Friday, July 02, 2004

Prisoner Abuse: Army Report Criticizes Training and Practices at Prisons >New York Times

The New York Times > Washington > Prisoner Abuse: Army Report Criticizes Training and Practices at Prisons:
"A broad new Army report concludes that serious problems in training, organization and policy regarding military detention operations in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, senior defense officials said Thursday.

The inquiry, by Lt. Gen. Paul T. Mikolashek, the Army inspector general, criticizes Army policy on detainee operations as a cold-war relic better suited to dealing with Soviet military prisoners on a European battlefield than with insurgents and Islamic jihadists fighting in Iraq, officials said. It cites inadequate training for military jailers and interrogators. And it describes poor leadership, overcrowded cells and poor medical care for Iraqi prisoners."

Taken together, these and many other of the 30 major findings paint a sobering picture of conditions, policies and practices that left the Army ill prepared to hold and question thousands of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib, officials said.

Earlier drafts found no systemic abuse at American-run prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan, and officials said that had not changed in the final report. The report will probably not assign blame to senior American officers in Iraq, defense officials said. That task, officials said, will be left to one or more of the half-dozen other inquiries under way.

General Mikolashek is putting the finishing touches on his report, which the acting Army secretary, Les Brownlee, is expected to make public in the next couple of weeks, officials said. Descriptions of the report's findings were provided by defense officials familiar with its general contents, but the report has not yet been made available to Congress for an independent assessment.

"It's going to be a tough report," said one defense official who has been briefed on the outlines of the report, which is based on a four-month review. "It will show that these various problems helped to create and contribute to an environment that left room for human error and possibly misconduct by soldiers."
con·cept: Prisoner Abuse: Army Report Criticizes Training and Practices at Prisons >New York Times