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Profile: Ricardo S. Sanchez

 
  

Positions that Ricardo S. Sanchez has held:

  • Lieutenant General, US Army


 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

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Ricardo S. Sanchez actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Shortly after June 29, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, commander of the 800th MP Brigade (see June 29, 2003), is given control of 17 prisons in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib. The 800th MP Brigade is attached, but not formally assigned to Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 7, the command of US troops in Iraq. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez has “Tactical Control” over Karpinski and her brigade, allowing him, in the later words of Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones (see Shortly before August 24, 2004), “the detailed and usually local direction and control of movements and maneuver necessary to accomplish missions and tasks.” However, according to Jones's account, Sanchez does not have “Operational Control,” which would provide “full authority to organize commands and forces and employ them as the commander considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Prison and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Thus Sanchez, Karpinski will later explain, “was not my boss, but I answered to him.” The 800th MP Brigade remains assigned to the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC), headed by Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan in Kuwait. McKiernan, according to Karpinski, “insisted that we remain assigned to CFLCC, because he was concerned that the CJTF-7 headquarters was going to break us up and use us in lots of different military police functions [—] it was a dysfunctional line of command.” [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Anthony R. Jones, David D. McKiernan
          

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

       Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez orders Maj. Gen. Marshal Donald Ryder to conduct a review of the prison system in Iraq and provide him with recommendations to improve it. [Washington Post, 5/8/2004; The New Yorker, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Donald J. Ryder
          

October 9, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       An Abu Ghraib memo on Interrogation Rules of Engagement is distributed to military intelligence officers at Abu Ghraib. The memo, which all military intelligence officers are required to sign, includes a detailed description of the acceptable interrogation methods that were approved in September (see September 10, 2003) (see September 14, 2003). The memo's detailed list includes “the use of yelling, loud music, a reduction of heat in winter and air conditioning in summer, .... ‘stress positions’ for as long as 45 minutes every four hours,” and “dietary manipulation.” The memo also allows officers to remove “incentive items” from detainees such as religious material. [Washington Post, 6/12/2004] It permits for the “presence of working dogs” and the confining of detainees in isolation cells, “in some cases without a prior approval from General [Ricardo S. ] Sanchez.” [New York Times, 5/22/2004] The approved policy now includes 32 interrogation techniques that can, with only the consent of the interrogation officer in charge, be used at any time at Abu Ghraib. [Washington Post, 6/12/2004] The document also states that “at no time will detainees be treated inhumanely nor maliciously humiliated.” [Washington Post, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

October 12, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez writes a classified memo calling for a “harmonization” of policing and intelligence tasks at Abu Ghraib in order to ensure “consistency with the interrogation policies ... and maximize the efficiency of the interrogation.” [Washington Post, 5/15/2004] The memo instructs that intelligence is to work more closely with military police in order to “manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses” by controlling the detainee's access to “lighting, heating, ... food, clothing, and shelter.” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] It says that “it is imperative that interrogators be provided reasonable latitude to vary their approach” according to the prisoner's background, strengths, resistance, and other factors. [Washington Post, 5/15/2004] The memo is a revision of Gen. Geoffrey Miller's September 9 memo (see September 9, 2003), which included a list of acceptable interrogation techniques. Sanchez's memo, however, drops the list replacing it with a general statement that “anything not approved, you have to ask for,” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] and adding that the detainees must be treated humanely and that any dogs used during the interrogations must be muzzled. [Washington Post, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

November 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at the request of George J. Tenet, orders military officials in Iraq to keep a high-value detainee being held at Camp Cropper off the records. The order is passed down to Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then to Gen. John P. Abizaid, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, and finally to Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the ground commander in Iraq. “At each stage, lawyers reviewed the request and their bosses approved it,” the New York Times will report. “This prisoner and other ‘ghost detainees’ were hidden largely to prevent the International Committee of the Red Cross from monitoring their treatment, and to avoid disclosing their location to an enemy,” the newspaper will report, citing top officials. The prisoner—in custody since July 2003—is suspected of being a senior officer of Ansar al-Islam, an Islamic group with ties to al-Qaeda. Shortly after being captured by US forces, he was deemed an “enemy combatant” and thus denied protection under the Geneva conventions. Up until this point, the prisoner has only been interrogated once. As a result of being kept off the books, the prison system looses track of the detainee who will spend the next seven months in custody. “Once he was placed in military custody, people lost track of him,” a senior intelligence official will tell the New York Times. “The normal review processes that would keep track of him didn't.” [Fox News, 6/17/2004; Reuters, 6/17/2004; New York Times, 6/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Richard B. Myers, John P. Abizaid, George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld
          

November 5, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Major General Marshal Donald Ryder files a report on the prison system in Iraq, as requested by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez earlier in the fall (see (Early October 2003)). He concludes that there are potential systemic human rights, training, and manpower issues that need immediate attention at Abu Ghraib. But he also says that he found “no military police units purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices.” [Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] Ryder suggests that the problem may stem from methods used in Afghanistan where MPs have worked with intelligence operatives to “set favorable conditions for subsequent interviews.” He recommends that military police no longer participate in military intelligence supervised interrogations. Guidelines need to be drawn up that “define the role of military police soldiers ... clearly separating the actions of the guards from those of the military intelligence personnel,” he says. [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; The New Yorker, 5/7/2004] An investigation by Gen. Antonio M. Taguba completed next year (see March 9, 2004) will come to the same conclusion. “I concur fully with MG Ryder's conclusion regarding the effect of AR 190-8. Military Police, though adept at passive collection of intelligence within a facility, should not participate in military intelligence supervised interrogation sessions. Moreover, Military Police should not be involved with setting ‘favorable conditions’ [emphasis by Taguba] for subsequent interviews. These actions ... clearly run counter to the smooth operation of a detention facility.” [Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] Ryder does not appear to report on actual instances of prisoner abuse and downplays the gravity of the situation, saying it has not yet reached a crisis point. [The New Yorker, 5/7/2004; The New Yorker, 5/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba, Donald J. Ryder, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

November 12, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Col. Marc Warren, a top legal officer to Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez, steps down from the security detainee release board for prisoners in Iraq. His resignation follows that of generals Barbara Fast and Janis Karpinski (see Early November 2003). They are replaced by several colonels and other personnel, “so as to provide more opportunity for the meetings,” according to a military official, in order to speed up the release of detainees. The new board starts meeting twice a week. [New York Times, 6/19/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Marc Warren, Barbara G. Fast, Janis L. Karpinski
          

November 19, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The office of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez formally puts Col. Thomas M. Pappas of 205th Military Intelligence Brigade in charge of cell blocks 1A and 1B in the Abu Ghraib prison. As Gen. Antonio Taguba will note in his February 26, 2004 (see February 26, 2004) report, the order “effectively made an MI Officer, rather than an MP officer, responsible for the MP units conducting detainee operations at that facility. This is not doctrinally sound due to the different missions and agenda assigned to each of these respective specialties.” [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; New York Times, 5/12/2004; Washington Post, 5/15/2004; Newsweek, 5/24/2004] Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba will also note: “[T]he intelligence value of detainees held at ... Guantanamo is different than that of the detainees/internees held at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq.... There are a large number of Iraqi criminals held at Abu Ghraib. These are not believed to be international terrorists or members of al-Qaeda.” The report will say also that the order was in conflict with existing military regulations and suggests that Sanchez's recommendation had influenced the conditions at Abu Ghraib.
People and organizations involved: Thomas M. Pappas, Antonio M. Taguba, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

November 30, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Col. Thomas M. Pappas sends a classified cable to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez requesting permission to use more intense interrogation methods on a 31-year-old Syrian suspected of having knowledge about the illegal flow of money, arms, and foreign fighters into Iraq. Pappas says in the cable that the interrogators at Abu Ghraib would like to use the “fear up harsh” method, which according to military documents means “significantly increasing the fear level in a security detainee.” The Washington Post will later report that the plan's details were as follows: “First, the interrogators were to throw chairs and tables in the man's presence at the prison and ‘invade his personal space.’ Then the police were to put a hood on his head and take him to an isolated cell through a gantlet of barking guard dogs; there, the police were to strip-search him and interrupt his sleep for three days with interrogations, barking, and loud music....” [Washington Post, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Thomas M. Pappas
          

January 13, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agent who received the Abu Ghraib prison photographs from Spc. Joseph Darby (see January 13, 2004), calls his boss, a colonel, who takes them to Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. [Signal Newspaper of Santa Clara, 7/4/2004] Within three days, a report on the photos makes its way to Donald Rumsfeld, who informs President Bush. [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004] Within the Pentagon, few people are informed—unusually few—according to Hersh, who will later write that knowledge of the abuses were “severely, and unusually restricted.” A former intelligence official will tell him: “I haven't talked to anybody on the inside who knew; nowhere. It's got them scratching their heads.” Rumsfeld and his civilian staff, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez and Gen. John P. Abizaid, reportedly try to suppress the issue during the first months of the year. “They foresaw major diplomatic problems,” according to a Pentagon official. [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004] According to one former intelligence official, the Defense Secretary's attitude is: “We've got a glitch in the program. We'll prosecute it.” The former official explains to Seymour Hersh, “The cover story was that some kids got out of control.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: John P. Abizaid, George W. Bush, The New Yorker, Criminal Investigation Division, Donald Rumsfeld, Seymour Hersh, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

January 16, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Central Command issues a short press release announcing that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez has ordered a criminal investigation “into reported incidents of detainee abuse at a coalition forces detention facility.” It is later learned that the facility in question is Abu Ghraib prison. [Associated Press, 1/16/2004] The fact that the investigation is reported to be initiated by the central US military command in Iraq rather than an individual unit, the BBC Pentagon correspondent calls unusual. “It suggests that senior commanders are taking the issue very seriously.” [BBC, 1/16/2004] At some point between January 16 and 21, the CID will begin taking sworn witness statements from detainees. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

January 17, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Gen. Janis Karpinski is disciplined by Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez with a Memorandum of Admonishment and relieved of duty. She herself suspends Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum and Cpt. Donald Reese from their duties. [Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade]
People and organizations involved: Donald Reese, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Janis L. Karpinski, Jerry L. Phillabaum
          

January 19, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez orders a high level administrative investigation into the 800th Military Police Brigade apart from the criminal investigation that was announced three days earlier (see January 16, 2004). He appoints Major General Antonio M. Taguba to conduct the inquiry and limits the scope of the investigation to the conduct of the military police brigade. Taguba's report will be filed on February 26 (see February 26, 2004). [New York Times, 5/10/2004; Sydney Morning Herald, 5/4/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] As preparations for investigation are underway, investigators reportedly give the MPs at Abu Ghraib “a week's notice before inspecting their possessions.” [Sources: Several unnamed soldiers] Whether it is an attempt to sabotage the investigation, or a matter of clumsiness on the part of the military leadership or the CID, the result may well be that evidence of abuse is deliberately destroyed. “That shows you how lax they are about discipline. ‘We are going to look for contraband in here, so hint, hint, get rid of the stuff,’ that's the way things work in the Guard,” MP Ramone Leal will say. [Reuters, 5/6/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba, Ramone Leal, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

March 9, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba submits the final version of his report (see February 26, 2004) on the investigation into prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib by MPs. He concludes that military intelligence personnel played a part in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. But due to the fact that his investigation was limited to the conduct of MPs (see January 19, 2004), he did not investigate military intelligence conduct. Another investigation (see August 25, 2004), however, is launched that will examine military intelligence's role in the abuses. It will be conducted by Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, the Army's deputy chief of staff for intelligence. But the scope of this investigation is also limited from the outset, for two reasons. First, as a two-star general, he cannot hold any officer of his own rank or higher accountable. Second, Fay is appointed by Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez and therfore the scope of investigation is limited to the people under Sanchez's command. [Newsweek, 6/7/2004] Additionally, Fay may be less inclined to report negatively on military intelligence personnel, since his superior, Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, head of Army Intelligence, has already stated that the abuse at Abu Ghraib was committed by “a group of undisciplined military police” who were acting on their own, and not upon instructions from military intelligence officers. [Truthout, no date]
People and organizations involved: George R. Fay, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Antonio M. Taguba, Keith Alexander
          

May 14, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The generals who were most involved in setting interrogation policy in Iraq are invited to hearings by US Congress. Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez announces he has revoked, as of the previous day, all authorizations for coercive practices, including sensory deprivation, forcing detainees into “stress positions,” and keeping them awake. Although he still makes an exception for very rare circumstances, he says. [The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

May 20-21, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller appear before a classified session of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The following day, Representative Jane Harman shoots a letter off to Miller saying there were “gaps and discrepancies” in his presentation and accuses him of selectively withholding information. She also tells him that she now questions his candor. [Newsweek, 6/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Geoffrey D. Miller, Jane Harman, US Congress
          

November 30, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), based in New York, and the Republican Lawyers' Association in Berlin, file a criminal complaint in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Stephen A. Cambone, Ricardo S. Sanchez, and Janis Karpinski, alleging responsibility for war crimes at Abu Ghraib. The German 2002 Code of Crimes Against International Law grants German courts universal jurisdiction in cases involving war crimes or crimes against humanity. The center is representing five Iraqis who claim they were victims of mistreatment that included beatings, sleep and food deprivation, electric shocks, and sexual abuse. [Deutsche Welle, 11/30/2004] Though German law stipulates that prosecution can be dismissed in cases where neither the victim nor the perpetrator are German citizens or are outside Germany and cannot be expected to appear before court, [Deutsche Welle, 11/30/2004] that fact that Sanchez is based at a US base in Germany makes it possible that the case will be heard. [Deutsche Welle, 11/30/2004]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Center for Constitutional Rights, Stephen A. Cambone, Ricardo S. Sanchez, Janis L. Karpinski
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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