guard with the moustache and black cap cuffing and dragging the prisoners along the ground. chip frederick has his back to us. 8 of the 15 iraqis who've given evidence of abuse name charles graner as being the guard they feared the most, as taking a sadistic pleasure inflicting physical pain, sexual humiliation, and sexual assault. his lawyer argues that all his client did was follow orders given to him by military intelligence officers, civilian contract interrogators and so-called 'other government agencies', a euphemism for the cia.

    liz jackson: is your client saying that he was actually ordered to physically assault people?

    guy womack: oh, yes. of course.

    liz jackson: and that he was actually ordered to sexually humiliate people?

    guy womack: yes. in fact in the photograph that appeared on may 7 in the 'washington post', it shows military intelligence officers - four of them - standing in the area adjacent to where a scene was being created, and a civilian contractor wearing a us army uniform was bent over, gripping one of the prisoners by the neck as they were adjusting them for these photographs. in that photograph, what is depicted is three iraqi males who have been stripped of all clothing. they are lying on the floor embracing each other. specialist graner, who's in the photograph with his hands on his hips watching this, had been ordered to undress them - actually, to give them the command to undress. keep in mind the mps - military policemen - would not know the significance of those poses, but intelligence officers trained in the psyche of islamic males would know the significance of those positions.

    bill lawson: you know, if you look at some of the photographs, there are up to 14 pairs of footprints. i understand they even brought out lawn chairs. it's sort of like a roman circus. everything but the lions were there - people standing there, watching all of these photographs being taken, watching this brutality.

    liz jackson: it seems to me your defence depends critically on showing that those military intelligence officers present in that photograph were acting on orders and were not, like everyone presumes in relation to your client, just enjoying themselves at the expense of iraqi prisoners.

    guy womack: absolutely. that's absolutely true and we will do that.

    ken roth, president, human rights watch: well, one of the basic lessons to come out of nuremberg is that following blatantly illegal orders is not a defence. any low-level soldier should have known that it's never appropriate to sexually abuse prisoners. so i don't care whether they were ordered or not in terms of their guilt. they are guilty if that's what they did. what the 'following orders' defence matters for is in seeing who actually authorised this.

    liz jackson: what these same photos also reveal is the presence of civilian contractors at the scenes of abuse. their role until this scandal broke has been, as they like it, low-profile.

    what does your client say, what can he tell us about the role of private contract interrogators in abu ghraib?

    guy womack: from what he gathers, it appears the civilian contractors were the most powerful of the interrogators at the facility. keep in mind that the military intelligence officers, the other government agents and the civilian contractors all wore partial us army uniforms. none of them wore name tapes on the uniform, none wore rank insignia. the overweight gentleman that we know is a civilian contractor in the 'washington post' photo had on an army uniform, but we know that he's a civilian. there were at least 27 civilian interrogators at abu ghraib and over a hundred interpreters. some of the interpreters we believe now were not really just interpreters. they were interrogators.

    liz jackson: bob baer worked for 20 years for the cia, most recently in iraq.

    bob baer, former cia, iraq: using contract interrogators is utter stupidity because you've completely lost control of the process. you are taking national security and handing it to a private company whose objective is to make money, not national security. so, i mean, a company, you know, and these belt-weight bandits, is going to be more interested in covering up and producing what the government wants in order to have contracts renewed. there's no accountability inside private contracting companies.

    liz jackson: one of the main companies that supplied interrogators is caci international, which has a $20-million contract with the us army. the army's own internal report by general taguba names two contract employees as, quote, "either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at abu ghraib". it says of steven stephanowicz, employed by caci as an interrogator, that he lied to the inquiry and "clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse."

    it's the kind of publicity caci is doing their best to avoid. they don't want or need this kind of attention, as they showed when we were filming outside their office.

    liz jackson: well, we're taking a picture of the caci logo, because it's in the news at the moment...

    man: well, it's private property. if you look round, you'll see that it's marked 'no trespassers'.

    liz jackson: we're standing in a public space now.

    man: we don't like it. take good care, ok?

    liz jackson: can i ask what you do there?

    man: no, i'm not...

    liz jackson: you don't work for caci or you do?

    man: i work for caci.

    liz jackson: but you won't say what job you do?

    man: no.

    liz jackson: you're not in any sense involved with any people who were contracted to do interrogations?

    man: i won't say anything.

    liz jackson: so that's not a yes or not a no? are you embarrassed? is the company embarrassed by their reputation?

    man: (points to camera) have you got that thing on? if he has that thing on, it should be off.

    liz jackson: can i ask you independently, are you embarrassed by what's happened to the company - its reputation?

    man: we haven't done anything.

    liz jackson: some of the employees have been named adversely as being involved in prisoner abuse.

    man: i can't talk to you. i'm just asking you to leave here because it's private property.

    liz jackson: we're actually standing on a public space at the moment.

    man: ok. we ask you to leave.

    liz jackson: ok.

    caci supplies interrogators not just to the us military, but also to the cia. the intelligence agency's role in the abuse scandal is yet to be properly explained. what exactly is their connection to this set of shocking photos that show the body of an iraqi man, manadel al-jamadi, who died at abu ghraib on november 4? the cia is investigating his death, officially recorded as resulting from "blunt force trauma". charles graner is gloating over his body. chip frederick is said to have taken these photos, and this account is from his diary notes. he refers to the cia by the common euphemism 'oga', which stands for 'other government agency'.

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    Last edit by gwenith on Jun 7, '04
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  3. by   gwenith
    continued from above

    EXTRACT FROM CHIP FREDERICK'S DIARY: "Back around November, an OGA prisoner was brought to 1A. They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag, and packed him in ice for approximately 24 hours in the shower in 1B. The next day, the medics came in and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm, and took him away. This OGA was never processed and therefore never had a number."

    BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT: As the Pentagon briefed probably 10 days ago, there were...there had been 37 deaths of personnel while in detention - 30 in Iraq, 7 in Afghanistan. Of those 30 in Iraq, 19 are deemed to be of natural causes, some were for justifiable homicide - in other words, detainees that attempted to take weapons from the guards. There are, I believe, somewhere on the order of nine that are being investigated, and there's no doubt in my mind that we will get to the bottom of each of those cases and the appropriate actions will be taken.

    BOB BAER, FORMER CIA, IRAQ: All I know is the CIA has made three referrals to the Department of Justice, saying, you know, "We suspect that these people might have been involved in murder" - three CIA officers or contractors.

    LIZ JACKSON: The CIA had their own prisoners at Abu Ghraib, jokingly referred to as "ghost detainees" - they appeared and disappeared from one day to the next. Even the commander of the jail did not know who they were.

    NEAL PUCKETT, LAWYER FOR BRIGADIER GENERAL JANIS KARPINSKI: General Karpinski was aware throughout this entire period of time that she was over there that other government agencies would bring to Abu Ghraib and take from Abu Ghraib certain prisoners. They would say, "We need to leave this guy with you. We're finished with him." Sometimes they would show up in very bad physical condition - meaning, looked like they had been beaten or somehow injured. And other times they would come and pick up prisoners and take them away.

    LIZ JACKSON: General Taguba's report states that at least on one occasion these detainees were "moved around" to "hide them" from the visiting Red Cross team in violation of international law. The Red Cross was making regular visits to the jail, and was dismayed at what they found. A condition of their access is that their reports remain strictly confidential, but one of them was leaked to the press earlier this year.

    AMANDA WILLIAMSON, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: I'm not, I'm afraid, able to repeat or to go into the substance of what has been unfortunately put into the public domain without our permission. You can read those words. I think it's clear from what our director of operations has recently said that the concerns that we had were obviously not just about food and water. They were rather serious concerns.

    LIZ JACKSON: The most serious of the findings were based on the visits the Red Cross made in October last year. They went to Tier 1 cell block. They found people being held completely naked in totally empty concrete cells and in total darkness for days. They were told by military intelligence officers that this was "part of the process". The prisoners reported being made to stand naked with women's underwear over their head while being laughed at by female guards, and sometimes photographed in this position. The Red Cross delivered two working papers outlining these abuses to the coalition high command - the first in October last year. As commander of the jail, Brigadier General Karpinski regularly received the Red Cross reports, so did she get this one?

    NEAL PUCKETT: It's very interesting that you ask that, because that's one that she never got. That was headed off at the pass somewhere above her level, up at the CJTF7 level - Lieutenant General Sanchez's level. And she went into a meeting. After her meeting she went into a room where some folks were - senior officers, including General Wojdakowski, who was General Sanchez's deputy - they were discussing this report.

    LIZ JACKSON: The Red Cross report?

    NEAL PUCKETT: The Red Cross report. One of the allegations was that some men were required to wear women's underwear and they were joking about it. They were saying, "Well, I told Colonel Pappas about allowing them Victoria's Secret catalogue in the prison, and ordering women's underwear" - making light of it. And she said, "Well, I haven't seen that report." And Colonel Warren, the Staff Judge Advocate - the lawyer, the army lawyer for Lieutenant General Sanchez - said, "Don't worry about that, General Karpinski. My JAG cell, my judge advocates, will prepare a response for your signature...in response to that."

    LIZ JACKSON: It has now emerged that an Australian lawyer, Major George O'Kane, worked in Colonel Warren's office, and was involved in preparing that response to the Red Cross concerns. Four Corners has obtained a copy of this. It's dated 24 December 2003. It's apparent from the Army's response that the Red Cross had raised concerns specifically about the prisoners deemed to have "ongoing intelligence value" - those they found naked and in total darkness in Tier 1A. The response that Major O'Kane helped draft explains to the Red Cross that the condition of these prisoners needs to be seen "in the context of ongoing strategic interrogation", and, under the circumstances, it says, "we consider their detention to be humane". It concludes that, in any event, the Army takes the legal view that "where absolute military security so requires, security internees will not obtain full Geneva Convention protection". The letter was signed by General Karpinski.

    BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT: In Iraq, all security detainees, internees and prisoners of war are treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. There are no exceptions.

    LIZ JACKSON: Well, why would a letter that was signed by Brigadier Karpinski make a special point of saying that security internees will not necessarily obtain Geneva Convention protections?

    BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT: I can't, uh, speak to why General Karpinski would raise those charges, but that is not correct.

    LIZ JACKSON: And I understand that was drafted by the Judge Advocate's Office, by Marc Warren's office.

    BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT: Again, I haven't seen the letter so I can't comment on it.

    KEN ROTH, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: I know that a number of the senior commanders are saying they didn't see the Red Cross reports of abuse until quite late, and that may well be true. But that again obscures the fact that many of the abusive interrogation techniques didn't have to be discovered via the Red Cross - they were the orders. They were the official interrogation practices the Bush administration was authorising.

    LIZ JACKSON: In the glare of public scrutiny following these photos, the army high command was pressured to produce the actual list of interrogation techniques that was stuck on the wall of the interrogation centre at Abu Ghraib in October last year - the so-called 'Interrogation Rules of Engagement'. Scott Horton is from the New York Bar's committee on international law.

    SCOTT HORTON, NEW YORK CITY BAR ASSOCIATION: We had been asking the Department of Defense for a year for a better description of the rules of engagement and interrogation. They had steadfastly refused and then suddenly at this hearing, out pops these rules of engagement, and I think we looked at them and there was a collective expression of shock.

    LIZ JACKSON: The techniques included sleep management - that's being kept awake; sensory deprivation - that's total darkness; stress positions - that's pain; isolation for more than 30 days, and the presence of military working dogs.

    SCOTT HORTON: It's possible to give explanations for some of them that might be consistent with the Geneva Conventions. Possible, I'll say that. But when they talk about stress positions of 45 minutes and they talk about sensory deprivation, they talk about sleep management potentially for three days, they talk about the use of military working dogs, these sorts of tactics are effective only when pain is involved, and when you cross the threshold to pain you have violated the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    LIZ JACKSON: Two weeks after the army told the Red Cross that it considered the conditions at Abu Ghraib to be humane, a low-level military police guard working in Tier 1A slipped a letter and a computer disk of photos under the door of the army's criminal investigation division. Specialist Joseph Darby later told investigators it was because "the Christian in me says it's wrong". He'd copied the photos from a disk he'd been given by Specialist Charles Graner, who he says had told him, quote, "The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself.'" Within 24 hours of the photos arriving, army investigators were knocking on Chip Frederick's door at 2:30 in the morning.

    BILL LAWSON, IVAN 'CHIP' FREDERICK'S UNCLE: They came in his room and said, "You're under investigation," took his weapons and hard drive from his computer. He asked for a lawyer.

    JOANN FREDERICK: On January 14 he called me and said he had bad news. And he told me that he was being investigated. And, of course, I was shocked, but not any more than he was. He had tried to...

    LIZ JACKSON: Did he tell you what he was being investigated for?

    JOANN FREDERICK: Um...I'm not sure he did right at that time because I'm not sure he understood the whole thing right at that time.

    LIZ JACKSON: By the beginning of March, Major General Antonio Taguba had finished his investigation and submitted his secret report to the US high command. He found that between October and December, numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on detainees in Tier 1 cell block. For three months, the US high command was able to keep this damning report and the abuse photos secret. But at the end of March, both were leaked to the media. The scandal became public. The coalition's worst fears may now be realised - that these will become the defining images of the war.

    KEN ROTH, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: What the Abu Ghraib scandal represents is the end of plausible deniability. Once those photographs came out, the Bush Administration could no longer just, you know, hunker down, put their head in the sand and hope that the furore over its interrogation practices would blow over. Suddenly it had to confront it.

    BILL LAWSON: And if we'd did that, we would've had less problem than we're having right now. But the government continues to pitch this story about seven GIs to the Arab world. And what are the Arabs gonna think? If they're upset now, what are they gonna think when they find out the real truth - that MI was doing this intentionally to humiliate them in this prison to get information out of them? The world's gonna go nuts.

    LIZ JACKSON: Chip Frederick's family continues to try and enlist public support in their campaign for the full story to emerge. They remain confident that time will show that he and the other low-ranking soldiers are not the only ones to blame, and they claim that public support is swinging their way.

    BILL LAWSON: Now it's up about 75% or 80% in favour of Chip, and saying, "We'd like to know some more. And maybe he did something, but he bears a small responsibility for what he did here." Which we acknowledge that - he does. If we're gonna punish everybody, the family says he's willing to take his licks if he has did anything.

    LIZ JACKSON: And what about the Iraqi prisoners themselves - do you feel sorry for them?

    JOANN FREDERICK: In the sense that they were humiliated, yes - yes, I do. Those are horrible pictures and, yeah, it does hurt, yeah. But, uh... Yes, I feel sorry for their families if they have wives and children.

    LIZ JACKSON: And who do you blame for the fact that they were put in that situation?

    JOANN FREDERICK: The chain of command
    Last edit by gwenith on Jun 7, '04
  4. by   stevierae
    Very informative, Gwenith; thanks for posting.

    I got this email from someone today for whoever is interested:

    If Bush won't repudiate torture, we must.

    Sign on to support a powerful new ad apologizing to the Arab world for the torture at Abu Ghraib.

    Also, call your Senators to reaffirm our opposition to torture.

    Dear MoveOn member,
    By refusing to hold senior administration officials accountable, President Bush has failed to fully repudiate the torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib. Every passing day brings new photos and new news of how these despicable techniques were sanctioned at the very top, but Bush won't even condemn Rush Limbaugh for saying that the tactics were "brilliant" and the troops were "just blowing off a little steam."

    So it's up to us to try to make things right. Our campaign to hold Donald Rumsfeld accountable will continue. But today, there are two other ways we can help -- joining an apology from Americans of faith to the world, and helping pass a legal re-commitment to the Geneva Conventions and what they stand for.

    First, an important new group called FaithfulAmerica1 is putting a very moving TV ad on the air in Arab countries. The ad is a montage of American religious leaders -- Christian, Jewish, and Muslim -- humbly expressing the regrets so many of us feel for what happened.

    You can watch the ad, sign onto it, and help get it on the air, at:


    At the end of the ad, FaithfulAmerica will state the number of people who've signed on, so the more people who endorse the message, the more effective it will be.

    Please sign on today.

    Second, the Senate has an opportunity now to reaffirm our opposition to torture and our commitment to the Geneva Conventions, which ban it. The Senate is debating a bill authorizing Defense Department actions for this year, and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has offered an amendment repudiating torture and re-confirming our commitment to uphold international human rights as specified in the Geneva Conventions.2

    A vote on the Durbin amendment is expected early this week. Please call your Senators now, at:

    Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
    Phone: 202-224-5922

    Senator John Cornyn
    Phone: 202-224-2934

    Urge them to support the Durbin amendment to the Defense bill. Then say something about why it's important to you that we repudiate torture and support the Geneva Conventions.

    Please let us know you're calling, at:


    Thank you, for all you do.


    --Carrie, Joan, Lee, Noah, Peter, and Wes
    The MoveOn.org Team
    Tuesday, June 15th, 2004
  5. by   gwenith
    Thank-you Stevierae I was beginning to wonder about the resounding silence on this issue. It does touch all of us including Australia.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    “From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service,”
    “And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values. I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.” - General Antonio Taguba