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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to email@example.com Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. Some responsible for torture still on the job.. (k hanly) --__--__-- Message: 1 From: "k hanly" <khanly@DELETETHISmb.sympatico.ca> To: "newsclippings" <email@example.com> Subject: Some responsible for torture still on the job.. Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 14:08:36 -0500 Bush sickened, but suspects still at work By Marian Wilkinson, Herald Correspondent in Washington May 8, 2004 Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format Standing in the Rose Garden at the White House, President George Bush declared that the graphic photographs of US military guards abusing Iraqi prisoners "made us sick to our stomachs". Apologising for the first time to the prisoners and their families, he promised that "the wrongdoers will be brought to justice". Yet as he spoke, two of the central figures named in a US Army report two months ago as most likely responsible for the abuses were still in their jobs. They are the head of the army's military intelligence unit in Baghdad, Colonel Thomas Pappas, and a shadowy private defence contractor who worked as an interrogator with that unit at the Abu Ghraib prison, Steven Stephanowicz. "I can't believe that," said one of the lawyers defending a junior officer charged in the scandal when told by the Herald. But the Pentagon confirmed this week that Colonel Pappas was still commanding his unit even though he has been reprimanded over the scandal and there are reports he may soon be criminally charged. It appears to be part of a systemic pattern of abuse by military intelligence and the CIA that spun out of control. One of the latest photographs given to The Washington Post reportedly shows a senior military intelligence officer standing among the guards while Iraqi detainees lie in a naked heap on the floor of the cell. Gary Myers, a defence officer for one of the MPs charged, told the Herald that military intelligence officers would enter the cell blocks in "sterile" uniforms, showing no names or ranks, making it difficult to track their activities. Mr Stephanowicz's employer, a military contractor to the Pentagon, said he too had not been removed from his job. The Pentagon had not even asked his company, CACI, for his resignation. "We have not received any information to stop any of our work, to terminate or suspend any of our employees," said CACI's chief executive, Jack London. The secret army report on the scandal by General Antonio Taguba had called for Mr Stephanowicz to be sacked back on March 8. But evidence in the report, and from US military officers and human rights organisations, indicates that what happened at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad was not just the action of a handful of military police. The report was handed to US Central Command and other senior Pentagon officials who knew by then that shocking photographs of US military officers sexually humiliating prisoners supported evidence of the abuses at Abu Ghraib. General Taguba's report clearly stated that Mr Stephanowicz, a private contractor to US Army military intelligence, was heavily implicated and recommended that he never be employed by the army again and be stripped of his government security clearance. The report found that he had instructed the military guards at Abu Ghraib to help set up conditions to "facilitate" interrogations knowing that "his instructions equated to physical abuse". Yet no one in the US command in Iraq or at the Pentagon has removed Mr Stephanowicz, a highly prized interrogator, or penalised his employer, CACI. Since the report, CACI has won more lucrative contracts with the Pentagon including one worth $US650 million ($906 million) announced just weeks after General Taguba's damning findings. As calls mount for the resignation of the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, evidence is growing that the abuse of detainees in US military custody from Iraqi to Afghanistan has been suppressed by the Pentagon and the CIA in their drive for "actionable intelligence" against insurgents and terrorists. The Pentagon has now admitted that at least 10 suspicious deaths are being investigated. Two more deaths have been ruled as murders. With fresh allegations daily, Mr Rumsfeld is under fire from an angry Congress, and even Mr Bush, for blindsiding them on the scandal. But Mr Rumsfeld is aggressively insisting there is no cover-up and says he is taking "whatever steps are necessary to hold those accountable who violated the military code of conduct". Mr Bush said he would not sack Mr Rumsfeld but is said to have rebuked him for failing to warn him about the photographs before they were published. Mr Bush's interviews with Arab television this week were an admission that the photographs have inflicted untold damage at home and abroad. The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, compared the scandal with the My Lai massacre, the defining event that galvanised US public opinion against the Vietnam War. But he said it would be dealt with by "telling the people of the world that this is an isolated incident". But this defence is crumbling. There is no doubt that a few individual officers took pleasure in abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib. One of the six junior officers charged so far in the scandal, Specialist Charles Granier, has a history of vicious domestic violence. His girlfriend, Private Lynndie England, is shown laughing as naked Iraqi male prisoners are forced into humiliating sexual positions. She is now back home, pregnant, and also awaiting charges. Witnesses in General Taguba's report say US Army intelligence officers instructed Granier and his fellow prison guard Sergeant Chip Frederick "to do things for MI [military intelligence] and OGA [other government agencies, usually the CIA or Special Forces]". One witness reports hearing military intelligence officers telling the guards, "Loosen this guy up for us" or "Make sure he gets the treatment". The former commander of the military police guards in Iraq, Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski, says the behaviour of the guards became more abusive after the intervention of senior military commanders last September. Her claim is borne out by General Taguba's report. It found that soon after the suicide bombing of the United Nations headquarters last August the US military commander from Guantanamo Bay, Major-General Geoffrey Miller, led a team of interrogation experts to Baghdad to meet the senior US commander there, General Ricardo Sanchez. Their job was to review his ability "to rapidly exploit internees for actionable intelligence". In early September General Miller gave General Sanchez his recommendations, including getting military guards at the detention centres "actively engaged in setting the conditions for successful exploitation of internees". A few weeks later General Sanchez issued a new policy on "interrogations and counter-resistance". The content of that policy is unknown but within weeks, General Tabuga's report says, the worst of the sexual abuses began at the jail. Mr Rumsfeld now says he did not read General Taguba's report. Neither did his senior aides. It appears that at the most senior levels the Pentagon hoped to pin the main blame for the abuses on the lower-ranking military guards. So far Mr Rumsfeld has announced six inquiries, but every one is run by a senior military officer. He is now talking about an independent review of these inquiries. This may not satisfy the Democrats and human rights groups who want an independent investigation. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/05/07/1083911408076.html End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk