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General MYERS. While Major General Taguba completed his investigation on 12 March, required chain of command actions were not complete until the end of April. The appointing authority reviewed Major General Taguba's findings and recommendations and recommended appropriate actions on 6 April. In accordance with required procedures, adverse actions were referred to the individuals involved, providing them an opportunity to respond. The chain of command took final action on 30 April. The final report was not received in Washington, DC, until shortly thereafter, well after my conversation with CBS and after the unauthorized release of the photographs and Major General Taguba's report to the media.

19. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, at the hearing General Myers testified that he had discussed the detainee abuse problem with you in January, recognizing that it had the potential to cause serious problems. Yet you had not fully read the Taguba Report a couple days before the hearing. Given that you were aware of the serious nature of this abuse problem as early as January, why did you not read the Taguba Report as soon as it was completed?

Secretary RUMSFELD. The Taguba Report was initiated on 31 January 2004. An interim report was completed on 12 March and approved by LTG McKiernan on 6 April. LTG Sanchez approved the report's recommendations on 1 May, although the report was publicized by The New Yorker on 30 April. The full Taguba Report numbered in the thousands of pages. I received a briefing from MG Taguba on 6 May 04.

APRIL 28 SENATE BRIEFING

20. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, you briefed the Senate on April 28, 2004 on Iraq in a classified session. This was the same day that CBS broadcast the photos that General Myers had successfully requested be delayed. However, you never mentioned the detainee abuse scandal to the Senators at that briefing, even though you say you were aware of the seriousness of the issue and of the existence of photos showing the abuse. Given that you knew well before April 28 about the abuse scandal, that there were photos of the abuse, and that General Myers had called CBS in early April to request delay in broadcast of the photos, why did you not inform the Senate of the detainee abuse scandal, even as late as the date on which the photos were broadcast?

Secretary RUMSFELD. As I said in my testimony, one cannot truly appreciate the significance and ramifications of the allegations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib until viewing the photographs. At the time of the April 28 briefing, I had not seen the photographs. The command had responded promptly and several criminal investigations were underway when these allegations came to light in January. Public announcements were made then, and again when certain individuals were identified for further investigations in March. Had I seen the photographs before April 28, they would have been part of my brief.

VIEWING THE PHOTOGRAPHS

21. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, during the hearing you said that you did not see the photos of the abuse until after they were broadcast by CBS, and they appeared in the news media. You also said that you did not have a chance to personally review the photos until the night before the hearing, May 6. Given that you knew of the abuse problem in January and knew of the existence of photos well before they were broadcast, and given that General Myers asked CBS to delay broadcast of the photos in early April, did you ever ask to see the photos before they were broadcast? If not, why not?

Secretary RUMSFELD. As I indicated in my testimony before the committee, hearing a description of abuse, or hearing someone's description of a picture of abuse, does not compare to actually seeing the photographs. It was not until I had seen the photographs that I appreciated the significance and broad ramifications of the abuse allegations. The criminal investigations then underway and publicly announced were appropriate responses to the allegations. The photos were part of a criminal investigation. It is not established practice to reach into criminal investigations higher in the chain of command to review evidence of a possible crime. As I testified, though, in the digital age, with 24/7 news coverage, we need to develop a process to elevate such items to senior officials more rapidly than the current 22. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, given that you knew the nature of the abuse that was under investigation before the photos were broadcast, and that General Myers called CBS in early April to request that broadcast of the photos be delayed because they could cause serious problems, why did you say you did not understand that the photos of the abuse would be very disturbing until you had actually seen the photos? Is it not obvious, even without seeing the actual photos, that a photo of abuse would be very disturbing?

Secretary RUMSFELD. See answer above.

GENEVA CONVENTIONS 23. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, during your May 4, 2003, interview with Matt Lauer, when speaking about Iraq you stated that: “The decision was made that the Geneva Conventions did not apply precisely, but that every individual would be treated as though the Geneva Conventions did apply." You went on to state in the interview that "the United States Government, the lawyers, made a conscious decision and announced it to the world and announced it to all the people engaged in the detention process that these people would, in fact, be treated as though the Geneva Conventions did apply.”

At the May 7, 2004, hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, you stated that “the President announced from the outset that everyone in Iraq who was detained is a prisoner of war (POW) and therefore the Geneva Conventions apply. Second, the decision was made that the civilians or criminal elements that are detainees are also treated subject to the Geneva Conventions, although it's a different element of it. I think it's the fourth instead of the third.” Furthermore, you replied "absolutely” when asked if “all those in prison had the rights of POWs.”

How do you reconcile these statements? Do the Geneva Conventions apply for all detainees in Iraq or are detainees treated in a manner "consistent with” the Conventions?

Secretary RUMSFELD. The Geneva Conventions apply during all phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The plans for Operation Iraqi Freedom that were prepared by Commander, U.S. Central Command, and briefed to the President and me before outbreak of hostilities included provisions that clearly stated that enemy prisoners of war, retained persons, civilian internees will be handled and other detainee "operations will be conducted in compliance with the 1949 Geneva Convention and applicable U.S. military regulations.” Further, component and supporting commanders were responsible under the plans for Operation Iraqi Freedom for “[e]nsuring treatment of all detained persons is in accordance with the Conventions and other applicable international law.” The President directed these plans to be executed. Detention operations during all phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom are required to be conducted in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

24. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, when did the President announce that the Geneva Conventions would apply for all detainees in Iraq? How was this announcement made public? What steps were taken to inform coalition forces about this decision? When were they made?

Secretary RUMSFELD. On March 24, 2003, shortly after Operation Iraqi Freedom began, White House spokesman Ari Fleisher, when asked if the Geneva Conventions applied in Iraq, stated that Iraq was a traditional conflict, “a]nd we have always treated people humanely consistent with our international agreements. In the case of the fight in Iraq, there's no question that it's being done in accordance with the Geneva Conventions."

Prior to the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Commander, U.S. Central Command, prepared Operational Plan (OPLAN) 1003-V. Appendix 1 to Annex E of OPLAN 1003-V specifically addressed the treatment of the operational plan annex on enemy prisoners of war, retained persons, civilian internees, and other detainees. It outlined responsibilities, policies, and procedures with respect to the handling of detainees, and provided specific guidance that the Geneva Conventions applied to all persons held by U.S. forces. This means of promulgation is consistent with the usual manner in which commanders provide guidance to their subordinate commanders. The subordinate commands would review the OPLAN and draft their own orders. For instance, the CJSC EXORD itself does not specifically address the Geneva Conventions; rather, it refers back to OPLAN 1003-V.

In addition to the promulgation of this OPLAN and its annexes, commanders were responsible for ensuring that detainees were treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and applicable international law and that measures were implemented 25. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, do you believe that the Interrogation Rules of Engagement (ROEs) utilized by the CJTF-7 comply with the Geneva Conventions? What is your legal basis for this understanding?

Secretary RUMSFELD. This matter was thoroughly reviewed by the Kern Fay investigation. Further, General Sanchez, General Abizaid, and the CJTF-7 Staff Judge Advocate testified before the committee on the matter. I have no independent knowledge or assessment.

26. Senator LEVIN. Secretary Rumsfeld, did you personally review these ROEs prior to their

being issued? If not, who did and when? Secretary RUMSFELD. Neither I nor my staff was ever requested to review the CJTF-7 counter resistance interrogation policy. LTG Sanchez issued his October 12, 2003, policy guidance after consultation with U.S. Central Command staff. He has the authority to promulgate such policies, which were reviewed, as I understand, by the Commander of the U.S. Central Command.

QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY SENATOR BILL NELSON

PRESIDENTIAL NOTIFICATION 27. Senator BILL NELSON. Secretary Rumsfeld, in your testimony you indicated that General Pace, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had notified the President about the abuse allegations in late January or early February. Could you provide the committee the date of that meeting and any details regarding what the President was told with respect to this case by General Pace?

Secretary RUMSFELD. During the period of time in question, I met with the President once, sometimes twice, weekly and either General Myers or General Pace would accompany me. I cannot recall with clarity at which particular meeting we notified the President of the abuse allegations, nor the details of what was conveyed.

APRIL 28 BRIEFING

28. Senator BILL NELSON. Secretary Rumsfeld, when you appeared before the Senate in a secure setting on April 28, why did you decide not to brief the Members on the abuse allegations and photographs at that meeting?

Secretary RUMSFELD. As I said in my testimony, one cannot truly appreciate the significance and ramifications of the allegations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib until viewing the photographs. At the time of the April 28 briefing, I had not seen the photographs. The command had responded promptly and several criminal investigations were underway when these allegations came to light in January. Public announcements were made then, and again when certain individuals were identified for further investigations in March. Had I seen the photographs before April 28, they would have been part of my brief.

ALLEGATIONS OF MISTREATMENT OF IRAQI

PRISONERS

TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2004

U.S. SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,

Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:36 a.m. in room SD106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John Warner (chairman) presiding.

Committee members present: Senators Warner, McCain, Inhofe, Roberts, Allard, Sessions, Collins, Ensign, Talent, Chambliss, Graham, Cornyn, Levin, Kennedy, Byrd, Lieberman, Reed, Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Dayton, Bayh, and Clinton.

Majority staff members present: Charles W. Alsup, professional staff member; Gregory T. Kiley, professional staff member; Lucian L. Niemeyer, professional staff member; Paula J. Philbin, professional staff member; Lynn F. Rusten, professional staff member; Scott W. Stucky, general counsel; Diana G. Tabler, professional staff member; and Richard F. Walsh, counsel.

Minority staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, Democratic staff director; Daniel J. Cox, Jr., professional staff member; Evelyn N. Farkas, professional staff member; Jeremy L. Hekhuis, professional staff member; Gerald J. Leeling, minority counsel; Peter K. Levine, minority counsel; William G.P. Monahan, minority counsel; and Arun A. Seraphin, professional staff member.

Staff assistants present: Michael N. Berger, Andrew W. Florell, and Bridget E. Ward.

Committee members' assistants present: Cord Sterling, assistant to Senator Warner; Christopher J. Paul, assistant to Senator McCain; John A. Bonsell, assistant to Senator Inhofe; Lance Landry, assistant to Senator Allard; Arch Galloway II, assistant to Senator Sessions; Dirk J. Maurer, assistant to Senator Collins; D'Arcy Grisier, assistant to Senator Ensign; Lindsey R. Neas, assistant to Senator Talent; Clyde A. Taylor IV, assistant to Senator Chambliss; Meredith Moseley, assistant to Senator Graham; Christine 0. Hill, assistant to Senator Dole; Russell J. Thomasson, assistant to Senator Cornyn; Mieke Y. Eoyang, assistant to Senator Kennedy; Frederick M. Downey, assistant to Senator Lieberman; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; Davelyn Noelani Kalipi and Richard Kessler, assistants to Senator Akaka; William K. Sutey, assistant to Senator Bill Nelson; Eric Pierce, assistant to Senator Ben Nelson; Rashid Hallaway, assistant to Senator Bayh; and Andrew Shapiro, assistant to Senator Clinton.

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