Following is testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as provided by Federal News Service.
SEN. JOHN WARNER: The committee meets today for the second of a series of hearings regarding the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by some elements and certain personnel -- few in number, I hope -- of the armed forces in violation of United States and international laws.
Testifying before us today is Major General Antonio M. Taguba, U.S. Army deputy commander for Support Coalition Forces Land Component Command.
On January 31st, 2004, General Taguba was appointed by General Sanchez, commander, Combined Task Force-7, to conduct a procedure -- 15 investigations into allegations of prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison. General Taguba's report was received by this committee on Tuesday, May 4th, and its related annexes were received yesterday, May 10th.
As members know, they are in the possession of the committee, and members and staff worked on those reports until very late last night.
Joining General Taguba are Lieutenant General Lance L. Smith, United States Air Force, deputy commander of Central Command; and Dr. Stephen A. Cambone, undersecretary of Defense for intelligence.
We welcome our witnesses. And, General Taguba, I wish to personally say I commend you for your public service.
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir.
SEN. WARNER: Following the testimony of these witnesses we'll receive testimony from a second panel of witnesses this afternoon, commencing at 2:30.
As I stated last week, this mistreatment of prisoners represents an appalling and totally unacceptable breach of military regulations and conduct. The damage done to the reputation and credibility of our nation and the armed forces has the potential to undermine substantial gains and the sacrifices by our forces and their families, and those of our allies fighting with us in the cause of freedom.
This degree of breakdown in military leadership and discipline represents an extremely rare chapter in the otherwise proud history of our armed forces. It defies common sense and contradicts all the values for which America stands. There must be a full accounting for the cruel and disgraceful abuse of Iraqi detainees consistent with our law and protections of the Uniform Military Code of Justice.
I'm proud of the manner in which the armed forces have quickly reacted to these allegations, undertaken an appropriate investigation, and begun disciplinary actions. We're a nation of laws, and we confront abuses of our laws openly and directly.
We have had an apparent breakdown of discipline and leadership at this prison and possibly at other locations. I think it important to confront these problems swiftly, ensuring that justice is done, and take the corrective actions so that such abuses never happen again.
At the same time, it is important to remember that our commanders and their troops in Iraq are confronted with a very difficult, dangerous, complex military situation. Defeating insurgents and terrorists who seek to deny freedom and democracy to all Iraqis and
who threaten our troops is the highest priority, and our troops are working very hard, courageously, and sacrifices to achieve that mission. Intelligence obtained in the course of any military action obtained in accordance with proper laws and professional procedures is an essential element of any military campaign.
I was heartened by President Bush's words of support for our men and women in the armed forces, as he stated yesterday in visiting the Department of Defense. And I quote our president: "All Americans know the goodness and the character of the United States armed forces. No military in the history of the world has fought so hard and so often for the freedom of others.
"Today our soldiers, our sailors, airmen and Marines are keeping terrorists across the world on the run. They're helping the people of Afghanistan and Iraq build democratic societies. They're defending America with unselfish courage. And these achievements have brought pride and credit to this nation. I want our men and women in uniform to know that America is proud of you and that I'm honored to be your commander in chief."
Speaking for myself, I feel our president, our secretary of Defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the other officers of our military have very correctly and properly addressed the (seriousness of these ?) issues, and I commend them.
We must not forget our overall purpose in Iraq. Success there is absolutely essential. Our men and women in uniform make a remarkable institution in this great America. And from time to time it must heal itself, consistent with law and tradition, and that we are doing in this particular case. We have a responsibility here in the Congress to help them do that, and that is precisely the purpose of these hearings.
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Today's hearing continues the committee's examination of the events at Abu Ghraib detention facility and the effort to learn what led to the abuses of Iraqi prisoners, so graphically depicted in the photographs that have shocked and disgusted the civilized world, and who may have authorized, encouraged or suggested those despicable actions.
Getting to the truth of what happened and who is responsible is important for our military men and women, for the American people, for the success of our mission in Iraq and for a watching world.
General Taguba, while your report paints a disturbing picture of horrible abuses and leadership failures at Abu Ghraib, your report
reflects an honest and detailed assessment of the situation there and includes sensible recommendations on how to begin fixing those problems. I thank you for your professionalism in carrying out this service to our nation.
The hearing we held last week barely scratched the surface of the issues that this committee must examine. It yielded little in the form of detailed information as to how these abuses could possibly have occurred and who was responsible for them, including those within and without the chain of command whose policy decisions created an environment in which the abuses could occur.
The despicable actions described in General Taguba's report not only reek of abuse, they reek of an organized effort and methodical preparation for interrogation. The collars used on prisoners, the dogs and the cameras did not suddenly appear out of thin air. These acts of abuse were not the spontaneous actions of lower-ranking enlisted personnel who lacked the proper supervision. These attempts to extract information from prisoners by abusive and degrading methods were clearly planned and suggested by others.
Today we begin what must be a determined pursuit of the answers to the questions: Who organized the effort? Who oversaw it? Under what directives and policies were these actions implemented? All of those up and down the chain of command who bear any responsibility must be held accountable for the brutality and humiliation they inflicted on the prisoners, and for the damage and dishonor that they brought to our nation and to the United States armed forces, which is otherwise filled with honorable men and women acting with courage and professionalism to bring stability and security and reconstruction to Iraq.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: I'll ask the witnesses to rise. Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony that you are about to give before the Committee of the Armed Services of the United States Senate will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
WITNESSES: I do.
SEN. WARNER: In accordance with the time-honored traditions of our country, the civilian control over the military, we recognize Secretary Cambone, who's speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense. Mr. Secretary.
MR. CAMBONE: Mr. Chairman, thank you. Members of the committee, we're here today to continue the discussion on the terrible activities
at Abu Ghraib, begun last Friday by the secretary of Defense, the chairman and other members of the panel.
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. We didn't do that. That was wrong, and I associate myself without reservation to the sentiments expressed by the secretary.
To those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of the U.S. armed forces, I offer my deepest apology. It was un-American and it was inconsistent with the values of our nation.
Now, a number of issues arose related to those events during the hearing last Friday, which, as Senator Levin has noted, were not fully engaged. And I wanted to tick off a short list that we have been developing since then as way of preparation in answer to the questions we know that you have. But before I go through those, let me say again that, to the -- we will give you this information today to the best of our knowledge. We do not have -- yet -- all the facts related to this case. There are at least five other investigations ongoing, and we will need that information in order to come to a full understanding.
So first, with respect to the application of the Geneva Convention 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 apply to our activities in that country. Members of our armed forces should have been aware of that. If they were not -- if they were not -- Lieutenant General Sanchez, CJTF-7 commander, reminded them on more than one occasion that the forces under his commander operated under that obligation. Nevertheless, there clearly was a breakdown of following Geneva Convention procedures at Abu Ghraib, and we are in the process, as you know, of investigating 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 Convention and authorized in U.S. Army manuals." All permissible -- permissible -- interrogation activities were within the requirements and boundaries of applicable provisions of the convention. We are currently investigating why soldiers -- 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 president made a determination that the Geneva Convention 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 require that military forces wear designated uniforms to distinguish them from noncombatants. Terrorists don't care about the Geneva Convention, nor do they abide by its guidelines. They deliberately target civilians, for example, and have brutalized and murdered innocent Americans. To grant terrorists the rights they so cruelly reject would make a mockery of the Geneva Conventions.
Nevertheless, President Bush did order -- did order -- that detainees held at Guantanamo be treated humanely and consistent with the convention's principles. And in fact, those detainees in the war on terror are being provided with many of the privileges typically afforded to enemy prisoners of war.
The notion that this decision in some way undermined the Geneva Convention or created a poor climate 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 Convention. Far from disrespect, the decision was made out of a notion 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 Convention.
Second, Major General Miller's recommendations. Major General Miller was sent to Iraq -- it was late August of '03 -- based on his experience with the flow of information gained by interrogation at Guantanamo Bay. He was sent under Joint Staff auspices, and as I said on Friday before this committee, with my encouragement, to determine if the flow of information to CJTF-7 and back to the subordinate commands could be improved. He laid out an approach to do this in a series of recommendations to General Sanchez; recommendations to General Sanchez. He had no directive authority in that visit.
One recommendation on detention operations was to dedicate and train the detention guard force subordinate to the joint intelligence commander that would, in the words of General Taguba's report, and others, "set the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees and detainees." In making this recommendation, Major General Miller was underscoring the need for military police and military intelligence personnel, both of whom serve different functions, to act in a fashion such that the one -- military police -- did not undermine the efforts of the other -- military intelligence -- to discover during interrogation information that was important to coalition forces and to the lives of Iraqi civilians. Consequently, he underscored the need for legal review of his recommendations by a dedicated Command Staff judge advocate.
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 focus the internees' confidence and attention on their interrogators. He recommended training in building the teamwork the interrogator and detention staffs needed to accomplish the objective.
The order placing the military police at Abu Ghraib under the tactical control of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. And
here, for more of the detail I can defer to General Smith. But on November 19th of 2003, General Sanchez issued an order effectively placing Abu Ghraib under the tactical control of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. This order was within the authority of General Sanchez to give. And as I say, Lieutenant General Smith might elaborate on the reasons that the order was given.
But what it did is it gave a senior officer responsibility for the facility;, for the facility. We needed someone to take care of such matters as security, force protection, the internal security, living conditions for the troops, and other things.
It did not give, as far as I understand it, the Military Intelligence Brigade commander authority over military police operations. And as I might note, if you look at General Karpinski's CNN interview last night, she makes comments to that effect. Let me stress that the promulgation of the order in no way changed the rules governing the conduct of military police and military personnel in Iraq with respect to the laws of war, the Geneva Convention, CENTCOM directions, or CJTF directions and instructions.
Third, the role of contractors. Contractors may not perform interrogations except under the supervision of military personnel. There may have been circumstances under which this regulation was not followed. I cannot tell you that it was followed in all respects. This is a matter that General Fay is now examining. In addition, contractors may not supervise or give orders or direction to military personnel, and while contractors are not under military discipline -- another issue raised on Friday -- they are subject to suspension from 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 maybe referred to U.S. federal court.
Fourth, with respect to the oversight of military intelligence, criminal investigation and 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 IG's office, and the counterintelligence oversight.
On page 9 I begin the actions under way. The secretary 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 secretary 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 Convention applies 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, and 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 the outstanding service that has been rendered by the vast majority of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Secretary Cambone.
General Smith, do you have a few opening comments?
GEN. SMITH: Senator Warner, Senator Levin, members of the committee. Sir, I'll stand by the comments that I made on Friday, but add that, once again, on behalf of General Abizaid and all the men and women of Central Command, we regret very much that these events ever occurred and apologize for those who were victims of the abuse.
I would like to assure you that, in every case of the -- 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 there.
SEN. WARNER: Can you speak clearly and directly into the mike? Your voice is being lost.
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir.
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 military intelligence brigade. We will continue to try to 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.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you.
General Taguba, we welcome you.
GEN. TAGUBA: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Levin, members of the committee, good morning all. I am Major General Antonio M. Taguba, the deputy commanding general for support, Army Central Command and Combined Forces Land Component Command that is headquartered in Camp Arifijan, Kuwait.
On 24 January 2004, when directed --
SEN. WARNER: Interrupt you. If you would direct right at --
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Get the mike aligned with you, and it --
GEN. TAGUBA: Okay.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
GEN. TAGUBA: My apologies, sir. Let me continue, sir.
On 24 January, 2004, I was directed by Lieutenant General David McKiernan, the commanding general, ARCENT 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. And 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. We had specific instructions, were as follows. First, inquire into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the recent allegations of detainee abuse, specifically allegations of maltreatment at the Abu Ghraib prison. 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, the standards, employment, command policies, internal procedures and command climate in the 800th MP Brigade as appropriate.
And 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 military intelligence officers or experts in military interrogation in 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 military intelligence 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 381-10, 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 800 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; and 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 Convention.
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 freedom.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today. I look forward to answering your questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, General. I must say that I was very heartened by your use of the phrase "follow our conscience, do what is morally right."
GEN. TAGUBA: Thank you, sir.
SEN. WARNER: I think you've done that.
Colleagues, we'll have a six-minute round. We take note that votes will start at 11:30, but it's the intention of Senator Levin and myself to continue this hearing on into approximately the 12:30 to 12:45 time frame, in hopes that further opportunity can give members to questions (sic).
SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): Mr. Chairman?
SEN. WARNER: Yes?
SEN. INHOFE: Will there be one round?
SEN. WARNER: I've said that we'll continue to 12:45, and we'll do our best, given the votes --
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: -- we will try to keep the hearing going during a portion of the votes.
SEN. INHOFE (?): (Twelve-forty-five ?).
SEN. WARNER: Thank you.
Secretary Cambone, my understanding is and in my briefings with you -- and I thank you for discussing these matters with me over the weekend --
MR. CAMBONE: Sir.
SEN. WARNER: -- that your office has the overall responsibility for policy concerning the handling of detainees in the global war on terrorism. Is that correct?
MR. CAMBONE: Not precisely, sir. The overall policy for the handling of detainees rests with the undersecretary of Defense for Policy, by directive --
SEN. WARNER: Wait a minute. Rests with --
MR. CAMBONE: The undersecretary of Defense for Policy, by directive. My office became involved in this issue primarily from the perspective of the -- assuring that there was a flow of intelligence back to the commands and done in an efficient and effective way.
SEN. WARNER: Then I would presume that it would be incumbent upon this committee to get the undersecretary for Policy over and let him provide this committee with such knowledge that he has --
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, and that -- his responsibilities -- and I have talked with Mr. Feith about this -- he issued any number of statements and directives to the effect that detainees in Iraq, civilian or military, were to be treated under the provisions of the Geneva Convention.
SEN. WARNER: And did you work with him in that? I'm trying to ascertain --
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir. I was aware of that work and knowledgeable of it and endorsed it, of course.
SEN. WARNER: I'm trying to ascertain the degree to which the civilian authority in the Department of Defense under the secretary, be it yourself or the other undersecretary --
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: -- reviewed the procedures by which the interrogations took place in our -- places of incarceration --
MR. CAMBONE: Right.
SEN. WARNER: -- and most specifically by the -- those doing it in Iraq.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: You did review the procedures that were being followed for the interrogation of detainees in Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: We gave direction that the -- the department gave direction that the Geneva Convention was to be followed. The procedures for interrogation are established via the use of -- and General Taguba and General Smith can clarify, but they are established on the basis of approved techniques for interrogation. There is a list of those, and you will find them in Army doctrine and manuals.
SEN. WARNER: Right.
MR. CAMBONE: Those are approved for use by the commanding general, and any exceptions to those activities that he authorizes, he would then set terms and conditions for exceptions to his guidance. At the level of those techniques, and so forth, they were signed out at the command level and not in the Department of Defense.
SEN. WARNER: You've had time to reflect on this. In simple and plain words, how do you think this happened?
MR. CAMBONE: With the caveat, sir, that I don't know the facts, it's, for me, hard to explain. I have spent a good deal of time over the last 10 days to two weeks looking at the various elements of this issue, and I think what we did have here was a problem of leadership with respect to the 372nd Battalion -- that was the group that was the MP unit.
SEN. WARNER: Leadership starting -- a failure of leadership starting at what level?
MR. CAMBONE: That is decidedly more difficult to say, sir. Again, in simple terms, you asked. There was clear direction moving down the chain from the secretary to General Abizaid to General Sanchez to those people who were in charge of the military police, and that in this case is General Karpinski. She had -- I think it's eight battalions -- eight battalions under her control, lodged at a large number of locations. She, as best I understand it, was not frequently present at Abu Ghraib.
Abu Ghraib itself -- and let's remember the time frame that we're talking about. We're coming out of the period of active combat operations. We have a large number of detainees who are being moved from a facility --
SEN. WARNER: I'm going to ask you to be brief because I'm holding myself tightly to my time.
MR. CAMBONE: I understand, sir. Move them into a -- from temporary facilities into permanent facilities. The place is being mortared and attacked frequently. And the local commander was unable to bring order to that place. And for that reason, I would argue, General Sanchez looked to Colonel Pappas, the head of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and gave him the responsibility, then, for taking care of Abu Ghraib as an installation.
SEN. WARNER: Right. Now, the reports that were developed by international organizations -- the Red Cross and others -- my understanding, they came to your office for an assessment and a determination as to what was to be done in response to those reports?
MR. CAMBONE: No, the reports that are issue here is -- ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross --
SEN. WARNER: But you told me, I thought, over the weekend that --
MR. CAMBONE: I've seen the report.
SEN. WARNER: You've seen them --
MR. CAMBONE: I have seen it.
SEN. WARNER: -- and you took some steps to implement some of their recommendations.
MR. CAMBONE: Steps were taken to implement their recommendations. I saw those reports well after they were issued.
The one in question was issued on the 6th of November. It was addressed, to my knowledge, to General Karpinski, and she replied, at her command level, on the 24th of December of '03 to the ICRC.
SEN. WARNER: Now, who else in the building had access to those reports? Did they reach the secretary's level?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir, they did not. Those reports, those working papers -- again, as far as I understand it -- were delivered at the command level. They are designed -- the process is designed so that the ICRC can engage with the local commanders and make those kinds of improvements that are necessary in a more collaborative environment than in an adversarial one. And so they tend to try to work these problems at that level.
There was, sir, just for the record, another paper developed by the ICRC which was delivered to the Coalition Provisional Authority in February of 2004. That paper is a historical paper. It is a review of activity from March or so of '03 --
SEN. WARNER: My time has run out.
MR. CAMBONE: -- through the end of January.
SEN. WARNER: Sorry to cut you off.
We've asked for those reports --
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: -- and it's my understanding the secretary is --
MR. CAMBONE: The secretary is going to give them to you, sir.
SEN. WARNER: General Taguba, in your orders, were there any restrictions placed upon you by General McKiernan, General Sanchez or Abizaid in the scope of your inquiry? In other words, were you given a free hand to do what you felt had to be done?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, the scope, as I described to you, was related to the detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. However, because there were detention operations under the purview of the 800 MP Brigade, we also look at Camp Bucca, the high-value detention facility at Camp Cropper, and also the MEK facility at --
SEN. WARNER: I ask the same question to you. In simple laymen's language, so it can be understood, what do you think went wrong, in terms of the failure of discipline and the failure of this interrogation process to be consistent with known regulations, national and international? And also, to what extent do you have knowledge of any participation by other than U.S. military, namely Central Intelligence Agency and/or contractors, in the performance of the interrogations?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, as far as your last question, I'll answer that first. The comments about participation of other government agencies or contractors were related to us through interviews that we conducted. It was related to our examination of written statements and, of course, some other records.
With regards to your first question, sir, there was a failure of leadership --
SEN. WARNER: In other words, in the material that you've now submitted to the Senate -- or the department has submitted --
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: -- we will find in there all of your knowledge with respect to participation by other government agencies?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: It's nine volumes and about almost --
GEN. TAGUBA: (Chuckles) -- Six thousand pages, yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: -- thousand pages, and we just got it yesterday.
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Can you give us a quick synopsis of participation by other U.S. government agencies?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, they refer to them as OGAs or MIs. And when I asked for clarification it's because of the way they wore their uniforms. Some of them did not wear a uniform, and so how would I ask them to clarify further if they knew any of these people? And they gave us names, as stipulated on their statements.
They also gave us names of those who are MI, uniformed MI in personnel in the U.S. Army, and that was substantiated by the comments made to us by other witnesses as we conducted our interviews.
SEN. WARNER: Right. In simple words, your own soldiers' language, how did this happen?
GEN. TAGUBA: Failure in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander on down; lack of discipline; no training whatsoever; and no supervision. Supervisory omission was rampant. Those are my comments.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
SEN. LEVIN: General Taguba, the ICRC said that the military intelligence officers at the prison confirmed to them that this was all part of the military intelligence process, these activities. Would you agree with the ICRC that coercive practices such as holding prisoners naked for extended periods of time were used, in their words, in a "systematic way" as part of a military intelligence process at the prison?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I did not read the ICRC report.
SEN. LEVIN: Would you agree with that conclusion?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir, based on the evidence that was presented to us and what we gathered and what we reviewed. Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: That's more than a failure of leadership. That's an active decision on the part of leadership. It's not just oversight or negligence or neglect or sloppiness, but purposeful, willful determination to use these techniques as part of an interrogation process. Would you include that in your definition of failure of leadership?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. They were.
SEN. LEVIN: Secretary Cambone told us earlier, a few minutes ago, that the shift in command at the prison did not mean that the military intelligence commander had command authority over the MPs, but your report says the opposite; that the decision to transfer that
command to the military intelligence commander did effectively put that commander in charge of the military police. Do you stick by your statement?
GEN. TAGUBA: That to me, sir?
SEN. LEVIN: Yes.
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, the -- I did not question the order that was given to Colonel Pappas on the fragmentary order that he received on the 19th of November. That was not under my purview. I did ask him to elaborate on what his responsibilities were.
SEN. LEVIN: Your report states that that change in command, quote, "effectively made a military intelligence officer rather than an MP officer responsible for the MP units conducting detainee operations at that facility." Is that your conclusion?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir because the order gave him tactical control of all units that were residing at Abu Ghraib.
SEN. LEVIN: All right.
Secretary Cambone, you disagree with that?
MR. CAMBONE: Tactical control is the question here. I --
SEN. LEVIN: Do you disagree with what the general just said?
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: Pardon?
MR. CAMBONE: I do. I do not believe that the order placing Colonel Pappas in charge gave him the authority to address the MPs' activities in direct op-con conditions.
(To Gen. Taguba.) Is that true, General?
SEN. LEVIN: Thank you. No, it's okay. Let me just keep going then. You have just a disagreement over that.
Secretary Cambone, in an article in last Sunday's Post -- in April 2003, the Defense Department approved about 20 interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo that permit reversing normal sleep patterns of detainees, exposing them to heat, cold, sensory assault; and the use of these techniques required the approval of senior Pentagon officials and, in some cases, of Secretary Rumsfeld, according to that article. These procedures, according to the Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, are controlled and approved on a case-by-case basis.
And then it says that the Defense and intelligence officials said that similar guidelines have been approved for use on, quote, "high- value detainees in Iraq, those suspected of terrorism or of having knowledge of insurgency operations."
Is that true? Were those techniques adopted for Guantanamo and were they then used or accepted or adapted for Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: There are command-level guidelines for the use in interrogation. They are in some cases the same and in many cases not.
SEN. LEVIN: Not the same in Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: Not the same.
SEN. LEVIN: In Iraq. Can you give us a copy of the guidelines?
MR. CAMBONE: I can do that.
SEN. LEVIN: Both. So there were specific guidelines for Guantanamo, and they were different from the guidelines for Iraq.
MR. CAMBONE: I believe that they were, and I will give you the comparisons.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. And you'll give those to the committee, then.
Do you know that -- well, let me go to another issue, and that has to do with whether or not the -- let me start it this way. There was an interview in the Times last week, in which Major General Miller said that 50 techniques that the military officially uses in prisoner interrogations, including hooding, sleep deprivation and forcing prisoners into stress positions, have been adopted. Are you familiar with those 50 techniques?
MR. CAMBONE: There is in -- as I said in my opening statement, there are those techniques in Army doctrine. Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: Those are 50 techniques?
MR. CAMBONE: I don't know that it's 50, sir, but there is --
SEN. LEVIN: But it includes stress positions?
MR. CAMBONE: I believe they do.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. And is that something that you will also supply to the committee?
MR. CAMBONE: We can supply the manual to you. Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: All right. Now it says here the following: that the interrogation officer -- excuse me. This is an annex in the Taguba report, says the following as being a permissible technique for use in the Iraqi theater:
The interrogation officer in charge will submit memoranda for the record requesting harsh approaches for the commanding general's approval prior to employment: sleep management, sensory deprivation, isolation longer than 30 days, and dogs.
Secretary Cambone, were you personally aware that permissible interrogation techniques in the Iraqi theater included sleep management, sensory deprivation, isolation longer than 30 days, and dogs?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. That list, both in terms of its detail and its exceptions, were approved at the command level in the theater.
SEN. LEVIN: That was a command-level approval?
MR. CAMBONE: As far as I understand it, yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: And finally, Secretary, you said that the -- you have decided right from the beginning that the Geneva Conventions would apply to our activities in Iraq.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. LEVIN: And yet Secretary Rumsfeld repeatedly has made a distinction between whether or not those Geneva Convention rules must be applied, whether people -- prisoners will be treated, quote, "pursuant to those rules or consistent with those rules." And he said -- and this is just a few days ago -- that the Geneva Convention did not apply precisely.
MR. CAMBONE: Sir.
SEN. LEVIN: You this morning said, again, the Geneva Convention applies to our activities in Iraq, but not precisely.
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. I think what the secretary -- I -- let me tell you what the facts are. The Geneva Convention applies in Iraq.
SEN. LEVIN: Precisely?
MR. CAMBONE: Precisely.
SEN. LEVIN: (Inaudible) --
MR. CAMBONE: They do not apply in the precise way that the secretary was talking about -- Guantanamo and the unlawful combatants --
SEN. LEVIN: Well, he was talking about Iraq -- let me cut you right off there. This -- the whole interview here was about Iraq and the conditions at that prison.
MR. CAMBONE: And I --
SEN. LEVIN: That's what this whole, entire interview was about. It was on NBC. It was May 5th, 2004. It was an interview about Iraq. No longer Guantanamo is the issue here. And the secretary said something he said elsewhere, and I've heard this with my own ears recently -- that -- he said that the Geneva Conventions apply not precisely; that prisoners are treated consistent with but not pursuant to.
Now he did say the other day -- this is a quote saying that the Geneva Convention did not apply precisely. Are you saying that the secretary misspoke on --
MR. CAMBONE: I can't speak for the secretary.
I can only tell you what my understanding is, Senator, and that is --
SEN. LEVIN: You don't know what he meant by that?
MR. CAMBONE: I can tell you what I understand --
SEN. LEVIN: No. Do you know what he meant by that?
MR. CAMBONE: -- and that is that the Geneva Convention applies.
Sir, I can't speak for the secretary on that issue. But I will take --
SEN. LEVIN: And you've not talked to --
MR. CAMBONE: I will take the question for the record and I will ask him. I can't --
SEN. LEVIN: It was the May 5th interview. Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator Levin.
I think at this juncture, Secretary Cambone said the question of the utilization of dogs and other things were at the command level. Can you speak to that -- respond to that important question?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I can't. The rule on dogs that I'm aware of is that they can patrol in the areas, but they have to be muzzled at all times.
SEN. WARNER: Have you examined the exact language that your command promulgated down to these prisoners?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I have -- I have the Army techniques that are authorized, which is what they lived by.
SEN. WARNER: All right. We have to clarify this. Secretary Cambone said it came from your command. So I ask you to focus on it.
And provide it for the committee.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): Thank you.
General Tabuga (sic), I want to thank you for your excellent report, and I think it's been very helpful to this committee, as well as to the American people.
General Miller -- first of all, we know that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay are not subject to the Geneva Conventions because they're al Qaeda -- at least those that are al Qaeda, and therefore, being terrorists, they are not subject to the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of prisoners of war. And I don't disagree with that assessment, and I don't think you do either, do you?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. No.
SEN. MCCAIN: And yet, General Miller was quoted in your report, when he arrived in Iraq -- I believe Secretary Cambone was one of those who urged his transfer there -- that he wanted to "Gitmo-ize" the treatment of prisoners throughout Iraq, including Abu Ghraib prison.
What do you make of that statement?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I'd defer that to General Miller, sir. But for the record, I've never been to Guantanamo. I'm only knowledgeable of my experience and my observations at Abu Ghraib, which is a detention operation, along with the other detention operations under the command and control of the 800 MP Brigade as under combat conditions, separate and distinct of what I consider to be a sterile environment at --
SEN. MCCAIN: But you found clearly in your report violations of the rules for the -- Geneva Conventions for treatment of prisoners of war, right?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. MCCAIN: Including moving prisoners around to avoid International Red Cross inspections?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. That was conveyed to us by those that we interviewed and comments that we assessed in the written statements.
SEN. MCCAIN: In your report, General Karpinski says that General Sanchez said that in the case of problems in the prison -- there was uprising and riot and escape; an American, I believe, was killed -- that they should use lethal means immediately and not non-lethal means to start with.
Isn't that according to your report?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. They changed their rules of engagement I believe four times, to use lethal and then to -- non-lethal to lethal force based on the level of the events. I believe the last time they changed that rules of engagement, sir, was in November of last year. That's contained in one of the annexes that we have.
SEN. MCCAIN: In your judgment, were these abuses a result of an overall military or intelligence policy to, quote, "soften up" detainees for interrogation?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, we did not gain any evidence where it was an overall military intelligence policy of this sort. I think it was a matter of soldiers with their interaction with military intelligence personnel who they perceived or thought to be competent authority that were giving them or influencing their action to set the conditions for successful interrogations operations.
SEN. MCCAIN: According to your report, these abuses were very widespread, correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, the manner by which we conducted our investigation in collecting evidence was that they were between mid- to late October, and as late as December, perhaps early January.
SEN. MCCAIN: Mr. Cambone, the media report that complaints were made by Ambassador Bremer and Secretary Powell concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq. Do you know anything about that?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. I am not aware of those complaints.
SEN. MCCAIN: In your opinion -- maybe I'd better ask General Taguba. How far up the chain of command did awareness of these ongoing -- let me ask this. When someone says that they're going to Gitmo-ize a prison, wouldn't a subordinate think we're going to change the rules?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I'd rather not speculate on that, and I don't exactly know what General Miller meant by Gitmo-izing Abu Ghraib because of a different situation there.
SEN. MCCAIN: I think it's pretty obvious, but I thank you for your testimony and your report. Tell me again about your view of
General Karpinski's role in this. She says that she was excluded from certain parts of the prison and certain areas where some of these abuses took place. Do you have anything on that?
GEN. TAGUBA: I disagree with that.
SEN. MCCAIN: Do you agree or disagree.
GEN. TAGUBA: I disagree, the fact that she was excluded from certain areas of the prison. In my interview of her, she was still in charge of detention operations in theater, and it's hard for me to believe that she would be excluded from any of those facilities or any portions of those facilities.
SEN. MCCAIN: What evidence did you find that these individuals who -- had received any training in the Geneva Conventions for treatment of prisoners of war?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, the evidence that we gathered were training records from the training that they received at the mobilization station and home station, their mission-essential task list that they developed to prepare them for deployment, that sort of thing. And several of these soldiers intimated to us, at least conveyed to us that they were never trained on internment or resettlement operations. But as far as I was concerned, sir, they were -- their leaders should have, could have provided the necessary resources to which they are expected to do so in training their soldiers.
SEN. MCCAIN: But they did not receive it.
GEN. TAGUBA: No, sir.
SEN. MCCAIN: Mr. Cambone states that they did, and the secretary of Defense stated they did. I thank you, General.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
MR. CAMBONE: Mr. Chairman, could I just be a little more clear with Senator McCain?
SEN. WARNER: Yes, please.
MR. CAMBONE: You asked if I was aware of concerns expressed by Ambassador Bremer and the secretary of State, and I assumed you meant specifically on these cases. I mean, that's what I intended to answer.
SEN. MCCAIN: No, I -- on the treatment of prisoners of war.
MR. CAMBONE: Yeah. Let me give you a broader answer, which is --
SEN. MCCAIN: Thank you.
MR. CAMBONE: -- Ambassador Bremer had been concerned about the number of people who were in custody and was anxious to see them move through the system and released as rapidly as possible, as was Secretary Powell. So on the broad question --
SEN. MCCAIN: But my question was, and I'm sorry to interrupt -- my time's expired --
MR. CAMBONE: Forgive me.
SEN. MCCAIN: -- were you aware of the complaints about treatment of prisoners were made by Ambassador Bremer?
MR. CAMBONE: Per se in that sense, no. That he was worried about prisoners of war, that I knew.
SEN. MCCAIN: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, could I also add that I have all the standard operating procedures here for Gitmo, and in every case it is very specifically and clearly written that the humane treatment of prisoners is first and foremost, and inhumane treatment of detainees is never justified, and it is all in the spirit of the Geneva Conventions. So --
SEN. MCCAIN: I thank you, but clearly there's a difference between adherence to the Geneva Conventions for treatment of prisoners of war and --
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir, but we were operating under the Geneva Conventions in Iraq. We clearly understood that.
SEN. MCCAIN: I thank you.
Thank you --
SEN. WARNER: Now, those apply to the prison in Iraq?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, when he went over there and he talked --
SEN. WARNER: When who went?
GEN. SMITH: When General Miller went over there and he spoke and addressed this with each of the commanders, he gave them the special operating procedures that they were using at Gitmo to use as an example on how they should generate their own operating procedures.
SEN. WARNER: And that included the phraseology that you just --
GEN. SMITH: Exactly, sir. I just read it to you.
SEN. WARNER: Secretary --
GEN. SMITH: Sir, may I also just mention, on your question on promulgation of policy. The policy regarding dogs and stuff was established and put out by CJTF-7 on the 12th of October, and it specifically says that "Interrogators must ensure the safety of security internees, and approaches must in no way endanger them. Interrogators will ensure that security internees are allowed adequate sleep, that diets," et cetera, et cetera.
And it says, "Should military working dogs be present during interrogations, they will be muzzled and under control of a handler at all times to ensure safety."
So General Sanchez, through his things, very specifically addressed what was allowed in the interrogation room and what was not allowed, and those things that required his approval, such as segregation from the population in excess of 30 days.
SEN. WARNER: Can you throw any light, then, on where this thing broke down, given that you started in the proper way?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, given the guidance that was put out there, I can't -- I have to agree with General Taguba's assessment of it and that these rules and regulations were out there, and somewhere in the leadership chain, execution and implementation of these policies broke down.
SEN. WARNER: Is CENTCOM trying to find out where that happened?
GEN. SMITH: Absolutely, sir.
SEN. WARNER: All right. Thank you.
SEN. TED KENNEDY (D-MA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Taguba, we want to -- I want to join others in commending you and thank you for the service to this country.
Dr. Cambone, I hope when you have a chance to read through the 2004 report, which according to the ICRC was given to the -- Paul Bremer, General Sanchez and the U.S. Permanent Mission in Geneva, according to Christopher Gerard (sp) from the ICRC, it talks about the ICRC collected the allegations of ill treatment following the capture that took place in Baghdad, Basra, Ramadi and Tikrit.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: It isn't only just focused on this one prison camp, but lists the others as well, and I think we have to be aware of that.
Let me just go quickly to this report. There was a Newsweek magazine report that since 9/11, Secretary Rumsfeld has insisted on personally signing-off on the harsher methods used to squeeze suspected terrorists held at U.S. prison Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He's approved such tactics as the use of stress positions, stripping of detainees naked, prolonged sleep deprivation.
Have you advised the secretary, Rumsfeld, on these issues? And what other officials of the department have participated in these decisions?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, I can't --
SEN. KENNEDY: And has the general counsel been involved --
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir. And if I --
SEN. KENNEDY: -- in giving advice? He's been involved?
MR. CAMBONE: If I may, sir, with the permission of the chair and yourself. The secretary has a deep regard for the well-being of those being held in Guantanamo and their well-being and their care. Therefore, any procedure which is of the type that General Smith suggested, which are within the approved rules but are harsh, he has withheld to his approval first.
Secondly, when the issue of how these prisoners -- detainees in Guantanamo were to be treated, there was convened, under the GC, the general counsel of the department, a working group whose objective it was to work through all of these issues. So that matrix that has been reported is the product of that effort.
SEN. KENNEDY: All right. Let me -- because the time is short -- has the secretary -- so he has evidently approved these kinds of --
MR. CAMBONE: I don't know in detail, sir, but those that he -- there is a list that he has approved.
SEN. KENNEDY: He has approved. What about on Iraq? Has he approved signing off on harsher methods of interrogation on Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: Answer no. That, as General Smith said, is a CJTF- 7 promulgation.
SEN. KENNEDY: If not, who has -- someone have that authority in Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: If there is anything that exceeds General Sanchez's direction, he is, as I understand it, to sign off on that exception.
SEN. KENNEDY: So he has the authority -- General Sanchez. Do you know whether he's used that or not?
MR. CAMBONE: General Smith?
GEN. SMITH: Sir --
SEN. KENNEDY: Just quickly.
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir. Just in that policy that I told you, were separation of greater than 30 days, he would be the approval authority. To the best of my knowledge, he has not used anything beyond that.
SEN. KENNEDY: Let me ask you, Dr. Cambone, about rendering. A number of reports about detainees in U.S. custody, U.S. Military Intelligence officials being transferred for interrogations to governments that routinely torture prisoners. December 2002, Washington Post -- detainees who refuse to cooperate with Americans have been rendered to foreign intelligence services -- Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Syria and other countries.
Can you assure the committee that the administration is fully complying with all of the legal requirements and that all reports of U.S. officials engaging in the practice of rendering are false?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, to the best of my knowledge, that is a true statement.
SEN. KENNEDY: We are not -- we have not -- your statement -- sworn statement now -- to your knowledge, the United States has not been involved in any rendering, any turning over of any personnel to any other country.
MR. CAMBONE: No, no. You said that they were turned over for torture and mistreatment. We have returned, for example, individuals to the U.K. There may be three or four of them that have been returned from Gitmo.
SEN. KENNEDY: Have you turned over, to your knowledge, any suspects to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco or Syria, to gather information?
MR. CAMBONE: From those people in DOD custody, not that I'm aware of, sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: So -- well, you would know if they --
MR. CAMBONE: I am not aware of any that have been transferred for that purpose. And if there --
SEN. KENNEDY: For any other purpose.
MR. CAMBONE: If there are, I will come back to you and tell you. As best I know, there are not any persons under our custody that have been transferred.
SEN. KENNEDY: Do the interrogators for Military Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency and also the contract intelligence, do they all have identical rules and regulations in terms of interrogating the detainees or prisoners of war or combatants? Or is there any distinction between the three?
MR. CAMBONE: Within Iraq the rules of the Geneva Convetion apply. So therefore, the rules obtain for all three.
SEN. KENNEDY: I'm not -- that isn't my question. That's not my question.
MR. CAMBONE: Sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: My question is, do they have different kinds of rules of questioning? Do each of those services have rules? If they do have rules, how are they different?
MR. CAMBONE: I can speak for the DOD, contractor and military personnel, and those rules are the same.
SEN. KENNEDY: Identical.
MR. CAMBONE: The people we hire, in most cases, are required to have had that training in the military in order to become interrogators.
SEN. KENNEDY: And they are bound by the same set --
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: So your testimony is the private contractors, Military Intelligence and military interrogators all operate -- and the CIA -- all operate with the same rules of interrogation.
MR. CAMBONE: I can only speak for the last inside of Iraq, sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: You're going to provide those rules to us?
MR. CAMBONE: I can do that.
SEN. KENNEDY: Let me just ask you -- finally, in the opinion of General Taguba, the setting of conditions for favorable interrogation is not authorized or consistent with Army regulations. You seemed to reach a different conclusion in your testimony today.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: Could you -- do you agree -- you and General Taguba there differ on that, the issues.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: Is that correct?
MR. CAMBONE: We do, and in this sense --
SEN. KENNEDY: Well, I think it's important that we understand, when we were talking about the abuses that are taking place with the Military Police -- and you have two entirely different kinds of viewpoints on this issue -- how in the world are the military police that are supposed to implement going to be able to get it straight, particularly when you have General Miller there that is following what you believe, Mr. Secretary --
MR. CAMBONE: Sir.
SEN. KENNEDY: -- how are we -- how do you expect the MPs to get it straight if we have a difference between the two of you?
MR. CAMBONE: Well, let me try and explain it. As far as I understand it, there is doctrine relative to the Military Police which gives them the responsibility for conveying to the interrogators the attitudes of their -- those who are going to be interrogated, their disposition, who they've been talking to, and so forth; and it's the interrogators, in turn, under doctrine, Army doctrine, ask the Military Police those kinds of questions. So there is designed in the system a collaborative approach with respect to gaining that information.
With respect to the issue of Gitmo-izing, if I may return to that, Senator Kennedy, let's go back to the conditions that were in Abu Ghraib. They were disorderly, as the general just points out. And the notion, it seems to me, that General Miller had was that order needed to be established in the processes and procedures.
SEN. KENNEDY: Well, just to finish, because my time is up, General Taguba, why do you believe that there should be a separation between the Military Police and intelligence officers?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, there's a baseline that we use as a reference, which is Army Regulation 190-8, which is a multi-service regulation, establishes the policy and executive agency for detention operations; in there, enumerates in Paragraph 1-5, the general policy and the treatment of not just EPWs but civilian internees, retained personnel and other detainees. That's the baseline that we use.
We also use the MPs' doctrine on detention operations, which is Field Manual 3-3-19.40. And we further referred to the interrogation operations doctrine by -- used by the MI, which is Field Manual 3452. And they're all --
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. KENNEDY: Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Inhofe.
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I -- well, first of all, I regret I wasn't here on Friday. I was unable to be here. But maybe it's better that I wasn't, because as I watched the -- this outrage, this outrage everyone seems to have about the treatment of these prisoners, I was, I have to say -- and I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment. The idea that these prisoners -- you know, they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in cell block 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents.
Many of them probably have American blood on their hands. And here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.
And I hasten to say yeah, there are seven bad guys and gals that didn't do what they should have done. They were misguided, I think maybe even perverted, and the things that they did have to be punished. And they're being punished. They're being tried right now, and that's all taking place. But I'm also outraged by the press and the politicians and the political agendas that are being served by this, and I say political agendas because that's actually what is happening.
I would share with my colleagues a solicitation that was made. I'm going to read the first two sentences. "Over the past week, we've all been shocked by the pictures from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But we have also been appalled at the slow and inept response by President Bush, which has further undermined America's credibility." And it goes on to demand that George Bush fire Donald Rumsfeld. And then it goes on to a timeline, a chronology, and at the very last it makes a solicitation for contributions. I don't recall this ever having happened before in history.
Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that this solicitation be made a part of the record at this point.
SEN. WARNER: Without objection.
SEN. INHOFE: Mr. Chairman, I also am -- and have to say, when we talk about the treatment of these prisoners, that I would guess that these prisoners wake up every morning thanking Allah that Saddam Hussein is not in charge of these prisoners. When he was in charge they would take electric drills and drill holes through hands, they would cut their tongues out, they would cut their ears off. We've seen accounts of lowering their bodies into vats of acid. All these things were taking place. This was the type of treatment that they had.
And I would want everyone to get this and read it. This is a documentary of the Iraq special report. It talks about the unspeakable acts of mass murder, unspeakable acts of torture, unspeakable acts of mutilation, the murdering of kids -- lining up 312 little kids under 12 years old and executing them, and then of course what they do to Americans, too.
There's one story in here that was in the I think it was The New York Times, yes, on June 2nd. I suggest everyone take that -- get that and read it. It's about one of the prisoners who did escape as they were marched out there, blindfolded and put before mass graves, and they mowed them down and they buried them. This man was buried alive and he clawed his way out and was able to tell his story.
And I ask, Mr. Chairman, at this point in the record that this account of the brutality of Saddam Hussein be entered into the record, made a part of the record.
SEN. WARNER: Without objection, so ordered.
SEN. INHOFE: I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons, looking for human rights violations while our troops, our heroes, are fighting and dying. And I just don't think we can take seven -- seven bad people. There are some 700 guards in Abu Ghraib. There are some 25 other prisons, about 15,000 guards all together, and seven of them did things they shouldn't have done and they're being punished for that.
But what about some 300,000 troops have been rotating through all this time and they have -- all the stories of valor are there.
Now, one comment about Rumsfeld. A lot of them don't like him. And I'm sorry that Senator McCain isn't here, because I just now said to him, "Do you remember back three years ago when Secretary Rumsfeld was up for confirmation, and I said these guys aren't going to like him because he doesn't kowtow to them, he is not easily intimidated." I've never seen Secretary Rumsfeld intimidated. And quite frankly, I can't think of any American today as qualified as Donald Rumsfeld is to prosecute this war.
Now -- oh, one other thing. All the idea about these pictures. I would suggest to you any pictures -- and I think maybe we should get direction from this committee, Mr. Chairman, that if pictures are authorized to be disseminated among the public, that for every picture of abuse or alleged abuse of prisoners, we have pictures of mass graves, pictures of children being executed, pictures of the four Americans in Baghdad that were burned and their bodies were mutilated and dismembered in public. Let's get the whole picture.
Now, General Taguba, many, many years ago I was in the United States Army. My job -- I was a court reporter. I know a little bit about the history. The "undue command influence" that is a term that we've heard, and I'd like to make sure that we get into the record what that is. I'm going from memory now, but it's my understanding that the commanders up the line can possibly serve as appellate judges. Consequently, commanders up the line are not given a lot of the graphic details but merely said, as in the case of Rumsfeld, serious allegations need to be investigated and they start an investigation. This is back in January. Now, Rumsfeld said -- and I'm quoting him now -- "Anything we say publicly could have the impact on the legal proceeding against the accused. If my responses are measured, it is to assure that pending cases are not jeopardized."
Do I have an accurate memory as to why they have this particular "undue command influence" provision that we have been following now for five decades that I know of?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I'm not a lawyer and --
SEN. INHOFE: But isn't that the reason you were called in?
Well, I should ask General Smith.
General Smith, isn't that the reason that General Taguba was brought in in the first place to keep this from happening?
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir; to do the investigation and do the fact- finding so that the commanders could make informed decisions on what actions should be taken thereafter. And the difficulty in the command influence piece is that should General Sanchez or should I or General Abizaid say something along the lines that we must take this action against these individuals, then that is command influence down the line that those that are making judgment on them would influence and bias their decisions.
SEN. INHOFE: And that, sir, has not changed over the last 45 years?
GEN. SMITH: That has not changed. And that has happened; we have had a number of folks that have -- their sentences, or whatever, have been impacted by command influence.
SEN. INHOFE: Mr. Chairman, one last question to General Smith.
All kinds of accounts are coming out now that are -- many that are fictitious, I would suggest. One was about a guy being dragged out of a barber shop. This is in Washington Post this morning. They talked about the person doing this had AK-47s, was blindfolded. Are our troops issued AK-47s?
GEN. SMITH: They are not, sir.
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
For the benefit of all members, the subject of the pictures has been raised, and I'd like to address that. In consultation with the department over the weekend, the department indicated its willingness to cooperate in every way to provide these pictures to the Senate Armed Services Committee. But it occurred to me in my capacity as chairman that this issue was a Senate institutional issue, it went beyond this committee, because I think other senators should be entitled to receive that information in the same way that members of this committee.
I thereby asked the Senate leadership, majority, minority, and invited Senator Levin to join me, and we discussed this issue very carefully yesterday. We are seeking the advice of Senate counsel and the respective counsel of the majority, minority leader and counsel to this committee. And we will before, hopefully, the end of the day, have adopted a procedure by which that transmission of further evidence can come to the Senate -- the whole Senate and how it would be made available to all senators and under what conditions, in compliance with Senate precedents, rules, and to protect the legal interests of all parties involved.
MR. CAMBONE: Thank you, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you.
SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D-WV): Thank you, General Taguba, for your report and for your service to your country.
In Friday's hearing before the Armed Services Committee, General Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, said of the prison abuse this is not a training issue but one of character and values. It's becoming clear to me that this abuse wasn't just about values, it was about policies and planning.
General Taguba, based on your investigation, who gave the order to soften up these prisoners, to give them the treatment? Was this a policy? Who approved it?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, we did not find any evidence of a policy or a direct order given to these soldiers to conduct what they did. I believe that they did it on their own volition. I believe that we -- they collaborated with several MI interrogators at the lower level, based on the conveyance of that information through interviews and written statements. We didn't find any order whatsoever, sir, written or otherwise, that directed them to do what they did.
SEN. BYRD: Doesn't the lack of training of our troops for prison duty actually demonstrate a monumental failure in planning for the long-term occupation of Iraq?
How else could the military and civilian leadership of the Pentagon explain why this training wasn't even offered?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, the training of the Geneva Convention is inherent -- every time -- from the recruit all the way up to my rank level.
In terms of these MPs, as far as internment and resettlement, some of them received training at home station and the (mobe ?) station, and some did not. And that was our recommendation, that a mobile training team be deployed to theater to ensure that they are in compliance with training tasks to do that. And there was a capacity to do that during the conduct of their operation, because there were competent battalion commanders -- the battalion commander at Camp Ashraf was conducting his detention operation to standard. At Camp Bucca -- they did that at Camp Bucca, and also at Camp Cropper. Somehow it did not pan out at Abu Ghraib.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I might also mention that this organization, the 800th MP, is a specific task organized internment and resettlement organization. Their job was this sort of stuff.
SEN. BYRD: So you don't agree that there was a monumental lack of planning, that there was a monumental failure of planning for the long-term occupation of Iraq? You don't agree with that?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, are you talking to me?
SEN. BYRD: Yes.
GEN. SMITH: I'm just addressing the specific training issue for the 800th MP that you related to, that this was their task to come over and do that. I mean, that's what they did as an organization. So they were brought over to conduct internment and resettlement issues.
MR. CAMBONE: If I may, Senator Byrd, I don't think that the difficulties that we found at Abu Ghraib indicates that there was a long-term planning effort. In fact, Major General Ryder, who also did a report, was there specifically for that purpose. What is the long- term basis for confinement facilities and training and care and so forth?
So no, there was attention being paid to the longer-term occupation issues.
SEN. BYRD: Secretary Cambone, when, if ever, did Ambassador Bremer first raise any concerns about how the military was running prisons in Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, as I said earlier, the broad question of moving detainees through the prison system was a concern of Ambassador Bremer early on. With respect to the specific conditions inside of those facilities, I am not aware of his having raised them. I don't know when that might have been. I do know -- I am told that some time in the February-March time frame he raised this issue. But I would have to check records for you, sir.
SEN. BYRD: Didn't Ambassador Bremer have overall responsibility for what was going on in Iraq?
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir, he was the occupying power, the one in whom that was invested.
SEN. BYRD: Shouldn't he have known how Iraqi prisons were being run, and shouldn't he have sounded the alert if he thought that the military were doing something wrong?
MR. CAMBONE: And again, sir, the working papers that are issued by the ICRC are done at the level of the command that they are investigating, and they don't frequently elevate to that level. They did meet in February of 2004, which is the result -- the resulting paper is the one that has been distributed. And at that time, the ICRC presented to Ambassador Bremer their findings for that previous year. And it is my guess that it's that point that the specific issues that you're addressing may have been raised by Ambassador Bremer.
SEN. BYRD: Do you know if Ambassador Bremer made any recommendations to the Department of Defense?
MR. CAMBONE: He was anxious that the department find a way to, as I've said, move the prisoner detainee more rapidly through the system, provide addresses for the location to dependents and things of that character; that is, the general treatment of the detainees within the system in Iraq.
SEN. BYRD: Do you know if he made any recommendations with reference to policy?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir, not beyond what I've said. But he -- that, again, his concern would have been for the broad population and assuring that we were moving people through that system, doing what was necessary for interrogations and releasing those who had either served their time or had no reason for being in custody. He was anxious to see those people returned to their homes and families.
SEN. BYRD: My time is up. Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator Byrd. Thank you very much.
SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think my questions are somewhat repetitive, but at any rate, why, General, thank you for the job that you've done. Many are called and few are chosen, and you have done an outstanding job.
In your report, you indicated that the 800th Military Brigade had not been directed to change its policies and procedures to set conditions for intelligence interrogations, but you concluded indeed such changes had been made at lower levels. Were these changes made at the battalion or the company level?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, we didn't find any changes either at the company or the battalion or even at the brigade --
SEN. ROBERTS: I'm going to repeat the question by Senator Byrd: Did these changes result from orders or direction from the military intelligence unit at the prison?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, there were interaction between the guards and the military interrogators at that level.
SEN. ROBERTS: But the changes were not policy?
GEN. TAGUBA: No, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: Did you discuss with Major General Miller his recommendation that the MPs and the military intelligence functions be better coordinated, to determine exactly what he had in mind?
And as a follow-up, this is the Gitmo-ize question: Is there some level of coordination between the Military Police and the military intelligence units that is permitted by Army regulations? You cited a whole series of Army regulations.
General Ryder, I believe, states that we should have a firewall in between the MPs and the military interrogators. But yet General Miller says, from his experience in regards to Gitmo, that that basically, if not impossible, is actually detrimental in terms of cooperation, but insists that if you do have that kind of cooperation, you must have leadership, you must have discipline, and you must have training.
Were the military intelligence officers at Abu Ghraib familiar with Major General Miller's recommendations?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I cannot answer that. I was not there for the debriefing, nor did I discuss in any detail General Miller's report. However --
SEN. ROBERTS: Did the intelligence officers then at the prison believe that Major General Miller's recommendations had been accepted and adopted? And if so, what was the basis of this belief?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I cannot answer that. I was not there, nor did I question whether the CJTF-7 accepted his recommendations or not. I just read his report.
SEN. ROBERTS: Okay. General Smith, an order to soften up a detainee would not be a lawful order, is that correct?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, that's correct. I mean, it is --
SEN. ROBERTS: What legal basis, then, would a soldier have for following that order?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, none. And especially if you're an organization of that type and have read any of the regulations, all of them are replete with guidance on humane treatment, as well as the number of fragmentary orders that were put out through General Sanchez telling them that they could not do many of these -- or take actions that were inhumane.
SEN. ROBERTS: Secretary Cambone, thank you for your appearance. And we welcome you to the Intelligence Committee tomorrow.
Some accused of the abuses at the prison claim they were acting under orders from intelligence officers. Do any of the Department of Defense regulations or policies encourage, condone or permit such actions?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: In your review of this matter, have you learned of any local or unit-level policies -- I emphasize the word "policies" -- that encouraged or condoned or permitted these abuses?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: Were you aware of Major General Miller's recommendations that MPs set the conditions for the interrogations at the prison? Did you discuss this recommendation with anybody at the Joint Task Force 7?
MR. CAMBONE: I did not discuss them with anybody at Joint Task Force 7, no, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: What did you understand this recommendation to mean?
MR. CAMBONE: That there had to be a basis for the transfer of information from those who had custody on a daily basis of those who were being interrogated to those who were being interrogated in order that the interrogators understood personalities, relationships, in order to be able to gain the information that they were trying to gain from the persons being interrogated.
SEN. ROBERTS: From a pragmatic standpoint, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is Ryder right and Miller wrong? Miller right, Ryder wrong? Or is it somewhere in between?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, this is a matter -- while it is written in doctrine, it seems to me doctrine is meant to be adapted to circumstance, and that was what the substance of General Miller's recommendation was.
SEN. ROBERTS: When is the Fay report going to come out?
MR. CAMBONE: My understanding -- (aside) -- And, General, you can correct me -- (returning) -- that he is completing his work in Iraq over this week. He has to go to Germany to see people who have since rotated from Iraq to Germany. And then will come back here to meet others. So we're looking toward the end of this month and perhaps the first part of June.
SEN. ROBERTS: Is the policy in regards to the military police and the military intelligence functions at Gitmo, is this being reviewed for compliance with Army regulations?
MR. CAMBONE: If General Fay didn't realize that was the subject of his investigation, sir, he is now painfully aware of it.
SEN. ROBERTS: Was your encouragement to Major General Miller to inspect the prison in any way prompted or otherwise linked to concerns about any abuse at the prison?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. To the contrary, it was the desire to make certain that we had the proper conditions within those places in order for the information to be gathered.
SEN. ROBERTS: When you learned of the abuse and knowing of the intelligence activities at the prison, did you have any concern about a possible link to the intelligence unit?
MR. CAMBONE: I understood -- it's probably in February that there were military intelligence personnel who were implicated. I did not know the nature of that implication, the extent or scope of the abuse that had taken place. So I didn't make a connection in the sense that there was a significant issue here until we moved down the path and realized exactly what was taking place. Furthermore, I still don't know that there is a significant issue here.
SEN. ROBERTS: I thank the chairman.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, could I clarify on the MP/MI regulation here? It is not absolutely clear in this regulation that the MPs and the military intelligence guys should not have some relationship. What is absolutely clear in the regulation is that the MPs are not allowed to be in the interrogation process. So do not take it that there is some Army regulation out here that says this shall not be. I've got it right here and I'll be glad to provide it for the record, and it is not --
SEN. ROBERTS: I think that would be helpful. My point was I don't think you can set up a firewall between those who are interrogating and the MPs. I don't even think that would be desirable. On the other side of the fence, you don't want them directly involved --
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SEN. ROBERTS: -- and with a lack of discipline and leadership and training to have something like this happen.
GEN. SMITH: I agree with you, and I believe when you read the document you will see that that allows that sort of activity.
SEN. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, it would be helpful if we had Secretary Cambone's statement. I don't have that. I don't know if it was made available.
SEN. WARNER: It was made just shortly before the hearing commenced.
SEN. ROBERTS: All right. Thank you, sir.
SEN. WARNER: It's being reproduced. Thank you.
I acknowledge, as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, you're conducting a separate inquiry on this matter. But I think it's important -- I picked up on something that Secretary Cambone -- do you have any knowledge of any Central Intelligence participation in the interrogation process in the cellblocks?
MR. CAMBONE: I do know that there were people who were brought by agency personnel to that place, to the cellblocks. And there may be -- and again, there may have been interrogations conducted by the agency personnel while they were there, and that's about the extent of my knowledge of specifically what they were engaged in in terms of interrogation.
SEN. WARNER: General Smith, do you have any additional knowledge?
GEN. SMITH: No, sir. I do not.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Taguba, to the best of your knowledge, when did this pattern of abuse begin as we've seen in the pictures?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, to the best of the evidence that we gathered, it happened sometime after the 15th of October, thereabouts; mid- to late October.
SEN. REED: Fifteenth of October, right.
And, General Smith, General Miller came to Iraq in August with the baseline from Guantanamo, which had series of coercive measures which was being employed in Guantanamo, and we all recognize that area was not subject to the Geneva Convention.
He briefed, as you indicated in your previous testimony, individuals at the prison. He also recommended the establishment of a theater joint interrogation and detention center there.
Is that correct?
GEN. SMITH: I believe so.
SEN. REED: That's correct.
That's August, and then October we start seeing a series of abusive behaviors, which the accused suggest were a result of encouragement or direction from these intelligence people in this theater joint interrogation and detention center.
General Taguba has testified that he did not investigate, talk to or in any way know anything about what was going on in that joint interrogation center. Is that a fair sort of chronology?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, it's a fair chronology. I would only say that in talking and speaking with General Miller -- and he has to be the one that answers some of this -- he spoke directly to the brigade commanders that were involved here and he had the special operating procedures with him and left those with him.
SEN. REED: And General, to your knowledge, General Miller made it very clear to these brigade commanders that because of the Geneva Convention many of these provisions could not be applied?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, according to General Miller, that was very clear to the commanders.
SEN. REED: That was very clear. Then why would he bring those procedures over and brief them?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, he -- to the best of my knowledge -- and again, these are questions you're going to have to ask General Miller. But to the best of my knowledge, he did not bring those coercive procedures over with him.
SEN. REED: Thank you.
Mr. Secretary, you encouraged General Miller to visit --
MR. CAMBONE: I did, sir.
SEN. REED: Were you in communication or anyone in your office in communication with General Miller during his trip or after his trip?
MR. CAMBONE: He technically went over under joint staff auspices but with my encouragement, and that of other senior members of the department, to look at the issues that we've talked about. On his return, when he completed his report, I received a briefing on it and then asked for people to look at its subsequent progress and what had taken place.
SEN. REED: So you were briefed on his recommendation to use the guard force actively to condition the --
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir, again --
SEN. REED: You weren't briefed on that?
MR. CAMBONE: No, no, excuse me. I want to phrase this right and that is on the issue of making certain that we had the kind of cooperative relationships, I understood that. I don't know that I was being told and I don't know that General Miller said that there should be that kind of activity that you are ascribing to his recommendation.
SEN. REED: General Taguba -- excuse me, and I'm probably doing -- Taguba -- I'm doing violence to your name. I apologize.
GEN. TAGUBA: (Laughs.)
SEN. REED: Taguba. Forgive me.
Was it clear from your reading of the report that one of the major recommendations was to use guards to condition soldiers -- condition these prisoners, excuse me.
GEN. TAGUBA: As I read it on the report, yes, sir. That was recommended on the report.
SEN. REED: But General Miller didn't think it was important enough to brief you, Mr. Secretary?
MR. CAMBONE: That's right, I was not briefed by General Miller.
SEN. REED: Who were you briefed by?
MR. CAMBONE: My deputy general, Boykin, briefed me on the report.
SEN. REED: So General Boykin and General Miller were collaborating on this exercise?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. Not at all, sir. Not at all. General Miller --
SEN. REED: And he -- so General Boykin didn't think it was important enough to brief you on that?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. Again, your suggestion that the report on the phrase "setting the conditions" is tantamount to asking the military police to engage in abusive behavior, I believe, is a misreading of General Miller's intent.
SEN. REED: Mr. Secretary, what I'm suggesting is anyone in your position should have asked questions. One specifically would be: What does it mean to set the conditions for these troops under the Geneva Convention?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir --
SEN. REED: Did you ask that question?
MR. CAMBONE: Well, I didn't have to answer (sic) that question. Why? Because we had been through a process in which we understood what those limits were with respect to Iraq, and what those were with respect to Guantanamo.
SEN. REED: Mr. Secretary, what is the status of the detainees in that prison under the Geneva Convention?
MR. CAMBONE: I'm sorry, sir, which prison?
SEN. REED: What is the -- Abu Ghraib.
MR. CAMBONE: Abu Ghraib? They are there under either Article 3 or Article 4 of the Geneva Convention.
SEN. REED: Let me recite Article 4. "Persons protected by the convention are those who at any given moment and in any manner whatsoever find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a party to the conflict or occupying power of which they are not nationals." These are protected persons.
Let me read Article 31. "No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain any information from them or from third parties."
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, we're in agreement here. What --
SEN. REED: Well -- we're in agreement? I don't think we are, Mr. Secretary.
MR. CAMBONE: We are in agreement on the terms --
SEN. REED: General Miller suggested that guard forces be used to set the conditions, based on the template at Guantanamo, those methods were coercive. Yet you did not choose to ask about this. You were completely oblivious.
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. Again, what I said was we knew what the circumstances were with respect to Guantanamo. We knew what the circumstances were with respect to Iraq. We understood that the Geneva Convention and all of its articles applied in Iraq. And that -- again, I come back to what I keep saying here. The notion was that you had to have a cooperation, a cooperative attitude, team-building, call it what you will --
SEN. REED: Mr. Secretary, please. Please.
MR. CAMBONE: -- between the MPs and the MIs.
SEN. REED: Please.
MR. CAMBONE: Sir --
SEN. REED: This is not a cooperative attitude. This is not a guard observing the comments of a prisoner --
MR. CAMBONE: That is exactly true, sir.
SEN. REED: Is that what's happening at Guantanamo?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. What took place --
SEN. REED: Is that what's happening in Guantanamo?
MR. CAMBONE: What took place in the prison, we have all said, exceeded the regulations, laws, and laws of war, conventions of the Geneva Convention and everything else. General Taguba has said repeatedly that there was no policy, he discovered no direction; that these were not directed acts on the part of those individuals --
SEN. REED: Mr. Secretary, people failed to ensure, by asking the appropriate questions, that these recommendations were transmitted down to individual soldiers in a way that they would understand --
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. REED: -- that this just is cooperating, not participating in setting the conditions, as was done -- as is done in Guantanamo.
MR. CAMBONE: Senator, I agree with you on the transmission of those directions. And as I said to you, and as General Smith has alluded to, there is a paper from General Sanchez making precisely those points. Moreover, if you read General Miller's report, he says before you do anything with this, we need a command staff judge advocate to work this problem and make sure it's --
SEN. REED: Did the command staff judge advocate issue a legal opinion?
MR. CAMBONE: Again, what I have is his report, and it says that that was an activity in progress.
And I have not heard -- what I know is that General Sanchez --
SEN. REED: So General Sanchez ordered this policy without advice of counsel.
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir, he did not. If you read General Taguba's report, he will tell you that at the time he was there, he had not seen any actions -- page 12, I think -- to implement the procedures specifically and officially from General Sanchez down to anyone in the lower ranks of his command. The activity that was taking place was not authorized.
SEN. WARNER: I have to ask that if the witness --
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I would add that there were numerous fragmentary orders out there that direct other than what you are suggesting.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much. If there's further amplification to the senator's questions, please provide it for the record.
SEN. WAYNE ALLARD (R-CO): Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for moving forward on this investigation quickly here at the committee level. I think it's something that we need to move off our agenda so that we begin to concentrate on many good things that are happening in Iraq as far as moving them towards the sovereignty, their own sovereignty.
And I do have a statement I'd like to have put in the record --
SEN. WARNER: Without objection.
SEN. ALLARD: -- I ask unanimous consent -- prior to my questioning.
I'd also share my shock and dismay that Mr. -- Senator Inhofe mentioned in the fact that this unfortunate situation at Abu Ghraib prison is actually being used as a fundraiser by the Kerry campaign. I just find that appalling.
And now I'd like to move forward and have a question to you, General Taguba. In my statement I find that your reporting supports
that the Army has taken the initiative and following through appropriately on our own affairs.
Now, just so that I am clear in my own understanding, were you directed by any of your superiors to remove any findings that you felt were credible or relevant?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I was not directed by my superiors.
SEN. ALLARD: Were you directed by any of your superiors to withhold or remove recommendations for any adverse personal actions regarding subjects of your investigations?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, none whatsoever.
SEN. ALLARD: And just so I am clear also about the makeup of the prison population, my understanding from some of the testimony that we received here today, that if somebody is classified as a terrorist -- in other words, they're not associated with any country officially -- then there is a difference -- they don't fall under the Geneva guidelines. Is that correct?
MR. CAMBONE: The president designated the al Qaeda as being unlawful combatants, sir.
SEN. ALLARD: So just that particular terrorist organization, or any terrorist organizations?
MR. CAMBONE: I know for a fact it's al Qaeda, and my guess is that, depending on the circumstances, if we found ourselves in armed conflict with some other organization such as, the president would take that under advisement.
SEN. ALLARD: Okay.
Now, did we have terrorists in the population at this prison?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, none that we were made aware of.
SEN. ALLARD: So as far as we know, these were all related to those guidelines that generally you're complying with as far as the military is concerned on how you handle prisoners.
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, they were either classified as security detainees or other detainees, criminals, things of that nature.
SEN. ALLARD: But no terrorist classification --
GEN. TAGUBA: None that we were given, no, sir.
SEN. ALLARD: Okay. Secretary Cambone or General Smith, in your estimation, why was anyone taking pictures in the security detention facility at Abu Ghraib? And is there any explanation from a physical security or prisoner security or military intelligence perspective?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, the photographing of prisoners, especially with private cameras, is against --
SEN. ALLARD: Private cameras?
GEN. SMITH: -- by private cameras is against the rules. The rule --
SEN. ALLARD: Uh-huh. And so these were taken by private cameras?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I believe they were taken by digital cameras that belonged to the individuals. But I don't know that.
SEN. ALLARD: I see.
GEN. SMITH: Maybe General Taguba does.
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, they were personal cameras.
SEN. ALLARD: They were personal --
GEN. SMITH: This specifically says photographing, filming and videotaping of individual EPW/CI, other than internal internment facility administration or intelligence/counterintelligence purposes, is strictly prohibited.
SEN. ALLARD: And so this didn't have anything to do with the way you manage the prisoners or any of their interrogation or any physical security of the prison; this was taken on by individuals, unknown to those in command at the time?
GEN. SMITH: That is my belief, but I don't know specifically --
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, as far as we know, based on the evidence and the interviews and the statements, they were taken by -- with personal cameras.
SEN. ALLARD: Individuals taking that on their own, without any instruction from command?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. ALLARD: Okay. Now, General Smith, in General Taguba's report, he recommended that a mobile training team be assembled and dispatched to your area of operations to oversee and conduct comprehensive training in all aspects of detainee and confinement operations. Were these teams dispatched as recommended?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, they were dispatched before the report was actually approved. About 50 percent of the training is complete, and they will continue and have all of this completed by the end of June, although everybody that's out there is getting training weekly, awaiting the mobile training team specifically getting down there. That will be followed by sustained required training every week in all of these rules.
Additionally, the Geneva Conventions are required to be briefed at every change of shift.
SEN. ALLARD: And your point is that when you got General Taguba's report, even before it was finalized, you were beginning to take corrective action, and so action was -- you were responding immediately to concerns about how -- what was being reported in the camp of Abu Ghraib.
GEN. SMITH: That's correct, sir.
SEN. ALLARD: Okay. General Smith, General Taguba, I understand the necessity and significance of maintaining a strategic interrogation exploitation process. After all, our primary goal, along these lines, is to save the lives of Americans, Iraqis and other partners in the region. Can you share with us whether or not your command is actually developing good intelligence based on your approved interrogation techniques? In other words, are we saving lives?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, my belief is that we are. We absolutely have built the networks and what they look like and who the players are, based on intelligence information from human intelligence.
A portion of that is this kind of activity. And so, sir, I would say absolutely that there have been lives saved because of the people that we have been able to go out and pick up because of the human intelligence process.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. DANIEL AKAKA (D-HI): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
General Taguba, I want to commend you and your team for submitting a very -- what I consider a candid and thorough report. Your task was not an easy one. However, your honesty and your integrity reflect the character we expect from soldiers in our military.
General Taguba, in your report you reference the lack of supervision over U.S. civilian contractor personnel, third country nationals and local contractors within the detention facility at Abu Ghraib. During your investigation, did you determine how many civilian contract personnel were working there? Who supervised these individuals? And can you describe what you observed in terms of type of access these individuals had to the detainee areas?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, we did not make a determination of how many civilian contractors were assigned to the 205th MI Brigade and operating at Abu Ghraib. I personally interviewed a translator and I also personally interviewed an interrogator, both civilians, contractors. There was also a statement, and substantiated by the witnesses that we interviewed, of another translator, a third-country national in fact, that was involved. And there was another third- country national who was acting as a translator for the interrogators that was involved in one of the interrogation incidents where dogs were used.
Their supervision, sir, from the best that we could determine or discern from the information that we gathered, was they were under the supervision of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, the JIDC, who is then under the supervision of one, a lieutenant colonel, who was also supervised by the brigade commander, the MI brigade commander. That was the chain, sir.
SEN. AKAKA: What access these individuals had to the detainee?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, they had an open access to the detainees.
SEN. AKAKA: General Taguba, your report finds that two contractors were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Were either of these contracted personnel supervising soldiers or in a position to direct soldiers to take specific actions?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, they were not in any way supervising any soldiers, MP or otherwise. However, the guards, those who were involved, looked at them as competent authority as in the manner by which they described them, as the MI or by name or by function.
SEN. AKAKA: Secretary Cambone, what kind of training did the U.S. civilian contractors have prior to going to Iraq? I've been informed that the training for interrogators including training tactics and techniques used by other countries. Did such training occur? And if so, are these tactics and techniques approved by DOD intelligence officials?
MR. CAMBONE: The only tactics and techniques that would be approved, sir, are those that are approved by the command for use in that situation. As I said earlier, the recruitment -- and if you look at the advertisements for the recruitment, they look for people who have had the experience of being interrogators. And I am told that in fact some of the retired personnel and those who have since left the service are quite capable and are, in terms of the interrogator's art, better able to conduct those interrogations than the younger individuals who are new to that activity.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, most have gone through the 19-and-a-half week training at Fort Huachuca either while they were in the service or afterwards.
SEN. AKAKA: General Smith, who is keeping a record of all the employees that work for all the contracted firms in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is it the contracted firm or DOD?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, you're beyond my knowledge there. Except that the contracting officer who contracts with the company is responsible for ensuring that they comply with the contract. And by name, I suspect he has who those contractors are, but I can't tell you that for sure.
SEN. AKAKA: Thank you for responses.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator Akaka.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL): Thank you.
I first want to again state my appreciation for the superb work of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. In many, many instances, some of which we've seen on television, they demonstrate restraint day after day. They -- sometimes under very intense pressure, and they've maintained their poise and their professionalism. They've risked their lives, as we've seen a soldier going to the bridge to save an Iraqi woman under hostile fire. They have, on their off hours, built schools and hospitals and treated the sick. And so this is particularly painful for all of us to have this experience.
But I absolutely have visited those soldiers there, and I know them who've been there.
They've told me of things that they've done and the relationships they've had with Iraqi citizens. Strongly, it's interesting how many want to volunteer and go back because they believe in their work and they want to see this to be a healthy, stable country, and nothing we say today should denigrate that.
I have been somewhat concerned at the suggestion that there is a policy of abuse here. And, General Smith, I think you've read clearly that the explicit statement from every level of command are in existence that would absolutely prohibit this kind of behavior. Is not that correct?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, that's absolutely correct. In many venues, in a number of times when fragmentary orders have been republished for the purpose of doing that, and I would like to present those for the record. I know Senator Reed is very concerned about it, and I would like to put those in the record.
SEN. SESSIONS: With regard, General Smith, of the Geneva Conventions. I was in the Army Reserve. I, for a short time, had a JAG slot, although I'm not like Colonel Lindsey Graham over here, who was an actual practicing JAG officer. But I remember in the transportation unit I had to train the transportation soldiers, enlisted people, in the Geneva Conventions. Isn't that done throughout the Army and the military?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, that continues to be a requirement.
SEN. SESSIONS: And in basic training every soldier has been trained in the Geneva Conventions, is that not correct?
GEN. SMITH: That's correct, sir.
SEN. SESSIONS: And I heard you say that they are briefing the Geneva Conventions at every shift change now in Abu Ghraib prison?
GEN. SMITH: That's correct, sir.
SEN. SESSIONS: And before that occurred, one of the criticisms I think General Taguba mentioned was they were supposed to be briefing the Geneva Conventions periodically, but perhaps it was not occurring. Are you familiar with that part of the report and what the requirement was?
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I'm familiar with the report.
SEN. SESSIONS: General Taguba, you made some reference to the fact that there was established a procedure to train periodically and it may not have been occurring?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. It's required under AR 190-8 to post the Geneva Convention in the language of the detainee. So you have many detainees there of different languages, but you have to post that. It's a requirement, especially for those units that are conducting internment and resettlement mission requirements. Those guards, in terms of discipline, were supposed to conduct by their own SOP guard mounts, where you have shifts. You change in shifts and you have guard mount.
Those -- we found evidence that was not being done. They did kind of a replacement, so to speak, during their shift time because they were not conducting guard mounts by which they were to reinforce tenets of the Geneva Convention or made clear that -- to post things so that the Geneva Convention were to be made available not only to the detainees and the language which they come from, but also where they could see them.
GEN. SMITH: And that was never challenged or rejected by General Abizaid, General Sanchez or anyone else in authority in Iraq. I mean, those policies were in effect, and it amounted to a violation of the established Army policy when that was not -- did not occur. Is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I cannot speak for General Abizaid or General Sanchez, but that's the responsibility of the battalion commander and also those personnel that are conducting internment and resettlement or detention operation. It is clear. It's in their doctrine. It's in the regulation.
SEN. SESSIONS: And, of course, General Smith, military police have more of this training than others, than the soldiers, I assume, in how to handle prisoners.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, I can't speak to that. But my assumption would be that certainly they have more training than the average soldier would.
SEN. SESSIONS: Well, I'll thank you for your comments and would note that my time is expiring. But this Gitmo-ize issue I think really misses the point. Yes, we want to use some of the procedures that were working in Guantanamo and try to share that information to get it up to the people in authority so we could save lives, get it out to the people who could use it to identify who these attackers and terrorists were, but I don't think there's any indication that General Miller would in any way suggest this kind of behavior was legitimate.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, you're absolutely right in both counts. In a counterinsurgency like this, intelligence is critical, in that if you want to go find the guys that are making the IEDs, or the ones that are shooting down our helicopters with SA-7s, or folks that are fomenting the insurgency, then you have to use human intelligence to do that. You can't do that by technical means alone.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
GEN. SMITH: So it is a critical piece of the process. And clearly, time and time again, we are told, humane treatment in concert with the Geneva Conventions.
SEN. SESSIONS: Thank you.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you, Senator. That's a very important inquiry and response. And I appreciate that, General.
Senator Nelson -- Bill Nelson.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I don't think General Miller is where the problem lies, Senator Sessions. I think it lies elsewhere.
General Taguba, in -- on page 16 of your report you state: "I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police
personnel included the following acts" -- and you list a whole number of those acts. Among them: videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees; forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing; forcing groups of male detainees -- and I will insert paraphrasing here -- certain sexual acts while being photographed and videotaped; a male MP guard having sex with a female detainee; using military dogs without muzzles to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in one case, biting and severely injuring a detainee; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light, and perhaps a broomstick; using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting the detainee. Is that your report?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
SEN. BILL NELSON: All right.
Mr. Secretary, when did you become aware of the nature of these prisoner abuses and the existence of the photographic and video evidence? That's two questions.
MR. CAMBONE: The photographic evidence -- to be clear, that there were photographs associated with this inquiry, I knew early in the change of the year. The nature --
SEN. BILL NELSON: I'm sorry, I didn't understand.
SEN. WARNER: We did not hear that answer. Could --
MR. CAMBONE: I'm sorry. I understood at the beginning of this year that there were photographs associated with the criminal investigative inquiry.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Did you know about these acts?
MR. CAMBONE: I did not know about these acts, and learned of them in specificity when I read the report and when I was exposed to some of those photographs.
SEN. BILL NELSON: And you read the report when?
MR. CAMBONE: It's got to be in the last week, sir. It was not out of the command until the end of last month.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Now, the secretary of Defense told us last Friday that he learned about these abuses in the middle of January.
MR. CAMBONE: That we had abuses, true. The nature of them I was not aware of.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Did you know that they were horrific?
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir. I received a report that there was an inquiry under -- a number of six or seven, by the way, this being one of them, under way in which there were people implicated in abuses of prisoners in Iraq. The character of it, the scope, the scale, I was not aware of.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Specific to this prison, what was your role in alerting others that you work for, such as the secretary of Defense?
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir. Again, as the secretary testified, corporately we were aware, and I was one of those who told him so, that there were investigations under way with respect to this facility and ultimately the report that General Taguba has done in the February time frame. I mean, and so it was a report of an investigation about acts of abuse.
SEN. BILL NELSON: And what was your role in alerting the secretary to the danger posed to our theater strategy and the general perception around the world?
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir. And let me draw gradations here. There are instances of people having been mistreated in their apprehension, transportation and interrogation that -- a level of poor performance and behavior on the part of our people was understood, but it was understood at a fairly low level of abuse and incidence, rate of incidence. The scale of this was unknown to any of us. And had we known its scale, scope -- the earlier we would have known, the sooner we would have been able to come to you, to the president and to others to talk about it.
SEN. BILL NELSON: And you're saying you didn't know about that until last week?
MR. CAMBONE: Scope, scale, until the pictures began appearing in the press, sir, I had no sense of that scope and scale. I knew of the problem that there was abuse, that there was a criminal investigation, that there was an investigation being done by General Taguba, but I had no sense of it, sir.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Okay. Given that fact, why was the secretary of Defense unprepared, when he came before us in the secure room in the Capitol on April the 28th, why was he unprepared to share the information that he knew of with members, probably some 35 or 40 members of the U.S. Senate?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, I don't -- I can't answer for the secretary on that question. He was here; he spoke with this committee and gave his answer, as I recall. I can't speak for him on why he did not raise it that evening. I don't know.
SEN. BILL NELSON: You had not discussed that with him?
MR. CAMBONE: That day I had not discussed it with him, no, sir.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Had you discussed it with him any time before, after you had learned in mid-January about these abuses?
MR. CAMBONE: Again, I informed him that there were investigations under way, of which this is one of six or seven that I was informed of. And I -- again, I did not understand the scope and scale. If I had, I assure you, Senator, I would have told him.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. JAMES TALENT (R-MO): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Cambone, very quickly, one of the things I've wondered about, when you say you didn't recognize the scope and scale, is it possible that not having seen the pictures, you didn't recognize what the significance of the pictures would be in terms of the impact of this internationally?
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. TALENT: General Taguba, your report -- I think if we summed it up, we'd say that the unit at the prison was underdisciplined, undermanned, and poorly led. Is that a fair summation?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, very fair.
SEN. TALENT: And in the middle of an Army that I think all of us would agree is very well disciplined and very well led. And so the question in my mind is, well, how? Why is this particular unit so below the standards and performance of the rest of the United States Army? And I'm going to make a comment, and you can comment on it if you want.
I was in the other body all throughout the '90s, during which time the highest civilian authorities here and on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue were cutting the size of the Army, and in my judgment, not funding adequately what -- the end strength that we had remaining. And what I saw consistently was the Army, in order to keep the tip of the spear sharp, if you will, allowing some of the rest of the spear to go rusty. And, you know, sooner or later, those chickens come home to roost. You get a poor commander, you don't have enough people, the guys you've got are not trained up adequately because you don't have the money for it, and then something like this happens. And I'll just say, I wish we'd had the interest nationally through the '90s about funding the Army adequately, and maybe we wouldn't all be sitting here.
General Smith, let me ask you a question. I had a phone call, actually, from a constituent who raised an issue that might help in one aspect of this. As I understand it, one of the difficulties with getting this up to the very highest civilian levels is that -- the concern about command influence, because the same people that you'd want to report this through and to are the people who would be involved in passing on any court-martials that may emerge from this. And I know this is a problem. My wife used to be in the JAG Corps.
Well, the constituent let me know that there is an office in the Air Force, the Reporting Office on Special Interest Cases, which is evidently designed to deal exactly with this.
Are you aware of that office?
GEN. SMITH: Sir -- sir, I'm not aware of this -- of that office. And this was in basically Army channels.
SEN. TALENT: Right. And what I'm wondering -- and maybe to recommend to the secretary -- this office exists for, as I am told -- and we're checking this out in my office -- in the Air Force to deal with cases like this. So you can -- if you think something's of special significance, you can get it up to higher authority, but through a separate, specially created chain of command, so you don't compromise the command influence. And then you can get it to somebody who then has the discretion, if they want to, to go directly to the secretary or the deputy secretary. And we're certainly going to be looking. And I'd recommend it to you, if you're not aware of it, because evidently it functions pretty well in the Air Force. You're not aware of it, though, as of now, I take it.
GEN. SMITH: Now that you mention that office, I -- yes, I recall that there is one. And I can tell you that the secretary has more than that on his list of ideas, or will have more than that on the list of his ideas.
SEN. TALENT: Okay.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
GEN. SMITH: Because you are right; some way has got to be found to do this.
SEN. TALENT: Yeah, because we clearly have a defect in this. I mean, command influence is a problem, and when you think everybody involved in this probably wishes, they just said, the heck with command influence, we've got to pick up the phone and call and let people know.
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. And, indeed, you know, at least to the extent that the sergeant delivered the disc to the Criminal Investigative Division, he put in train, at least, a process that has brought all this to light.
SEN. TALENT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much.
(Pause.) This says Dayton.
SEN. LEVIN: Where's Nelson in that? He -- no, no, you missed him.
SEN. : Senator Nelson.
SEN. LEVIN: It's Ben Nelson.
SEN. WARNER: We have a different sheet, but I think Senator Nelson is preceding.
SEN. LEVIN: All right.
SEN. WARNER: Oops. Thank you very much.
SEN. : (Laughs.)
SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): I hate to cheat my colleague from Minnesota out of his place, but --
SEN. WARNER: Well, he's been getting here earlier and earlier each time. (Light laughter.)
SEN. BEN NELSON: I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the witnesses today as well for your very strong statements about your opinions as well as the -- as well as the nature of the investigations. I'm going to ignore some of the partisan sniping that's been going on from the other side today, because I don't think it's particularly helpful.
Having said that, General Taguba, in your opinion, this is not a top-down problem. I think what you're saying is that this was something that may have been spontaneous, but an abuse involving only a handful -- last week the operative word was "few" individuals, but I think that right now -- I think that perhaps it's a limited number of people. Is that accurate?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. Based on the -- based on the interviews and the statements that were given to us by both the detainees, MP personnel, and those that we examined -- there were others, but we just could not track them down.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Well, what's the highest-ranking officer you interrogated?
GEN. TAGUBA: My interview, sir? Brigadier General Janis Karpinski.
SEN. BEN NELSON: You didn't talk to General Sanchez or --
GEN. TAGUBA: No, sir.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Did you talk to Colonel Pappas?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. I did.
SEN. BEN NELSON: What's the highest-ranking official -- not officer, official -- you may have talked to?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, none. I stopped at General Karpinski.
SEN. BEN NELSON: So what may have happened above General Karpinski is an open book; in other words, it's not -- or it's a closed book. No one knows what may or may not have occurred above that level. Is that accurate, insofar as your investigation's concerned?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. She did intimate to me other officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority that she interacted with in terms of the prison system, the Iraqi prison system, but I did not go after that. I did do a mid-course brief to General Sanchez and General McKiernan, but only in that we were proceeding on the timeline without any great details.
SEN. BEN NELSON: But General Karpinski says that her command was severed by the infusion of military intelligence dealing with certain detainees. Is that accurate, or an approximation of her statement?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I don't understand where her command authority -- her command was severed from Abu Ghraib.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Well, because others were put in and she was given the instruction. Colonel Pappas appeared on the scene and military intelligence not under her command were there as well. Is that accurate?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, it's contained in my report that when I asked her if she had known about the FRAGO 1108, dated 19 November, the first time -- or the only time I interviewed her, she had no knowledge about that until about two days afterwards, of which I asked her what did she do after that. And then she wanted clarification from her chain of command, where she was told that, you know, that the FRAGO was indeed in effect and that the MI brigade commander was the commander, the forward operating base commander.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Well, under those circumstances, if her command wasn't severed was it at least interfered with, in your judgment?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, truthfully she challenged that.
SEN. BEN NELSON: She -- in what way was --
GEN. TAGUBA: Challenged the authority that was given to Colonel Pappas.
SEN. BEN NELSON: And what was the result of the challenge?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, it created a confusion and friction between those two commanders.
SEN. BEN NELSON: So what we have now is confusion, a lack of clarity of command. We've got a handful at least of spontaneous abusers as it related to detainees. So we know whether in that prison or in other prisons where there were criminal prisoners as well, not detainees, whether there was any abuse that carried over into their lives?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, the fragmentary order only affected Abu Ghraib. Camp Bucca was still under the 800th MP Brigade exclusively. So was Camp Cropper and Camp Ashraf.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Well, were the abuses there anywhere similar? Were there photographs there, as in the case of Abu Ghraib?
GEN. TAGUBA: None that we gathered in terms of evidence. No, sir.
SEN. BEN NELSON: And those other prisons were under her command, is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. They were -- you might consider abuse, but that was in terms of slapping a prisoner, and they were (dealt with ?).
SEN. BEN NELSON: But not similar type abuses as we have here.
GEN. TAGUBA: Not to the gravity that was exposed, no, sir.
SEN. BEN NELSON: And not photographs.
GEN. TAGUBA: Not photographs, no, sir.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. BEN NELSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Senator Chambliss.
SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS: (R-GA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Taguba, it's refreshing to those of us who deal with the military every day not only to look at your report but to see your frankness here today. And I think every military officer can certainly walk a little taller and a little straighter because of the work that all of you gentlemen are doing, but particularly, General, with respect to the way you have handled yourself and being willing to be critical where you need to be critical.
Now, General Smith, you made the statement earlier that this particular unit, the 800th MP Brigade, they were trained -- their job was "this sort of stuff." Now, I'm assuming you mean from that that their job was to go over there and run this prison.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, and maybe General Taguba can jump in on this a little bit, but I believe there are only one or two organizations of its type in the United States Army, and it is an internment and resettlement brigade.
SEN. CHAMBLISS: Okay.
GEN. SMITH: (Speaking aside) Is that correct, Tony?
GEN. TAGUBA: That's correct, sir.
SEN. CHAMBLISS: And Genearl Taguba, while General Schoomaker took exception to a comment I made the other day relative to the lack of training of this unit, they just happened to be a Reserve unit, the fact of the matter is there were a few dysfunctional individuals within this unit that, according to your report, was a very poorly trained unit that didn't have knowledge of what they were supposed to do. In fact, as I read your statement here, there's a general lack of knowledge, implementation and emphasis of basic legal, regulatory, doctrinal and command requirements within the 800th MP Brigade and its subordinate units. Do you still stand by that statement?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir, I stand by that statement.
SEN. CHAMBLISS: In fact, your report is replete with comments relative to the lack of training of this particular unit that was supposed to be highly specialized and trained to do exactly what they were sent there to do; isn't that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, when I interviewed the company commander and asked him to outline for me what training he received at the mobe (ph) station, he basically gave me the typical basic requirements only, marksmanship, things of that nature. When I asked him, did you get any additional training prior to your deployment and into deployment with regards to internment and resettlement or anything that has anything to do with detention operations, he said he did not. I did not interview the battalion commander, the 320th MP Battalion commander, because he invoked his right. However, those that we interviewed within that chain of command also concluded that.
SEN. CHAMBLISS: Okay.
General, there's something that has puzzled me throughout this process that's evolved over the last -- or been made public over the last 10 days or so.
And one thing is the fact that Major General Ryder went in there in October and November of 2003 and did a report. And his report, according to your report, his objective was to observe detention and prison operations, identify potential, systemic and human rights issues and provide near-term, mid-term and long-term recommendations to improve operations in the Iraqi prison system. Yet he -- during the time that he was there in Abu Ghraib, some of these instances were occurring. I think your report confirms that; certainly, when he testified the other day in the Intelligence Committee, that was obvious. I have asked the question privately and publicly, why didn't somebody come forward and tell Major General Ryder about this during the time that he was there when these incidents were going on? Do you have any -- can you shed any light on that particular question?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I read General Ryder's report; I did not discuss it with him. I know that it's in -- within the content of his report he visited quite a bit of the detention centers, not just exclusively Abu Ghraib. The results, of course, were -- his recommendations I agreed with in terms of putting things under a single command and control, things of that nature. And I don't want to speculate about anything with regards to any knowledge of detainee abuse having not been reported or being reported up the chain of command. It was apparent in our investigation that these things were happening, but we were puzzled also with the fact, sir, that none of this stuff was going above the battalion commander level. And that's what we concluded, that none of this stuff was going above the battalion commander level.
SEN. CHAMBLISS: Thank you, General.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
The committee will continue right through the first vote, and if there's a second, likewise, until every senator's had their opportunity to ask a question. Next week we have our bill on the floor, according to the current schedule. So in all likelihood we'll have to suspend this series of hearings until after the bill has been considered.
SEN. BILL NELSON: Mr. Chairman, may we continue with a second round, or -- ?
SEN. WARNER: No, Senator, because I think we would be infringing on the policy councils for both parties.
Thank you very much.
SEN. MARK DAYTON (D-MN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding today's hearings, and for your resolve to face these atrocities. You're an honorable man, and would that everyone shared your resolve to find the truth rather than to deny it or deflect it.
Unfortunately, we in this committee were overshadowed yesterday by President Bush's words and actions traveling to the Pentagon with the vice president to tell the secretary of Defense, the country and the world, quote, "You're doing a superb job." The president looked at a dozen more pictures of abuse and reportedly shook his head in disgust, but the apologizes, regrets and mea culpas are now history. It's back to business as usual.
And if anybody missed those subtleties, the vice president was even more direct over the weekend when he said people ought to get off of his case and let him do his job, referring to the secretary of Defense. In other words, we should stop meddling and interfering and let them go back to running the war.
This morning illustrates the difficulty in a hearing to get beyond the words to the realities. General Taguba's report and directness here today are notable exceptions. But it shows why the pictures made such a difference; they showed us the truth. Most of the words today have managed to obscure that truth. We're told there were papers and procedures, policies and protocols; there were directives given, conditions set, and everyone followed the Geneva Convention, international law, United States principles, except for a few people who did very bad things, unbeknownst to anyone else, all of whom were doing what they were doing to save American lives. So let's dispense with this and get back to our good intentions, the great progress going unreported in 95 percent of Iraq; the upcoming handoff of democracy to whoever the recipients shall be.
And that's why those pictures are disruptive, because they defy that sanitizing. They can't be obscured by non-descriptions like, quote, "the inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature," close quote, which were words used to describe the forced masturbation of one detainee or the rape of another. That's why Pentagon officials are reportedly preventing the additional pictures from being publicly released. The White House communications director said that the president wants the Pentagon to, quote, "use its best judgment about the release of the photos." Close quote. Well, we've seen where that best judgment has gotten us so far, and I think it's deplorable that --
SEN. WARNER: Senator --
SEN. DAYTON: -- they intend again to try to suppress the truth and all the truth from the American people.
SEN. WARNER: Senator, having worked on that question with the department, at this point in time, the decision as to public release is an ongoing review. To the best of my knowledge, as of late last night, no final decision has been made --
SEN. DAYTON: Well --
SEN. WARNER: -- by the Department of Defense, the White House or others.
SEN. DAYTON: All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
If you were to go elsewhere -- and thank goodness for a free and vigilant press, because I don't think we would find most of this out any other way, but there's a Red Cross report which describes excessive patterns of -- patterns of excessive force used by U.S. soldiers in prisons, and not just the one subject to this investigation, but throughout the country.
The Red Cross wrote that ill treatment during capture was frequent. It often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with rifles, punching, kicking, striking which seemed to go beyond -- seemed to reflect a usual modus operandi and appeared to go beyond the reasonable, legitimate, proportional use of force required to apprehend suspects or restrain persons resisting arrest or capture.
The published reports say that as many as 43,000 Iraqis were detained at various times, and that an estimated 90 percent of them were determined to have not had any involvement in the matters under -- that were of concern to U.S. authorities; that only 600 were turned over to -- for prosecution; that 8,000 that remain in detention now for indefinite periods of time, although I gather that there is now steps being taken to release all but 2,000 of them.
My time is up, but I'm just going to complete here by just referring to one individual that said he was taken from a barber shop where he was getting a shave and he was beaten with pipes, starting at his legs and back and moving to his head. He was bleeding from his mouth and ears. He fainted. When he woke up, he was in a dog's cage at a local military base. He was left naked in the cage for several days, receiving only scant food and water until soldiers hung him from a tree by his cuffed hands. "They told me they would bring my wife and hang her next to me."
I don't take any pleasure in recounting these incidents, but I take umbrage that there are still those who want to deny that they occurred to any degree or those that want to ascribe other motives to those of us who are just trying to face up to them.
I want the United States to succeed in Iraq. I'm deeply concerned that what's occurred there is going to cause further violence that will come down on our troops, who will bear the brunt of this, and set back our ability to meet our objectives there. But I don't see how that's going to be served by trying to obscure or deny what's occurring there or what has occurred there, and make sure -- try to make sure it doesn't happen again there or anywhere else in the world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My time is expired.
SEN. WARNER: I thank you, Senator.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Taguba, Chairman Warner asked I believe earlier the question what went wrong, and you answered there was a failure of leadership from the brigade level on down -- and down. In your investigation, did you find any evidence -- any evidence whatsoever -- that culpability extended beyond the brigade level?
GEN. TAGUBA: No, sir. We did not. However, we did recommend, based on some evidence that we gathered of the complicity of MI interrogators, and we recommended that would be -- a separate investigation be provided under Procedure 15 of 380-10.
SEN. CORNYN: How many individuals do you believe were involved in this abuse at Abu Ghraib?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, directly there were those six or seven, I believe. I know that the ongoing investigation continues under Article 32. Don't know of anybody -- of any others. In terms of those soldiers' supervisors and leaders, I enumerated that on my report. I believe there was a total of 17 there that I identified.
SEN. CORNYN: So there was seven -- there was disciplinary action taken against the seven supervisors, and then there was the actual criminal charges that have now been brought, I guess, against another seven; is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. Those were the criminal investigation. You know, I'm not involved in that whole process. But my investigation was purely administrative, to gather facts and circumstances that were related to the detainee abuse and the other things that I mentioned to you earlier, principally their leaders.
SEN. CORNYN: I ask those questions because I am concerned that there are those who are suggesting that somehow what you have said was exceptional misconduct on the part of these guards and their superior officers was somehow the norm. Indeed, there was a question asked earlier attempting to suggest that this was the implementation of polices and procedures that are in existence at Guantanamo Bay. There was a question asked about whether Guantanamo Bay was somehow the base line, and that now that represented the norm and this was the logical conclusion of those policies and procedures at Guantanamo Bay.
I have to tell you that like other members of the committee, no doubt, I've traveled to Guantanamo Bay because of my interest in the detention of the individuals there who -- of course who plan, finance and execute terrorist acts against Americans and other innocent civilians. And I had an opportunity to meet General Geoffrey Miller, who was the commander of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo. And I was very impressed with the treatment, with the policies and procedures that allowed the humane interrogation of detainees there.
And let me just ask you, whether they're enemy combatants or unlawful combatants or common criminals, is there any policy that you're aware of in the United States military that allows for less than humane treatment of detainees?
GEN. TAGUBA: No, sir. Did not find that anywhere.
SEN. CORNYN: And of course we are concerned about the atypical conduct on the part of these individuals who committed these crimes and those who failed to see that they got the supervision and the leadership necessary in order to avoid these crimes.
But I must add my voice to those of others that say, while we are absolutely committed to getting to the bottom of this, and your report gets us a long way there, and to making sure that the guilty are held accountable, we can't forget the context in which all of this is taking place, and that is in a larger context of many other military troops serving honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the need to get essential information from some of these detainees that could well protect America from the next 9/11.
And so I want to commend you and the others for the wonderful service that you're performing and thank you for helping us get to the bottom of this. And I hope that we will ultimately be successful in doing so, holding those accountable who were responsible and then making sure we focus on our greater and more important job of making sure that America's safe in this war on terror.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: Thank you very much, Senator.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I want to join in thanking you, General Taguba, for your service and for this report.
You know, I don't think anyone disagrees with the last comment by my colleague that our objective is to prosecute this war on terrorism successfully and also to ensure the safety and security of our own people from future attacks. The question is whether behavior and conduct and decisions with respect to the treatment of these detainees undermines the potential success that we all agree is essential to our national security.
I am still confused. And my confusion is this: with respect to the actions that are described in your report, General Taguba, you also included a number of other problems at other detention facilities. But is it your best information that no detention facility that was in any way connected with the 800th MP Brigade, had the level of problems that you reported in this unit at Abu Ghraib?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes ma'am. I -- the scope, again, was within the context of those facilities that the 800th MP operated.
SEN. CLINTON: And the 800th MP Brigade was under the command of General Karpinski, is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes ma'am.
SEN. CLINTON: Now, if the problems were severe and located principally in this one unit, then I think it is appropriate to follow the chain-of-command up to the decision to send General Miller to that prison, whereas I understand the testimony thus far, he set up a specific joint interrogation unit. He did, however one wants to describe, either coordinate or direct the MPs' involvement in the conditioning of the detainees. Is that a correct statement, General?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes ma'am.
SEN. CLINTON: All right. So, it seems to me that if indeed General Miller was sent from Guantanamo to Iraq for the purpose of acquiring more actionable intelligence from detainees, then it is fair to conclude that the actions that are at point here in your report are in some way connected to General Miller's arrival and his specific orders, however they were interpreted, by those MPs and the Military Intelligence that were involved. Therefore, I, for one, don't believe I yet have adequate information from Mr. Cambone in the Defense Department as to exactly what General Miller's orders were, what kind of reports came back up the chain-of-command as to how he carried out those orders, and the connection between his arrival in the fall of '03 and the intensity of the abuses that occurred afterwards.
Now, we know that General Karpinski has been rightly singled out for appropriate concern about her behavior and her failure of command, but I just want to read to you a comment she made in an interview, which I find extraordinary. And I quote, "But when I looked at those pictures, and when I continued to see those pictures, I don't think that there was anything that was improperly done because
this wasn't something that was a violation of a procedure. This was something they were instructed to do as a completely new procedure. I'm not sure that those MPs had ever been confronted with any instructions like this before."
General Taguba, can you explain for us the disparity between holding this brigade commander completely accountable and the comments that I just read to you, in light of the fact that certainly the 20th Military Intelligence Brigade was given tactical control over that prison? Can you explain the General Karpinski's comment?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes ma'am.
During the course of our investigation, there was clear evidence, based on my interview of General Karpinski and Colonel Pappas, that there was friction between those two commanders in the operation of Abu Ghraib. This tension was that who was in charge of when and at what time. They could not explain, so that's the context of the ambiguity of the order that was given to Colonel Pappas. It was clear that he was directed to be the forward-operating base commander there for security of detainees and force protection. However, General Karpinski challenged that, and she noted that in her recorded testimony, point one. I held her accountable and responsible, not exclusively and solely for the abuse cases there at Abu Ghraib, but the context of her leadership, the lack of leadership on her part, overall in terms of her training, the standards, supervisory of mission, the command climate in her brigade. Those were all, in totality, why I held her accountable and responsible, ma'am.
SEN. CLINTON: And just one last follow-up, General. Did Colonel Pappas report directly to General Miller?
GEN. TAGUBA: That I did not know, because General Miller was not there. He reported to, I believe, to CJTF-7.
SEN. CLINTON: General Smith, do you know who Colonel Pappas reported directly to?
GEN. SMITH: Yes sir, through CJTF-7. Sir -- ma'am, General Miller had no command relationship in this at all. I mean, he came over to do an investigation and make some findings and recommendations on how to improve. Nobody reported to him. Nobody -- he had no relationship whatsoever other than to report details.
SEN. CLINTON: (Inaudible) --
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you, Senator Clinton. Senator Graham.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Thank you, Senator. I think they've left, but just a few minutes ago, there were some foreign military officers that came to the hearing, and I would -- just want to say for the record that I'm very proud of the fact that our military command system, civilian and military, comes out in the open, is asked hard
questions, has to appear before the public. And you've documented, General Taguba, some failings. I think we're failing the country ourselves up here a bit. I think we're overly criticizing this. This should be what binds us, not what tears us apart. I think Republicans and Democrats have a different view of a lot of things, but it seems to me that investigating a prison abuse scandal, when you say you're the good guys, should pull you together, not tear you apart. And I would just hope my colleagues can understand that when you say you're the good guys, you've got to act as the good guys.
So, General Taguba, how long have you been in uniform?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, this is my 32nd year.
SEN. GRAHAM: Saddam Hussein is in our control. How would you feel if we sicced (sp) dogs on him tomorrow?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, on Saddam Hussein?
SEN. GRAHAM: Yeah.
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, we still have to follow the tenets of international law.
SEN. GRAHAM: As much as you and I dislike him, as mean a tyrant as he is, and you know he'd kill us all tomorrow, I am so proud of you. What are we fighting for, General Taguba, in Iraq? To be like Saddam Hussein? Is that what we're fighting for?
GEN. TAGUBA: No sir.
SEN. GRAHAM: Our standard, General Smith, can never be to be like Saddam Hussein, can it be, sir?
GEN. SMITH: No sir.
SEN. GRAHAM: How long have you been in the service?
GEN. SMITH: Thirty-four years.
SEN. GRAHAM: Is it okay with you if the International Red Cross comes and looks at our prisons?
GEN. SMITH: Absolutely, sir, and they should.
SEN. GRAHAM: Okay. God bless you both.
General Taguba, it comes down to this for me. You've got one prison that was run differently than other prisons. The photo we see of the detainee on the stool, wired up, was that just six or seven people having a good time in a perverted way at that person's expense, or was there something deeper going on there, and do you know?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, based on the evidence, it was six or seven people that created that type of a scenario, a situation.
SEN. GRAHAM: Okay. To the dog scenario, where you see the detainee with two dogs, was that a couple of guards with dogs in a perverted way having a good time, or was there something else going on?
GEN. TAGUBA: No sir. The dogs were invited in there, according to witness statements, and collaborated by interviews by the two MP guards.
SEN. GRAHAM: The way these people were stacked up in sexual positions and the sexual activity, was that just individual guards, or was that part of something else going on?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, those actual acts, based again on interviews and statements and collaborated by the detainees' statements as well.
SEN. GRAHAM: Part of the defense that we're going to be hearing about in these court martials is that the people that we're charging are going to say this system that we see photographic evidence of, was at least encouraged if not directed by others. Do you think that's an accurate statement?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I would say that they were probably influenced by others --
SEN. GRAHAM: Okay --
GEN. TAGUBA: -- if not necessarily directed specifically by others.
SEN. GRAHAM: For those -- we're not going to have a seminar in military law today, but I have a different view of command influence than some people have suggested, in terms of what we can disclose and how it would affect court martials. There -- another level of accountability in the military beyond just participating in out-of- bounds behavior, Geneva Convention or otherwise. Do you agree with me that the Uniform Code of Military Justice prevents this conduct, regardless of the Geneva Convention?
GEN. TAGUBA: Absolutely.
SEN. GRAHAM: So, ladies and gentlemen, what we're here today is to show the world that our military is governed by the rule of law, just like all of us. And having been a JAG officer for over 20 years, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, now a Reserve judge, I've got great confidence that we will get to the bottom of this. Do you agree with that, General Smith?
GEN. SMITH: Yes sir, I do.
SEN. GRAHAM: Now. Dereliction of duty is a concept unique to military law. Probably should apply to us in politics. A lot of us would be in trouble, probably me included if that was the case. But in the military, as a commander, it can be a criminal offense if you derelict your duty to maintain good order and discipline in a way that crosses the line, is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes sir.
SEN. GRAHAM: You interviewed a general officer, and in your report you indicated that you thought the general officer misled you about how many times that person had been to the prison system, is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes sir. And that was collaborated by her own aide.
SEN. GRAHAM: I would suggest to you, General Taguba, that out of this investigation, not only should we focus on the privates, and the sergeants, and the specialists who did criminal activity, but we also should have a hire accountability that if a general officer misrepresents what they did in terms of command and control, that a letter of reprimand may not be the appropriate sanction. But I will leave that discussion for others.
Colonel Philabaum (ph)?
GEN. TAGUBA: Colonel Philabaum(ph), yes sir.
SEN. GRAHAM: Your description of his time there was classic dereliction of duty. You have recommended a letter of reprimand for him.
GEN. TAGUBA: And relief from command, sir, and to be removed from a promotion list.
SEN. GRAHAM: My point is that Secretary Rumsfeld should not be held accountable for the criminal activity of others. It would be unfair to any military commander, politician or otherwise, to have to take a fall when people break the law and take the law in their own hands.
However, those of us in responsibility do have a burden to bear.
SEN. INHOFE: Senator Graham, your time has expired.
SEN. GRAHAM: Could I just end with this one thought, Mr. Chairman?
SEN. INHOFE: Yes, sir.
SEN. GRAHAM: Secretary Rumsfeld has to manage the whole war. I think it would be unfair for him to take a fall if this is just a limited activity of a few people or a prison poorly run. At the end of the day, General Taguba, responsibility, command and otherwise, is very much part of the military law and culture. And I appreciate what you've done to expose the failings. Thank you very much.
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you, Senator Graham. Senator Bayh.
SEN. EVAN BAYH (D-IN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, gentlemen, for your presence here today.
Two quick questions for you, Mr. Cambone, then one observation that if any of you want to react to, I would appreciate it. And I apologize for moving expeditiously, but there is a vote that is about to expire.
Mr. Cambone, I'd like to follow up on the questions of some others; I think Senator McCain started, and then it was touched upon a little bit later with regard to Ambassador Bremer's warnings.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. BAYH: Published reports indicate that he began raising these warnings in about August of last year. And as I understand your testimony, these were sort of general in nature about the overcrowding
and the concern for transiting people through there and returning them to their civilian situation when they didn't need to be retained any longer.
The Red Cross report came to his attention in February or March, and you seemed to imply that perhaps his warnings became more specific with regard to activities in the prison thereafter. Is that the case?
MR. CAMBONE: With respect to the first part of your question, sir, or your statement, I believe that to be the case. That is to say, I was not in communications with Ambassador Bremer nor know of any statements by him specific to these --
SEN. BAYH: So in his meetings with the secretary, you were never present.
MR. CAMBONE: I did not know of those. I did know of his general concern, as you said, for the prison population.
SEN. BAYH: What about following the Red Cross report?
MR. CAMBONE: With respect to the 2004 report, I can only tell you again what I know, and that is that there was a meeting in that time frame of February at which senior members of the CPA staff met with members of the ICRC and this report was made available.
And from that, there were some communications from CPA to the State Department and elsewhere with respect to these concerns.
SEN. BAYH: About these abuses.
MR. CAMBONE: That's what I think I know.
SEN. BAYH: Did that make its way into --
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, I did not see the ICRC report until I began working my way into this problem over the last two weeks.
SEN. BAYH: My second question involves the dispute between you and the general about who had tactical control at the prison.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
SEN. BAYH: As I understand it, he believes that the military intelligence individuals did exert practical tactical control. And it's your opinion that they did not. As I understand your position, the intelligence authorities were given control over the facility but not control over the individuals running the facility.
What exactly does that mean? How do you have control over a facility but not the people who are running it?
MR. CAMBONE: The same way that --
SEN. BAYH: Were they in charge of the plumbing or the --
MR. CAMBONE: No, sir -- well, in the same way that you have a building supervisor who doesn't tell the tenants how to do their business. In other words, you do require someone who is senior in command to be able to be responsible for the facility; that is, for its security from outside activity, internal security, the care and feeding of folks, all of those administrative and logistics tasks that go with running a large facility.
Then there are, within that facility, a number of operations and activities that take place which are under the command of other individuals. And those individuals are responsible for the exercise of command over those activities.
SEN. BAYH: A layman's opinion, General; I'd be interested in your opinion. It seems to me the attempt here to draw this line may have contributed to confusion about who was in charge, which may have led to some of these troubles. General, is that a fair comment?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir. We followed doctrine in the context of our investigation as a matter of our base lines. We used those as references. Doctrinally, (Daycon?), as given to Colonel Pappas, was that his mission was for security detainees and force protection. Doctrinally, if you (Daycon?) to him, he establishes priorities.
SEN. BAYH: My comment --
MR. CAMBONE: That doesn't go, sir, though, to the heart of his being able to give what would have been -- and General, correct me -- unlawful orders to the commander of that military police battalion.
GEN. SMITH: Sir, nor did it allow him to change their mission. In other words, they're trained to a specific task. It's the person with operational control that is allowed to change how they do business and the like. So, as General Taguba said, he can change the priorities for these folks, but they still have to operate within the guidelines and the doctrine that they are trained to. So they are still cops doing cop business.
SEN. BAYH: General?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, there were established standards -- two, in fact -- that were signed by Lieutenant General Sanchez that stipulated what you can and cannot do. Those were clear. However, the feeling here was that some leaders just did not comply with it. They were posted for a purpose, sir, and there were certain standards that they have to follow.
SEN. BAYH: Compounded by a number of other things, including lack of uniformity in training. My last comment -- and this gets to the dilemma; we face this repeatedly in the intelligence arena, Mr.
Chairman -- and that is the following. Timely and accurate intelligence information is essential to protecting our troops, civilians, winning the war against this insurrection and the larger war against terrorism.
At the same time, preserving our honor and our moral integrity is also vitally important in the longer term to winning this struggle, because that, at the end of the day, is what differentiates us from those with whom we fight.
Now, it seems to me you've laid out, all of you, in your testimony, we begin taking our instruction about how do you draw the line. How do you draw the line between vigorous but acceptable interrogation versus morphing into abuse?
We start with the Geneva Convention and general principles. I think, Mr. Cambone, you then used the term "approved interrogation techniques," of which there were 20 or 30. So we try and refine that general guidance into more specific guidance. Then exceptions are allowed at the behest or the direction of the commander. I assume in this case it would have been General Sanchez. Is that correct? I assume he didn't authorize any exceptions. No.
That's the process that we go through in trying to determine where the line is, what you can do and what you can't do. And I'd just like to conclude by saying I think it is absolutely critical that we enforce the line as we defined it -- vigorously; hold those who crossed it to account, to show that we don't tolerate this kind of thing.
But let's learn the lessons of the past as well. We are currently trying to overcome some past intelligence abuses 20, 30 years ago and our reaction to those abuses that have hamstrung us in the covert arena and otherwise.
So let's draw the line bright and clear. Let's institute training. Let's hold commanders who don't insist that the line be followed to account as well as the foot soldiers. But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water, because gaining access to appropriate information is also important, as we also preserve our moral integrity and our honor.
MR. CAMBONE (?): Thank you for that, Senator. And if I may say, in trying to answer the committee's questions today on these issues, if in any way I suggested that if we find that there was misconduct or misbehavior or inappropriate behavior on the part of anyone associated with the military intelligence side of this, which General Fay is now looking at today, I can assure you and other members of this committee that we will be back here and we will tell you that.
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you, Senator Bayh. Senator Lieberman.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thanks to the witnesses. In absentia, I wanted to thank Chairman Warner and
Senator Levin for the speed and intensity with which they have convened this series of hearings. And I thank you, gentlemen, for being here.
We've got a real challenge here, which is to deal with this inhumane, immoral, unacceptable, un-American behavior that happened in this prison and maybe others -- I want to ask some questions about that -- and to do it as quickly as we can so that we can get back to fighting the war on terrorism, and to do it in so comprehensive and aggressive a way that we do not allow or even facilitate unintentionally the erosion of public support in this country for the critically important mission our troops are performing in Iraq and the broader war against terrorism. And that's why I appreciate these hearings.
In that regard, I think the comprehensiveness of our investigation -- yours, really -- is critically important. General Taguba, I just want to make clear, when you were asked to investigate, you were asked to investigate conditions at Abu Ghraib and two of the other most populated prison facilities in Iraq. Is that correct?
GEN. TAGUBA: Yes, sir, with matters related to training standards, internal policies and the like. Yes, sir.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Are there other prison facilities in Iraq beyond those three, therefore, that have not been reviewed? Or are they being reviewed now for conduct that we're concerned about?
GEN. TAGUBA: Sir, I did not go beyond the four that I looked at during the course of the investigation. And I believe a subsequent investigation by the Army inspector general conducted that following my investigation. They looked at other facilities.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Is that General Ryder's (sp) investigation?
GEN. SMITH: No, sir, there's an independent investigation put in train by the acting secretary of the Army that covers all -- as I understand it, not only facilities in Iraq, but in Afghanistan as well.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: That was my next question; Afghanistan as well.
MR. CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
GEN. SMITH: That's ongoing, Senator.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: That is ongoing --
GEN. SMITH: Yes, sir.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: -- in the sense that it pre-dates this scandal?
GEN. SMITH: No, sir. It was directed and it continues today. They are still --
SEN. LIEBERMAN: So that -- I got you. Would it be fair for you to say through us to the American people that we are essentially looking everywhere throughout the American military prison system to make sure that nothing like what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison is occurring anywhere else?
GEN. SMITH: I'd have to look at the specific charge that the Department of Army IG was given, but I believe that to be the case. Certainly they are looking -- well, go ahead.
MR. CAMBONE: No, with respect to the CENTCOM AOR and the handling of prisoners there and terrorists who are in detention, the secretary of Defense has asked the secretary of the Navy to take a look as well at Charleston and other places where there may be internees.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Okay, that's very important. Let me come back -- and obviously you will continue to report to us on the conclusions of those investigations. I had an exchange with Secretary Rumsfeld on Friday that reverberated in my own mind over the weekend. I think one of the other senators may have asked one of you a question about this. And it is about the relevance of the Geneva Convention to the prisoners being held in Iraq.
I had read various statements by the secretary and others that confused me on this, because I didn't think the Geneva Convention was being applied precisely to detainees. And in response to -- in Iraq -- my question on Friday, Secretary Rumsfeld said, "The president announced from the outset that everyone in Iraq who was a military person and was detained is a prisoner of war; therefore the Geneva Conventions apply."
And second, continuing with the secretary's statement, the decision was made that civilians or criminal elements that are detainees are also treated subject to the Geneva Convention, although it is a different element of it. In an earlier point, in an interview he did on television, he -- and this is, I think, what was asked before -- he said that they're not entitled to the Geneva Convention -- oh, I'm sorry, here it is -- the decision was made that the Geneva Convention did not precisely apply, but that every individual would be treated as though the convention did apply.
So, first off, my staff can't find the statement that the president made announcing that policy. And Secretary Cambone, I'd ask you --
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, I'd be happy to get that for you. And I'm happy to ask the secretary this afternoon what indeed he had in mind in that expression. Senator Levin asked that question earlier. And I will ask him and I will get you an answer.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: I would appreciate that. And as part of that -- and I'd ask General Taguba or General Smith to respond to this part of it -- how do we -- there's a report in one of the papers today based on an International Red Cross report that 70 to 90 percent of the detainees, according to the Red Cross, were captured without solid evidence of their guilt. And the numbers are large.
Is there a process for determining, considering what Secretary Rumsfeld said on Friday, who is a prisoner of war and who is a detainee -- who's military and therefore treated as a prisoner of war, and who's a detainee, and therefore who gets the higher level of rights legally?
MR. CAMBONE: We have at the moment very few, as I recall, enemy prisoners of war left in the system. What we have primarily are those who have posed a threat to the security of the coalition forces, the Iraqi government or the Iraqi people or other who may have committed crimes of one kind or another against Iraqi citizens.
There are some of those latter who are, as I understand it, in custody and being in the custody of Iraqi security police and things of that sort. And they are in a process to be brought forward before an Iraqi judicial process, which itself is slowly and painfully standing up.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Okay. So my final question -- I think my time is up; maybe I should ask you to bring it back to the Pentagon and then respond, sir, if you could, is the status which is -- because as I read the Geneva Convention, I think the detainees have rights under the convention. They are a lot lower than the rights of prisoners of war. So, I'm confused by what seems to be the policy that Secretary Rumsfeld articulated on Friday, that though they're not entitled to the rights of Geneva that we're giving it to them.
MR. CAMBONE: I will take one more step on behalf of my general counsel, and I will over you him for a period of time to come by and brief you and other Senators as you might which, Mr. Chairman, on precisely how this has unfolded, and so that there is no confusion left in the committee or in the American people about where we stand on the Convention.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: I appreciate that.
Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. WARNER: And thank you, Senator.
And I will be discussing with the Secretary of Defense and others the other witnesses that I think should come before the committee, and I'm considering general counsel given his expertise in this area, so we'll do that. And, again, I wish to thank the Secretary of Defense through you, Mr. Secretary, for the cooperation in putting together this series of hearings that we're holding today.
I would ask now, do you or any other witness have a response to a question, or wish to make any added statement before we close out this morning's record?
MR. CAMBONE: Sir, I ordinarily begin my presentations here by saying that it's a pleasure. This is not. It is a duty, and a responsibility. We take it seriously. To General Dayton's point, we will get to the bottom of this.
More over, I would like to thank you for your courtesies. They are important to all of us who are grappling with a very difficult problem, and in the end we will answer this committee's questions, and those of the other committees of the Congress, to the best of our knowledge, with as much knowledge as we have at the time that we are asked the question. And, sir, therefore, I say to you if we read
through this record and we find we have made a mistake, I have misspoken on a convention, or I have told you something about command relationships that is incorrect, I would beg your indulgence to allow us to correct that record as quickly and as accurately as we can, and make any changes known to every member of the committee when we do so.
SEN. WARNER: And I thank you for that offer, and it will be done.
This after noon we'll be having Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, he's a Deputy Chief of Staff, G2, United States Army, handling intelligence matters. Major General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., Director of Intelligence, J2, the Joint Staff. And Major General Thomas J. Romig, Judge Advocate General, United States Army,.
If there are no other comments, I thank my colleagues for the sincerity, the tremendous time that each of them are putting in to prepare for this hearing, and I think it has been a very successful hearing.
And I thank you, Secretary Cambone, General Smith, and General Taguba.
MR. CAMBONE: Thank you, sir.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times