The U.S. Army reserve general in charge of the soldiers accused of mistreating Iraqi prisoners says military intelligence officers may have encouraged the abuse to get more information during interrogation.
Brigadier General Janis Karpinski says the high security cell block of Abu Ghraib prison where the abuse is said to have occurred was under the control of military intelligence, not her reservists.
General Karpinski says, while she believes the reservists involved deserve punishment, she also suspects they were encouraged, if not directed, by military intelligence to mistreat the detainees.
She says she did not know about the prisoners abuse until later and was “sickened” at seeing photographs showing smiling American soldiers posing with naked Iraq prisoners, as they are abused and humiliated.
Six reservist soldiers from General Karpinski’s military police company face criminal charges in the military justice system, and more soldiers are expected to be charged. The general was formally admonished and suspended, then later transferred. A separate published report in the latest edition of the New Yorker Magazine says an internal army investigation concluded that U.S. intelligence officers and General Karpinski’s soldiers were responsible for numerous instances of what it called “sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses” at Abu Ghraib.
President Bush has expressed “deep disgust” over photographs showing abuse of Iraqis by American soldiers. The pictures sparked outrage around the world. The Arab League called for those responsible to be brought to justice for what it called “savage acts.”