Full Investigation of Abu Ghraib Abuses
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said May 4 that alleged abuse of Iraqi
prisoners by U.S. Army Reservist military police guards at the Abu Ghraib
Confinement Facility (BCCF) outside Baghdad was "totally unacceptable and
un-American" and that the Department of Defense will take steps to bring those
responsible to justice.
U.S. military personnel first reported the allegations on January 13, and the
Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID) began an investigation of the
alleged prisoner mistreatment the next day, Rumsfeld said. Two days later, Army
Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for Combined Task
Force 7, first made the allegations public at a media briefing in Baghdad, Iraq.
In addition, Rumsfeld said, U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for all
military operations in the region, reported the same allegations in a news
release at the same time.
"The images that we've seen that include U.S. forces are deeply disturbing, both
because of the fundamental unacceptability of what they depicted and because the
actions by U.S. military personnel in those photos do not in any way represent
the values of our country or the armed forces," Rumsfeld said during the May 4
Pentagon briefing. "As President Bush has stated, their treatment does not
reflect the nature of the American people."
"Have no doubt that we will take these charges and allegations most seriously."
Rumsfeld said that on January 31 Major General Antonio Taguba, at the request of
Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez -- the commanding general in Iraq, began an
administrative investigation of procedures at the prison.
"In February, the secretary of the Army directed the Army inspector general to
conduct an assessment of doctrine and training associated with detention
operations throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility," he said.
In March, Rumsfeld continued, the Army's chief of reserve affairs initiated an
assessment of Army Reserve training, with an emphasis on military police and
military intelligence activities related to prisoners.
On April 23, at the request of Lieutenant General Sanchez, the head of Army
intelligence provided an investigating officer to investigate military
intelligence practices in Iraq, he said.
"Let there be no doubt that this matter will be pursued properly under the
Uniform Code of Military Justice. The actions of the soldiers in those
photographs are totally unacceptable and un-American. Any who engaged in such
action let down their comrades who serve honorably each day, and they let down
their country," Rumsfeld said.
Marine General Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told
reporters at the briefing that "there has been no attempt to hide this"
investigation or the allegations.
Meanwhile, also on May 4, Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner said he and
his committee received a closed and classified briefing on the suspected
mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners of war from Army Vice Chief of Staff General
George Casey; Lieutenant General Paul Mikolashek, the Army's inspector general;
and Major General Michael Marchand, assistant judge advocate general for the
"Speaking for myself, I'm gravely concerned about this situation," Senator
Warner, a Virginia Republican, said following the briefing. "I have been
privileged to be associated with the military for over a half-century, been on
this committee for 25 years now, and this is as serious a problem of breakdown
in discipline as I've ever observed."
Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said that
there "will be a thorough, complete, total, prompt investigation as to these
events -- how widespread they are; if they go beyond the specific events we know
Casey told reporters after meeting with the Senate Armed Services Committee that
he was extremely disappointed that anyone would mistreat detainees.
"The Army is a values-based organization. And what you see on those pictures is
not indicative of our training or of our values," Casey said. "It is a complete
breakdown in discipline."
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: