Jed Babbin over at National Review Online writes today that he has a copy of the February 26th Army investigation report on the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. He’s calling for harsh, swift punishment for the perpetrators and their superiors, and I heartily agree.
An exerpt from Babbin’s article:
The investigating officer, Major General Antonio Taguba, found that, “… between October and December 2003, numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees … by several members of the military police guard force.” As a result of the investigation, the commanding general of the prison, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, has been suspended from duty. The report recommends that she be relieved of command for cause. Several suspects are named in the report, including one civilian translator who works for Titan Corporation. The Army Criminal Investigation Division is investigating further, and has already recommended courts martial against some of the perpetrators. Several have confessed, and others have asserted their Fifth Amendment rights. At this writing, six soldiers have been charged with crimes and will be court martialed.
Get a move on, guys. You’re already way late.
Karpinski is defending herself by passing the blame to others. She told the New York Times that, ” … she knew nothing about the abuse until weeks after it occurred and that she was “sickened” by the pictures. She said the prison cellblock where the abuse occurred was under the tight control of Army military intelligence officers who may have encouraged the abuse.”
Karpinski, you sniveling coward. You’re a general officer. You’re expected to have the competence and common sense required to make sure that if bad things happen in your command, somebody will tell you and thus allow you to stop those bad things. Do you really hope to convince us that you had no idea that your POWs were being mistreated, and it’s all because your troops think you’re either too mean or too stupid to be told about these abuses taking place right under your nose? I don’t buy it, babe.
But let’s say you’re incompetent and devoid of common sense; even an utter bonehead wearing stars on her collar knows to walk around the place at random times to put her own eyeballs on the situation … if for no other reason than craven fear for her own career.
At best you slacked off in a combat zone, and the situation has now bitten you in the butt. Pretend you’re an officer with a sense of honor. Take your lumps.
And don’t worry about your money; you’ll have book and TV deals thrown your way before the summer’s out. Based on the judgment you’ve shown so far, I have no doubt you’ll jump right aboard that gravy train.
Though Karpinski is clearly culpable, she shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. Others clearly should — and will — share it.
Taguba’s report recommends that Col. Tom Pappas, the military intelligence chief at Abu Graib, receive a General Officer’s Memorandum of Reprimand, and be investigated for possible criminal prosecution. Taguba’s report strongly recommends that Pappas, and his subordinate, Lt. Col. Steve Jordan, be subjected to disciplinary action. Two civilians working with them — Steven Stephanowicz and John Israel, both employees of the CACI firm — are also recommended for possible prosecution.
If convicted, Karpinski, Pappas, and Jordan should spend long terms in Fort Leavenworth after being stripped of their rank and dishonorably discharged.
UPDATE: Castle Argghhh has a copy of the Taguba report on the UCMJ Article 15-6 investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade.