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Army releases findings in detainee-abuse investigations

Today, in a continuing effort to keep the public informed, the Army released a portion of findings from a series of exhaustive investigations into detainee and interrogation operations. While every senior-officer allegation was formally investigated by the Army, today’s release details findings into investigations of five senior officers having particular Congressional interest.

The release is the culmination of six months of investigative efforts, during which thousands of documents from 10 separate investigations, reviews and assessments were examined carefully. The investigations also included 82 separate sworn-statement interviews -- ranging from Ambassador L. Paul Bremer and Gen. John Abizaid down to captain and warrant officer.

The investigations amassed over 45 hours of recorded sworn testimony. This investigative team had broad latitude to plan and conduct investigations in pursuit of the facts and evidence. The investigators were in no way restricted or influence by Army or Department of Defense leadership in their pursuit of the facts, or in their findings and recommendations. Every person who was the subject of these investigations was given the opportunity to provide testimony.

The five senior officers are: Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, Maj. Gen. Barbara G. Fast, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, and Col. Marc Warren. They were identified in investigations and assessments conducted by Dr. James Schlesinger, Gen. Paul J. Kern and Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba.

In accordance with Army policy, all allegations involving general officers are investigated by the Army Inspector General. In the case of Col. Warren, allegations were investigated by the Army’s Judge Advocate General. All senior officers mentioned derogatorily, in any of the previous reports, were formally investigated. Each allegation considered by Army investigators was evaluated against an established standard in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) or in Army Regulation. The Army Inspector General is the Army’s independent investigative authority and reports directly to the Secretary of the Army. The Judge Advocate General is the Army’s top uniformed lawyer and reports directly the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then commander Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF7), was investigated by the Department of the Army Inspector General (DAIG) for the following allegations:

1. Dereliction in the performance of duties pertaining to detention and interrogation operations

2. Improperly communicating interrogation policies

The DAIG found each of the allegations unsubstantiated. Lt. Gen. Sanchez is currently serving as the Commander of V Corps, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany.

Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, then Deputy Commander Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF7) was investigated by the DAIG for the following allegation:

1. Dereliction in the performance of duties pertaining to detention and interrogations operations.

The DAIG found the allegation unsubstantiated. Maj. Gen. Wojdakowski currently is serving as a Special Assistant to the Commanding General U.S. Army Europe headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany.

Maj. Gen. Barbara G. Fast, then C2 intelligence officer Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF7), was investigated by the DAIG for the following allegation:

1. Dereliction in the performance of her duties

The DAIG found the allegation unsubstantiated. Maj. Gen. Fast currently is serving as the commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, then Commander 800th Military Police Brigade, was investigated by the DAIG for the following allegations:

1. Dereliction of duty

2. Making a material misrepresentation to an investigating team

3. Failure to obey a lawful order

4. Shoplifting.

The DAIG found two of the allegations unsubstantiated, while the allegations of dereliction of duty and shoplifting were found to be substantiated.

Based upon the DAIG investigation, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dick A. Cody issued Brig. Gen. Karpinski a memorandum of reprimand and directed that it be filed in her Official Military Personnel File. The Commander of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, formally relieved Brig. Gen. Karpinski from command of the 800th Military Police Brigade on April 8.

Today, the President approved a recommendation to vacate the promotion of Brig. Gen. Karpinski from her rank of brigadier general. This action was in response to a recommendation by the U.S. Army Reserve Command commander, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Secretary of the Army to the Secretary of Defense and the President. This decision reduces her rank to colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Though Brig. Gen. Karpinski’s performance of duty was found to be seriously lacking, the investigation determined that no action or lack of action on her part contributed specifically to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.

Col. Marc Warren, then Staff Judge Advocate for Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF7), was the subject of a preliminary screening inquiry (PSI) conducted by the Department of the Army’s Office of the Judge Advocate General for allegations of:

1. Professional impropriety under lawyers ethics rules

2. Dereliction in the performance of his duties.

The Office of the Judge Advocate General found the allegations to be unsubstantiated. Col. Warren currently is serving at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C.

To date, the Army and the Department of Defense have conducted 10 separate comprehensive investigations examining all aspects of detention operations. The major inquiries are based on more than 1,700 interviews and more than 16,000 pages of documents. Additionally, over 360 criminal investigations examined allegations of detainee mistreatment. Thus far, allegations against more than 130 military members have been addressed in courts-martial, non-judicial punishments, and other adverse administrative actions.

Regarding officer accountability, roughly 25 percent of the adverse punishments to date have been applied against officers, who make up about 16 percent of the total Army force. While there are still officer cases that remain open, to date, the Army has taken the following actions against officers in the ranks of brigadier general to warrant officer:

Brigadier General - Promotion vacated, relief from command, one letter of reprimand

Colonel - One non-judicial punishment

Lieutenant Colonel (four officers) - Two letters of reprimand, two non-judicial punishments

Major (three officers) - Three letters of reprimand, one non-judicial punishment

Captain (10 officers) – Three courts-martial, one other than honorable discharge, five letters of reprimand, one non-judicial punishment

1st Lieutenant (four officers) – Two courts-martial, one letter of reprimand, one non-judicial punishment

2nd Lieutenant (two officers) - One other than honorable discharge, one letter of reprimand

Chief Warrant Officer 3 - One court-martial

Chief Warrant Officer 2 - One court-martial.

Investigations into detainee abuse allegations are rank immaterial and will continue until all cases are completed. Investigators are persons of integrity, are under no undue command influence, and are charged to proceed wherever the truth leads in assessing accountability. Detainee abuse is not tolerated. The Army is committed to ensuring all Soldiers live up to the Army Values and the Law of War regardless of the environment or circumstances.

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Addendum #1

Background on the Investigation and Disposition of

General Officer Misconduct in the Army

- Investigation. In accordance with Army Regulation 20-1, within the Army, only the Department of the Army Inspector General may investigate allegations of misconduct against general officers.

- Disposition. In accordance with Army Regulation 20-1 and longstanding Army practice, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) directs reviews and acts upon the results of these DAIG investigations. If an officer's substantiated misconduct warrants administrative disciplinary action, the VCSA typically gives the officer a memorandum of reprimand or memorandum of concern (counseling). In more serious cases, when administrative measures may be insufficient, the VCSA may refer the case to an appropriate General Court-Martial Convening Authority (senior commander) for disposition as that commander deems appropriate.

- Other Adverse Actions. Other adverse personnel actions--such as suspension/relief from command or an adverse officer evaluation report--are handled by the general officer’s chain of command or supervisory chain. The Commander, U.S. Army Reserve Command, for example, has the inherent command authority under provisions of Army Regulation 600-20 to suspend or relieve commanders assigned under him if he deems it appropriate.

- Vacation of General Officer Promotion. Under the provisions of Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 14313, the President is authorized to vacate a reserve brigadier general’s appointment to that grade if the officer has served in that grade less than 18 months.

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