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Excerpts From Prison Inquiry

'Sadistic, Blatant and Wanton Criminal Abuses' Reported at Abu Ghraib

May 03, 2004

Excerpts of the Army's investigative report on alleged abuses at U.S. military prisons in Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca, Iraq. It was requested by the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and written by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba:


Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade; Secret/No Foreign Dissemination


Several potential suspects rendered full and complete confessions regarding their personal involvement and the involvement of fellow soldiers in this abuse. Several potential suspects invoked their rights under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution....

Between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility, numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force.... The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence....


I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

* Punching, slapping and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet.

* Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees.

* Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing.

* Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time.

* Forcing naked male detainees to wear women's underwear.

* Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped.

* Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them.

* Positioning a naked detainee on a box [of meals ready to eat], with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes and penis to simulate electric torture.

* Writing "I am a Rapest" (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year-old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked.

* Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee's neck and having a female soldier pose for a picture.

* A male MP [military police] guard having sex with a female detainee.

* Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee.

* Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.

In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses:

* Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees.

* Threatening detainees with a charged 9-millimeter pistol.

* Pouring cold water on naked detainees.

* Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair.

* Threatening male detainees with rape.

* Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell.

* Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broomstick.


Military Intelligence (MI) interrogators and other U.S. Government Agency interrogators actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses....

Sgt. Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company, stated in his sworn statement as follows: "I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section, wing 1A, being made to do various things that I would question morally.... Also the wing belongs to MI, and it appeared MI personnel approved of the abuse." Sgt. Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said, he stated: "Loosen this guy up for us. Make sure he has a bad night. Make sure he gets the treatment." ... Finally, Sgt. Davis stated: "The MI staffs to my understanding have been giving ... compliments ... like, 'Good job, they're breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They're giving out good information, finally, and keep up the good work.' Stuff like that."

Mr. Adel L. Nakhla, a U.S. civilian contract translator, [said], "They made them do strange exercises by sliding on their stomach, jump up and down, throw water on them and made them some wet, called them all kinds of names such as 'gays,' do they like to make love to guys, then they handcuffed their hands together and their legs with shackles and started to stack them on top of each other." ...


The 320th MP Battalion and the 372nd MP Company had received no training in detention/internee operations. I also find that very little instruction or training was provided to MP personnel on the applicable rules of the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war ... [and] few, if any, copies of the Geneva Conventions were ever made available to MP personnel or detainees....

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