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Abu Ghurayb Prison Prisoner Abuses

Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center [JIDC]

The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center is the physical location for the exploitation of intelligence information from enemy prisoners of war and other non-prisoner sources. It is normally subordinate to the joint force/J-2. The JDIC provides the joint-level theater collection and reporting of strategic, operational, and limited tactical intelligence information obtained through the interrogation and debriefing of EPW, detainees, and other human sources. JIDC conducts follow-on exploitation of EPWs. EPWs are screened by the JIFs, and those of further intelligence potential are identified and forwarded to the JIDC for follow-on interrogation and debriefing in support of JTF and higher requirements. Besides EPWs, the JIDC may also interrogate civilian detainees, refugees, and other nonprisoner sources. JIDC activities are managed by the J-2X HOC. The HOC coordinates with the TFCICA for CI augmentation for exploitation of those personnel of CI interest, such as civil and/or military leaders, intelligence and political officers, and terrorists. Normally, suspects will be passed to rear area, intermediate detention facilities, ultimately arriving at the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center for more detailed interrogations and classification.

The 205th Military Intelligence Brigade was tasked to start a Joint Interrogation & Debriefing Center at Abu Ghurayb, Iraq with soldiers from two of the Brigade's subordinate Battalions. This facility is housed in the infamous Abu Ghurayb Jail where Saddam had the death chamber. The 325th Military Intelligence Battalion was scheduled to demobilize in February 2004.

In April 2004 BAE Systems was hiring applicants to be deployed to Iraq, providing direct support to Customer. Applicants must meet the following customer requirements: deployment physical, TS/SCI clearable, and a willingness to deploy for 6 months. Analysts accomplish this mission by developing intelligence exploitation guidance and interrogation strategies with the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC) interrogators. The analysts process current and historical data collected on detained individual and provide Source Directed Requirements to guide exploitation. They also assist JIDC to assess the High Value Detainees (HVD) cooperation, often including psychological profiles. Regime analysts lead the IC through an exploitation focus of the detainees. Team members may work together and independently. Task may include but are not restricted to: Coordinating with Mobile Collection Team (MCT) Plans section Oversee triage process of all forms of exploitable captured media Work with both cleared and uncleared Arabic linguists to identify priority documents critical to the mission. Analysts work in a joint environment with other government and intelligence organization representatives. They are responsible for liaison and coordinate with other offices and agencies to share all available knowledge of a HVD. Analysts assist in the upkeep of HVD records controlled by the JIDC Monitor and update HVD biographies, and conduct social network analysis, linking relationships to facilities, individuals and organizations Develop intelligence exploitation guidance and interrogation strategies with the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center interrogators. They process current and historical data collected on a detained individual and provide Source Directed Requirements to guide exploitation. JIDC analysts make requests for information (RFI) to internal and external agencies as needed in support of mission planning.

It is safe to assume that all the members of the detention facility population are potentially very dangerous, and present a threat to self and others. Recent events in Afghanistan have proven this point. Therefore, significant awareness and vigilance is necessary. Because of the particular experience these detainees have gone through (combat), it is likely that a good number of them may exhibit symptoms of Battle Fatigue, and may eventually develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. On going evaluation by a Mental Health providers may be required to assess for this condition.

Operations at Abu Ghraib would continue, Major General Geoffrey Miller said, although the number of detainees there will be reduced to no more than 2,000. Physical contact, hooding, stress positioning, and questioning unclothed detainees are not authorized U.S. interrogation techniques in Iraq, the deputy commanding general of detention operations told reporters in Baghdad 04 May 2004. Miller, previously head of the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, was recently brought into the Iraq operations. He reports directly to Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commanding general in Iraq. Miller said that although hooding had been used in the past as a tactical measure when transporting captured persons to a detention facility within a division environment, that is no longer the case. "They either put a pressure bandage around the detainee's eyes or they use ... dust goggles and they put a rag on the inside," he explained. "Because we have transitioned into an occupation role and as we're transitioning to [working with a sovereign] government, we've chosen to use a less intrusive method that will accomplish the same mission."

Abu Ghurayb Prison Prisoner Abuse

Operations of a long-term detention facility has psychological considerations for both guards and prisoners. Security personnel who are responsible for guarding prisoners face a difficult task. They require a set of complex abilities, and may develop behavioral patterns that pose a threat to themselves, other staff or their prisoners. Job stress is a permanent feature for correctional officers. Proper training is a very useful strategy to minimize stress and improve efficiency. Research has shown that inmates that face long term incarceration develop a number of psychological/behavioral disturbances, including some severe psychiatric conditions, as well as a much higher rate for suicide than those present in the general population. Psychiatric categories are not culture free, and thus, the expression of psychological distress is always bound by cultural norms of various kinds. Awareness of those norms is necessary for effective management of those conditions.

In late April 2004, a number of photographs surfaced which depicted abuse and torture of Iraqi prisonners held at the Abu Ghurayb prison while in US custody. Some of the pictures published depict US soldiers, both men and women in military uniforms, laughing and giving thumbs-up signs while posing with naked Iraqi prisoners made to stand, stacked in a pyramid or positioned to perform sex acts. This follows the March 2004 announcement by the US Army that six members of the 800th Military Police Brigade were being investigated for allegedly abusing about 20 prisoners at Abu Ghurayb.

Photographs depicting the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American Soldiers are being published and shown around the world on television. The pictures apparently show US soldiers laughing and giving the thumbs-up sign while naked, male Iraqi prisoners are stacked in a pyramid or positioned to perform sex acts. Another Iraqi prisoner is shown standing on a box, his head covered, with wires attached to his hands. The prisoner was allegedly told he would be electrocuted if he fell off the box.

The suspected abuse took place at a prison (Abu Ghraib) outside Baghdad, which was a notorious penitentiary during the rule of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The military has filed criminal charges against six U-S soldiers allegedly involved in the abuse, and the Army says more soldiers are expected to be charged in the future. The Pentagon has also suspended a senior U-S military officer (Brigadier General Janis L. Karpinski) in charge of the prison. An article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker goes into further additional details on this matter.

President Bush has denounced the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers, saying he is disgusted by the way they were treated. "I share a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated. Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people. That is not the way we do things in America and so I didn't like it one bit."

As a result of the ensuing scandal, President Bush gave two interviews to Alhurra Television and Al Arabiya Television on May 5, 2004. The following day, during a press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah, he related how he had told King Abdullah how he "was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners, and the humiliation suffered by their families. [He told him he] was equally sorry that people who have been seeing those pictures didn't understand the true nature and heart of America."

On May 07, 2004, Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, testified before both the Senate and House Armed Service Committees. Following this, it was announced that a review would take place to examine DoD detention operations as they related to the recent allegations of mistreatment of detainees. Dr. James Schlesinger, Ms. Tillie Fowler, retired General Charles Horner and Dr. Harold Brown had already agreed to take part in that review.

On May 9, 2004, U.S. military officials announced the first court martial procedure against Specialist Jeremy Sivits, one of seven American soldiers who allegedly abused detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. His military trial is scheduled for May 19, 2004 at the Convention Center in Baghdad's Green Zone. The charges faced are: conspiracy to maltreat subordinates and detainees; dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty and maltreatment; and maltreatment of detainees.

On May 12, 2004, an additional general court-martial related to Abu Ghraib were announced against Sergeant Javal S. Davis under five charges of conspiracy to maltreat subordinates, dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, maltreatment of detainees, rendering false official statements and assault. General court-martial charges were also referred against Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick III under the five charges of conspiracy to maltreat subordinates/detainees, dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, maltreatment of detainees, assault and wrongfully committing an indecent act by watching detainees commit a sexual act. According to a May 13, 2004, CENTCOM News release, Article 32 hearings, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, were held April 2 and April 9-10 for Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick III. The investigating officer found reasonable grounds exist that Frederick committed the offenses and recommended trial by general court-martial.

Charges against Sergeant Javal S. Davis were referred to a General Court-Martial on April 28. He was charged with conspiracy to maltreat subordinates (detainees); dereliction of duty for willfully failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty and maltreatment; maltreatment of detainees; assaulting detainees, and providing a false official statement to a criminal investigator, and assaulting detainees. Charges against Specialist Jeremy Sivits were referred on May 5 to a special court-martial empowered to adjudge a Bad Conduct Discharge set for May 19, 2004 at the courtroom in the Convention Center in Baghdad. Sivits was charged with conspiracy to maltreat subordinates (detainees); dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty and maltreatment; and maltreatment of detainees. He plead guilty to the following charges: one count conspiracy to maltreat detainees, one count of dereliction and two counts of maltreatment of detainees. The Military Judge found Specialist Sivits guilty of the charges in accordance with his pleas and sentenced him to reduction to Private E-1, a Bad Conduct Discharge and one year of confinement.

On Aug. 11 2004, Specialist Megan Ambuhl was arraigned on charges related to prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. At her arraignment, her attorney deferred entering a plea or forum choice which is choosing to be tried by a jury or solely by a judge or panel of judges. Additionally, her attorney requested an expert on the psychological impact of working in a prison environment. No decision on that request was made at the time, but the military judge ruled that a decision on the request would need to be made by Aug. 18. Charges against Specialist Ambuhl include Maltreatment of Subordinates, Dereliction of Duties, and Committing Indecent Acts with Detainees.

Charges against Specialist Armin J. Cruz were referred to a Special Court-Martial empowered to adjudge a Bad Conduct Discharge. The two charges against Specialist Cruz are maltreatment of detainees and conspiracy to maltreat detainees. On Sept. 11, Specialist Armin J. Cruz plead guilty to and was found guilty of Article 81 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, conspiracy to maltreat detainees in Abu Ghraib and Article 93, maltreatment of detainees. He has been sentenced to reduction to Private (E-1), confinement for eight months, and a Bad Conduct Discharge.

On Oct. 20 Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Fredrick II pled guilty to and was found guilty of one specification of conspiracy to maltreat detainees, one specification of dereliction of duty for failure to protect detainees from maltreatment, four specifications of maltreatment of detainees, one specification of assaulting a detainee and one specification of committing an indecent act. After the military judge accepted Staff Sgt. Frederick's guilty plea, the trial entered the sentencing phase. The government called one of the detainees who had been abused. The defense started their case by calling Staff Sgt. Fredrick who provided an unsworn statement. The defense also called several witnesses who testified by video teleconferencing. On October 21, 2004, after sentencing evidence was presented by both government and defense attorneys, the military judge sentenced Staff Sgt. Fredrick to be reduced to a private, forfeit of all pay and allowances, to be dishonorably discharged and to be confined for 10 years. As a result of the pretrial agreement Staff Sgt. Fredrick's confinement will be reduced to eight years.

On November 11, 2004, The General Court-Martial Convening Authority elected to relocate the trials of United States vs. Sgt. Javal Davis, United States vs. Spc. Charles Graner, and United States vs. Spc. Sabrina Harman to Fort Hood, Texas. These three cases involve allegations of detainee abuse at the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility located in Abu Ghraib, Iraq. The first of these trials, United States vs. Spc. Charles Graner, was scheduled to take place on January 7, 2005.




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