Ed Schweppe (edschweppe) wrote,
Ed Schweppe

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The Taguba Report about the Abu Ghraib fiasco

Oh, f2k.

MSNBC has posted what they say is the complete text of Major General Antonio Taguba's report on the clusterf2k at Abu Ghraib ("with only the names of some witnesses removed for the sake of privacy"). It's pretty goddamn ugly. Go read the report yourself, if your stomach is strong enough.

Major General Taguba was directed to:

a. (U) Inquire into all the facts and circumstances surrounding recent allegations of detainee abuse, specifically llegations of maltreatment at the Abu Ghraib Prison (Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF));
b. (U) Inquire into detainee escapes and accountability lapses as reported by CJTF-7, specifically allegations concerning these events at the Abu Ghraib Prison;
c. (U) Investigate the training, standards, employment, command policies, internal procedures, and command climate in the 800th MP Brigade, as appropriate;
d. (U) Make specific findings of fact concerning all aspects of the investigation, and make any recommendations for corrective action, as appropriate.

Some excerpts from the report:

Part One (The investigation should inquire into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding recent allegations of detainee abuse, specifically, allegations of maltreatment at the Abu Ghraib Prison (Baghdad Central Confinement Facility)) Findings of Fact include:

5. (S) That between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320thMilitary Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF).

6. (S) I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

a. (S) Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;

b. (S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. (S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

d. (S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

e. (S) Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

f. (S) Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

g. (S) Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;

h. (S) Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

i. (S) Writing "I am a Rapest" (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;

j. (S) Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;

k. (S) A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;

l. (S) Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;

m. (S) Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.

Gulp. I couldn't have imagined things being this bad ... until I read it for myself. No wonder the damn thing was classified.

8. (U) In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses (ANNEX 26):

a. (U) Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

b. (U) Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

c. (U) Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

d. (U) Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

e. (U) Threatening male detainees with rape;

f. (U) Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

g. (U) Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

h. (U) Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

10. (U) I find that contrary to the provision of AR 190-8, and the findings found in MG Ryder’s Report, Military Intelligence (MI) interrogators and Other US Government Agency’s (OGA) interrogators actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses. Contrary to the findings of MG Ryder’s Report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372ndMP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to "set the conditions" for MI interrogations. I find no direct evidence that MP personnel actually participated in those MI interrogations. (ANNEXES 19, 21, 25, and 26).

Oh, how truly good. This wasn't just a few rotten MPs; Military Intelligence and other US government personnel were definitely involved. (OGA = CIA, presumably; but I can't tell from this.)

Part Two (The Investigation inquire into detainee escapes and accountability lapses as reported by CJTF-7, specifically allegations concerning these events at the Abu Ghraib Prison) Findings of Fact include:

20. (U) Basic Army Doctrine was not widely referenced or utilized to develop the accountability practices throughout the 800th MP Brigade’s subordinate units. Daily processing, accountability, and detainee care appears to have been made up as the operations developed with reliance on, and guidance from, junior members of the unit who had civilian corrections experience. (Annex 21)

Great. Just spiffy. These guys are relying on junior troops who were civilian prison guards to make up the rules on the fly.

28. (U) Neither the camp rules nor the provisions of the Geneva Conventions are posted in English or in the language of the detainees at any of the detention facilities in the 800th MP Brigade’s AOR, even after several investigations had annotated the lack of this critical requirement. (Multiple Witness Statements and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)

31. (U) SGM Marc Emerson, Operations SGM, 320th MP Battalion, contended that the Detainee Rules of Engagement (DROE) and the general principles of the Geneva Convention were briefed at every guard mount and shift change on Abu Ghraib. However, none of our witnesses, nor our personal observations, support his contention. I find that SGM Emerson was not a credible witness.

The Sergeant Major was lying to the investigators? So much for professionalism in the NCO ranks.

(U) Unfortunately, many of the systemic problems that surfaced during MG Ryder’s Team’s assessment are the very same issues that are the subject of this investigation. In fact, many of the abuses suffered by detainees occurred during, or near to, the time of that assessment. As will be pointed out in detail in subsequent portions of this report, I disagree with the conclusion of MG Ryder’s Team in one critical aspect, that being its conclusion that the 800th MP Brigade had not been asked to change its facility procedures to set the conditions for MI interviews. While clearly the 800th MP Brigade and its commanders were not tasked to set conditions for detainees for subsequent MI interrogations, it is obvious from a review of comprehensive CID interviews of suspects and witnesses that this was done at lower levels.

Part Three (Investigate the training, standards, employment, command policies, internal procedures, and command climate in the 800th MP Brigade, as appropriate) Findings of Fact include:

3. (U) There is abundant evidence in the statements of numerous witnesses that soldiers throughout the 800th MP Brigade were not proficient in their basic MOS skills, particularly regarding internment/resettlement operations. Moreover, there is no evidence that the command, although aware of these deficiencies, attempted to correct them in any systemic manner other than ad hoc training by individuals with civilian corrections experience.

There was some good news; this report does praise some units and specific individuals:

3. (U) Throughout the investigation, we observed many individual Soldiers and some subordinate units under the 800th MP Brigade that overcame significant obstacles, persevered in extremely poor conditions, and upheld the Army Values. We discovered numerous examples of Soldiers and Sailors taking the initiative in the absence of leadership and accomplishing their assigned tasks.

a. (U) The 744th MP Battalion, commanded by LTC Dennis McGlone, efficiently operated the HVD Detention Facility at Camp Cropper and met mission requirements with little to no guidance from the 800th MP Brigade. The unit was disciplined, proficient, and appeared to understand their basic tasks.

b. (U) The 530th MP Battalion, commanded by LTC Stephen J. Novotny, effectively maintained the MEK Detention Facility at Camp Ashraf. His Soldiers were proficient in their individual tasks and adapted well to this highly unique and non-doctrinal operation.

c. (U) The 165th MI Battalion excelled in providing perimeter security and force protection at Abu Ghraib (BCCF). LTC Robert P. Walters, Jr., demanded standards be enforced and worked endlessly to improve discipline throughout the FOB.

4. (U) The individual Soldiers and Sailors that we observed and believe should be favorably noted include:

a. (U) Master-at-Arms First Class William J. Kimbro, US Navy Dog Handler, knew his duties and refused to participate in improper interrogations despite significant pressure from the MI personnel at Abu Ghraib.

b. (U) SPC Joseph M. Darby, 372nd MP Company discovered evidence of abuse and turned it over to military law enforcement.

c. (U) 1LT David O. Sutton, 229th MP Company, took immediate action and stopped an abuse, then reported the incident to the chain of command.

Thank god for small favors. We're going to need them in the very near future.

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