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Report on Iraq abuse to blame two dozen; no senior officers
WASHINGTON -- An Army investigation into the abuse of inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison will blame at least two dozen people and conclude that while no senior commanders ordered the abusive acts, they should be faulted for inadequate supervision, two defense officials said Thursday.
The officials said the report is expected to be provided to Congress next week. They discussed the matter only on condition of anonymity because it is still under internal review.
In addition to the military intelligence personnel who are a key focus of the investigation report, the Army found that military medical personnel became aware of abuse at Abu Ghraib while treating injured prisoners but failed to report it to their command superiors.
The treatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the notorious prison where inmates were tortured and killed during the regime of Saddam Hussein, grew into an international scandal after photographs surfaced last spring showing U.S. soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating prisoners.
An initial Army report, by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, said soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company had committed "sadistic, blatant and wanton" criminal acts at the prison. Of the seven military police soldiers charged with the abuses, one has pleaded guilty; lawyers for the other six have argued that they had followed orders from military intelligence officers.
The New York Times, which first reported the finding on the medical personnel, said in its Thursday editions that it obtained medical records showing that medics had been in the area of the prison where the abuse occurred several times to treat suspicious wounds.
A separate report on the prison cases, launched by Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, examined the role of military intelligence, including the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, the unit that was in control of interrogations at Abu Ghraib under the command of Col. Thomas M. Pappas. The Fay investigation found no evidence to directly blame anyone above Pappas, defense officials said Thursday.
Although Fay concluded that no senior commanders ordered, encouraged or condoned the abusive acts, his report said they should be faulted for allowing conditions that led to the misdeeds. Fay found that commanders did not provide sufficient supervision and oversight of the prison system.
The Fay report places direct blame on at least two dozen people, who are expected to face disciplinary action ranging from administrative punishment that could damage or end their military careers to criminal charges, the officials said. The New York Times reported that the two dozen include civilian contractors and CIA officers in addition to Army military intelligence soldiers.