Transcript : Taguba, Cambone on Abu Ghraib Report
Tuesday, May 11, 2004; 2:28 PM
U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the the treatment of Iraqi Prisoners Tuesday. The transcript follows:
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va). Chairman
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)
Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine)
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)
Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Ranking Member
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.)
Sen. Josheph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.)
Sen. Evan Bayn (D-Ind.)
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, deputy commanding general for support for the coalition forces land component command
Stephen A. Cambone, the undersecretary for intelligence
Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance L. Smith, the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command
WARNER: Before turning to the matters at hand, and a quorum being present, I ask the committee to consider five civilian nominations: Tina Jonas to be undersecretary of defense comptroller, Donald Abalis (ph) to be undersecretary of the Navy, Gerald Paul (ph) to be principal deputy administrator of the Nuclear Security Administration, Chatfield (ph) to be director of the selective service, Paul Koff (ph) to be a member of the National Security Education Board.
All of these nominations have been before the committee the required length of time. Is there a motion to favor a report the nominations?
MCCAIN: Mr. Chairman, I reserve the right to object and will not object except to say that I will hold these nominations until we get the requested information that has been outstanding for a long period of time now concerning communications on the Boeing issue. And I won't waste the time of the committee much longer, but we're approaching a time where I will be asking a vote of the committee to see whether we subpoena these documents or not.
WARNER: Senator, you have been straightforward in that. I've done my best to date. We'll continue to help you gain that material. But you have kept the chairman and the ranking member informed continuously of your views.
MCCAIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: The issue of the nominations before the committee, all in favor, say aye.
Ayes have it.
Now proceeding to the floor.
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 the United States and international laws.
Testifying before us today is Major General Antonio Taguba, U.S. Army, deputy commander for support, coalition forces land command.
On January 31st, 2004, General Taguba was appointed by General Sanchez, commander, Combined Task Force-7, to conduct a Procedure 15 investigation 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're in the possession of the committee and members and staff worked on those reports until very late last night.
WARNER: 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.
TAGUBA: Thank you, sir.
WARNER: Following the testimony of witnesses, we will 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 appropriate investigation and begun disciplinary actions. We are 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 assuring that justice is done and take the corrective action so that such abuses never happen again.
WARNER: 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, sailors, airmen and Marines are keeping terrorists across the world on the run. They're helping the people in 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, 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.
WARNER: 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're 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.
LEVIN: 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.
LEVIN: 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 with 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.
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?
TAGUBA: I do.
SMITH: I do.
CAMBONE: I do.
WARNER: In accordance with the time-honored traditions of our country -- the civilian control over the military -- we recognize Secretary Cambone who is speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense.
CAMBONE: Mr. Chairman, thank you, and members of the committee.
We're here today to continue the discussion on the terrible activities at Abu Ghraib which began last Friday by the secretary of defense, the chairman and other members of the manual.
Before going further, let me say we are dismayed by what took place.
CAMBONE: The Iraqi detainees are human beings, they were in U.S. custody, we had an obligation to treat them right, and we didn't do that. That was wrong. And I associate myself without reservation to the sentiments expressed by the secretary.
To those Iraqis mistreated by 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 a way of preparation in answer to the questions we know that you have.
But before I go through those, let me say again that we will give you this information today to the best of our knowledge. We do not have yet all of 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, the CJTF-7 commander, reminded them on more than one occasion that the forces under his command operated under that obligation.
Nevertheless there clearly was a breakdown in following Geneva Convention procedures at Abu Ghraib, and we are in the process, as you know, of investigating why that happened.
CAMBONE: 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 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 guidance.
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 Qaida detainees. That decision was made because the Geneva Conventions govern conflicts between states and Al Qaida 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 create 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.
CAMBONE: 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 a 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 focuses these internees' confidence and attention on their interrogators. He recommended training in building the teamwork the interrogator and detention staffs needed to accomplish the objective.
CAMBONE: 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.
CAMBONE: Furthermore, criminal sanctions for any crimes a contractor may commit may be available in U.S. federal court and may be 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 eight of the statement that I prepared for you, listed the roles of the office I presently hold, that of the joint command, and that of the services.
I then go on and talk about oversight of criminal investigation and the role of the DOD I.G.'s office and the counterintelligence oversight.
On page nine, 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 is heard 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.
CAMBONE: If we hold true to our principles and continue to keep our commitments to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually the nobility of that mission will touch the hearts of more people in the Arab world. I am confident of this because of the outstanding service that has been rendered by the vast majority of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you very much, Secretary Cambone.
General Smith, do you have a few opening comments?
SMITH: Senator Warner, Senator Levin, members of the committee, sir, I'll stand by the comments that I made on Friday, but to add that once again, on behalf of General Abizaid and all the men and women of Central Command, we regret very much that these events ever occurred and apologize to those who are victims of the abuse.
I would like to assure you that in every case of 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 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 Graib prison, the most significant of which is the General Fay investigation over the military intelligence brigade. We will continue to try and make every effort to ensure that we implement the proper procedures, policies and practices to ensure that this never happens again, sir.
Thank you, Senator Warner.
WARNER: Thank you.
General Taguba, we welcome you.
TAGUBA: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Levin, members of the committee. Good morning all.
I am Major General Antonio Taguba, the deputy commanding general for support, Army Central Command and Combined Forces Land Component Command, that is headquartered in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
TAGUBA: On 24 January, 2004, when...
WARNER: If you'd direct right at the mike aligned with you and...
TAGUBA: OK. 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 with specific instructions were as follows: first, inquire into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the recent allegations of the 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 800 M.P. Brigade as appropriate.
And finally, make specific findings of facts concerning all aspects of this investigation and make recommendations for corrective action as appropriate.
My investigation team consisted of officers and senior enlisted personnel for our military policemen, experts in detention and corrections, judge advocates, psychiatrists and public affairs officers.
TAGUBA: 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 M.I. Brigade and 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 M.P. personnel and the policies, procedures and command climate of the 800th M.P. 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 will 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.
TAGUBA: 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.
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." Sir, 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 is 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 be given members for questions.
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, will it be one round?
WARNER: I said that we'll continue to 12:45 and we'll do our best...
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
WARNER: ... given the votes. We will try to keep the hearing going during portions of the votes.
Secretary Cambone, my understanding is that in my briefings with you -- and I thank you for discussing these matters with me over the weekend -- that your office has the overall responsibility for policy concerning the handling of detainees in the global war on terrorism.
WARNER: Is that correct?
CAMBONE: Not precisely, sir. The overall policy for the handling of detainees rests with the undersecretary of defense for policy, by directive.
WARNER: Wait a minute. Rests with?
CAMBONE: The undersecretary of defense for policy, by directive. My office became involved in this issue primarily from the perspective of assuring that there was a flow of intelligence back to the commands and done in an efficient and effective way.
WARNER: Then I would presume 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.
CAMBONE: Sir, and 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.
WARNER: And did you work with him in that? I'm trying to ascertain...
CAMBONE: Yes, sir. I was aware of that work and knowledgeable of it and endorsed it, of course.
WARNER: I'm trying to ascertain the degree to which the civilian authority in the Department of Defense, under the secretary, be it yourself...
CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
WARNER: ... or the other undersecretary, reviewed the procedures by which interrogations took place in our places of incarceration, and most specifically by those doing it in Iraq.
CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
WARNER: You did review the procedures that were being followed for the interrogation of detainees in Iraq?
CAMBONE: We gave direction that the -- the department gave direction that the Geneva Convention was to be followed.
CAMBONE: 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.
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.
WARNER: You've had time to reflect on this. In simple and plain words, how do you think this happened?
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 M.P. unit.
WARNER: Failure of leadership starting at what level?
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 under her control lodged at a large number of locations.
CAMBONE: She, 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...
WARNER: I'm going to ask you to be brief because I'm holding myself...
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.
Now, the reports that were developed by international organizations -- the Red Cross and others -- it's 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.
CAMBONE: No. The reports that are at issue here is the ICRC, the International Community of the Red Cross.
WARNER: But you told me I thought over the weekend that you...
CAMBONE: I've seen the reports.
WARNER: You've seen them.
CAMBONE: I have seen...
WARNER: You've seen some steps to implement of their recommendations?
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.
WARNER: Well, now, who else in the building had access to those reports? Did they reach the secretary's level?
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.
CAMBONE: 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 through the end of January.
WARNER: My time is up. Sorry to cut you off. We've asked for those reports.
CAMBONE: Yes, sir.
WARNER: It's my understanding the secretary...
CAMBONE: The secretary is going to give them to you, sir.
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?
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 M.P. Brigade, we also look at the operations at Camp Buka, a high-value detention facility at Camp Cropper, and also the MEC (ph) facility at...
WARNER: I ask the same question to you: In simple layman'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 the Central Intelligence Agency and/or contractors, in the performance of the interrogation?
TAGUBA: Sir, as far as your last question, I'll answer that first.
The comment about participation of other government agencies or contractors were related to us through interviews that we conducted that was related to our examination of written statements and, of course, some other records.
TAGUBA: With regards to your first question, sir, there was a failure of...
WARNER: In other words, in the material that you've now submitted to the Senate or the department has submitted...
TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
WARNER: ... we will find in there all of your knowledge with respect to participation by other government agencies?
TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
WARNER: It's nine volumes and about almost...
TAGUBA: Six thousand pages. Yes, sir.
WARNER: Six thousand pages, and we just got it yesterday.
TAGUBA: Yes, sir.
WARNER: Well, can you give us a quick synopsis of the participation by other U.S. government agencies?
TAGUBA: They refer to them as OGAs or M.I.s. And when I asked for clarification, it's because of the way they wore their uniform. Some of them did not wear a uniform.
And so, I would 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 M.I. -- uniformed M.I. personnel in the U.S. Army. And that was substantiated by the comments made to us by other witnesses as we conducted our interviews.
In simple words -- your own soldier's language -- how did this happen?
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.
WARNER: Thank you very much.
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.
LEVIN: 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 the military intelligence process at the prison?
TAGUBA: Sir, I did not read the ICRC report.
LEVIN: Would you agree with that conclusion?
TAGUBA: Yes, sir. Based on the evidence that was presented to us and what we gathered and what we reviewed, yes, sir.
LEVIN: Now, 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?
TAGUBA: Yes, sir, they were.
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 M.P.s, 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. Would you stick by your statement?
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