General says she was deliberately kept out of
the loop and scapegoated to protect higher ups
Steve watson, Paul Watson
& Alex Jones | October 25 2005
The General commanding troops in Iraq whose career
was ruined in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, Janis Karpinski, appeared
on the Alex Jones Show yesterday and made some amazing revelations.
Prisonplanet.tv subscribers can hear the entire interview
Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski will be reduced
to the rank of colonel as a result of an Army Inspector General investigation
into a scandal that tarnished the United States' reputation abroad and set
in motion a string of high-level inquiries.
Karpinski was the only general punished in the abuse
of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Her Army Reserve unit was in
charge of the prison compound when Iraqi detainees were physically abused
and sexually humiliated by military police and intelligence soldiers in
the fall of 2003.
Karpinski had previously admitted that rather than
being an isolated incident under her command, the abuses were, "the
result of conflicting orders and confused standards extending from the military
commanders in Iraq all the way to the summit of civilian leadership in Washington."
The General described how the abuses came to pass and
how she was used as the scapegoat.
"It started when we were assigned this new mission
for detention operations. We were basically sold a false bill of goods,
they told us that we were going to Baghdad, that we were going to receive
support from the CJTF7, General Sanchez's headquarters, and from Ambassador
Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority, that we would be working
with these prison experts at the Coalition Provisional Authority to work
towards restoring Iraqi Prisons to turn them back over to Iraqi control."
"To arrive in Baghdad to discover that they had
just begun to identify some locations, they had a list of 121 prisons that
they wanted to restore and that they wanted us to run, and I told them I
didn't have nearly that number of resources, I could run about fifteen,
we settled on seventeen and they were responsible for providing the funding
to restore and renovate those prisons."
Karpinski revealed that the prisons were basically
left as they had been by the Iraqis before the war.
"...After those contractors had left, most of
the contract work had been allegedly done and paid for was in fact never
done. So we had MP's that were running these facilities, very very austere
conditions, the prisons that were restored were done to the minimal standard.
In one case the contractors put all the hinges on the inside of the doors
and the prisoners took all the hinge pins out."
Abu Ghraib was never intended to be a permanent prison
or permanent detention center, it was used as an interim facility, largely
because there was real estate inside the twenty foot high retaining wall
for Karpinski to establish temporary camps.
"If there was still a war going on, this would
have been much like a prisoner of war camp. It was never an ideal location
of any kind, for detention operations, let alone interrogation operations
as it ultimately became." She commented.
Karpinski went on to describe how military intelligence
took over and became rooted within her own reservations.
"The Military Intelligence Brigade Commander relocated
to Abu Ghraib after two of his soldiers were killed in an RPG attack out
at the prison facility. He was visiting one night, only intended to stay
one or two nights and there was an attack and two of his soldiers were killed
and shortly after that he decided to relocate inside Abu Ghraib." She
"He had six interrogation teams shortly after
this became about a dozen. These were military interrogation teams, soldiers
who were serving as interrogators, they were following the regulations,
their doctrine. We had a very small number of prisoners that needed to be
interrogated, they were mostly Iraqi criminals, nonviolent crimes, looting,
missing curfew, a weapon in the trunk of the car, whatever it may have been."
Of course, the
official army report on Abu Ghraib said that between seventy five
and ninety percent were totally innocent and just hadn't had their papers
in order. The General confirmed this:
"That's correct and I believe that it remains
so today because they are still doing these raids, these round ups where
they will go out and target an individual, and whoever happens to be around
that individual, they bring them all in. And then there is no avenue to
release them, once they are tagged as security detainees, they fall into
this relatively new and unsupervised category."
Karpinski went on to say that the General in charge
of the military interrogations at Abu Ghraib had the authority to do whatever
he wanted and was not required to report any of his findings through her.
She also stated that even though innocent detainees
had been deemed of no further Intel use and were recommended to be released
by their interrogators, the higher uppers read the riot act and started
a pattern whereby no one was to be released and innocent people were kept
locked up without trial or charges.
The General went on to speak about the direct links
to leading members of the Bush Administration:
"We can trace back now, through documents that
were released through court order, back to the original document, the one
that Alberto Gonzales reviewed and discussed with the President of the United
States, a departure from the Geneva Convention. These are not prisoners,
these are terrorists and these techniques will be more effective."
"And then Secretary Rumsfeld putting his signature
on a document authorizing more aggressive and harsher techniques during
interrogation. That document goes over to Guantanamo Bay and over to Afghanistan,
and it's used first in smaller groups and then it's used at Guantanamo Bay
as a standard practice."
The General also agreed that private contractors were
brought in to over see the interrogations. The orders to use torture techniques
can be traced back to the criminals in Government.
"The orders came right from the top, filtered
down from the secretary of defense, with the endorsement of the President,
the Vice President, whatever advisors are surrounding them, filtered down
through the Commanders in the field, these practices were not only endorsed,
but were in use at Guantanamo bay and in locations in Afghanistan. And when
General Miller visited Iraq he brought those techniques with him. And then
he sent contract interrogators who had 'performed well' at Guantanamo Bay
to Iraq as well."
The General agreed that in effect torture seminars
were taking place as Miller would teach how to make techniques of torture
Karpinski also went on to explain how it came about
that photographs and video of the torture were taken and how despite Congress
having seen thousands of them, few of the persons responsible for authorizing
the raping of women, the beating to death of innocent people, and the torture
of minors have been brought to justice.
"They needed a group of people to scapegoat and
they must have believed naively that they were going to take the punishment,
go to jail and be quiet and that they were never going to go out and hire
their own attorneys and representatives for themselves and their own cases.
They certainly believed that I was going to be quiet."
General Karpinski was not even informed of charges
against her until the investigation was under way and she received a late
night e-mail from the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Commission.
His agent on site at Abu Ghraib was the one who received the disc of pictures
from the MP. So the Commanding officer of all the reopened prisons in Iraq
was not informed about an ongoing criminal investigation into occurrences
at the prisons.
"They kept me out of the loop on purpose"
Karpinski angrily asserted.
Karpinski reiterated that it was almost inconceivable
to have an operation taken over by Military intelligence at Abu Ghraib,
a site in the middle of the Sunni Triangle, that was being bombarded with
mortars every night. Further more the objective of military intelligence
is completely different from that of a military police soldier. MP's know
how to humanly treat detainees and they did so at every facility, the only
breach was at Abu Ghraib under the control of the military intelligence.
The MI would even hire former federal prison guards
with bad records to undertake these operations.
"The prisons experts that were hired, we were
supposed to have about eighty of them down at the Coalition Provisional
Authority, there was three and then one of them got fired, and these are
US contractors, of course they didn't share the information about their
previous positions with us." Karpinski said.
The General went on to state that she saw many instances
of decision makers being worried more about the political ramifications
of their decisions back in Washington than the moral ramifications. She
asserted that to disagree with Donald Rumsfeld would mean instant dismissal
and everyone knew this.
"There is no backbone any more that the US military
is so famous for. Our leaders are now afraid. They are afraid to voice their
opinions, and they are afraid to say, no you're wrong." The General
Furthermore, all the data before the war, and the advice
of all the big think tanks, suggested that more than 300, 000 troops would
be needed to succeed. Of course all of this was ignored by the crazy Neo-Cons
who are so convinced by their own convictions that they will not tolerate
any one else's opinions or suggestions.
Becoming emotional, the General asserted that the higher
uppers have been attempting to run the war "from their lap top computers".
They refused to go out and walk the ground in Baghdad that the soldiers
are walking, but they had no trouble sending those under them out there
WITHOUT the armored vehicles which were being used to protect their own
spokesmen and their own headquarters.
"The person who stopped the orders for additional
armored equipment and armored vehicles is today a FOUR STAR GENERAL, and
is in the Pentagon, and is serving as the acting chief of staff of the army."
Karpinski angrily commented.
"You see how it works, you play the game, you
go along with whatever is being spun by the Neo-Cons or by the Pentagon
and you get promoted. But the people who have the strength and the moral
courage to stand up and say This is wrong, this is a lie, they are removed
from their positions, they take their security clearance away and then they're
out on the street."
General Karpinski went on to say that the reason talk
of banning torture has come to the forefront, even though there should be
no need for discussion on the topic is because it IS STILL GOING ON.
"There is overwhelming proof that torture is going
on, that it has been directed and is likely continuing, even to this day.
I don't want to believe it is but the statements from the people just returning
from the theater give every indication that in fact it is, they still don't
know where to draw the line." The General said.
On the topic of why the torture is so extreme and degrading,
the General suggested that the interrogators are getting a bizarre pleasure
out of it. She gave the example of using naked menstruating women to break
Muslim Iraqi men.
"Who studied the Arab culture to come up with
such an idea, this is insulting to anybody." She said. "And the
fact that they are using female soldiers to conduct this demonstrates what
they think the likely role of women in the army is."
If you wrote a horror movie where the army was doing
this it would be too unbelievable, yet this is happening in reality and
the media has just accepted it as the norm now.
It seems clear and the General agrees that we are seeing
the formation of a cold blooded torture core with Iraq as the beta test.
Iraq is often referred to as a "laboratory". The test is to see
how the prisoners, the soldiers and the public react to this.
"They are looking for the kind of people with
this mind set, who can live with themselves whilst they are going forth
with this global war on terrorism and trying to make a difference."
life at Abu Ghraib: Filthy conditions, sexual misbehavior, bug-infested
food, prisoner beatings and humiliations
Karpinski demoted in prison scandal
Ghraib disciplinary actions set
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