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Torture, rendition, and other abuses against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere

 
  

Project: Prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

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Showing 1-100 of 145 events (use filters to narrow search):    next 100

April 22, 2003

       The US Army seizes the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, which is notorious for having been the scene of torture under Saddam Hussein. BBC reporter Martin Asser describes the event: “It had been only lightly looted, vandalism mainly, and the MPs—reservists led by a colonel from Florida—were there to secure the location ‘as a possible center for operations’.” [BBC News, 8/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein
          

(May 2003)

       Soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company arrive in Iraq and are assigned to routine traffic and police duties. [The New Yorker, 5/7/2004]
          

June 12, 2003

       Prisoners being held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq hold demonstrations protesting their living conditions. In response to the protests, prison authorities promise to inform each of the prisoners about the status and expected length of their detention the following day. [Amnesty International, 6/30/2003 Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs] Additionally, two people attempting to escape the facility are shot. One dies of his wounds after being taken to a hospital. [Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs]
          

June 13, 2003

       Prisoners being held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq hold another demonstration after prison authorities fail to follow through on a promise (see June 12, 2003) to provide the detainees with information about their status. Some of the demonstrators throw bricks and poles at the soldiers, but remain within the razor wire fence surrounding the tents and are not a threat to the soldiers. In response, the prison guards fire from three watchtowers into the detention area, killing 22-year-old Ala' Jassem Sa'ad, who is in one of the tents. Seven others who are sharing the tent are injured. According to the prison authorities, the “shooting [is] justified as the three tower [guards] determined that the lives of the interior guards were threatened.” [Amnesty International, 6/30/2003 Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs]
People and organizations involved: Ala' Jassem Sa'ad
          

Shortly after June 29, 2003

       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
          

June 29, 2003

       Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski—a reservist with no experience managing prisons—takes over command of the 800th Military Police Brigade, an Army reserve unit from Uniondale in New York State, from Brig. Gen. Paul Hill. She is put in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists. Her office is located at Baghdad Airport. [The New Yorker, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004] She becomes the first female general officer to lead US soldiers in combat. [Washington Post, 5/12/2004] Karpinski's brigade, consisting of 3,400 soldiers divided over three battalions, is initially put in charge of Camp Bucca and three other smaller facilities. At this time, Camp Bucca holds about 3,500 prisoners. [Signal Newspaper of Santa Clara, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski
          

Mid-August 2003

       An unnamed military intelligence captain sends an email to military intelligence interrogators explaining the difference between “lawful” and “unlawful combatants.” He indicates that he will provide “an ROE [Rules of Engagement] that addresses the treatment of enemy combatants, specifically, unprivileged belligerents.” The wording implies he believes it is possible for the US armed forces to declare the “privileges” of some adversaries to be removed at will. The use of the word “privilege” is significant in that the Fourth Geneva Convention uses the word only once, namely in Article 5, which is the only part that holds the very small possibility of derogation from the rights of detainees. It is clear the captain thinks detainees have “privileges” that can be taken away from them, instead of rights that must be upheld. The captain then goes on to request that interrogators provide him with “input [on] what techniques would they feel would be effective techniques” and he reminds them to send him their interrogation techniques “wish list” by August 17. He finishes his message with the following remarks: “The gloves are coming off gentlemen regarding these detainees. Col. [Steven] Boltz [deputy to Brig. Gen. Fast] has made it clear that we want these individuals broken. Casualties are mounting and we need to start gathering info to help protect our fellow soldiers from any further attacks. I thank you for your hard work and your dedication. MI [Military Intelligence] Always out Front!” [New York Review of Books, 10/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Steven Boltz
          

July-September 2003

       Abu Ghraib is attacked roughly 25 times with mortar fire. Six detainees and two soldiers are killed and seventy-one people are injured. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004; Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004 Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs] The prison complex “was mortared every single night,” Karpinski will later say. [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004; Washington Post, 5/12/2004]
          

July 10, 2003

       According to Amjed Isail Waleed, a detainee at Abu Ghraib, he is left naked in a dark cell for five days. [New York Times, 6/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Amjed Isail Waleed
          

July 15, 2003

       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
          

July 28, 2003

       The 320th Military Police Battalion, headed by Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum, sets up its headquarters in Abu Ghraib. It is also assigned command over the 72nd MP Company, the unit that was initially put in charge of the facility. The 72nd MP Company is from Henderson, Nevada, commanded by Capt. Troy Armstrong, and was earlier part of the 400th MP Battalion. [Sources: The Independent Panel to Review Department of Defense Detention Operations, 8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Troy Armstrong, Jerry L. Phillabaum
          

Late July or early August 2003-October 2003

       A detainee is forced to lie face down on a hot surface, possibly the hood of a car, while being hooded and handcuffed before being sent to Abu Ghraib prison. The treatment causes severe skin burns that require three months in hospital. During his stay, his right index finger is amputated. Red Cross personnel interview him in October 2003 and confirm his missing finger and the presence of extensive burns over many parts of his body. [Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs]
          

(Early August 2003)

       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 4, 2003

       The US military reopens the Abu Ghraib prison facility in Baghdad. Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum, a reservist who commands the 320th Military Police Battalion, is put in charge of the prison. He reports directly to Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski. [Washington Post, 5/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski, Jerry L. Phillabaum
          

August 16, 2003

       Three mortar rounds kill at least five prisoners and injure 67 at Abu Ghraib. [Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs]
          

August 27, 2003

       The 519th Military Intelligence Battalion authors a memo describing aggressive techniques such as “the use of dogs, stress positions, sleep management, sensory deprivation, ... yelling, loud music, and light control.” The memo is possibly the interrogation techniques “wish list” that was requested by a military intelligence captain in a mid-August email (see Mid-August 2003). [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

August 29, 2003

       The “Hard Site” at Abu Ghraib is officially opened for use. Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, who much later reports (see August 25, 2004) on what happens at the prison, will say he believes the opening of the Hard Site “marked the beginning of the serious abuse that occurred.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: George R. Fay
          

After August 29, 2003

       After the attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad (see August 29, 2003), Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski becomes more concerned about the security of Abu Ghraib. “[W]e knew that we were more vulnerable than we had even imagined.” A combat unit for the defense of the prison is required. “It was promised countless times,” says Karpinski. “But we never received them. And we took measures ourselves, to the extent that we could, to reinforce our entry control points, to get appropriate weapons to the extent we were able in the towers, to get sandbags around the tents for the prisoners so at least they would have a chance of defending themselves if anything happened again. And mortars came in every night.” [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski
          

(Late August 2003)

       At the Abu Ghraib prison facility in Iraq, prisoners are reportedly barefoot and have symptoms of untreated illnesses. [New York Times, 5/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Iraq
          

(Late August 2003)

       A detainee is reportedly held in an extremely hot shipping container as punishment. [New York Times, 5/13/2004]
          

(Late August or September 2003)

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone decide that they will extend the scope of “Copper Green,” originally created for Afghanistan (see End of 2001-early 2002), to Abu Ghraib. According to Seymour Hersh, “The male prisoners could [now] be treated roughly, and exposed to sexual humiliation.” A former intelligence official will tell Hersh: “They weren't getting anything substantive from the detainees in Iraq. No names. Nothing that they could hang their hat on. Cambone says, I've got to crack this thing and I'm tired of working through the normal chain of command. I've got this apparatus set up—the black special access program—and I'm going in hot. So he pulls the switch, and the electricity begins flowing... . And it's working. We're getting a picture of the insurgency in Iraq and the intelligence is flowing into the white world. We're getting good stuff. But we've got more targets [prisoners in Iraqi jails] than people who can handle them.” In addition to bringing SAP rules into the Iraqi prisons, Cambone decides that Army military intelligence officers working inside Iraqi prisons will be brought under the SAP's auspices, and in fact allowed the use of more aggressive interrogation techniques. “So here are fundamentally good soldiers—military intelligence guys—being told that no rules apply,” Hersh's source also says. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; The Guardian, 9/13/2004] Knowledge of aggressive interrogation techniques may also have slipped inside the walls of Abu Ghraib via Special Forces soldiers delivering and interrogating prisoners and private contractors who used to be members of Special Forces. Many of Special Forces soldiers have gained this knowledge inter alia because they have been taught how to resist these techniques if subjected to them. Such training is given to both British and US Special Forces. An anonymous former British officer later recognizes the techniques used at Abu Ghraib as the type of tactics used for these trainings. The characterizing feature of the techniques they are trained to withstand is sexual humiliation through nudity and degrading poses. During training sessions, female soldiers mocked naked detainees and forced cruel sexual jokes on them to “prolong the shock of capture,” according to the British officer. The techniques included hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation, and lack of warmth, food, and water. “[T]he whole experience is horrible,” according to the British ex-officer. “Two of my colleagues couldn't cope with the training at the time. One walked out saying ‘I've had enough,’ and the other had a breakdown. It's exceedingly disturbing.” [The Guardian, 5/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Stephen A. Cambone, Donald Rumsfeld  Additional Info 
          

August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003

       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
          

Between September 9 and 19, 2003

       Shortly after Major General Geoffrey Miller's visit (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003) to Iraq, three “Tiger Teams,” consisting of six personnel, arrive at the Abu Ghraib prison facility. Each team consists of an interrogator, analyst, and linguist, who work together as a team. The use of Tiger Teams is an approach that has been successfully used at the Guantanamo detention facility. Gen. George R. Fay, in his later report (see August 25, 2004), will say he believes the Tiger Team concept was not appropriate for Abu Ghraib, because the “method was designed to develop strategic level information,” instead of tactical intelligence. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller, George R. Fay
          

September 9, 2003

       Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller files a classified report at the end of his 10-day visit (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003) to Iraq, recommending that Iraq's detention camps be used to collect “actionable intelligence” and that some military police at Abu Ghraib be trained to set “the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees.” “Detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation ... to provide a safe, secure, and humane environment that supports the expeditious collection of intelligence,” he writes. [The New Yorker, 5/24/2004; The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; Washington Post, 5/16/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] He suggests that a detention guard force with Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 7 be selected to provide active assistance to the interrogators They should be put under the control of the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC) Commander (later to be Lt. Col. Steven Jordan), he says. [Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] “We're going to select the MPs who can do this, and they're going to work specifically with the interrogation team.” [Signal Newspaper, 7/4/2004] “We are going to send MPs in here who know how to handle interrogation.” [Washington Post, 5/12/2004] He also suggests that the military close Camp Cropper in southern Iraq. Miller's recommendations are included in a memo that is sent for review to Lt. Gen. William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence (see May 1, 2003). [Washington Post, 5/16/2004; The New Yorker, 5/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, William Boykin, Geoffrey D. Miller
          

September 10, 2003

       Maj. Michael D. Thompson arrives at Abu Ghraib at the request of Col. Thomas M. Pappas to develop the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC), formally established during Major General Geoffrey Miller's 10-day visit (see August 31, 2003-September 9, 2003). By December 2003, the JIDC will have a total of approximately 160 personnel including 45 interrogators and 18 translators. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Geoffrey D. Miller, Thomas M. Pappas, Michael D. Thompson
          

September 14, 2003

       The legal experts at the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) issue a memorandum amending the set of interrogation rules included in a September 10 memo (see September 10, 2003) by military legal experts in Iraq. The additional methods included in that memo can only be used with prior approval by Ricardo S. Sanchez on a case-by-case basis, the OSJA document says. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Like Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the OSJA stresses the importance of collaboration between MPs and intelligence personnel. It also provides “safeguards such as legal reviews of the interrogation plans and scrutiny of how they were carried out,” the Washington Post later reports. [Washington Post, 6/12/2004] Additionally, the memo discusses how the Arab fear of dogs can be exploited. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] According to a later report (see August 25, 2004) by Gen. George R. Fay, interrogators at Abu Ghraib immediately adopt the new set of rules. But Staff Judge Advocate Col. Mark Warren will recall that the memo is not implemented until its approval by the US Central Command (CENTCOM). [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Evidence, however, supports the Fay report. “After mid-September 2003,” Gen. Fay will write, “all [s]oldiers assigned to Abu Ghraib had to read a memorandum titled IROE [Interrogations Rules of Engagement], acknowledging they understood the ICRP, and sign a confirmation sheet indicating they had read and understood the ICRP.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Geoffrey D. Miller, George R. Fay, Marc Warren
          

September 15, 2003

       At the Abu Ghraib prison facility in Iraq, an unidentified military intelligence officer writes in the prison log book that a detainee's cell door should be opened for ventilation and be taken off the light schedule. This suggests that the prisoner was being subjected to sleep deprivation. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

September 16, 2003

       Military intelligence directs the stripping of a detainee. An entry in the MP log book for this day indicates that a detainee “was stripped down per MI [Military Intelligence] and he is neked [sic] and standing tall in his cell.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

September 17, 2003

       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
          

September 19, 2003

       One of the Tiger Teams at Abu Ghraib, consisting of two soldiers from Guantanamo, and a female civilian interpreter, conduct a late night interrogation of a 17-year-old Syrian detainee. The detainee has been stripped naked and is using an empty Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) bag to cover his genitals. One of the soldiers orders the boy to raise his hands thus deliberately exposing and humiliating him. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

October 2003

       At Abu Ghraib, MP Cpl. Charles Graner is seen pushing a detainee into a wall, inflicting a 2.5 inch laceration on the detainee's chin. A medic, Sgt. Neil A. Wallin, who claims he is not aware of the cause of the cut, gives him 13 stitches. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

October 2003

       A delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visits Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and is appalled by the condition and treatment of the prisoners. The ICRC breaks “off [its] visit and [demands] an immediate explanation from the military prison authorities.” The delegation witnesses prisoners who are “completely naked in totally empty concrete cells and in total darkness.” According to its February 2004 report to Coalition Forces, “The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was ‘part of the process.’ ” The ICRC subsequently complains to Coalition Forces. [New York Times, 5/11/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade]
          

October 7, 2003

       Ameen Saeed al-Sheikh, detainee no. 151362, says he is stripped naked at Abu Ghraib and threatened with rape. After being stripped, one of the guards “told me he would rape me,” he later recounts in an interview with the Washington Post. “He drew a picture of a woman to my back and makes me stand in shameful position holding my buttocks.” He adds: “They said we will make you wish to die and it will not happen.” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ameen Saeed al-Sheikh
          

October 8 - December 5, 2003

       Amjed Isail Waleed arrives at Abu Ghraib and is designated a high-value detainee and assigned number 151365. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] He is immediately taken to the Hard Site and beaten by MPs. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Guards “put me in a dark room and started hitting me in the head and stomach and legs,” he later testifies. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] He is then forced to strip and for five days he is left naked in his cell [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] where he is cuffed in stressful positions, a treatment known as “high cuffed.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] He is also forced to kneel with a bag over his head for four hours, denied bedding or blankets, [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] and chained to a window in his cell and forced to wear women's underwear on his head. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] One time a soldier slams Waleed's head against the wall, causing the hood he is wearing to fall off. “One of the police was telling me to crawl, in Arabic, so I crawled on my stomach, and the police were spitting on me when I was crawling and hitting me on my back, my head, and my feet. It kept going on until their shift ended at four o'clock in the morning. The same thing would happen in the following days.” Later, one day in November, five soldiers take him into a room, put a bag over his head and begin to beat him up. “I could see their feet, only, from under the bag. ... Some of the things they did was make me sit down like a dog, and they would hold the string from the bag, and they made me bark like a dog, and they were laughing at me.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] A civilian interpreter, hired from Titan Corp., at one time hits him so hard, that he cuts his ear badly enough to require stitches. After several beatings that are so severe that he loses consciousness, he is forced to lie on the ground, while MPs jump onto his back and legs. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] “One of the police was pissing on me and laughing at me.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Another day he is allegedly grabbed by US soldiers who hold him down and spread his legs. Another soldier meanwhile starts to open his trousers. “I started screaming,” he recalls. A soldier steps on his head. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] He is also beaten with a broom. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Someone breaks a chemical light and pours the liquid over his body, which is witnessed by another detainee. “I was glowing and they were laughing,” he says. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] He is then taken to another room where a police baton is used to sodomize him. “And one of the police, he put a part of his stick that he always carries inside my ass, and I felt it going inside me about two centimeters, approximately. And I started screaming, and he pulled it out and he washed it with water inside the room.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] In the meantime, two female MPs are hitting him, throwing a ball at his penis, and taking photographs. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] “And the two American girls that were there when they were beating me, they were hitting me with a ball made of sponge on my dick. And when I was tied up in my room, one of the girls, with blond hair, she is white, she was playing with my dick. I saw inside this facility a lot of punishment just like what they did to me and more. And they were taking pictures of me during all these instances.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Over the next few months, Waleed is subjected to six interrogations. Maj. George R. Fay (see August 25, 2004) will later conclude after an investigation into treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib, “It is highly probable [the detainee's] allegations are true.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Titan, Amjed Isail Waleed, George R. Fay
          

October 9, 2003

       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

       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
          

October 15, 2003

       Soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, who since May (see (May 2003)) have been performing routine traffic and police duties, are reassigned to prison-guard duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, replacing the 72nd MP Company from Henderson, Nevada. They are provided with no training or guidelines on prison management, though two members of the 372nd previously worked as civilian prison guards back in the United States. They are not given copies of the Geneva Conventions. [The New Yorker, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

October 18, 2003-October 31, 2003

       Soon after the 372nd Military Police Company arrives at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski sends Lt. Col. Jerry Phillabaum, who is in charge of the prison, to Kuwait for two weeks so that he can have “some relief from the pressure he was experiencing.” [Washington Post, 5/8/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski, Jerry L. Phillabaum
          

October 24, 2003

       Three detainees at Abu Ghraib, suspected of having raped a male teenage detainee, are set aside for punishment and stripped by MPs. Pfc. Lynndie England describes the scene, apparently talking about Spc. Charles Graner and Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick II: “They started to handcuff the two rapist[s] together in odd positions/ways. Once the two were handcuffed together, the third guy was brought over and handcuffed between the other two. Then they were laying on the floor handcuffed together, so all the other prisoners could see them. Cpl. Graner and Staff Sgt. Frederick then asked me to start taking pictures with the camera.” [Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, Ivan L. Frederick II, Lynndie England
          

Evening October 25, 2003

       At the Abu Ghraib prison, three detainees who were photographed naked the day before (see October 24, 2003), are again striped naked, handcuffed together, placed on the ground, and forced to lie on top of each other and simulate sex acts while they are being photographed. This treatment happens, according to a CID (Criminal Investigation Division) investigation, “on several occasions over several days.” Those present or participating in the abuse are the MPs Spc. Charles Graner, Ivan Frederick, Pfc. Lynndie England, and Spc. Sabrina Harman, all of the 372nd MP Company. Also directly involved are three military intelligence soldiers from the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion. Two of the military intelligence soldiers arrive at the Hard Site when the abuse is already taking place. One appears to have known beforehand that something was going to happen. [Washington Post, 5/22/2004] When they arrive, one MP is yelling through a megaphone at the naked detainees, who are forced to crawl on their stomachs and are handcuffed together. Gen. George Fay will later conclude in his report (see August 25, 2004) that this incident “was most likely orchestrated by MP personnel.” On the other hand, England says, “MI [Military Intelligence] Soldiers instructed them [MPs] to rough them up.” One of the most clearly humiliating photographs taken at Abu Ghraib is also dated October 25. It depicts an unidentified naked detainee, nicknamed “Gus,” with a leash around his neck and with the end held by Pfc. England. Spc. Megan Ambuhl is also present, watching. According to England, Cpl. Graner put on the leash and then asked her to pose for the photograph. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, George R. Fay, Lynndie England, Megan Ambuhl, Sabrina Harman, Ivan L. Frederick II
          

October 27-November, 2003

       Upon arrival at Abu Ghraib prison on October 27, a detainee is stripped and left naked for six days at the Hard Site. After that, he is given a blanket, which is his only piece of cloth for the next three days. The following evening he is taken by Spc. Charles Graner to the shower room, where he is interrogated by a female interrogator. The session ends and the interrogator leaves, when Graner and another MP, who fits a description of Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick, enter the room. They throw pepper in his face and beat him for half an hour. The detainee claims being beaten with a chair until it breaks, hit in the chest, kicked, and finally choked until he is unconscious. When the detainee is first interrogated, the female interrogator and her analyst think he is lying and they recommend a “fear up” approach. After a second interrogation, the military intelligence team recommends that he be moved to isolation since he continues “to be untruthful.” Ten days later he is interrogated for the third time and he is put in “the hole,” which is a “small lightless isolation closet.” The interrogation report reads: “[We] let the MPs yell at him” and “used a fear down,” but “he was still holding back.” And for the following day, the log instructs MPs to “use a direct approach with a reminder of the unpleasantness that occurred the last time he lied.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ivan L. Frederick II, Charles Graner
          

October 29, 2003

       The Associated Press reports that detainees in Iraq are being subjected to torture and inhumane living conditions and tells of an instance where a prisoner was shot and killed. It recounts the story of one prisoner, Saaed Naif, who said he saw another prisoner “shot dead at Abu Ghraib when he approached the razor wire.” The report also describes a type of punishment where the victim is confined to a razor-wire enclosed area—known as “The Gardens” —and forced to lie face down, hands tied behind the back, on the burning sand for two or three hours. In one incident, when a woman was sent to the “The Gardens,” her infuriated brother attempted to leave the razor wire enclosure around his tent but prison personnel “shot him in the shoulder.” Many former prisoners of the detainment centers agreed that some of the worst atrocities at the prisons were the guards' treatment of the women, sick, and disabled. [The Associated Press, 10/29/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saaed Naif
          

November 2003

       US military officials in Baghdad receive internal documents citing at least 20 complaints of abuse at Abu Ghraib. [New York Times, 6/19/2004]
          

Early morning November 30, 2003

       A detainee at Abu Ghraib attacks Cpl. Charles Graner while he and another MP are forcing him into an isolation cell. When the cell is later checked, the detainee is found covered in blood. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner
          

November 2003

       Fran Townsend, deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism, visits Abu Ghraib for approximately two hours. She is given a tour of the prison by Army Lt. Col. Steven Jordan. Townsend will later say that the purpose of her visit was to learn more about resistance against the US occupation and to ensure that information coming from the facility would be shared effectively among the various intelligence agencies. She will also say that she did not discuss interrogation methods, pressure military prison personnel to produce more intelligence, or witness any incidents of abuse. [USA Today, 6/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Steven L. Jordan, Fran Townsend
          

Evening November 4, 2003

       Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick II takes wires from a shower and places them on a hooded detainee's hands telling him he will be electrocuted if he falls off the box. [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] An Army investigator has instructed Frederick to “stress out” the detainee so he will talk. The detainee allegedly knows the location of soldiers' remains. Frederick says the investigator has told him he can treat the prisoner anyway he wants “as long as you don't kill him.” Despite these directions, Frederick later confesses he is aware he is committing abuse. “I was wrong about what I did, and I shouldn't have done it. I knew it was wrong at the time because I knew it was a form of abuse.” [New York Times, 10/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ivan L. Frederick II
          

Evening November 4, 2003

       Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh, detainee No. 18170, is taken from his cell in the Hard Site in Abu Ghraib. “On the third day, after five o'clock,” he later testifies, “Mr. [Charles] Graner came and took me to room Number 37, which is the shower room, and he started punishing me. Then he brought a box of food and he made me stand on it with no clothing, except a blanket. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head.” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh
          

Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. November 4, 2003

       Detainee Manadel al-Jamadi, is brought to Abu Ghraib prison by US Navy SEAL Team 7. The Iraqi, captured during a joint Task Force 121/CIA mission, is suspected of having been involved in an attack against the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Members of the Navy SEAL team punch and choke Al-Jamadi and stick their fingers in his eyes. A SEAL lieutenant is involved in the abuse. [Associated Press, 1/11/2005] Al-Jamadi resists his arrest, and one SEAL Team member hits him on the head with the butt of a rifle. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] MP Spc. Dennis E. Stevanus is on duty when two CIA representatives bring the man to the Hard Site. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Spc. Jason A. Kenner, an MP at Abu Ghraib, will later say the detainee was “in good health” when he was brought in. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004] According to Kenner's later account, the detainee's head is covered with an empty sandbag. MPs are then ordered to take him to a shower room, and told not to remove the hood, according to Kenner. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004] The detainee is then interrogated by CIA and military intelligence personnel. Less than an hour later, the detainee will be found dead (see (7:00 a.m.) November 4, 2003). [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Dennis E. Stevanus, Jason A. Kenner, Manadel al-Jamadi, International Committee of the Red Cross
          

(7:00 a.m.) November 4, 2003

       Spc. Dennis E. Stevanus is summoned to the shower stall of the Hard Site in Abu Ghraib. When he arrives he discovers that detainee Manadel al-Jamadi, interrogated by the CIA less than an hour before (see Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. November 4, 2003), is dead. Jamadi's body is still shackled to the stall. When the hood is removed, he is found to have severe head wounds. (It is unclear whether these wounds were present when the prisoner was taken in, or whether they were inflicted during the interrogation.) [Los Angeles Times, 5/18/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Stevanus calls a medic and notifies his superiors. Lt. Col. Steven Jordan arrives at the site at around 7:15 a.m. He finds several MPs and medics in the shower stall. The deceased prisoner is still handcuffed with his hands behind his back, lying on the floor face down. When the body is uncuffed and turned over, Jordan notices a small spot of blood on the floor where his head has lain. [Sources: Jason A. Kenner, AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] There is also extensive bruising on the body. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004 Sources: Jason A. Kenner] Jordan alerts Col. Thomas M. Pappas. A CIA supervisor is also notified. He arrives and requests that the Hard Site hold the body until the next day. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] According to ABC News, Spc. Jason A. Kenner sees the body packed in ice while a “battle” rages between CIA and military intelligence interrogators over who should dispose of the corpse. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004] The body is then put in a body bag, packed in ice, and stored in the shower area. [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004 Sources: Ivan L. Frederick II, AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Photographs are later released of MP Spcs. Charles Graner and Sabrina Harman posing next to the dead body wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice, giving a “thumbs up.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] According to MP Spc. Bruce Brown, an MP with the 372nd, they spray “air freshener to cover the scent.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/18/2004] The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is also alerted. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Bruce Brown, Sabrina Harman, Jason A. Kenner, Manadel al-Jamadi, Criminal Investigation Division, Charles Graner, Steven L. Jordan, Thomas M. Pappas, Dennis E. Stevanus
          

November 5, 2003

       Detainee Assad is allegedly stripped, beaten, and forced to crawl at Abu Ghraib prison. Made to stand on a box, he is also hit in his genitals. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Assad
          

November 5, 2003

       Under the heading “recommendations/future approaches,” an interrogation report states: “Detainee has been recommended for the hole in ISO [Isolation]. Detainee should be treated harshly because friendly treatment has not been productive and because Col. Thomas M. Pappas wants fast resolution, or he will turn the detainee over to someone other than the 205th.” Other entries in November read: “walked and put in the Hole”; “pulled out of extreme segregation”; “did not seem to be bothered to return to the Hole”; “Kept in the Hole for a long time unless he started to talk”; “was in good spirits even after three days in the Hole”; and “feared the isolation Hole, and it made him upset, but not enough to break.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Thomas M. Pappas
          

November 5, 2003

       The body of deceased Abu Ghraib detainee Manadel al-Jamadi is taken away on a litter to make it appear he is only ill. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Medics soon arrive, put his body on a stretcher with a fake IV in his arm, and take him away. The identity of the prisoner is never recorded in the prison's files and the man is never assigned a detainee identification number. [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004 Sources: Ivan L. Frederick II] An autopsy is performed at the morgue of the prison facility at Baghdad International Airport concluding that the Iraqi “died of a blood clot in the head, likely a result of injuries he sustained during apprehension.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] According to an internal Pentagon report later obtained by the Denver Post, the “autopsy revealed the cause of death was blunt force trauma complicated by compromised respiration.” [Denver Post, 5/19/2004] However, others will say they believe the prisoner died as a result of harsh interrogation tactics. Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick will later write in one of his letters home (see (Mid-January 2004)), “They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] The CIA's inspector general will eventually investigate the case as a possible criminal homicide. [New York Times, 5/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Manadel al-Jamadi, Ivan L. Frederick II
          

November 5, 2003

       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 8, 2003

       Spc. Sabrina Harman connects electric wires to the fingers, toes, and penis of a detainee who is jokingly referred to as “Gilligan.” She tells him that he will be electrocuted if he falls off the box he is standing on. She later tells investigators, who ask for an explanation, that she was “just playing with him.” [Washington Post, 5/22/2004 Sources: Sabrina Harman]
People and organizations involved: Sabrina Harman
          

November 8, 2003

       A bomb explodes on the roadside within the close vicinity of Abu Ghraib. Its intended target is an Army convoy but it ends up killing a detainee instead, cutting off the back of his head. Sgt. Kenneth Davis, who is in the targeted convoy, believes the detainee was one of the prisoners he saw being tortured in late October. [The Washington Post, 8/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Kenneth Davis
          

November 8, 2003

       Six detainees escape from Camp Ganci in Abu Ghraib. [Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade]
          

Shortly after 12:00 a.m. November 9, 2003

       At Abu Ghraib, seven Iraqi detainees are brought to Cellblock 1A from one of the tent camps escorted by MPs. The seven Iraqis are suspected of having taken part in a fight. They include Nori al-Yasseri, detainee number 7787; Hussein Mohssein Mata al-Zayiadi, detainee number 19446; and four others known only by their first names: Haidar, Ahmed, Ahzem, Hashiem and Mustafa. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] At least one of them was detained on suspicion of car theft. [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] When they arrive, they all have their hands tied behind their backs with plastic handcuffs. Empty sandbags (“gunnysacks”) are put over their heads. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] According to an account later provided by MP Spc. Matthew Wisdom, the other MPs suddenly begin striking at the prisoners. Spc. Charles Graner, Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick and Sgt. Javal Davis “rotate around the detainees and abuse and hit them,” Wisdom later testifies. Graner poses for a photograph with his fist, clenched as if about to strike, close to a detainee's head. “Right after the picture [is] taken, he actually hit[s] him,” Wisdom says in his testimony. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] The MPs then throw the tied-up Iraqi men against the walls until they fall on the floor. Wisdom later recounts, “Sfc [Sgt. First Class] Snider grabbed my prisoner and threw him into a pile.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Pfc. Lynndie England, who had her birthday the day before and has come to the cellblock to visit her boyfriend Spc. Graner, says the prisoners fall in what she calls a “dog pile.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] According to Wisdom, he sees “Staff Sgt. Frederic, Sgt. Davis and Cpl. Graner walking around the pile hitting the prisoners.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Several guards take turns leaping on top of the pile. Also present is Spc. Jeremy Sivits, who later testifies: “That is when Sgt. Davis ran across the room and lunged in the air and landed in the middle of where the detainees were. I believe Davis ran across the room a total of two times and landed in the middle of the pile of detainees. ” [Washington Post, 5/22/2004] “A couple of the detainees kind of made an ‘ah’ sound, as if this hurt them or caused them some type of pain.” In the meanwhile Pfc. England and Sgt. Javal Davis stomped on the lying prisoners' fingers and feet. Sivits heard them scream because of it. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] The alleged car thief later testified during Frederick's trial, he felt someone putting his foot on his head when he was thrown into the pile of men. “He put his whole weight on my head and on my knee. I was screaming and crying.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] At this point, MP Sgt. Shannon K. Snider of the 372nd MP Company, who is working in an office on the top floor, hearing the cries of pain, leans over the railing and angrily yells at Sgt. Davis to stop abusing the prisoners. When Davis steps away from the pile of men, Snider leaves. “I believe that Sgt. Snider thought it was an isolated incident,” Sivits says, “and that when he ordered Sgt. Davis to stop, it was over.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] It was not. Testimony by Spc. Wisdom suggests some ringleaders among the MPs pressured the others to join in with the abuse. According to Wisdom, he too asked Davis not to stomp on toes. Davis then allegedly tells Wisdom: “Who are you to tell me to stop?” [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] Wisdom witnesses Frederick hitting a prisoner “in the side of his chest.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004; The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] Frederick then takes notice of Wisdom looking on. Wisdom testifies that Frederick “looked at me and said: ‘Wisdom, you've got to get some of this,’ meaning I should hit the detainees as well.” [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] According to Wisdom's account, he goes outside after this incident, [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] and proceeds to alert his team leader Sgt. Robert Jones II. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] After Snider has left the scene, and possibly Wisdom as well, the MPs put the prisoners back to their feet and remove their handcuffs. Graner orders the detainees in Arabic to take their clothes off. Graner takes the head of one of the naked but hooded prisoners in one arm and smashes his free fist into his temple, causing the prisoner to sag down on the floor. “Damn, that hurt!” Graner says jokingly. Sivits walks over to see if the detainee is still alive. “I could tell that the detainee was unconscious, because his eyes were closed and he was not moving, but I could see his chest rise and fall, so I knew he was still alive.” Maybe this is the same incident witnessed by Wisdom, as perhaps is the following. Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick writes an X on another detainee's chest with his finger and says, “Watch this.” Then he punches the prisoner on the indicated spot so massively that the hooded prisoner sways backward, falls to his knees and is gasping for air. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Frederick has singled out the alleged car thief for extra punishment. “I stood him up and punched him in the chest. I was angry. They told me he was the ringleader. He hit a female soldier in the face with a rock.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] Sivits testifies that Frederick says that “he thought he put the detainee in cardiac arrest.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] When the detainee subsequently collapses, he is checked by a female medic. She says he is “faking.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] The MPs take out their cameras to take pictures of the seven naked men and begin putting them in humiliating poses, often placing themselves in the picture as well, smiling. Graner makes them climb on top of each other to form a human pyramid, as is reported by Spc. Sabrina Harman. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004; Washington Post, 5/22/2004] “They put us two on the bottom, two on top of them, and two on top of those and on top,” Al-Zayiadi will say. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] “The pyramid lasted about 15 to 20 minutes,” according to Harman. [Washington Post, 5/22/2004] The prisoners are also made to crawl on hands and knees with MPs riding on their backs. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] “They were sitting on our backs like riding animals,” Al-Zayiadi says. Meanwhile, others are taking photographs. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] Frederick then takes hold of the prisoner whom he has singled out for additional punishment and motions him to masturbate. “I grabbed his arm by the elbow, put it on his genitals and moved it back and forth with an arm motion, and he did it.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] He makes another detainee do the same. “I lifted his hood and gave him a hand gesture, telling him to keep doing it himself.” [New York Times, 10/21/2004] After having informed his team leader Sgt. Jones, Wisdom returns to Tier 1A to find a naked detainee being forced to masturbate in front of another naked detainee on his knees before him. “I saw two naked detainees,” Wisdom will later recall, “one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open. I thought I should just get out of there. I didn't think it was right.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] According to Wisdom, Frederick says to him: “Look what these animals do when we leave them alone for two seconds.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004; The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] Meanwhile, Pfc. England makes sexually suggestive comments “in a somewhat sarcastic, fun tone of voice,” according to Wisdom. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] “I heard Pfc. England shout out, ‘He's getting hard.’ ” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Again Wisdom leaves the building to tell Sgt. Jones, who assures him the “problem [will] be addressed and dealt with,” [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] and Wisdom assumes that the problem will be taken care of. [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Others, meanwhile, are lined up and forced to masturbate. These facts are corroborated by photographs that show the MPs laughing as they look on. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Al-Zayiadi later identifies himself in one of these pictures. “They told my friend to masturbate and told me to masturbate also, while they were taking pictures,” he says. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] In the end, Al-Zayiadi says they are tossed naked but still hooded into a cell. “They opened the water in the cell and told us to lay face down in the water and we stayed like that until the morning, in the water, naked, without clothes.” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] One of the seven prisoners is likely Haydar Sabbar Abed who says he was originally arrested for not carrying his ID card. After being involved in a fight with an Iraqi prison employee in one of the tent camps, he is taken to the Hard Site. He later recalls: “They cut off our clothes and ... told us to masturbate towards this female soldier. But we didn't agree to do it, so they beat us.” He also says: “They made us act like dogs, putting leashes around our necks. They'd whistle and we'd have to bark like dogs. We thought they were going to kill us.” [BBC News Online, 8/4/2004] The next day, Wisdom asks for and is granted a transfer to a job elsewhere in the prison. Although he and Sgt. Jones say they have been angered by the abuse, they do little more than mildly confront their colleagues with their objections. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] To the detainees, the experience has been harrowing. Al-Yasseri will later call it a “night which we felt like 1,000 nights.” “I was trying to kill myself,” says Al-Zayiadi, “but I didn't have any way of doing it.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Gen. George Fay will also describe this incident in his report (see August 25, 2004), which he concludes was an the affair of MPs alone. He states that military intelligence “involvement in this abuse has not been alleged nor is it likely.” However, one of the pictures taken that night, depicting the “human pyramid,” is later used as a screen saver for a computer in the Hard Site. The screen saver is later seen by a female military intelligence interrogator, but she states, according to Gen. Fay, that she did not report the picture because she did not see it again. The same interrogator, Fay will report, had a “close personal relationship” with Staff Sgt. Frederick, [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] one of the main instigators of the abuse that night.
People and organizations involved: Hashiem, Ahzem, Ahmed, Mustafa, Sabrina Harman, The New Yorker, Matthew Wisdom, Shannon K. Snider, Haydar Sabbar Abed, Haidar, Nori al-Yasseri, George R. Fay, Jeremy C. Sivits, Charles Graner, Ivan L. Frederick II, Charles Graner, Lynndie England, Robert Jones II, Javal Davis, Hussein Mohssein Mata Al-Zayiadi
          

November 16, 2003

       Spc. Luciana Spencer of the 66th Military Intelligence Group of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade submits an interrogation plan proposing the use of the “Pride and Ego Down” technique on a detainee who she thinks is “arrogant.” In the submitted plan, she does not mention that her intent is to strip him. When she and her analyst “[place] him against the wall,” the detainee struggles and pushes the analyst. Spencer warns him that if he does so again, he will have to hand in his shoes. Spencer then instructs the detainee no to touch the other soldier, but the detainee does so anyway. The detainee finally has “his shirt, blanket, and finally his pants removed.” Spencer then concludes that the detainee is “completely uncooperative” and terminates the interrogation. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Spencer and her analyst then walk the half-naked detainee from the Hard Site, past other detainees, to his cell at Camp Vigilant. An anonymous analyst later tells the New York Times: “I remember we said, ‘Do you really have to walk him out naked?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, yeah, we have to embarrass him.’ ” Civilian interrogator Steven Stephanowicz reports the incident when he sees Spencer and the analyst escort the half-naked detainee back to his cell. Spencer is subsequently removed from the interrogation unit. [New York Times, 6/08/2004] The reason is not the abuse itself. Rather, as Spencer's section chief, Sgt. Adams, comments, “walking a semi-naked detainee across the camp could have caused a riot.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Steven Stephanowicz, Luciana Spencer
          

November 20, 2003

       Dog teams arrive at Abu Ghraib and “almost immediately” are used against the detainees (see November 24, 2003). Gen. George Fay's investigation (see August 25, 2004) of Abu Ghraib abuses will conclude that, “The use of dogs in interrogations to ‘fear up’ detainees was generally unquestioned.” Most military intelligence personnel apparently believe dogs can be used in interrogations with specific approval from Col. Thomas M. Pappas. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] According to Sgt. Michael J. Smith and Sgt. Santos A. Cardona, they are acting under instructions from Col. Thomas M. Pappas when they use unmuzzled dogs to intimidate prisoners. [New York Times, 5/22/2004] And Pappas himself believes, “incorrectly,” Gen. Fay notes, that Lt. Col. Ricardo S. Sanchez has delegated this authority to him. Pappas, concludes Gen. Fay, “[i]mproperly authorized the use of dogs during interrogations.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Nevertheless, Gen. Fay also believes, “there were early indications that MP and MI [Military Intelligence] personnel knew the use of dog teams in interrogations was abusive.” Only the Army dog teams join in with the abuse. Three Navy dog teams, who arrive simultaneously at Abu Ghraib, refuse to lend their dogs for interrogation purposes. The Navy dog handlers always ask for what specific purpose the dog is required, and when they are told “for interrogation,” they refuse to comply. “Over the next few weeks, the Navy dog teams received about eight similar calls, none of which [are] fulfilled.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Santos A. Cardona, Thomas M. Pappas, George R. Fay, Michael J. Smith, Ricardo S. Sanchez
          

November 24, 2003

       The first incident of abuse involving guard dogs reportedly occurs at Abu Ghraib. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

November 26 or 27, 2003

       A civilian contractor starts interrogating a detained Iraqi policeman at Abu Ghraib. He asks the detainee a question, and then warns that if he does not answer he will bring Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick into the cell. A military intelligence soldier witnesses Frederick going in and out of the cell several times. At one point, Frederick puts his hand over the detainee's nose, not allowing him to breathe. Frederick also uses a “collapsible nightstick” to possibly twist the detainee's arm. At the end of the session, Frederick tells the military intelligence soldier he knows ways to do this without leaving marks. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ivan L. Frederick II
          

November 29, 2003

       Personnel at Abu Ghraib photograph a detainee “dressed only in his underwear, standing with each foot on a separate box, and bent over at the waist.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

November 29, 2003

       Two military intelligence interrogators tell a detainee at Abu Ghraib that “he [will] go into the Hole if he didn't start cooperating.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

Early December 2003

       A picture is taken of an unidentified detainee being interrogated. In the photograph he is squatting on a chair, in what appears to be a “stress position.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

December 2003

       A man in Baghdad speaks to an American journalist about atrocities at Abu Ghraib: “Why do they use these actions? Even Saddam Hussein did not do that! This is not good behavior. They are not coming to liberate Iraq!” [TomDispatch.com, 1/07/2005]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein
          

December 4-22, 2003

       Saddam Salah al-Rawi is taken to Abu Ghraib and registered under number 200144. [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] For the first 18 days of his detention at Abu Ghraib, he will be subjected to a series of techniques. Interrogations follow only after this period. The first MP Al-Rawi encounters puts a hood over his head, cuffs his hands, and leads him away, “intentionally smashing [his] face against several doors along the way.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] “He locked his arm under mine and holding the back of my head he beat my head against the doors of the cells,” Al-Rawi will later recall. [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] In another testimony, Al-Rawi repeats the same allegation: “Wherever he saw a wall, he would hit me against it. Wherever there's a door, he would push me and hit me against it.” [ABC News, 8/8/2004] He is left in a cell, still hooded and cuffed, with three or four other prisoners, who are also tied up but have no hoods on. He asks one of them, whom he later names as Thamir Issawi, to lift up his hood to allow him to breathe more easily. “When he opened my hood I could see his back. He was naked. All of them around me were naked.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] It was, according to Al-Rawi, “something I have never seen in my life. A man's buttocks were facing me.” [ABC News, 8/8/2004] “I was so shocked and disgraced that I asked the man to put my hood back on, which he did.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] An hour later, soldiers take him into the hall, and order him to strip. “I refused to because it is forbidden for Muslims.” Al-Rawi faces the inevitable. “They forced off my clothes and beat me,” he says. [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] “I was completely naked with two bags on my head.” [ABC News, 8/8/2004] The soldiers then force him to stand on a box with his hands on his head. “I stood like this for an hour, or an hour and a quarter. Then some American soldiers came and they were laughing and some were beating me. They were beating me on my back and my legs. They were beating and laughing.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] His next experience is an example of the “stress positions” tactic. “Next, they made me hold a plastic chair over my head for a long time. All along, I could hear them laughing and snapping photographs.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] Elsewhere, he reportedly says, “I remember them taking pictures. I remember there were these prisoners standing beside me. I was hooded but I remember a flash from the camera and the sound of a click when they took the picture.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] At one point, he cannot take it any longer. “I became so exhausted that I fell down and hit my head on the wall.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] At that moment, “I lost consciousness.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] The soldiers then remove his hood, [ABC News, 8/8/2004] and when he regains consciousness, Al-Rawi comes face to face with his attackers. “I saw Sgt. Joyner, an Egyptian translator who wore fatigues, named Abu Hamed, two male soldiers, one with glasses, and one female soldier. ... Then a soldier from another group came and peed on me.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] [In a May 30, 2005 email to the Center for Cooperative Research, Sgt. Joyner denied abusing detainees] Next, Al-Rawi later recounts, “they started to drop cold water on me.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] “Other soldiers then dragged me along the floor in the hall and did other similar things to keep me awake all night.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] In the morning he is put in cell 42 in Tier 1-A, and allowed a few moments alone. His cell has a water tap, a loo, and a metal bunk bed, but no sheets, blanket, or mattress. [The Guardian, 5/13/2004 Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] “I was still naked and very tired. I sat against the wall, shivering and trying to sleep. I could see through some small openings in the wall that the sun was rising.” Somewhat later that morning, Al-Rawi meets with Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick and a female sergeant who take him to another room. “I was still unhooded and untied. They gave me some cloth to cover myself. Sergeant Ivan threatened me, saying that if I didn't give up any information, he would have other soldiers rape me. (Abu Hamed was translating.) I was so stunned that I couldn't reply.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] Al-Rawi is often left in his cell with his hands and feet bound; sometimes in a way designed to be highly uncomfortable. One such “stress position” leaves him with his hands and feet stuck through the metal bars of his cell door and tied together at the outside. A civilian American with a goatee beard, whom Al-Rawi identifies as “Steven,” possibly private contractor Steven Stephanowicz, forces him to adopt the so-called “scorpion” position. “They tied my hands to my feet behind my back,” explains Al-Rawi. “My left hand to my right foot and my right hand to my left foot. I was lying face down and they were beating me like this.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] During his first 18 days at Abu Ghraib, Al-Rawi says he is almost constantly tortured, “for 23 hours per day.” During this time, there are no interrogations, no investigations, and no medical treatment. He encounters the whole range of techniques, starting with the familiar nudity. “They left me naked the entire time.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] He is also subjected to sleep deprivation. “There was a stereo inside the cell and it played music with a sound so loud I couldn't sleep. I stayed like that for 23 hours.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] Al-Rawi is beaten repeatedly. “One time they knocked out two of my teeth [lower left molars].” He is also threatened with dogs. “Whenever they took me out of my cell, they used dogs to threaten me.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] On one occasion a naked Al-Rawi is pushed from behind by a guard towards another guard holding a dog on a leash. At some point the experience becomes too much to bear. “In my cell I was shouting,” said Al-Rawi, “ ‘Please come and take me. Please kill me. I am Osama bin Laden, I was in the plane that hit the World Trade Centre.’ I wished for death at that time,” he says. “I wanted to be dead 1,000 times. I asked my God to take my soul.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] After these 18 days, his preparation for interrogation has finished. He has his clothes returned and is finally questioned. Having lost all defenses he gives any answer his interrogators want. “I just didn't care anymore.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] “Whatever they asked me, I said yes. They told me I was from Ansar al-Islam [a militant Iraqi group] and I said yes. I told them the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad [another Iraqi militant group] was my cousin. They asked me about Zarqawi [a Jordanian militant thought to be in Iraq] and al-Qaeda and I said yes even though I don't know who they are.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004] He even declared being Osama bin Laden himself. “I did the explosions on September 11,” he said. “The interrogators just said, ‘Bullsh_t!’ to all of my answers and beat me.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi]
People and organizations involved: Abu Hamed, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Saddam Salah al-Rawi, Steven Stephanowicz, Ivan L. Frederick II, Thamir Issawi
          

December 4, 2003

       Lt. Col. Steven Jordan is reported in the MP log book at Abu Ghraib to have specifically allowed the removal of clothes. The entry for December 4 reads: “Spoke with Ltc. Jordan ... about MI [military intelligence] holds in Tier 1A/B. He stated he would clear up with MI and let MPs run Tiers 1A/B as far as what inmate gets (clothes).” Additionally, Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum will remembers that when he asked Jordan about the nudity of detainees, Jordan said it was “an interrogation technique.” [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, Jerry L. Phillabaum
          

December 12, 2003

       Col. Stuart A. Herrington, the head of an investigative commission charged with providing recommendations for improving intelligence and detention operations (see Fall 2003), issues a confidential 13-page report in which he documents several instances of abuse in Iraqi detention facilities. Herrington advises Gen. Barbara Fast that intelligence capabilities need to be significantly improved. Given that many detainees have been rounded up in Iraq, he concludes it is “disappointing that the opportunity to thoroughly and professionally exploit this source pool has not been maximized, in spite of your best efforts and those of several hundred MI [military intelligence] soldiers. Even one year ago, we would have salivated at the prospect of being able to talk to people like the hundreds who are now in our custody. Now that we have them, we have failed to devote the planning and resources to optimize this mission.” In addition, Herrington notices the practice of abusing prisoners. He specifically mentions Joint Task Force (JTF) 121. Some of its practices during arrest and detention, he writes, could “technically” be termed illegal. JTF-121 members are found to be abusing detainees throughout Iraq and to be using a secret interrogation facility. Captives delivered at Abu Ghraib have clearly been beaten. “Detainees captured by TF-121 have shown injuries that caused examining medical personnel to note that ‘detainee shows signs of having been beaten’.” Herrington concludes: “It seems clear that TF-121 needs to be reined in with respect to its treatment of detainees.” Sweeping roundups of Iraqis and their mistreatment will be “counterproductive ... to win the cooperation of the Iraqi citizenry.” The report also mentions the practice of “Other Government Agencies,” referring to the CIA, creating so-called “ghost detainees” by not formally registering them when they are taken into custody. [Washington Post, 12/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Stuart A. Herrington, Barbara G. Fast
          

December 12, 2003

       A detainee, who appears to be mentally unstable, is bitten by a dog in the Hard Site at Abu Ghraib. The incident is photographed, and according to the later report (see August 25, 2004) by Gen. George Fay, “appears to be the result of MP harassment and amusement.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: George R. Fay
          

December 14 or 15, 2003

       Dogs are used during an interrogation at Abu Ghraib. An interrogation team requests the use of dogs for a detainee arrested in relation to the capture of Saddam Hussein. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Hussein
          

December 18, 2003

       A picture is taken of an incident of abuse at Abu Ghraib involving a dog. A “high value” Syrian detainee is photographed kneeling on the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back. An Army dog handler stands in front of him with his black dog, on a leash but not muzzled, a few feet away from the detainee. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
          

December 18, 2003

       “We have a very high rate with our style of getting them to break,” Sgt. Ivan Frederick writes to a relative, Mimi Frederick, in an e-mail sent from Abu Ghraib. “They usually end up breaking within hours.” [New York Times, 5/9/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ivan L. Frederick II
          

Late 2003

       At Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, MPs hide prisoners from a Red Cross delegation by shifting them around the complex. These prisoners, or “ghost detainees,” are a group of detainees that have been imprisoned without names, charges, or other documentation. According to Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba's February 26 report (see February 26, 2004), a number of jails operated by the 800th Military Police Brigade “routinely held” such prisoners “without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention.” Taguba will note that the practice is a “violation of international law.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/5/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004; Washington Post, 5/11/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade]
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba  Additional Info 
          

January 4, 2004

       Huda al-Azzawi and her siblings are detained at Abu Ghraib. Numbered 156283, she is to spend a total of 197 days in the prison, [Le Monde, 10/12/2004] of which 156 days will be in solitary confinement at the Hard Site in one of the upstairs cells. [The Guardian, 9/20/2004] She will be interrogated thirty times. [Le Monde, 10/12/2004] Her cell at the Hard Site measures two square meters, and initially it has no bed and just a bucket for a loo. For the first three weeks she is forbidden to talk. Guards give her a Koran. With a stolen pen, she records her experiences in its margins. In the first weeks at Abu Ghraib, Al-Azzawi witnesses many instances of torture. “The guards used wild dogs. I saw one of the guards allow his dog to bite a 14-year-old boy on the leg. The boy's name was Adil. Other guards frequently beat the men. I could see the blood running from their noses. They would also take them for compulsory cold showers even though it was January and February. From the very beginning, it was mental and psychological war.” [The Guardian, 9/20/2004] Possibly the worst she sees, are incidents of rape. “I saw men that had water bottles forced up their butt by soldiers.” To the question whether women also ran the risk of rape, she says, “the women were relatively sheltered.” But it may also be more difficult to learn of women being raped. “You won't find a single one who will testify to having been raped. A rape, for a man, is the supreme humiliation, but for a woman, it is a death sentence by her own family.” [Le Monde, 10/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Adil, Huda al-Azzawi, Nahla al-Azzawi, Ali al-Azzawi, Mu'taz al-Azzawi
          

January 13, 2004

       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 13, 2004

       Spc. Joseph Darby, a 24-year-old member of the 372nd MP Company at Abu Ghraib, slips an envelope under the door of the Army's Criminal Investigations Division. The envelope contains an anonymous note and a CD with roughly one thousand photographs of abuses that took place at the prison, mostly between October and December of the previous year. [Knight Ridder News, 5/10/2004; The New Yorker, 5/24/2004] Darby was collecting photographs from his tour in Iraq and received them inter alia from Spc. Graner. “It was just wrong,” Darby later declares. “I knew I had to do something.” He talked about it with Graner who allegedly replied: “The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, ‘I love to make a grown man piss himself.’ ” [Washington Post, 5/22/2004]
People and organizations involved: Joseph Darby
          

January 16, 2004

       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 16, 2004

       Gen. Janis Karpinski is informed of the abuses depicted in the photographs turned in by Spc. Joseph Darby a few days before (see January 13, 2004). She is an hour and a half away from Baghdad engaged in some kind of “security mission.” The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) commander informs her by e-mail “almost as if he thought of me as an after-fact or an afterthought,” she later says. [Signal Newspaper of Santa Clara, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Criminal Investigation Division, Janis L. Karpinski
          

January 17, 2004

       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

       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
          

January 21, 2004

       CNN reports that US male and female soldiers posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners and that the focus of the Army's investigation is Abu Ghraib. [CNN, 1/21/2004]
          

January 23, 2004

       Gen. Janis Karpinski sees Abu Ghraib photos. [Signal Newspaper of Santa Clara, 7/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Janis L. Karpinski
          

January 24, 2004

       The rate at which detainees are released from Abu Ghraib appears to be increasing. [US News and World Report, 6/21/2004] On this day, the total number of detainees held by US troops in Iraq stands at 8,968 according to a report by Human Rights Watch. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Human Rights Watch
          

January 31, 2004

       The investigation of the Abu Ghraib abuse case is taken up by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. Taguba is the deputy commanding general of the Third Army and of the CFLCC in Kuwait, a post he was assigned in July 2003. [New York Times, 5/11/2004] He is administratively a direct superior of Karpinski.
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba
          

February 24, 2004

       “There was never enough food and one day,” Huda al-Azzawi, detained at Abu Ghraib (see January 4, 2004), recalls, “I came across an old woman who had collapsed from hunger. The Americans were always eating lots of hot food. I found some in a packet in a bin and gave it to her. They caught me and threw me in a one-meter-square punishment cell. They then poured cold water on me for four hours.” [The Guardian, 9/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Huda al-Azzawi
          

February 26, 2004

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba files a 53-page classified report which finds that between October and December of 2003, members of the 372nd Military Police Company and US intelligence community engaged in numerous incidents of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” against prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. As evidence, he cites “detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.” The photographs—which are later leaked to the press (see Mid-April 2004), causing an enormous international public outcry—are not included in the report. [The New Yorker, 5/10/2004; The New Yorker, 5/17/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] Taguba also takes issue with the November 5 (see November 5, 2003) Ryder report which concluded that the military police units had not intentionally used inappropriate confinement practices. “Contrary to the findings of MG [Maj. Gen.] Ryder's report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to ‘set the conditions’ for MI interrogations.” Army intelligence officers, CIA agents, and private contractors “actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.” [The New Yorker, 5/10/2004 Sources: Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade] He presents his report to his commander on March 3 (see March 3, 2004).
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba  Additional Info 
          

March 2004

       Saddam Salah al-Rawi has spent three months in room 42 of Tier 1A at the Hard Site of Abu Ghraib. He is given one meal every 12 hours. When his health deteriorates he is moved to camp 7, tent 2. “I was weak at that time, and I had many health problems.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Salah al-Rawi
          

March 3, 2004

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba out-briefs the findings of his investigation to Gen. David McKiernan. [New York Times, 5/10/2004; Slate, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Peter Pace, Donald Rumsfeld, David D. McKiernan, Antonio M. Taguba
          

March 9, 2004

       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
          

March 12, 2004

       Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba presents his report (see February 26, 2004) on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib to his commanders. [Truthout, no date] The report is “very closely held” among the Army's senior leadership and the report is only accessible to top officials on a secure computer network. Congress is not informed of the report or its findings. [Baltimore Sun, 5/6/2004] It is classified as “Secret / No Foreign Dissemination.” Neither the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, nor the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will later say they know why the report was classified when asked at a Pentagon press briefing on May 4. Such a classification may be in violation of US law. Section 1.7 of Executive Order 12958 reads: “In no case shall information be classified in order to ... conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error [or to] prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency ....” [Secrecy News, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antonio M. Taguba, Peter Pace, US Congress, Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 23, 2004

       Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick's uncle William Lawson sends an e-mail about the abuses and their documentation to the website of retired Col. David Hackworth, stating: “We have contacted the Red Cross, Congress both parties [sic], Bill O'Reilly [a Fox News Channel host] and many others. Nobody wants to touch this.” Within minutes, an associate of Hackworth calls him over the phone. Hackworth, who is described by the New York Times as “a muckraker who was always willing to take on the military establishment,” then puts Lawson in touch with the producers of the CBS news program “60 Minutes II,” who will eventually air the story on Abu Ghraib. Lawson's efforts to publicize the abuses are motivated by his fear, and that of his brother-in-law, Frederick's father, that Frederick will take the fall for what they believe involves higher ranking officers and officials. Seventeen members of Congress, however, ignored Lawson's plea before he contacted Hackworth. “The Army had the opportunity for this not to come out ..., but the Army decided to prosecute those six GI's because they thought me and my family were a bunch of poor, dirt people who could not do anything about it. But unfortunately, that was not the case.” [New York Times, 5/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: David Hackworth, Bill O'Reilly, International Committee of the Red Cross, US Congress, Ivan L. Frederick II
          

March 25, 2004

       Four months after his arrest, Saddam Salah al-Rawi is finally informed of his charges. “Some soldiers gave me a paper in Arabic with my charges: ‘suspected member of a terrorist group.’ The paper said some other things about the Geneva Conventions. They told me to sign it. I wrote on it that I just wanted to know my charges so I could defend myself. Then I signed it.” [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Salah al-Rawi
          

March 28, 2004

       Saddam Salah al-Rawi is released. An apology is made, some clothes given, and $10 paid. The money that was taken from him (see December 2-3, 2003), is never returned. [Sources: Testimony of Saddam Saleh Al Rawi] Then one of the soldiers steps up to him with a warning, saying, “You were inside the prison and you saw some good things and some bad things. Forget the bad things and remember only the good.” [The Guardian, 5/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Saddam Salah al-Rawi
          

End of April, 2004

       News of the commotion surrounding the Abu Ghraib scandal apparently does not reach prisoners at the Hard Site. Huda al-Azzawi says she heard about the scandal only after her release in July 2004. “Retrospectively, I realize that after the scandal broke, our situation improved,” she later recalls. [Le Monde, 10/12/2004] She is now allowed to exercise in the yard outside for 10 minutes a day. She is given a bed, and assigned a new female guard, “Mrs. Palmer,” who tries to learn Arabic. Later, as hundreds of detainees are released, Al-Azzawi and her sister are moved from their cells to a tent. Three US generals will come to interview her in an apparent investigation of the death of her brother Ayad (see December 24, 2003). But according to her, no apology is offered. [The Guardian, 9/20/2004]
People and organizations involved: Huda al-Azzawi
          

April 2004

       The Denver Post reports that three US Army soldiers from a military intelligence battalion have been fined “at least five hundred dollars and demoted in rank” after an investigation into an incident involving the assault of a female Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004]
          

April 20, 2004

       The worst mortar attack on Abu Ghraib to date takes place. Twenty-two Iraqi detainees are killed and more than a 100 injured. [American Forces Press Service, 9/21/2004]
          

Evening April 28, 2004

       CBS “60 Minutes II” airs the Abu Ghraib prison photos (see March 23, 2004) having learned that the New Yorker is about to publish a piece on abuses at Abu Ghraib. Bush reportedly first learns about these photos from the television report. [Baltimore Sun, 5/6/2004; St. Petersburg Times, 5/9/2004; Sydney Morning Herald, 5/6/2004; CBS News, 5/6/2004] Most of the photos show prisoners being forced to engage in humiliating sexual acts. For example in one photo a hooded naked man is forced to masturbate as a grinning female MP, Lynndie England, looks on, giving a thumbs-up. Another photo shows two naked hooded men, one standing, while the other is kneeling in front of him, simulating oral sex. The Bush administration will portray these forced acts of humiliation as the immature pranks of low ranking soldiers. But others will argue that the acts were ordered from above with the intent to exploit Arab culture's conservative views with regard to sex and homosexuality (see (2002-March 2003)). [The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; The New Yorker, 5/10/2004] A different picture shows a hooded-man with his arms spread and wires dangling from his fingers, toes, and penis. He was apparently told that if he fell off the box he would be electricuted. The tactic is known as the “The Vietnam,” an “arcane torture method known only to veterans of the interrogation trade” that had been first used by Brazilians in the 1970s. [Seattle Times, 5/14/2004; Newsweek, 5/24/2004 Sources: Darius Rejali] Another picture is of Manadel al-Jamadi who was killed after being “stressed” too much (see (7:00 a.m.) November 4, 2003). [The New Yorker, 5/10/2004; The New Yorker, 5/17/2004] “A generation from now,” one observer notes, “historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq.” [Washington Monthly, November 2004]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

April 29-30, 2004

       Media outlets in the US, other than CBS, appear less interested in the Abu Ghraib scandal than elsewhere. The Guardian of London notes, “[I]t was no surprise that newspapers around the world made huge, horrified play of the events at the Abu Ghraib prison. It was more of a surprise, however, that the story did not receive the same level of coverage in the US papers.” [The Guardian, 4/30/2004]
          

April 30, 2004

       Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor or the Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi, comments on the news regarding abuse at Abu Ghraib, saying, “The liberators are worse than the dictators.” He adds: “This is the straw that broke the camel's back for America.” [Reuters, 4/30/2004]
People and organizations involved: Abdel-Bari Atwan
          

April 30, 2004

       New Yorker magazine publishes an in-depth article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on the Abu Ghraib abuses, as well as excerpts of the Taguba report (see February 26, 2004). The article includes some of the graphic photos of the abuses that were turned in by Spc. Joseph Darby (see January 13, 2004) in January. [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Soon thereafter, subordinates of Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith send out an “urgent” e-mail around the Pentagon warning officials not to read the Taguba report and not to mention the report to anybody including family members, even though major parts of it are now part of the public record. Newsweek later quotes a military lawyer as saying, that Feith has turned his office into a “ministry of fear.” [Newsweek, 6/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Joseph Darby, Douglas Feith, Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker
          
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