We would spray air freshener to cover the scent (1 June 2004)
- Subscribe: IraqFrontNewsemail@example.com June 2004News roundup by Jim GalasynIn this issue:~ Bring Them Home ~~ Fool Me Once ~~ Hearts and Minds ~~ White Man's Burden ~~ Bring Them Home ~Baghdad blast kills 25
Tue 1 June, 2004 11:28
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 25 people have been killed and many wounded by an explosion which tore through the headquarters of a Kurdish party in Baghdad, police at the scene say.Tuesday's blast was at the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, close to Iraq's Foreign Ministry and an entrance to the "Green Zone" compound where the U.S.-led administration in Iraq is based. Shooting rang out after the explosion.Policeman Sattar Jabar said he had seen at least 25 bodies and that more than 20 people had been wounded.A huge crater was blown into the ground at the entrance to the building.The blast came as U.S. and Iraqi officials announced the names of an Iraqi government due to formally take over sovereignty from the occupying powers on June 30.Saad Adnan a driver at the transport ministry, said he was driving past the PUK headquarters when it was hit by the blast.He said guards at the building opened fire after the blast, killing some bystanders.Adnan said he saw several bodies. "One of the dead was a woman. Only her head was left," he said. top
Car bomb explodes at the gates of U.S. base in northern Iraq killing 11
Updated at 6:17 on June 1, 2004, EST.BAGHDAD (AP) - A car bomb exploded near the U.S. military base in northern Iraq on Tuesday.Eleven Iraqis were killed and 26 were wounded in the explosion, an Interior Ministry source told The Associated Press. The blast occurred around 9 a.m. outside the gates of the 1st Infantry Division's forward operating base, Summerall, in the town of Beiji, which is 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, press spokesman Capt. Bill Coppernoll said. He could not confirm the number of casualties. top
May is third deadliest month of the Iraq war
By LISA HOFFMAN and THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
May 31, 2004- At least two U.S. troops died in Iraq on Memorial Day, boosting the total death toll there to an estimated 810.The two latest casualties - soldiers killed in a continuing battle in Kufa with Shiite insurgents - boosted May to the third deadliest month of the war that began in March 2003.May also ranks as the most perilous month for U.S. National Guard and reserve troops since the war started. At least 22 so-called "weekend warriors" perished, accounting for nearly a third of the fatalities in Operation Iraqi Freedom.In April, part-time troops accounted for fewer than 1 in 5 of the fallen.The growing toll of Guard and reserve forces was predicted by military officials, stemming from an influx of thousands of reservists as part of a massive rotation of U.S. forces over the past few months. With the replacement operation nearly done, the force of 138,000 in Iraq consists of nearly 40 percent civilian-soldiers.The overall number of fatalities for May is far fewer than April, the war's bloodiest month, with 134 dead. Even so, May's estimated death count at 79 is just short of the 83 who fell in November 2003, the second worst month. The Pentagon ascribed the November violence to an insurgent offensive timed to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.In April, it was pitched battles that raged for days between U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces in the Sunni stronghold of Fallujah and south of Baghdad in the Shiite sectors of the country that led to the soaring body count. A recent ceasefire in Fallujah worked out between insurgents and U.S. troops reduced attacks there in May.May also has brought a rise in non-combat deaths: 20 Americans succumbed to vehicle accidents, drowning and accidental electrocutions. That is about double the non-hostile deaths in April.The oldest soldier to die so far in the war suffered cardiac arrest after surgery for an intestinal infection. An Army National Guardsman, Staff Sgt. William Chaney, 59, of Schaumburg, Ill., was a Vietnam War vet whose civilian job was as a technician at Midway Airport near Chicago. Chaney was the ninth U.S. fatality among those 50 or older in the 15-month conflict.The first reservist to die in May was Sgt. Joshua S. Ladd, 20, of Fort Gibson, Miss., a National Guardsman killed May 1 when insurgents in Mosul used rocket-propelled grenades to attack a convoy attempting to re-supply the Army's new brigade of Stryker combat vehicles.Reservists were significantly more likely to die in combat in May than were regular military forces. About 90 percent of the reservist fatalities were from hostile fire compared to about 60 percent of regular military forces.Aside from Chaney, only two other reservists died of non-battle causes.Nearly half of all U.S. combat deaths in May resulted from improvised explosive devices, remote-controlled bombs that since August have been the insurgency's weapon of choice in nearly half of all successful attacks on U.S. troops. But May saw a considerable rise in the use of mortars, which accounted for at least 10 U.S. deaths and have been a growing menace in recent months.Only three of the dead in May have been officers, while slightly more than 40 percent were sergeants and other non-commissioned officers.The deceased troops came from 27 states, including 13 from California, eight from Florida, five from Pennsylvania and four each from Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. top
WARSAW, Poland (AP) Two Polish construction workers were abducted Tuesday near Baghdad, a Polish army spokesman said.The two men were taken from their apartment northwest of the city at about 6 p.m. and forced into a car. One of the men escaped and reached coalition forces, Lt. Col. Robert Strzelecki, the spokesman for the Polish-led multinational division in Iraq, said in a telephone interview from Camp Babylon in Iraq.''The man is in good condition, he suffered no injuries and he has gotten in touch with his family,'' he said.A search is now under way for the second man, Strzelecki said. He was not identified.Poland, a leading U.S. ally in last year's war to oust Saddam Hussein, commands some 6,200 troops from 17 nations in south-central Iraq and contributes some 2,400 troops of its own. top
5,000 Marines Set for Rapid Deployment to Iraq
About 5,000 Marines to Head Into Iraq in July Under an Unusually Tight Deployment ScheduleThe Associated PressCAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait June 1, 2004 In a rapid-fire deployment, about 5,000 U.S. Marines will arrive this month and travel to Iraq in July, the military said Tuesday.
The deployment occurs in the fierce heat of summer and under an extraordinarily tight schedule, with troops expected to land in the war theater a few weeks after receiving orders."We'll be pushing them through the theater and getting them up north" into Iraq, said Army Col. Gary McKown, who oversees U.S. troop movements into Iraq from this desert base south of Kuwait City.The Marines, who had yet to receive official deployment orders Tuesday, will be among the units traveling into Iraq in July, relieving about 15,000 war-weary soldiers from the Army's 1st Armored Division and 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment.In April, both Army units had their stays in Iraq extended by three months after a pair of insurgent uprisings spread deadly turmoil across the country, requiring U.S. troops to take over a swath of Iraq formerly occupied by its coalition partners.Military officials have identified the incoming Marine units as the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and the 24th MEU from Camp Lejeune, N.C.The Marines will be followed by 3,600 soldiers from the U.S. Army's South Korea-based 2nd Infantry Division. Those soldiers will pass through Kuwait after the Marines, McKown said in an interview with The Associated Press."They'll have a little longer to get here," he said. "I don't want anyone to think we're pushing that unit that fast."Many of the incoming troops have already been to war in Iraq or Afghanistan, said Army Col. Greg Adams, who runs the giant Coalition Operations Intelligence Center here, overseeing military logistics in Iraq and Afghanistan.McKown and Adams said the troops already know they are being sent to Iraq but would be given official orders within days. The Iraq-bound troops were packing, handling family matters and taking care of last-minute training, McKown said."We've already had contact with them, given them their preliminary information," McKown said. "Notification is faster than normal, so we're on a compressed timeline."At the same time, military transportation officials in Kuwait were organizing cargo aircraft and ships to ferry the troops and their gear to the port here. Because of the short time between notification and arrival in Kuwait, the complex rotation of forces must be tightly synchronized.The emergency troop rotation has been dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom 2.5, because it occurs after the huge rotation of U.S. forces in Iraq this spring, when most U.S. invasion troops left and were replaced by the current contingent.The Germany-based 1st Armored Division and Louisiana-based 2nd Armored Cavalry were supposed to depart in April, leaving U.S. troop levels in Iraq at around 110,000. But Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, ordered the units to stay in Iraq 90 days longer, keeping 130,000 troops in the country.The Pentagon has decided to retain that level of combat power in Iraq beyond the summer, requiring military brass to find troops who could be deployed ahead of schedule. A second major rotation of forces, dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom 3, is supposed to begin in October.The Marines will spend about 20 days in Kuwait, unloading their gear, practice-firing their weapons and acclimating themselves to desert heat that already is soaring above 110 degrees. topBy Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A newly unearthed Pentagon e-mail about Halliburton contracts in Iraq prompted fresh calls on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for probes into whether Vice President Dick Cheney helped his old firm get the deals.The e-mail, reported in the latest edition of Time magazine, provided "clear evidence" of a relationship between Cheney and multibillion-dollar contracts Halliburton has received for rebuilding Iraq, Sen. Patrick Leahy said."It totally contradicts the vice president's previous assertions of having no contact" with federal officials about Halliburton's Iraq deals, Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said in a conference call with reporters."It would be irresponsible not to hold hearings," Leahy said, adding that several committees on Capitol Hill, from appropriations to governmental affairs, would have jurisdiction to convene such a probe.The March 2003 Pentagon e-mail says action on a no-bid Halliburton contract to rebuild Iraq's oil industry was "coordinated" with Cheney's office. Cheney was chief executive officer of the oilfield services giant from 1995 until he joined George W. Bush's presidential ticket in 2000.New Jersey's Sen. Frank Lautenberg, another Democrat, urged the chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Republican Sen. Susan Collins, to subpoena e-mails and any other evidence of contacts between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Cheney's office on Halliburton's Iraq contracts, Lautenberg's spokesman said.Cheney's office denied over the weekend that it had any role in the Halliburton contract process, and a senior adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaign, Mary Matalin, repeated this on Tuesday."The vice president had no operational involvement with letting of any contracts," she said on NBC's "Today" show.Lautenberg and several other Democrats have called for months for hearings into U.S. government deals involving Halliburton, the biggest contractor in Iraq.U.S. officials have estimated the Texas company's Iraq deals, for everything from oil repairs to meals for the troops, could eventually total some $18 billion.But only the majority party can schedule hearings, and Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, have so far refused to do so.Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told reporters he was not familiar with the Time report and "it would premature for me to say whether we need hearings."
The March 2003 no-bid contract handed out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers promised the company about $2.5 billion for rebuilding Iraq's oil industry. It was replaced in January 2004 by two contracts totaling $2 billion, with Halliburton retaining work in southern Iraq for $1.2 billion.Time said it located the e-mail among documents provided by Judicial Watch, a watchdog group. The e-mail was sent by anArmy Corps of Engineers official on March 5, 2003.It said Douglas Feith, who reports to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, approved arrangements for the contract to rebuild Iraq's oil industry "contingent on informing WH (White House) tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w VP's (vice president's) office."A former deputy defense secretary, John White, said the situation revealed by the e-mail showed unprecedented political input on Pentagon contracts.White said he could not understand why the e-mail had mentioned Feith, since Feith is undersecretary for policy and would not normally be handling contracts."Political officials stay away from these sorts of issues, they don't get involved in them," White, deputy defense secretary in the mid-1990s, said during the conference call with Leahy. "I've never heard of anything like this before." top
Iraqi political experts unimpressed with new govt
Iraqi political scientists compare line-up with unpopular monarchy imposed by Britain after World War I.
By Jennie Matthew - BAGHDADIraqi political experts have dismissed the country's first post-Saddam Hussein government which was unveiled on Tuesday as hamstrung by Washington and manipulated by exiles.They feared the highly respected Algerian UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, was largely powerless to impose his will for a competent, technocratic government.Despite fine words from the new leaders for a democratic Iraq, political scientists compared the line-up with the unpopular monarchy imposed by Britain after World War I that failed to drain the flow of oil revenues to London.President-designate Ghazi al-Yawar lived in Saudi Arabia for 15 years, vice president Ibrahim Jaffari fled in 1980, a decade after prime minister Iyad Allawi also took off for more than 30 years in exile.They all returned to Iraq after president Saddam Hussein was ousted from power by last year's US-led invasion. Along with many of their colleagues on the US-installed Governing Council, they enjoy close ties with Washington."How can you accept people who came with the occupiers? The people who were tortured and who suffered inside Iraq deserve these positions," said Hussein Hafed al-Ukaly from the Centre for International Studies at Baghdad University."These people with foreign connections are not real patriots, so how can they serve our people?" he added.In keeping with the interim constitution signed in March and designed to reflect the country's population, the president is a Sunni Muslim, the prime minister Shiite Muslim, the deputy prime minister Kurdish, while another Kurd and a Shiite fill the two vice presidential posts.But Ukaly sees this as a restrictive, short-sighted US policy which exaggerates fears that Iraq's ethnic divisions could be on the verge of erupting into sectarian warfare."People in Iraq don't differentiate between Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, Jew, Christian. It is not necessary," said the international affairs lecturer.According to the process, Brahimi, US chief administrator Paul Bremer and the Governing Council had to agree on the make-up of the new government. But academics are sure the reality is different."Bremer is the new Sir Percy Cox," said Hamid al-Sadoun, also a lecturer at the Centre for International Studies, referring to London's first high commissioner for Iraq after the British mandate was declared in the 1920s."This whole process is being conducted under a shadow. No one can understand what's going on. It's just a plot between Bremer and Brahimi," said Ukaly.Yawar's preference for traditional tribal dress rather than slick Western suits also came under the microscope."If he takes his keffiyeh off he will serve Iraq, but if he continues to wear it, he'll present an image of Iraq that is uneducated. Iraq is a civilised country and it's impossible to gravitate back to tribal traditions," he said.But criticisms aside, there is no disputing the urgency for Iraqi self-rule, however limited independence may prove in practice."It is vital to have a government that is strong, with efficient means to the current insecurity to an end. It doesn't matter what kind, it could even be the devil," said Hassan Alany, a constitutional expert at the university.He certainly has his reservations, but Alany went to primary school with Allawi and is satisfied that he can make the best of a bad job."He is very well-known, from a good family. His father was a doctor. He has security experience and is a large man with a tough face."But for ordinary Iraqis his ties to the Central Intelligence Agency, which is reviled as a ruthless tool of US policy across the Middle East, only emphasise the government's need to win legitimacy."To solve this problem, you need to choose an official who has not come from abroad. You need to have a certain balance," Alany said."Why didn't they choose these men?"For the same reason the Governing Council has failed, the new government will fail," predicted Ukaly."The population feels that it is a duplicate of the Governing Council," echoed a spokesman for influential Committee of Ulemas, or Sunni scholars. topPosted 5/31/2004 11:52 PM Updated 6/1/2004 12:12 AM
WASHINGTON More than a third of the prisoners who died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan were shot, strangled or beaten by U.S. personnel before they died, according to death certificates and a high-ranking U.S. military official.
The military official, who has direct knowledge of ongoing Pentagon investigations of the deaths, said that 15 of 37 prisoners who have died since December 2002 appear to have been killed or put in grave danger by U.S. troops or interrogators. In some cases, the immediate cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but that was in turn caused by a beating. (Related item: Evidence of abuse abounds)Some of the cases have been cleared. Four of the 15 deaths occurred when guards shot detainees in Iraq during a prison riot at Abu Ghraib prison in November 2003; the shootings have been ruled justifiable homicides.In another case, a guard who shot a prisoner to death for throwing rocks at him was demoted and dishonorably discharged.But other cases remain in limbo. The military is investigating eight deaths as "suspicious." The numbers don't appear to add up, but the Pentagon has not yet provided a detailed list of all the cases. Many of the deaths that don't seem to have been caused directly by U.S. personnel have been attributed by medical examiners to natural causes.Nonetheless, at least three patterns have emerged so far: Six prisoners died from "blunt force trauma" or excessive force on the part of captors or prison guards, including two within a week of one another at the same prison. Two prisoners at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, died of complications Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, 2002, after being struck forcefully on their legs by guards or interrogators, military records show. One death certificate said the leg beating "complicat(ed) coronary artery disease," and the other certificate said the beating led to a "pulmonary embolism," or an artery blockage in the lungs that is often caused by a blood clot. At least four prisoners died in Iraq from strangulation, asphyxia, smothering or "compromised respiration," including Abid Mowhosh, a major general who headed Iraq's air defenses, whose death certificate says he died from "asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression." At least nine prisoners died in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib prison including five in August 2003 as the result of heart disease or heat-related problems. The five deaths occurred in Baghdad over a 15-day period, when temperatures soared between 120-130 degrees.In one case, a detainee named Tariq Mohamed Zaid died Aug. 22, 2003, in what military medical examiners originally called a "heat-related incident." But now the circumstances of Zaid's death are being re-examined, and investigators are trying to determine whether U.S. troops gave him enough water and proper care, the high-ranking military official said.If Zaid's death or others previously classified as due to natural causes prove to be the result of negligence, U.S. troops could face charges.The death cases have come under increased scrutiny in the past month since the Pentagon acknowledged that U.S. soldiers abused detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad and at other detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.In the wake of a scandal that has damaged American credibility and threatened the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, the Army is re-evaluating some of the death cases, including one where an investigation appears to have exonerated U.S. personnel for the death of an Afghan prisoner. In that case, the prisoner was delivered to U.S. forces already mortally wounded, and died in American custody. The case was initially ruled as a homicide while in U.S. custody, but may be changed given the prisoner's grave condition at the time he was handed over, the high-ranking military official said.Last week, the Pentagon posted on its Web site death certificates for 23 of the 37 prisoners who have died in U.S. custody. Of the 37 deaths, 32 died in Iraq over 12 months and five in Afghanistan over 18 months.No U.S. soldiers have been criminally charged in any of the deaths, though in one case a soldier was discharged. Two Marines face courts-martial for their roles in the strangulation death of 52-year-old Naem Sadoon Hatab at the Camp Whitehorse detention facility near the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on June 6, 2003.The death probes being conducted by Army criminal investigators are centered on Army, Marine and Navy personnel as well as contractors and CIA interrogators.In all, about 42,000 prisoners have been detained in Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2002. The vast majority of the more than 41,000 prisoners detained in Iraq have been released. topBy Scott Higham, Joe Stephens and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 1, 2004; Page A01On May 1, a U.S. Army investigator took the stand in a criminal proceeding in Baghdad against one of the seven military police soldiers charged in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. There was, he said, "absolutely no evidence" that military intelligence officers or the military police chain of command had authorized the abuse to aid interrogations.
"These individuals were acting on their own," said Army special agent Tyler Pieron, who investigated the case for the Criminal Investigation Division. "The photos I saw, and the totality of our interviews, show that certain individuals were just having fun at the expense of the prisoners. Taking pictures of sexual positions, the assaults and things along that nature were done simply because they could. It all happened after hours. The fear instilled in the prisoners after these incidents may have been a benefit, but I don't know for sure."A month later, that assessment has hardened into the accepted position on the abuse scandal for the Bush administration and the Pentagon. Yet an analysis of the dates of the photographs that form the heart of the case against the MPs provides a more nuanced picture.Some of the photographs support the theory that MPs sought to humiliate prisoners for entertainment. The infamous shots show a naked human pyramid, a hooded man standing on a box and detainees forced to masturbate -- acts that apparently were staged to punish prisoners or amuse guards, not specifically to coerce confessions for military intelligence (MI).But questions remain about the shots of snarling dogs intimidating detainees. The photos were taken weeks after the most publicized MP abuse occurred, according to date stamps accompanying photographs obtained by The Washington Post. The date stamps, which are in a database obtained by The Post that was apparently compiled by military investigators, show that the widely published photograph of a naked man confronted by unmuzzled German shepherds was taken on Dec. 12 -- a month after the human pyramid and during a period when military intelligence officers were in formal control of the prison.The date stamps reveal that the recording of the abuses started shortly after the MPs arrived at the prison and built to a crescendo of perversity, with the naked human pyramid on Nov. 8. One of the photographed incidents stands out because it contains military intelligence officers in the frame -- showing soldiers gathered around three naked men lying shackled together on Oct. 25. Finally, the photographs suggest that two distinct types of abuse occurred at the prison. First, sexual humiliation and crude brutality at the hands of the MPs. Then, the more targeted use of dogs.The photographs have always been a tantalizing but limited body of evidence. They are hard to dispute, but it is also hard to know what happened outside the frame or in between the photographs. Transcripts show that investigators aimed to get the stories behind the images."Our main purpose was to identify the personnel in the photos; we also wanted to find out if MI told MPs to do these acts," Pieron said. "If so, we wanted to know who told them; that's why we interviewed everyone. No one said, 'Do this to that person,' or anything specific."Of the seven MPs charged in the case, at least three have given statements suggesting that military intelligence fostered the abuse. But those MPs provided few specifics and did not identify any military intelligence officers by name. The MPs said other soldiers -- Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II and Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr. -- acted as liaisons with military intelligence, but one soldier said that "nothing was ever in writing." Graner and Frederick have invoked their right against self-incrimination and declined to give statements.Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, whom top commanders asked to look into the abuse, said in his report that he suspected that two military intelligence commanders at the prison and two civilian contractors working with military intelligence were "either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses."Maj. Gen. George R. Fay is now investigating the role of military intelligence in the scandal.'Part of the Process'Taguba's report lists 13 acts of "intentional abuse" that form the basis of the criminal charges against the MPs, who are all members of the 372nd Military Police Company based in Cresaptown, Md. The abuse first occurred shortly after the 372nd arrived at Abu Ghraib on Oct. 15, taking control of Tier 1A, which held prisoners wanted for questioning by military intelligence.Around this time, the top commanders issued new rules for interrogations. A sheet labeled "Interrogation Rules of Engagement" was posted at the prison, requiring the top general's approval for harsher methods, including sleep deprivation, stress positions for detainees and intimidation with dogs. The rules noted that Geneva Conventions applied and commanded that "detainees will NEVER be touched in a malicious or unwanted manner."But there is evidence that those rules were already being violated.In mid-October -- the exact date is not specified -- Red Cross officials visited Tier 1A. They "witnessed the practice of keeping persons deprived of their liberty completely naked in totally empty concrete cells and in total darkness," a Red Cross report states. When Red Cross officials complained, "The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was 'part of the process,' " the report states. The report also noted the detainees were being forced to wear women's underwear.The 372nd MPs' digital cameras soon started recording the images of naked Iraqis.In the photographs obtained by The Post, the earliest abuse appears in those dated Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. One shows a hooded Iraqi handcuffed to the bars of his cell; another shows a handcuffed naked man with women's underwear covering his head.Spec. Sabrina D. Harman, one of the charged MPs, later told investigators she had heard that it was standard operating procedure to strip-search the detainees on Tier 1A, and that female guards were allowed to be present. But Harman said she was unsure who had told her that: "Either MI, SSG Frederick or CPL Graner."The next photograph in the sequence is the famous shot of Pfc. Lynndie R. England holding a dog leash fastened around the neck of a naked man. It is dated Oct. 24.Spec. Roman Krol, 23, a military intelligence interrogator and a reservist with the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion in Devens, Mass., said he witnessed the scene during a late-night visit he made to prisoners he had been interrogating on Tier 1A."I said, 'People are stupid,' and I just kept on walking," he said in his first public interview. "If I knew that our people were telling them to do that, I would try to stop it. I just didn't know. I don't want to get into it that deep. I basically didn't ask anyone anything."The night after the incident, soldiers on the cellblock gathered around three shackled naked men splayed out on the floor. Krol identified himself in one photograph standing to the side while an MP is hunched over the three men, who were being disciplined for allegedly raping a boy in the prison.Krol also said he was just wandering by when the incident occurred and thought it violated the tenets of good interrogation.He said he "guessed someone told the MPs" to soften up Iraqi detainees. But he said he never raised concerns with the MPs, other military intelligence officers or anyone in his chain of command, choosing instead to keep what he saw to himself."I really don't know how it got started," said Krol, now back in the United States after a two-month assignment interrogating prisoners at Abu Ghraib. "It's [military police's] job, I guess. I didn't tell them what to do, and they didn't tell me what to do."It was "immoral," he says now."I saw this going on. I just stood there for a few minutes. I don't know why they were doing it. They were brutal, but it's their job to handle the prisoners."He added: "They were yelling at them. Whatever they were doing, they were doing it and I didn't care."Krol also identified two others in the picture: a civilian translator, Adel L. Nakhla, and a military intelligence officer, Spec. Armin John Cruz. Krol said that he believed the man standing next to him in uniform was an MP whose name he does not know, and that Graner was kneeling over the three men. Other sources have identified a third military intelligence officer in the picture, Spec. Israel Rivera.The photograph is significant because it places military intelligence at the scene of what is now considered a criminal act in the cases against the MPs. After that incident, Krol said, he stopped visiting the cellblock during the night shift. "I didn't want to see anything anymore," he said.Krol said that was the only abuse he witnessed before leaving the prison in mid-November. He said the abuse was not designed to glean military intelligence. "I would never tell anyone to do this," he said. "If you do this, it's likely they will never talk to you."Krol, Cruz, Rivera and Nakhla are all listed as witnesses in the cases against the MPs. Cruz and Rivera have declined to testify and invoked their right against self-incrimination, documents show. So has Nakhla, who works for the Titan Corp.Violating RulesThe next photograph in the sequence is the one of the hooded man standing on a military food box, his arms outstretched and wires attached to his extremities. It is dated Nov. 5, which conflicts with military documents that say it was taken on Nov. 8. Also on Nov. 5, Graner and Harman posed with a body left on the cellblock."We would spray air freshener to cover the scent," said Spec. Bruce Brown, an MP testifying at a preliminary court hearing. "MI or OGA interrogated this guy, and somehow he died. They finally took the body away." OGA stands for "other government agency," a common term for the CIA.Spec. Jason A. Kenner, another MP, testified that officers from other government agencies and a Navy SEAL team brought the detainee in alive with a bag over his head; Kenner said he later saw that the man had been severely beaten on his face. OGA officers took the detainee to a shower room used for interrogations, Kenner said, and shackled him to a wall."About an hour later, he died on them," Kenner testified. "They decided to put him on ice. There was a battle between [OGA] and MI as to who was going to take care of the body. A couple days later, he was finally disposed of."Five of the 13 acts of abuse -- the most by far -- occurred on one night, Nov. 8. That is when the MPs built a naked human pyramid with seven detainees accused of inciting a riot in another part of the prison. The MPs told investigators that Frederick and Graner orchestrated the incident. England, who did not work on the cellblock and came by that night to celebrate her birthday with her friends, told investigators that Frederick photographed the pyramid. Graner and Harman posed, smiling, behind the naked bodies.Also on Nov. 8, prisoners were forced to masturbate, arranged in sexually explicit positions and punched by Frederick and Graner, according to some of the MPs' statements.Sgt. Samuel Provance, a military intelligence systems analyst at the prison, testified that the events of Nov. 8 clearly violated the interrogation rules of engagement."I have never heard of any of these techniques used by MI," he said at a hearing, adding that inexperience was to blame. "It was confusing the way the place was run. It was an important mission run by reservists who did not know what they were doing. They were just on their own."The prosecution cases against the MPs so far have focused on the events of Nov. 8 and a few nights -- Oct. 24 and 25, and Nov. 5. Some of the MPs appear from documents and testimony to have had limited involvement.Spec. Jeremy C. Sivits, an auto mechanic whose primary jobs at Abu Ghraib were to maintain a fleet of light vehicles and fill prison generators with fuel, apparently was in the cellblock only once, for a total of 30 minutes. On May 19, Sivits pleaded guilty to photographing some of the abuse and not trying to stop it.Spec. Megan M. Ambuhl, who by at least two accounts was standing on an upper level looking down on the alleged abuse, appears not to have touched any of the detainees. She is pictured in only one photograph watching England hold the dog leash. There is also evidence that Sivits and Ambuhl helped a detainee who was punched in the chest by another MP.At Ambuhl's Article 32 hearing, a preliminary step toward a court-martial, the investigating officer concluded that while she was present for the pyramid and the forced masturbation, there was insufficient evidence to show that she participated. He did find enough evidence to allow charges to proceed that she conspired with the others in the dog-leash incident and was derelict in her duty for not protecting detainees.Use of DogsThe last of the iconic images in the sequence is of the naked man being threatened by dogs and cowering to cover his genitals. The date stamp shows it was taken Dec. 12.Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the military police commander at the prison, said in transcripts accompanying Taguba's report that the idea to use dogs came from Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who was in charge of the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.By then, Pappas had been given tactical command of Abu Ghraib, in an order dated Nov. 19, making military intelligence responsible for the MPs conducting detainee operations. The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, has testified that the order gave military intelligence responsibility only for protection of the facility. But it gave Pappas responsibility for "security of detainees and base protection," according to a copy of its classified language.On Nov. 24, a riot occurred in an outdoor compound at the prison. Nine U.S. soldiers were injured, three detainees were killed by military police and nine other detainees were wounded. Also that day, on Tier 1A, an MP was shot by a detainee, who had obtained a weapon from an Iraqi prison guard. Five military dogs were brought into the cellblock "to either intimidate or cause fear or stress," Taguba noted during his interview with Pappas.In his report, Taguba lists using unmuzzled military dogs to intimidate and frighten detainees as one of the 13 intentional acts of abuse. topStaff writer R. Jeffrey Smith and research editor Margot Williams contributed to this report.Posted 6/1/2004 5:14 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) An Army general who visited Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last fall complained that the military was violating international war standards by incarcerating common criminals along with insurgents captured in attacks against U.S.-led forces.
It was one among dozens of observations in a still-classified report, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, portraying an overcrowded, dysfunctional prison system lacking basic sanitation and medical supplies."Due to operational limitations, facility limitations and force protection issues, there are criminal detainees collocated with other types of detainees, including security detainees," wrote Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, the Army's provost martial general. "However, the Geneva Convention does not allow this."Ryder warned that mixing such prisoners "invites confusion about handling, processing and treatment."Article 84 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits housing prisoners of war and "persons deprived of liberty for any other reason" with general criminal populations. The rules also require that enemy prisoners be kept in facilities "affording every guarantee of hygiene and healthfulness."Ryder's 64-page report, dated Nov. 5, states at the outset that investigators found no evidence of "inappropriate" treatment of Iraqi detainees by military police. It does not detail any efforts to find evidence of the abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib around the time he visited the prison except to note that his team found a "wide variance" of detention practices at Coalition Provisional Authority facilities, including "flawed or insufficiently detailed use of force and other standing operating procedures or policies."Widely circulated photos have shown U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners.An Army spokesman declined to comment on the report. Ryder's mission in Iraq was to assess the capabilities of the country's prison system not at a specific prison. The report was assigned by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the chief of U.S. forces in Iraq.Other senior Army officials, including Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who was appointed in January to investigate allegations of abuses and whose report found them widespread, also have complained separately about the mingling of prison populations in Iraq.But none so explicitly acknowledged that the Army's procedures might have violated international law."You can no longer say there was some unclarity or wiggle room about what we were doing there," said Deborah Pearlstein, director of the U.S. law and security program for Human Rights First, a private rights organization. "Here you have your own general saying, 'We're in violation of international law.'"The report described a chaotic prison system, with staff lacking "basic necessities" such as food, cleaning supplies and hygiene items, and carrying little accountability for providing adequate health care.At some facilities, contractors were allowed to use "unsecured" and "unsupervised" tools, while soldiers carried weapons when interacting with detainees "an unacceptable risk inside a confinement facility," according to the report. The report does not specify what the tools were.At Camp Ganci, the holding facility for security internees at Abu Ghraib, the "area is littered with trash, has pools of water standing around latrines and the bottles of water carried by detainees for water consumption are filthy," the report said. Moreover, it charged, Abu Ghraib "lacks hospital beds, diagnostic equipment" and is understaffed and unprepared to care for chronically sick and mentally ill detainees.At one point, the report prescribes brooms and bleach to be distributed throughout the prison system. It also recommends building a laundry facility where detainees could work.
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