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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


07 May 2004

Lt. Gen. Lance Smith Outlines Investigation into Prisoner Abuse

Points raised by Smith during Senate hearing

(begin fact sheet)

Lt. General Lance Smith, Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command, raised the following points during his May 7 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

-- Allegations of abuse and improper conduct on the part of U.S. forces were raised 13 January 2004.

-- A criminal investigation was immediately initiated.

-- To date charges have been preferred against six service members.

-- Three of the six service members have been referred to court martial.

-- Further allegations of criminal misconduct are still under investigation.

-- General Antonio Taguba was commissioned to undertake a broader investigation into possible systemic problems 24 January 2004. Preliminary findings of that investigation have been reported through the chain of command from late March through early May. The preliminary recommendations are being implemented even as the investigation is being completed.

-- The investigation has been executed as a standard legal proceeding. Evidence was gathered; people were questioned; a number of people were removed from their posts.

-- Materials and evidence were kept within the investigative chain in order to maintain confidentiality, protect individual rights, and prevent exposure of the details to those under investigation.

-- The Taguba Report highlights three units for praise in their performance of military detention duties. The report says those units were challenged by the same set of demanding circumstances in the prison, and they acted responsibly.

-- Additional investigations underway should determine whether abuses are systemic. When information is available, it will be provided.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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