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sons receive a fair trial and, if found guilty, appropriate punishment.
This respect for the rule of law has been a guiding principle for my command. There is no doubt that the laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions, apply to our operations in Iraq. This includes interrogations. I have reinforced this point by way of orders and command policies. In September and October 2003, and in May 2004, I issued interrogation policies that reiterated the application of the Geneva Conventions and required that all interrogations be conducted in a lawful and humane manner with command oversight.
In October 2003, I issued a memorandum for all coalition forces personnel that was titled “Proper Treatment of Iraqi People During Combat Operations.” I reissued this memorandum on January 16 after learning about the events that had taken place at Abu Ghraib.
On March 4, 2004, I issued my Policy Memorandum Number 18, titled “Proper Conduct During Combat Operations.” This document, which I also reissued in April, emphasized the need to treat all Iraqis with dignity and respect. This policy memorandum also contained a summary for distribution, down to the individual soldier level, that provided clear guidance and mandated training on the following points: Follow the law of war and the rules of engagement (ROE); treat all persons with humanity, dignity, and respect; use judgement and discretion in detaining civilians; respect private property; and treat journalists with dignity and respect.
With regards to Abu Ghraib, as soon as I learned of the reported abuses, I ensured that a criminal investigation had been initiated, and requested my superior appoint an investigating officer to conduct a separate administrative investigation under Army Regulation 15–6 into this matter. Within days of receiving the initial report, I directed suspension of key members of the chain of command of the unit responsible for detainee security at Abu Ghraib.
The criminal investigation, while still underway, resulted, thus far, in the decision to initiate court-martial proceedings against seven individuals. The administrative investigation that was conducted by Major General Taguba has caused me to change the way we conduct detention, internment, and interrogation operations.
One significant change has been the addition to my staff of a general officer with responsibility for detention operations. Major General Geoffrey Miller was assigned this task, and has taken numerous positive steps to eliminate the possibility that such abuse could occur in the future.
Well before I received the January 14 report and viewed the shocking photographs later on, I had directed steps be taken to improve the overall condition of detainees at Abu Ghraib. Back in August 2003, I requested that subject-matter experts conduct a comprehensive assessment of all detention operations in Iraq. This was the genesis for the report completed by Major General Ryder, the Provost Marshal General of the Army.
In September, a team headed by General Miller assessed our intelligence interrogation activities and humane detention operations. We reviewed the recommendations with the express understanding, they might have to be modified for use in Iraq, where the Geneva Conventions were fully applicable.
Plans for the new detainee camp at Abu Ghraib, which will now be called Camp Redemption, were begun in November of 2003 in order to relieve overcrowding at the facility. After a series of mortar attacks against the facility in September which killed and injured both Iraqi detainees and U.S. soldiers, I directed increased force-protection measures be taken in order to protect coalition forces and detainees. Plans to upgrade the facilities for soldiers and detainees were also implemented.
Finally, the rate at which detainee case files were reviewed and recommended for release or continued internment was increased, both in November 2003 and again in February 2004, in order to ensure that only those detainees who posed a threat to security were detained. Indeed, our February 2004 changes resulted in the review of over 100 cases per day. The terrible events that occurred in the fall of 2003 have obviously highlighted additional problems that we have moved quickly to address.
While horrified at the abusive behavior that took place at Abu Ghraib, I believe that I have taken the proper steps to ensure that such behavior is not repeated. I further believe that my actions have sent the correct message that such behavior is inconsistent with our values, our standards, and our training. I have faith in our military justice system to resolve the cases brought before it.
I would like to read the concluding paragraph from my memorandum to the command on proper conduct during combat operations. I believe it is an accurate summary of my standards and expectations. “Respect for others, humane treatment of all persons, and adherence to the law of war and rules of engagement is a matter of discipline and values. It is what separates us from our enemies. I expect all leaders to reinforce this message.'
In closing, the war in Iraq continues against a relentless enemy that is focused on preventing the Iraqi people from achieving their dream of freedom, prosperity, and security. This awful episode at Abu Ghraib must not allow us to get distracted. America's Armed Forces are performing magnificently, sacrificing every single day to defeat an enemy that is ruthless and elusive in its quest to terrorize Iraq and the world. The honor and value systems of our Armed Forces are solid and the bedrock of what makes us the best in the world. There has been no catastrophic failure, and America's Armed Forces will never compromise their honor. America must not falter in this endeavor to defeat those who seek to destroy our democratic value systems. In Iraq, the coalition military, including our 130,000 Americans, remain focused, and I guarantee you they will not fail.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman WARNER. Thank you, General. That is a very comprehensive statement, and I would ask, on behalf of the committee, that the documents that you referred to in your testimony-could copies be provided to the committee?
General SANCHEZ. We will comply, Mr. Chairman.
1. Purpose. This memo: andum recmphasizes the responsibility of Coalition Forces to treat all persons with dignity and respect. It reiterates the obligation of Coalition personnel to comply with the law of war.
2. Humane Treatment o: 'the Iraqi People. Coalition Forces are committed to restoring the human rights of the Iraqi civilians and the rule of law. We must treat all civilians with humanity, dignity and respect for their property and culture. Coalition Porces preserve human life by avoiding c vikian casualties and rendering prompt medical attention to persons injured during combat oporations. Usc judgment and discretion in deciding whether to detain civilians. In all circumst inces, treat those who are not taking an active part in hostilities, including prisoners and cetainees, humanely. Remain particularly aware of heightened sensitivity in the Iraqi anul Islamic cultures concerning the treatment of females. Whenever possible, females will be searched in a non-public location; unless absolutely necessary, male soldiers will not search fi:males.
3. Force Protection and the Lawful Use of Force. We are conducting combat operations in a complex, dangerous environment. Coalition Forces must remain bold and aggressive, yet disciplined, in their use of force. When in contact with the enerny, use only that force pecessary to accomplish the mission while minimizing unintended damage. Our posture must be strong and determined, while remaining firmly in control of the destructive power of our weapons. You bave learned the principles of the law of war throughout your military careers. As professional soldiers, you must follow them, and comply with the rules of engagement. Before engaging any targel, you must be reasonably certain that it is a legitimate military target Self-defense is always authorized.
4. Treatment of Joumal sts. Coalition Forces will treat joumalists and media representatives with dignity and respect. Verbal or physical harassment of media members is inconsistent with our values as profesional soldiers. Media coverage, in large part, shapes domestic and international public perc sption of the security environment in Iraq. The media's mission to report the story of the reconstruction and security of Iraq is important to our mission Independent coverage by local, national and international media will be facilitated to the maximum extent possibl: consistent with force protection and security. Joumalists and media reprosentatives muist bo permitted to travel without undue hindrance in order to pursue their profession. They ain be expected to operate as both embedded and independent reporters, provided they do not represent a risk to Coalition forces, CPA mombers or the Iraqi Security Forces. Their equipment will be seized, and film or digital disks crased, only
when required for imperative reasons of security and in accordance with procedures stated in CITF-7 Frago 1176, Trestment of Joumalists Media Representatives, 041815DECO3.
5. A summary of “Rules of Proper Conduct During Combat Operations” is enclosed. This memorandum and the Rules of Proper Conduct will be distributed down to the platoon level. Leaders will ensure that all CJTF-7 personnel are trained on the Rules of Proper Conduck Additionally, leaders will ensure that all CJTF-7 personnel receive refresher training on the rules of engagement, which includes training on the disciplined use of force, posted on the CJTF-7 CENTRIX web-:ite (Staff Section SJA/Rules of Engagement ROE Vignettes.ppt (30 JAN 04)).
6. Conclusion. Respect for others, humane treatment of all persons, and adherence to the law of war and rules of engagement is a matter of discipline and values. It is what separates us from our enemies. I expect all leaders to reinforce this message.
RICARDO S. SANCHEZ
Rules of Proper Conduct During Combat Operations
1. FOLLOW THE LAWN OF WAR AND RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.
positively identified targets. Use precision in every engagement to minimize
unintended damage. • Remain bold and aggressive, yet disciplined, in the use of force. • SELF-DEFENSE IS BOTH AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED.
2. TREAT ALL PERSONS WITH HUMANITY, DIGNITY AND RESPECT. • Remain culturally a vare. When uncertain as to whether your actions will offend Iraqi
or Islamic culture discuss your actions with a chaplain or other knowledgeable person. • Render prompt met ical care to persons injured during operations. • Respect the bonor cf women. • Search females with female soldiers in a non-public area whenever possible; unless
absolutely necessi.ry, male soldiers will not search females.
3. USE JUDGMENT AND DISCRETION IN DETAINING CIVILIANS.
• Detain persons only when necessary and in accordance with the rules of engagement. • Treat all detainees lumanely - if force is required, use only minimum necessary force. • Use hoods only when necessary for imperative reasons of safety or security, and
consider the use of blindfolds as a less demeaning way to limit detainees' vision. • Fill out the CPA Ajprehension Form legibly and completely. Provide the details that
will allow your higher headquarters to know whether to keep a person in detention as a criminal or a thu cat to security.
4. RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY.
• Minimize unintended damage. Seize properly only if required as evidence, contraband or former enemy property.
Document the seizure of all property so that it may be returned to its owner when no
longer needed as evidence or for intelligence exploitation • Provide a receipt for private property seized during an operation. • Soldiers will not personally retain property taken during an operation - keeping this
property for personal use is stealing. • Provide claims fonas to potential civilian claimants if operations result in unintended
damage to innocent persons or property.
5. TREAT JOURNALISTS WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT.
• Do not verbally or physically harass joumalists or media representatives. • Do not seize journı lists' equipment, or erase film or digital disks, unless required for
imperative reason is of security.
3 Chairman WARNER. Thank you very much.