Rumsfeld Testifies Before Senate Armed Services Committee
Friday, May 7, 2004; 3:28 PM
U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the the treatment of Iraqi Prisoners Friday.
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.)
Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Senate Majority Leader
Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Les Brownlee, Acting Secretary of the Army
Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Staff,
United States Army
Lt. Gen. Lance L. Smith, Deputy Commander, United States Central Command
Dr. Steve Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
WARNER: Committee of the Armed Services meets today in the first of a series of hearings to receive testimony regarding the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by some -- I repeat some -- elements and certain personnel of the armed forces of the United States, in violation of U.S. and international laws.
Testifying before us today is the secretary of defense, the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld. He is joined by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers; Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee; Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker; and Central Command Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Lance Smith.
We welcome each of you today.
I have had the privilege of being associated with and, more importantly, learning from the men and women of the armed forces for close to 60 years of my life, and the I can say that the facts that I now have from a number of sources represent to me as serious an issue of military misconduct as I have ever observed.
These reports could also seriously affect this country's relationships with other nations, the conduct of the war against terrorism, and place in jeopardy the men and women of the armed forces wherever they are serving in the world.
This mistreatment of prisoners represents an appalling and totally unacceptable breach of military regulations and conduct.
WARNER: Most significant, the replaying of these images day after day throughout the Middle East and indeed the world has the potential to undermine the substantial gains -- emphasize the substantial gains -- toward the goal of peace and freedom in various operation areas of the world, most particularly Iraq, and the substantial sacrifice by our forces, those of our allies, in the war on terror.
Let me be as clear as one senator can be: This is not the way for anyone who wears the uniform of the United States of America to conduct themselves.
This degree of breakdown in military leadership and discipline represents an extremely rare -- and I repeat, rare -- chapter in the otherwise proud history of the armed forces of the United States.
It defies common sense. It contradicts all the values we Americans learned beginning in our homes.
Members of the committee, as we conduct this hearing, I urge you that we take every care that our actions, our words, our individual and collective conduct in this hearing not reflect unfairly on the 99.9 percent of our uniformed personnel who are performing remarkable tasks and in some cases making the ultimate sacrifice of life and limb to win the war on terror.
Each of us on the committee has nothing but the strongest support for our brave men and women in uniform and their families. And what we seek through this and following hearings is to find out for the American people is only to strengthen and honor their efforts, not in any way to detract from them and their accomplishments.
WARNER: I'd point out that while some systems have failed, we are here today because of a courageous enlisted man and his lieutenant, whose values, American values, compelled them to step forward and inform their superiors. They did the right thing. And as this committee performs its constitutional duties and hearings and oversight, we are working in the same spirit as those two soldiers.
The questions before us today are who knew what and when? What did they do about it? And why were members of Congress not properly and adequately informed?.
In my 25 years on this committee, I've received hundreds of calls day and night from top -- all levels -- top and all levels, uniformed and civilian, in the Department of Defense when they in their judgment felt it was necessary. And I dare say other members on this committee have experienced the same courtesy.
I did not receive such a call in this case. And yet I think the situation was absolutely clear and required it, not only to me but my distinguished ranking member and other members of this committee.
Members of the committee, our central task here today is to get all the facts in this difficult situation no matter where they lead, no matter how embarrassing they may be, so that we can assess our response and in the end make sure that such dereliction of duty as is in this case never, never happens again in the proud history of our country.
WARNER: Senator Levin?
LEVIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The abuses that were committed against prisoners in U.S. custody at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq dishonored our military and our nation and they made the prospects for success in Iraq even more difficult than they already are.
Our troops are less secure and our nation is less secure because these depraved and despicable actions will fuel the hatred and the fury of those who oppose us.
General Taguba's investigation, as reported, paints an alarming picture of abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners. It has enraged people here at home and throughout the civilized world.
Humiliating and sexually abusing prisoners has nothing to do with the effective internment or interrogation of prisoners. In fact, such actions are counterproductive to those goals.
As we seek to bring stability and democracy to Iraq and to fight terrorism globally, our greatest asset as a nation is the moral values that we stand for. Those values have been compromised.
To begin the process of restoring them, the people involved who carried out or who authorized or suggested that we should, quote, "loosen prisoners up" or, quote, "make sure they get the treatment," must be held accountable.
So must anyone up the chain of command be held accountable who had command responsibility over the interrogation and security of prisoners and who knew or should have known of these abuses and looked the other way.
LEVIN: General Taguba's finding that, quote, "Personnel assigned to the 372nd M.P. Company were directed to change facility procedures to set the conditions for military intelligence interrogations," is bolstered by pictures that suggest that the sadistic abuse was part of an organized and conscious process of intelligence gathering.
In other words, those abusive actions do not appear to be aberrant conduct by individuals, but part of a conscious method of extracting information.
If true, the planners of this process are at least as guilty as those who carried out the abuses.
The president's legal counsel, Alberto Gonzales, reportedly wrote in a memorandum that the decision to avoid invoking the Geneva Conventions, quote, "preserves flexibility in the war on terrorism."
Belittling or ignoring the Geneva Conventions invites our enemies to do the same and increases the danger to our military service men and women. It also sends a disturbing message to the world that America does not feel bound by internationally accepted standards of conduct.
The findings of General Taguba's report, as reported on a public Web site, raise a number of disturbing issues. For example, how far up the chain was there implicit or explicit direction or approval or knowledge of these prisoner abuses? Why was a joint interrogation and detention facility at Abu Ghraib established in a way which led to the subordination of the military police brigade to the military intelligence unit conducting interrogation activities?
LEVIN: What was the role played by the military intelligence, the CIA and any other intelligence units in requesting or suggesting abusive activities?
And how is it in our nation's interest to have civilian contractors, rather than military personnel, performing vital national security functions, such as prisoner interrogations, in a war zone? When soldiers break the law, or fail to follow orders, commanders can hold them accountable for their misconduct. Military commanders don't have the same authority over civilian contractors.
And finally, Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers, I join our chairman in expressing deep dismay that when you briefed senators in a classified session last week on events in Iraq, just hours before the story broke on television, you made no reference to the impending revelations. Executive branch consultation with Congress is not supposed to be an option but a long-standing and fundamental responsibility.
It is essential that our nation at the highest levels apologize directly to the victims and to the Iraqi people as a whole for these actions. But words alone are not sufficient. Prompt and decisive action, which establish responsibility and holds people accountable, is essential here. It will also, hopefully, convince the world that our free and open society does not condone and will not tolerate this depraved behavior.
WARNER: I'll ask our witnesses to rise.
Do each of you solemnly swear that the testimony that you are about to give to the Committee on the Armed Services Committee of the United States will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
RUMSFELD: I do.
MYERS: I do.
BROWNLEE: I do.
SCHOOMAKER: I do.
SMITH: I do.
WARNER: The complete statements of all witnesses will be placed into the record. The committee will now receive the opening remarks of the secretary, followed by the chairman of the joint chiefs. And I'm not certain if others desire some recognition for opening remarks. If so, indicate to the chair, and then we'll go into a six-minute round of questions by each member.
RUMSFELD: Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, in recent days there has been a good deal of discussion about who bears responsibility for the terrible activities that took place at Abu Ghraib. These events occurred on my watch. As secretary of defense, I am accountable for them and I take full responsibility.
It's my obligation to evaluate what happened, to make sure that those who have committed wrong-doing are brought to justice, and to make changes as needed to see that it doesn't happen again.
I feel terrible about what happened to these Iraqi detainees. They are human beings. They were in U.S. custody. Our country had an obligation to treat them right. We didn't, and that was wrong.
So to those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of the U.S. armed forces, I offer my deepest apology. It was inconsistent with the values of our nation. It was inconsistent with the teachings of the military, to the men and women of the armed forces. And it was certainly fundamentally un-American.
Further, I deeply regret the damage that has been done. First to the reputation of the honorable men and women of the armed forces, who are courageously and responsibly and professionally defending our freedoms across the globe.
RUMSFELD: They are truly wonderful human beings. And their families and their loved ones can be enormously proud of them.
Second to the president, the Congress and the American, I wish I had been able to convey to them the gravity of this before we saw it in the media.
And finally to the reputation of our country.
The photographic depictions of the U.S. military personnel that the public has seen have offended and outraged everyone in the Department of Defense. If you could have seen the anguished expressions on the faces of those in our department upon seeing those photos, you would know how we feel today.
It's important for the American people and the world to know that while these terrible acts were perpetrated by a small number of U.S. military, they were also brought to light by the honorable and responsible actions of other military personnel.
There are many who did their duty professionally and we should mention that as well. First, Specialist Joseph Darby, who alerted the appropriate authorities that abuses were occurring. Second, those in the military chain of command who acted promptly on learning of those abuses by initiating a series of investigations, criminal and administrative, to assure that abuses were stopped and the responsible chain of command was relieved and replaced.
Having said that, all the facts that may be of interest are not yet in hand. In addition to the Taguba report, there are other investigations under way and we'll be discussing those today. And because all the facts are not in hand, there will be corrections and clarifications to the record as more information is learned.
From the witnesses, you will be told the sequence of events and investigations that have taken place since the activities first came to light. I want to inform you of the measures under way to improve our performance in the future.
RUMSFELD: Before I do that, let me say that each of us at this table is either in the chain of command or has senior responsibilities in the Department of Defense. This means that anything we say publicly could have an impact on the legal proceedings against those accused of wrongdoing in this matter.
So please understand that if some of our responses to questions are measured, it is to assure that pending cases are not jeopardized by seeming to exert command influence and that the rights of any accused are protected.
Now let me tell you the measures we're taking to deal with this issue.
First, to ensure we have a handle on the scope of this catastrophe, I will be announcing today the appointment of several senior former officials who are being asked to examine the pace, the breadth, the thoroughness of the existing investigations and to determine whether additional investigations or studies need to be initiated. They're being asked to report their findings within 45 days of taking up their duties.
I'm confident that these distinguished individuals will provide a full and fair assessment of what has been done thus far and recommend whether further steps may be necessary.
Second, we need to review our habits and our procedures.
One of the things we've tried to do in the department since September 11th is to try to get the department to adjust our procedures and processes to reflect that we're in a time of war, and that we're in the information age. For the past three years we've looked for areas where adjustments were needed, and we've made a great many adjustments. And regrettably we've now found another area where adjustments may be needed.
Let me be clear: I failed to recognize how important it was to elevate a matter of such gravity to the highest levels, including the president and the members of Congress.
Third, I'm seeking a way to provide appropriate compensation to those detainees who suffered such grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the United States armed forces.
RUMSFELD: It's the right thing to do.
I wish we had known more sooner and been able to tell you more sooner, but we didn't.
Today we'll have a full discussion of these terrible acts, but first let's take a step back for a moment. Within the constraints imposed on those of us in the chain of command, I have a few additional words.
PROTESTER: What about the other abuses in Iraq?
WARNER: We'll remain seated for a brief period and suspend the hearing. I ask all persons...
PROTESTER: Fire Rumsfeld! Fire Rumsfeld! Fire Rumsfeld!
WARNER: Committee will resume the hearing.
RUMSFELD: First, beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman.
RUMSFELD: Second, there are many more photographs, and indeed some videos. Congress and the American people and the rest of the world need to know this.
In addition, the photos give these incidents a vividness, indeed a horror, in the eyes of the world.
Mr. Chairman, that's why this hearing today is important. It's why the actions we take in the days and weeks ahead are so important.
However, terrible the setback, this is also an occasion to demonstrate to the world the difference between those who believe in democracy and in human rights, and those who believe in rule by terrorist code.
We value human life. We believe in individual freedom and in the rule of law. For those beliefs, we send men and women of the armed forces abroad to protect that right for our own people and to give others who aren't Americans the hope of a future of freedom.
Part of that mission, part of what we believe in, is making sure that when wrongdoings or scandal do occur, that they're not covered up, but they're exposed, they're investigated, and the guilty are brought to justice.
Mr. Chairman, I know you join me today in saying to the world, judge us by our actions, watch how Americans, watch how a democracy deals with the wrongdoing and with scandal and the pain of acknowledging and correcting our own mistakes and our own weaknesses.
And then, after they have seen America in action, then ask those who teach resentment and hatred of America if our behavior doesn't give a lie to the falsehood and the slander they speak about our people and about our way of life. Ask them if the resolve of Americans in crisis and difficulty, and, yes, in the heartbreak of acknowledging the evil in our midst, doesn't have meaning far beyond their hatred.
RUMSFELD: Above all, ask them if the willingness of Americans to acknowledge their own failures before humanity doesn't light the world as surely as the great ideas and beliefs that made this nation a beacon of hope and liberty for all who strive to be free.
We know what the terrorists will do; we know they will try to exploit all that is bad, and try to obscure all that is good. That's their nature. And that's the nature of those who think they can kill innocent men, women and children to gratify their own cruel wills to power.
We say to the world, we will strive to do our best, as imperfect as it may be.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
You and I have had the privilege to know each other for many, many years. We've enjoyed a close working relationship. I want to say I found that statement to be strong and in every sense heartfelt by you.
RUMSFELD: Thank you.
WARNER: General Myers?
MYERS: Mr. Chairman and Senator Levin, I would like to express my deep regret at being here under these circumstances.
The incidents of prisoner abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib prison are absolutely appalling. The actions of those involved are unconscionable and absolutely unacceptable.
Since Brigadier General Kimmitt's public announcement of the allegations back in January, the commanders' response to the problems highlighted in these investigations has been timely and thorough.
And just as a backdrop, we must also realize that our commanders had been handling some enormous challenges in Iraq, including the fighting that had intensified in Fallujah and Najaf, the temporary plus-up of troops, which was a decision that was pending, and the departure of the Spanish brigade. All at the same time that they're dealing with some of these reports.
And despite these extraordinary events, our commanders did exactly the right thing in a timely manner. I have great confidence in them, as should the American public and the citizens of Iraq.
I've been receiving regular updates since the situation developed in January and have been involved in corrective actions and personally recommended specific steps. Again, I'm confident that the commanders are doing the right things.
One of the military's greatest strengths comes from the fact that we hold our service men and women accountable for their actions. Our military justice system works very well.
I took an oath to support the Constitution and with that comes the responsibility to ensure that all military members enjoy the full protections of our Constitution, to include the due process of a fair, judicial system. After all, it's respect for the rule of law that we're trying to teach and instill in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
So like the secretary said, we are now in the middle of a judicial process regarding detainee abuse. And because of my position, I have to be careful I don't say anything that can be interpreted as direction or pressure for a certain outcome in any of these cases.
Moreover, we have to understand that a fair judicial system takes time to work. I know you all understand that. So no one is stalling or covering up information, but it's absolutely essential to protect the integrity of our judicial system.
I have complete confidence in our military justice system. The accused will receive due process. Those found guilty will face punishments based on their offenses.
When I spoke to Dan Rather, with whom I already had a professional association, concerning the "60 Minutes" story, I did so after talking to General Abizaid. And I did so out of concern for the lives of our troops.
MYERS: The story about the abuse was already public, but we were concerned that broadcasting the actual pictures would further inflame the tense situation that existed then in Iraq and further endanger the lives of coalition soldiers and hostages.
Again, it's useful to remember the context here. We were in the midst of some very heavy fighting in Fallujah and other places in Iraq. Some 90 hostages had been taken. It was a very delicate situation that we were trying to resolve.
Since the story of the photographs was already public, I felt we were on good ground on asking him to hold off airing the actual photos. As we are now seeing, the photos are having a very real, very emotional worldwide impact.
And I would identify myself with the secretary's remarks on having seen more of them than I wish to have seen about the impact that it has on me.
The situation is nothing less than tragic. The Iraqi people are trying to build a free and open society and I regret they saw such a fragrant violation of the very principles that are the cornerstone of such a society.
I'm also terribly saddened at the hundreds of thousands of service men and women who are serving or who have served so honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, what have their reputation tarnished and their accomplishments diminished by those few who don't uphold our military's values. I know our service men and women are all suffering unfairly with a collective sense of shame over what has happened.
Their credibility will be restored, day by day, as they interact with the Iraqi people. And I'm confident that our dedicated service men and women will continue to prove worth of the trust and respect of our nation and of the world.
We continue to be very proud of them. As always, I thank you on their behalf for your steadfast support. Thank you.
WARNER: Thank you, General. Good statement, General.
Secretary Brownlee, do you wish to...
BROWNLEE: At this point, no.
WARNER: You defer to General Smith?
RUMSFELD: Lance Smith, yes.
WARNER: Thank you.
SMITH: Senator Warner, Senator Levin, members of the committee, I wish to start by thanking you for the opportunity to testify before this committee concerning the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees.
The more than 250,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have served in the CENTCOM area of responsibility over the past year have faced numerous challenges in prosecuting the global war on terror and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Throughout these operations, they have worked to better the lives of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, to bring progress and stability to these countries.
Their efforts, however, have been put at risk by the reprehensible actions of a few. These few have acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the proud history of the American soldier. There is no excuse for their actions, nor do I offer one.
Their unprofessional and malicious conduct has caused considerable harm to our attempts to win the trust and confidence of the Iraqi people. Unfortunately, it has also facilitated the efforts of our enemy to malign our national intent and character, and gives weight to the charge of American hypocrisy.
When the allegations of abuse and improper conduct of U.S. forces against legally detained Iraqis were brought to light by a soldier on 13 January, 2004, our leadership in Iraq prudently informed us of what they knew and immediately initiated a criminal investigation.
That investigation has resulted in profferal of charges against six service members, three of which have thus been referred to court martial, and we are still investigating further allegations of criminal misconduct.
At the request of the CJTF-7 commander, on 24 January, U.S. CENTCOM directed the conduct of a broader administrative investigation, now known as the Taguba report, with a mandate to make a comprehensive examination of our detainee operations in Iraq in order to detect any systemic problems, and if problems were identified to take necessary steps to rectify the situation and hold accountable all those responsible who failed in their duties.
SMITH: That investigation is near completion, and we have already made significant progress in implementing its recommendations, though we have more ahead of us.
Information flow up and down the chain of command was timely and will continue to be. Commanders regularly briefed their superiors as these investigations progressed.
The first public release of information on the CID investigation happened in January and was reported by the media. The interim results of the Taguba report were briefed to me in late March as the investigation made its way through command channels en route to approval by the command force land component commander on 6 April and formal adverse administrative action by the JTF commander on 1 May. The investigation is ongoing.
Some have asked why it took so long for the allegations to make it up the chain of command. One needs to look at this as a legal proceeding. Once the allegations were made, the investigation was initiated immediately. Evidence was gathered, people were questioned, and a number were removed from their posts.
As with any prosecution, materials and evidence were kept within the investigatory chain for obvious reasons: to maintain confidentiality, to protect individual rights, and to allow the investigation to proceed without danger of exposure to those being investigated.
The actions in the chain of command in Iraq in conducting the investigations connected with detainee abuse or mistreatment have been swift, circumspect and proper. They have carefully uncovered facts, analyzed evidence and gauged the context of the situation, all the while under the stress of ongoing combat operations and ever mindful of protecting the rights of the accused.
Commanders are taking action both to ensure justice is done and to ensure that this kind of deplorable conduct is never repeated.
SMITH: With regards to the question whether this abuse is systemic, the investigations under way should better inform us of that. At this point we don't know and that's part of what we're trying to determine by conducting investigations. When we have answers, we will provide them.
The Taguba report, in fact, highlights three units for praise for the performance of military detention duties. That is a hopeful sign that these abuses are not widespread, and I don't believe they are.
The vast majority of coalition and U.S. forces have shown great humanity and restraint in this, and have acted with courage and compassion.
The situation at Abu Ghraib is not representative of the conduct of U.S. and coalition forces. It is a distasteful and criminal aberration, and will absolutely not be tolerated.
We deeply regret that these egregious actions occurred, and we are taking the necessary steps to preclude similar incidents in the future.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WARNER: Thank you, General.
Secretary Brownlee, we need to move on, but we certainly recognize that you might have a few opening remarks.
BROWNLEE: OK, sir.
WARNER: Thank you.
BROWNLEE: Chairman Warner, Senator Levin and distinguished members of the committee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today, to offer testimony on actions taken by the Army in response to the appalling abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. I join the secretary of Defense in apologizing to those detainees who were abused there.
Let me begin by outlining the range of investigation into detainee abuse.
From December 2002 to present, the Criminal Investigation Command has conducted, or is continuing to conduct, investigations into 35 cases of abuse or death of detainees held in detention facilities in the Central Command theater. Twenty-five of these are death cases, and 10 involve assault.
The CID investigates every death in our custody.
BROWNLEE: Of the 25 death investigations, the CID has determined that 12 deaths were due to natural or undetermined causes, one was justifiable homicide and two were homicides. The 10 remaining deaths are still under investigation.
Additionally, 42 other potential cases of misconduct against civilians occurred outside detention facilities and are currently under investigation by the Army's CID or by the responsible units.
On 10 February 2004, I directed the inspector general of the Army to conduct a functional analysis of the department's internment, enemy prisoner of war and detention policies, practices and procedures. I directed this inspection to determine if there might be systemic problems relating to the planning, doctrine or training in the detention facilities operating within the Central Command theater.
Phase one of this assessment is oriented on current operations in the Central Command area of responsibility, with assessment team visits to 16 detention facilities.
Phase two of the I.G. assessment will encompass visits to defense facilities worldwide, including previously visited facilities, to ensure compliance to established standards.
Preliminary findings indicate that leaders and soldiers are aware of the requirement and expectation to treat detainees humanely, and that it is their duty to report incidents of abuse.
To date the majority of the abuse cases indicate the underlying cause has been two-fold: an individual failure to adhere to basic standards of discipline, training and Army values, and leadership failures to provide oversight and enforce standards.
To date the Army has taken numerous actions to improve the training for military police and military intelligence soldiers. The Army is retraining select M.P. soldiers to serve as correctional specialists. We have incorporated detainee lessons learned from operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan into the M.P. school curriculum, and have deployed military police training teams to our combat training centers.
BROWNLEE: In response to a request from the CJTF-7 commander, the Army deployed integrated, multi-disciplined, mobile training teams to oversee and conduct comprehensive training in all aspects of detainee and confinement operations in-theater.
Additionally, the chief of the Army Reserve has directed his inspector general to conduct a special assessment of training for reserve personnel on the law of war, detainee treatment, ethics and leadership. All reserve component M.I. soldiers are now required to mobilize at the intelligence school at Fort Huachuca so they can receive the latest instruction on tactical questioning before deploying.
Finally, the Army is improving the training of military police and military intelligence personnel at our combat training centers by incorporating detainee holding situations into the tactical scenarios. These improvements were initiated for the later-deploying OIF or Iraqi Freedom II units and will be fully implemented for all OIF III deploying units.
The reported acts of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib are tragic and disappointing and they stand in sharp contrast to the values of our Army and the nation it serves. Were these incidents to reflect negatively on the courage, sacrifice and selfless service of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated men and women who have volunteered to serve our nation in uniform would be a tragedy as well.
Our soldiers, over 300,000 of whom are deployed in over 120 countries around the world, most in Iraq and Afghanistan, have provided the opportunity for freedom and democracy for over 46 million people who have never experienced it before, while at the same time providing protection to the American people.
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