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their contracts by the government for cause. Furthermore, criminal sanctions for any crimes a contractor may commit may be available in U.S. Federal Court and may be be referred to U.S. Federal Court.
Fourth, with respect to the oversight of military intelligence criminal investigation in the operations of combatant commanders, I have, on page 8 of the statement that I prepared for you, listed the roles of the office I presently hold, that of the joint commands and that of the Services. I then go on and talk about oversight of criminal investigations and the role of the DOD Inspector General's (IG) office and the counterintelligence oversight.
On page 9, I begin the actions underway. The SECDEF reviewed those with you on Friday, and I will not take your time here unless the committee wishes to return to them, but to add one development since we were here last, and that is that the SECDEF is now preparing a personal message for the men and women of the Armed Forces, underscoring his dismay over the events at Abu Ghraib, expressing his confidence in the valor and professionalism of the men and women, stressing, once again, that the Geneva Conventions apply to our conflict in Iraq, and expressing his confidence in the ultimate success of our mission in Iraq.
Mr. Chairman, this is an occasion to demonstrate to the world the difference between those who believe in democracy and those who do not. We value human life. We believe in the right to individual freedom and the rule of law. For those beliefs, we send our men and women abroad to protect that right for our own people and to give millions of others hope for freedom in the future. Part of that mission is making sure that when wrongdoing or scandal occurs, it's not covered up, but exposed, investigated, publicly disclosed, and the guilty brought to justice.
I believe we can repair the damage done to our credibility in the region. If we hold true to our principles and continue to keep our commitments to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually the nobility of that mission will touch the hearts of more people in the Arab world. I am confident of this because of the outstanding seryice that has been rendered by the vast majority of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
PREPARED STATEMENT BY HON. STEPHEN A. CAMBONE Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. We are here today to continue the discussion on the terrible activities at Abu Ghraib begun last Friday by the SECDEF, the CJCS, Acting Secretary of the Army, Army Chief of Staff, and the Deputy Commander, CENTCOM, who is with us today.
Before going further, let me say that we are dismayed by what took place. The Iraqi detainees are human beings, they were in U.S. custody, we had an obligation to treat them right, and we didn't do that. That was wrong. I associate myself without reservation to the sentiments expressed by the SECDEF: “To those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of U.S. Armed Forces I offer my deepest apology. It was un-American, and it was inconsistent with the values of our Nation."
A number of issues related to those events arose during the hearing last Friday or have been the subject of public commentary before or since. I'd like to take a moment to address some of them.
First, with respect to the application of the Geneva Conventions to detainees in Iraq: From the outset of the war in Iraq, the United States government has recognized and made clear that the Geneva Conventions applied to our activities in that country. Members of our Armed Forces should have been aware of that.
If they were not, Lieutenant General Sanchez, CJTF-7 Commander, reminded the forces under his command of the obligation.
Nevertheless, there clearly was a breakdown in following Geneva Conventions procedures at Abu Ghraib, and we are in the process of investigating right now why that happened.
As Major General Miller, who is now in charge of detainee operations in Iraq, remarked on Saturday, the procedures established for interrogations in Iraq were sanctioned under the Geneva Conventions and authorized in U.S. Army manuals. All permissible interrogation activities were within the requirements and boundaries of applicable provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
We are currently investigating why some soldiers at Abu Ghraib did not abide by those understood procedures and guidelines.
Early in the war on terrorism, long before the war in Iraq, the administration made a determination that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to al Qaeda detainees.
That decision was made because the Geneva Conventions govern conflicts between states and the al Qaeda is not a state, much less a signatory of the convention. Moreover, the conventions forbid the targeting of civilians and requiring that military forces wear designated uniforms to distinguish them from noncombatants. Terrorists don't care about the Geneva Conventions nor do they obey its guidelines. They deliberately target civilians, for example, and have brutalized and murdered innocent Americans in their custody.
To grant terrorists the rights they so cruelly reject would make a mockery of the Geneva Conventions. Nonetheless, President Bush did order that detainees held at Guantanamo be treated humanely and consistent with the Geneva Conventions' principles. In fact, those detainees in the war on terror are being provided with many privileges typically afforded to enemy prisoners of war (EPW).
The notion that this decision in some way undermined the Geneva Conventions is false. To the contrary, the administration made this decision with the objective of assuring that those who would claim protection under its auspices and not act in keeping with its intent did not abuse the Geneva Conventions. Far from disrespect, the decision was made out of respect.
The notion of a departmental belief that the alleged climate created and led to abuse in Iraq is therefore not in keeping with clear and stated determination to adhere to the Geneva Conventions.
Second, Major General Miller's recommendations: Major General Miller was sent to Iraq based on his experience with the flow of information gained by interrogation at Guantanomo Bay. He was sent under Joint Staff auspices to determine if the flow of information to CJTF-7 and back to the subordinate commands could be improved. His report laid out an approach to do this in a series of recommendations to General Sanchez.
One recommendation on detention operations was to dedicate and train a detention guard force subordinate to the Joint Interrogation and Detention Center (JIDC) commander that “sets the conditions” for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees. In making this recommendation, Major General Miller was underscoring the need for MP and MI personnel to act in a fashion such that the one did not undermine the efforts of the other to discover, during interrogation, information that was important to coalition forces and the lives of Iraqi civilians. Consequently he underscored the need for legal review by a dedicated command SJA.
With respect to detention operations, Major General Miller noted that their purpose is to provide a safe, secure, and humane environment that supports the expeditious collection of intelligence.
In addition, he observed that detention operations must be structured to ensure the detention environment focuses the internee's confidence and attention on their interrogators. He recommended training in building the teamwork between the interrogator and detention staffs to accomplish this objective.
Order placing MPs tactical operation (TACON) to MI: On November 19, 2003 General Sanchez issued an order effectively placing Abu Ghraib, under tactical control of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. This order was within the authority of General Sanchez to give and Lieutenant General Smith might elaborate on the reasons this order was given. It gave a senior officer responsibility for the facility. This included force protection, internal security, living conditions for the troops, and so forth. It did not give the MI brigade commander authority over MP operations. Let me stress that its promulgation in no way changed the rules governing the con
duct of the MP and MI personnel in Iraq with respect to the laws of war, the Geneva Conventions, CENTCOM direction or CJTF-7 directions and instructions.
Third, role of contractors: I am informed that contractors may not perform interrogations except under the supervision of military personnel. There may have been circumstances under which this regulation was no, followed. This is a matter that General Fay will examine. In addition, contractors may not supervise or give orders or direction to military personnel. While contractors are not under military discipline, they are subject to suspension from their contract by the government. Furthermore, criminal sanctions for any crimes a contractor may commit may be available in U.S. Federal Court.
Fourth, with respect to oversight of MI, criminal investigation, and the operations of combatant commanders.
• Intelligence support-The USDI ensures that intelligence support across DOD meets warfighters' requirements. This includes ensuring the alignments of policies and programs with current operational requirements, oversight of certain special access programs and development of intelligence-related strategies and assessments. Joint commands provide oversight to “intelligence activities,” consistent with their ongoing oversight responsibilities for operations." Services have responsibility for policy, training, doctrine, and allocation of forces to joint commands. Services are also responsible for counterintelligence investigations and oversight. • Criminal investigations—The DODIG oversees the military departments' criminal investigative missions. Within the DODIG's office, the office of Investigative Policy and Oversight develops and maintains DOD policy addressing investigative and law enforcement matters in DOD, as well as corresponding legislative issues. Specifically, the Oversight Directorate examines investigative and law enforcement operations and programs to assess effectiveness and efficiency, compliance with established policy and procedures, and need for new or revised policy applicable to investigations or law
enforcement. Actions taken or underway:
A. Lieutenant General Sanchez, Commander, CJTF-7, launched a criminal investigation immediately.
B. He asked Major General Taguba for an administrative review of procedures at the Abu Ghraib facility. These have resulted already in criminal or administrative actions against many individuals, including the relief of the prison chain of command and criminal referrals of several soldiers directly involved in abuse.
C. The Army has launched an IG Review of detainee operations throughout Afghanistan and Iraq, which continues.
D. The Army has initiated an investigation of Reserve training with respect to MI and MP function.
E. Lieutenant General Sanchez asked for an Army Intelligence review of the circumstances discussed in Major General Taguba's report.
F. The SECDEF has directed the Naval IG to review our operations at Guantanamo and the Charleston Naval Brig.
G. Several senior former officials, led by former SECDEF James Schlesinger, have been asked to examine the pace, breadth, and thoroughness of the existing investigations, and to determine whether additional investigations need to be initiated. They are being asked
to report their findings within 45 days of taking up their duties, and the SECDEF will encourage them to meet with you to keep you apprised.
H. The SECDEF is preparing a personal message for the men and women of the armed forces underscoring his dismay at events at Abu Ghraib, expressing his confidence in the valor and professionalism, stressing once again that the Geneva Conventions applies to our conflict in Iraq and expressing his confidence in the ultimate success of our mission in Iraq.
This is an occasion to demonstrate to the world the difference between those who believe in democracy and human rights and those who believe in rule by the terrorist code. We value human life; we believe in their right to individual freedom and the rule of law. For those beliefs, we send our men and women of the Armed Forces abroad-to protect that right for our own people and to give millions of others the hope of a future of freedom. Part of that mission is making sure that when wrongdoing or scandal occurs it is not covered up, but exposed, investigated, publicly disclosed-and the guilty brought to justice.
I believe we can repair the damage done to our credibility in the region. If we hold true to our principles and continue to keep our commitments to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually the nobility of that mission will touch the hearts of more people in the Arab world. I am confident of this because of the outstanding
service that has been rendered by the vast majority of the men and women of U.S.
COMMANDER, UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND General SMITH. Senator Warner, Senator Levin, members of the committee, sir, I'll stand by the comments that I made on Friday, but to add that, once again, on behalf of General Abizaid and all the men and women of CENTCOM, we regret very much that these events ever occurred, and apologize to those who are victims of the abuse.
I would like to assure you that, in every case where the investigations have had recommendations and findings, that we have either implemented the recommendations or are in the process of making the fixes necessary to alleviate the problems, sir.
That in all cases where we have had recommendations and findings, they have either been implemented or we are in the process of implementing fixes to ensure that those gaps that we had, either in policy, procedures, or leadership, are being fixed.
We, at the same time, have a number of investigations that are ongoing that should give us more answers to some of the questions that we all have about what actually went on in the Abu Ghraib prison, the most significant of which is the General Fay investigation over the MI brigade. We will continue to try and make every effort to ensure that we implement the proper procedures, policies, and practices to ensure that this never happens again, sir.
Thank you, Senator Warner.
Chairman WARNER. General Taguba, we welcome you. STATEMENT OF MG ANTONIO M. TAGUBA, USA, DEPUTY COM.
MANDING GENERAL FOR SUPPORT, COALITION FORCES
Mr. Chairman, Senator Levin, members of the committee, good morning, all.
I am Major General Antonio M. Taguba, the Deputy Commanding General for Support, U.S. Army Central Command and Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) that is headquartered in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Let me continue, sir. On January 24, 2004, I was directed by Lieutenant General David McKiernan, the Commanding General. I sent CFLCC to conduct an investigation into the allegations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, which is also known as the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the purpose, the findings, and the recommendation of that investigation.
The purpose of the investigation, with specific instructions, were as follows:
First, inquire into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the recent allegations of detainee abuse, specifically allegations of Second, inquire into detainee escapes and accountability lapses, as reported by CJTF-7, specifically allegations concerning these events at the Abu Ghraib prison.
Third, investigate the training, standards, employment, command policies, internal procedures, and command climate in the 800th MP Brigade, as appropriate.
Finally, make specific findings of fact concerning all aspects of this investigation, and make recommendations for corrective action, as appropriate.
My investigation team consisted of officers and senior enlisted personnel who are military policemen, experts in detention and corrections, judge advocates, psychiatrists, and public affairs officers. At the onset, I did not have MI officers or experts in military interrogation on my team, because the scope of my investigation dealt principally with detention operations and not intelligence-gathering or interrogations operations.
However, during the course of my team's investigation, we gathered evidence pertaining to the involvement of several MI personnel or contractors assigned to the 205th MI Brigade in the alleged detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib. As stated in the findings of the investigation, we recommended that a separate investigation be initiated under the provisions of Procedure 15, Army Regulation 38110, concerning possible improper interrogation practices in this case. Again, my task was limited to the allegations of detainee abuse involving MP personnel and the policies, procedures, and command climate of the 800th MP Brigade.
As I assembled the investigation team, my specific instructions to my teammates were clear: maintain our objectivity and integrity throughout the course of our mission in what I considered to be a very grave, highly sensitive, and serious situation; to be mindful of our personal values and the moral values of our Nation; to maintain the Army values in all of our dealings; and to be complete, thorough, and fair in the course of the investigation. Bottom line, we'll follow our conscience and do what is morally right.
As agonizing as this investigation was, I commend the exceptional professionalism of my teammates, their extraordinary efforts, and the outstanding manner by which they carried out my instructions. I also commend the courage and selfless service of those soldiers and sailors who brought these allegations to light, discovered evidence of abuse, and turned it over to the military law enforcement authorities. The criminal acts of a few stand in stark contrast to the high professionalism, competence, and moral integrity of countless active, Guard, and Army Reserve soldiers that we encountered in this investigation.
At the end of the day, a few soldiers and civilians conspired to abuse and conduct egregious acts of violence against detainees and other civilians outside the bounds of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Their incomprehensible acts, caught in their own personal record of photographs and video clips, have seriously maligned and impugned the courageous acts of thousands of U.S. and coalition forces. It put into question the reputation of our Nation and the reputation of those who continue to serve in uniform and who would willingly sacrifice their lives to safeguard our free