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Profile: Carolyn A. Wood

 
  

Positions that Carolyn A. Wood has held:

  • Head of interrogation unit at Bagram (7/2002 -12/2003)


 

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Carolyn A. Wood actively participated in the following events:

 
  

December 3, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Mullah Habibullah, a 30-year-old Afghan from the southern province of Oruzgan, dies of complications related to “blunt force trauma” while in detention at the US base at Bagram. [New York Times, 9/17/2004; Guardian, 3/7/03; Washington Post, 3/5/03; BBC, 3/6/03] When Habibullah, reportedly the brother of a former Taliban commander, arrived at the US air base, he was reportedly already severely hurt. Despite his condition, according to one account, he was isolated “in a ‘safety’ position [stress position], with his arms shackled and tied to a beam in the ceiling.” He was left in that position for days, but regularly checked on. [Knight-Ridder, 8/21/2004] At some point, Sgt. James P. Boland, a guard from the Army Reserve's 377th MP Company from Cincinnati, allegedly watched as a subordinate beat Habibullah. [New York Times, 9/17/2004] His legs were struck so forcefully, according to one death certificate, it complicated his coronary artery disease. Another certificate will say the beating led to a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage of an artery in the lungs, often caused by a blood clot. [USA Today, 5/31/2004] The beating of Habibullah was likely witnessed by British detainee Moazzam Begg, who will later say he witnessed the death of “two fellow detainees at the hands of US military personnel” while at Bagram (see July 12, 2004). [New York Times, 10/15/2004; The Guardian, 10/1/2004] On December 3, Habibullah is found dead, still hanging in his shackles. [BBC, 3/6/03; Washington Post, 3/5/03; New York Times, 9/17/2004; Guardian, 3/7/03] In charge of the military intelligence interrogators at Bagram at this time is Capt. Carolyn A. Wood. According to an anonymous intelligence officer, Wood should be aware of what is happening to prisoners at Bagram since interrogations take place close to her office. The intelligence officer will recall hearing screams and moans coming out from the interrogation and isolation rooms. [Knight-Ridder, 8/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Mullah Habibullah, Moazzam Begg, James P. Boland, Carolyn A. Wood
          

January 22, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Capt. Carolyn A. Wood receives a Bronze Star for “exceptional meritorious service” as the head of military intelligence interrogators at Bagram. She and her small platoon of 15 interrogators from the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion returned to their base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina earlier in the month. [Knight-Ridder, 8/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood
          

May 8, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Capt. Carolyn A. Wood receives her second Bronze Star. [Knight-Ridder, 8/21/2004] Wood was previously in charge of the US air base at Bagram, where detainees have alleged torture and where at least two detainees died as a result of physical abuse (see December 3, 2002) (see December 26, 2002) (see December 5, 2002).
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood
          

Mid-March 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The platoon of 15 interrogators led by Capt. Carolyn A. Wood is sent to Iraq together with another 15 fellow soldiers from Company A of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion. [Knight-Ridder, 8/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood
          

July 15, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion produces a memo laying down new “Interrogation Rules of Engagement” (IROE), for use in its new mission in Iraq. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] The person apparently mostly responsible for writing the memo is Cpt. Carolyn A. Wood, formerly in charge of military intelligence interrogators at Bagram, which serves as the main screening area in Afghanistan. [The Guardian, 6/23/2004] Col. Billy Buckner, the chief public affairs officer at Fort Bragg, home to the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, later says that Wood brought the interrogations rules used at Bagram with her to Iraq. [Associated Press, 5/24/2004] But the rules are also adapted and made somewhat less aggressive. “Those rules were modified,” according to Buckner, “to make sure the right restraints were in place.” [The Guardian, 6/23/2004] The modifications nevertheless fall outside normal military doctrine. According to a classified portion of the later Fay report (see August 25, 2004), the memo allows the “use of stress positions during fear-up harsh interrogation approaches, as well as presence of military working dogs, yelling, loud music, ... light control,” sleep management, and isolation. [New York Review of Books, 10/7/2004] The memo is adopted from interrogation procedures known as “Battlefield Interrogation Team and Facility Policy,” in use by a secretive unit called Joint Task Force (JTF) 121 , that is active in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion worked in close cooperation with Special Operations Forces like JTF-121 during its tour in Afghanistan, and “at some point,” according to the Fay report, it “came to possess the JTF-121 interrogation policy.” [New York Times, 8/27/2004] Cpt. Wood adopts the JTF-121 policy “almost verbatim.” [New York Times, 8/27/2004] Like the highest US command in Iraq, the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion apparently believes the standard Army Field Manual is an insufficient guideline for interrogations. Interrogation techniques falling outside the scope of standard military doctrine have already been devised at the Pentagon, but only for use in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. These “non-doctrinal approaches, techniques, and practices,” according to Gen. George R. Fay, nevertheless, become “confused at Abu Ghraib.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] JTF-121 consists of CIA officials and Special Operations troops, including soldiers from the Army's Delta Force and Navy Seals. The unit is later alleged to have been instrumental in the capture of Saddam Hussein. [New York Times, 5/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein, George R. Fay, Troy Armstrong, Carolyn A. Wood
          

(Early August 2003)      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       When Cpt. Carolyn A. Wood and the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion move to Abu Ghraib, the interrogation policy Wood used at the Baghdad airport facility (see July 15, 2003) needs to be adapted once again, and Capt. Wood is again responsible for devising the rules of engagement. In May 2004, Pentagon officials will give a description to the Senate Armed Services Committee of the instructions for interrogating prisoners used by Cpt. Wood at Abu Ghraib. They say that the rules of engagement Wood employed at Abu Ghraib included stress positions, use of dogs, sleep and sensory deprivation and dietary manipulation. Those rules of engagement would have had to have been authorized by higher levels in the military. A person of Cpt. Wood's rank, explains a former member of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade to the Guardian, would not have been free to set interrogation policy herself. [The Guardian, 6/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood
          

August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who oversees the prison at Guantanamo, is sent to Iraq with a team “experienced in strategic interrogation” “to review current Iraqi theater ability to rapidly exploit internees for actionable intelligence” and to review the arrangements at the US military prisons in Iraq. [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004; Washington Post, 5/9/2004] The team consists of 17 interrogation experts from Guantanamo Bay and includes officials from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). [Washington Post, 6/12/2004] The Pentagon's decision to dispatch the team on this mission was influenced by the military's growing concern that the failure of Coalition Forces to quell resistance against the occupation was linked to a dearth in “actionable intelligence” (see (August 2003)). [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004] Miller has therefore come to help Brig. Gen. Barabara Fast improve the results of her interrogation operations. More to the point, he is supposed to introduce her to the techniques being used at Guantanamo. [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004; The New Yorker, 6/21/2004] Officials are hoping detainees will provide intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein, who is still on the loose. [Washington Post, 5/16/2004] “[Miller] came up there and told me he was going to ‘Gitmoize’ the detention operation,” Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, later recalls. [Washington Post, 5/8/2004] Miller will later deny he used the word “Gitmoize.” [Washington Post, 5/12/2004] During Miller's visit, a Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) is established in order to centralize the intelligence operations at the prison. Cpt. Carolyn A. Wood is made Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Interrogation Coordination Element (ICE), within the JIDC. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Before returning to Washington, Miller leaves a list of acceptable interrogation techniques—based on what has been used in Guatanamo—posted on a wall in Abu Ghraib which says that long term isolation, sleep disruption, “environmental manipulation” and “stress positions” can be used to facilitate interrogations, but only with the approval of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez on a case-by-case basis. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] The use of dogs is also included, even though the technique was banned at Guantanamo eight months before by Donald Rumsfeld (see January 15, 2003). [Washington Post, 7/19/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Karpinski later recalls, “He said they are like dogs and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them.” [BBC, 6/15/2004] Miller's visit to Iraq heralds some significant changes, that include, first, the introduction of more coercive interrogation tactics; second, the taking control of parts of the Abu Ghraib facility by military intelligence; and third, the use of MPs in the intelligence collection process. During his visit, Miller discusses interrogation techniques with military intelligence chief Col. Thomas M. Pappas. [New York Times, 5/13/2004] “The operation was snowballing,” Samuel Provance, a US military intelligence officer will recall, describing the situation at Abu Ghraib after Miller's visit. “There were more and more interrogations. The chain of command was putting a lot of resources into the facility.” And Karpinski will later say that she was being shut out of the process at about this time. “They continued to move me farther and farther away from it.” [Washington Post, 5/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Carolyn A. Wood, Barbara G. Fast, Thomas M. Pappas, Samuel Provance, Janis L. Karpinski, Geoffrey D. Miller
          

September 17, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan arrives at the Abu Ghraib prison compound in Iraq and is appointed as the director of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JDIC). Jordon, an inexperienced military officer, will leave the “actual management, organization, and leadership of the core of his responsibilities” to Maj. Michael D. Thompson and Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, an investigation will later conclude. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Steven L. Jordan, Michael D. Thompson, Carolyn A. Wood
          

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