Wednesday, July 28, 2004
The American general who headed the U.S. military prison at Abu Ghraib personally witnessed abuses there, an Iraqi man alleged in a federal lawsuit protesting his treatment.
In a videotaped deposition from Iraq played yesterday, Saddam "Sam" Saleh Aboud said he endured beatings at the prison. During one session, he said, his hood was removed and he saw Army Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski.
Aboud identified Karpinski in a news magazine photograph that his lawyer, Michael Hourigan, showed him.
"He was adamant that there was an occasion when he was being tortured, in Tier 1A, when she was present and watching and laughing as he was being tortured," Hourigan said. He said Aboud did not know Karpinski's identity until he told him.
"He knew she was a supervisor, because she had a star on her hat and she was in an American uniform," Hourigan said. "He said the other soldiers would defer to her."
Neither Karpinski nor her lawyer returned several telephone calls and e-mail messages seeking comment.
A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Joseph Yoswa, said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the pending litigation.
Karpinski, who was suspended by the Pentagon in May, has denied knowing about any abuses at the prison until photographs surfaced at the end of April. U.S. investigators have not implicated Karpinski directly in any of the abuses.
Aboud's assertions were presented as supporting evidence in a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit against military contractors Titan Corp. of San Diego and CACI International Inc. of Arlington was filed on behalf of Aboud, three other alleged victims and the family of a fifth man who died at the prison. It seeks unspecified damages.