MP 'were told how to treat prisoners'

The officer in charge of interrogations at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison confirms intelligence officers have instructed the military police on pre-interrogation techniques.

    General Taguba's report revealed US intelligence's involvment

    The techniques which included forcing the prisoners to strip naked and shackling them before questioning were used on prisoners protected by the Geneva conventions, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

    The Geneva conventions prohibit inhuman treatment of prisoners of war.

    The disclosure, included in a classified, 6000-page report by General Antonio Taguba on the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, is the highest-level confirmation so far that military intelligence officers directed military guards in preparing for interrogations.

    Several US soldiers are awaiting courts-martial for alleged prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, but so far none of their superior commanding officers or intelligence officers assigned to the prison have been charged in the scandal.

    "To my knowledge, instructions given to the MPs, other than what I have mentioned, such as shackling, making detainees strip down or other measures used on detainees before interrogations, are not typically made unless there is some good reason"

    Colonel Thomas Pappas

    Investigators are still trying to determine if the soldiers acted alone or on instructions from their superiors in the extensively photographed and videotaped abuses.

    Interview with Pappas

    Taguba's report includes an 11 February interview with Colonel Thomas Pappas, who was in charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

    According to portions of Pappas' sworn statements, he told Taguba intelligence officers sometimes instructed military police at the prison to use forceful interrogation techniques.

    "To my knowledge, instructions given to the MPs, other than what I have mentioned, such as shackling, making detainees strip down or other measures used on detainees before interrogations, are not typically made unless there is some good reason."

    Pappas also told Taguba that commanding officers could ensure the military guards understood the limits of their instructions or whether the instructions were legal.

    "There would be no way for us to actually monitor whether that happened,"  Colonel Pappas said. "We had no formal system in place to do that."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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