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Demoted Brigadier Cleared of Some Charges

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/abu_ghraib_karpinski;_ylt=ApJamvgas0mYlLiKHO5oOUCs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ-- Demoted Brigadier Cleared of Some Charges
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2006
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/abu_ghraib_karpinski;_ylt=ApJamvgas0mYlLiKHO5oOUCs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--

      Demoted Brigadier Cleared of Some Charges

      By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer 22 minutes ago

      WASHINGTON - Army documents released Thursday
      substantiate assertions by Janis Karpinski, the
      highest-ranking officer punished in the Abu Ghraib
      prisoner abuse scandal, that she was innocent of two
      principal allegations lodged against her by the
      officer who initially investigated the abuse matter.

      Among the documents was a January 2005 report by the
      Army Inspector General's office that found
      insufficient evidence to support allegations that
      Karpinski had made a misleading statement to other
      Army investigators and that she failed to obey an
      order in connection with disciplinary action against
      soldiers under her command.

      The Army had previously made public the fact that the
      inspector general had not upheld those two
      allegations, but the report elaborating on the
      circumstances and the findings was not released until
      Thursday.

      The inspector general did uphold one allegation: that
      Karpinski, in her role as commander of a military
      police brigade responsible for Abu Ghraib, was
      derelict in the performance of her duty to ensure
      adequate protection of her soldiers at the prison.

      In her formal response to the report, which she
      submitted on Sept. 19, 2004, and which was among the
      documents released by the Army Thursday, she wrote
      that there was no merit to the charge of dereliction
      of duty, stating that she had repeatedly asked for
      reinforcements and other assets but was denied by
      higher authorities.

      She wrote in her rebuttal that senior U.S. commanders
      in Iraq had "shirked their responsibility to provide
      support to my brigade, including but not limited to
      logistics, personnel replacement and force
      protection."

      The Army report also cited evidence that she failed to
      properly respond to an International Committee of the
      Red Cross report in 2003 that cited numerous
      deficiencies in the treatment of Iraqi detainees at
      Abu Ghraib. Large sections of the inspector general's
      report on this topic were blacked out by censors
      before its release in response to a Freedom of
      Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil
      Liberties Union.

      That matter was not among the central charges against
      Karpinski, an Army Reserve brigadier general who was
      relieved of her command of the 800th Military Police
      Brigade, reprimanded and demoted to colonel last May.

      In a book published last summer, Karpinski wrote that
      she did not know about detainee abuse and asserted
      that higher-ups encouraged cruel treatment. She also
      has maintained that she was made a scapegoat as a
      woman and a reservist.

      The Army had publicly disclosed last year that the
      inspector general's review upheld the allegation of
      dereliction of duty as well as an unrelated charge of
      shoplifting. But the inspector general's report itself
      had not been released. It was among 9,000 pages of
      documentation the Army made public Thursday in
      response to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act
      lawsuit.

      All sections of the inspector general's report
      pertaining to the shoplifting charge were blacked out
      by censors.

      Karpinski also had been faulted by previous
      investigators for failing to provide an adequate
      accounting of detainees at Abu Ghraib and other
      detention centers. Those investigators said they found
      evidence of "ghost detainees" — prisoners whose
      presence at Abu Ghraib or elsewhere in the U.S.-run
      detention system in Iraq were deliberately kept hidden
      from the Red Cross.

      In her September 2004 rebuttal to the Army Inspector
      General, Karpinski wrote that her brigade had not
      favored the moving of detainees to hide them from the
      Red Cross. "Only on one occasion did the brigade know
      of this happening and this was a result of a direct
      fragmentary order by Lt. Gen. Sanchez to do so," she
      wrote, referring to Ricardo Sanchez, who at the time
      was the top American commander in Iraq.

      "The brigade immediately objected to the
      implementation of the order and contacted the CJTF-7
      staff judge advocate to question it," she added,
      referring to the top lawyer assigned to Sanchez's
      headquarters. "The brigade was told to implement the order."
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