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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Generals: CIA hid Abu Ghraib detainees from Red Cross
Russell Adkins at 9:04 PM ET

Two senior Army generals said in testimony Thursday to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the CIA kept dozens of prisoners off official rosters at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq in order to hide them from Red Cross inspections. An August inquiry by three generals found eight cases of "ghost detainees," but senior Army investigator General Paul J. Kern told the Committee that the actual number could be as high as 100, although a precise number will likely never be known because no records were kept on many of the hidden detainees. In a prepared statement, Gen. Kern described the failings of the Defense Department to enforce adherence to interrogation procedures:

My investigation resulted in specific findings regarding the issue of 'ghost detainees' within Abu Ghraib. It is clear that the interrogation practices of other government agencies led to a loss of accountability at Abu Ghraib. DOD must document and enforce adherence by other government agencies with established DOD practices and procedures while conducting detainee interrogation operations at DOD facilities. This matter requires further investigation and, in accordance with the provisions of AR 381-10, Part 15, is being referred to the DOD Inspector General, as the DOD liaison with other government agencies for appropriate investigation and evaluation. Soldiers/ Sailors/ Airmen/ Marines should never be put in a position that potentially puts them at risk for noncompliance with the Geneva Convention or Laws of Land Warfare.
Another Army investigator, General George R. Fay, described three CIA denials of his requests for information into the matter, as he was told that the CIA was conducting its own investigation. The New York Times has more. Read Gen. Kern's full statement [PDF].




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