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Army Releases Abu Ghraib Documents

They support assertions by a punished officer that she was innocent of two main allegations.

March 17, 2006|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Army documents released Thursday substantiate assertions by Janis Karpinski, the highest-ranking officer punished in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, that she was innocent of two principal allegations lodged against her by the officer who initially investigated the case.

Among the documents was a January 2005 report by the Army inspector general's office that found insufficient evidence to support allegations that Karpinski had made a misleading statement to other Army investigators and that she failed to obey an order in connection with disciplinary action against soldiers under her command.

The Army had previously made public the fact that the inspector general had not upheld those two allegations, but the report elaborating on the circumstances and the findings was not released until Thursday.

The inspector general did uphold one allegation: that Karpinski, in her role as commander of a military police brigade responsible for Abu Ghraib, was derelict in the performance of her duty to ensure adequate protection of her soldiers at the prison.

In her formal response to the report, which she submitted on Sept. 19, 2004, and which was among the documents released by the Army on Thursday, she wrote that there was no merit to the charge of dereliction of duty, stating that she had repeatedly asked for reinforcements and other assets but was denied by higher authorities.

She wrote in her rebuttal that senior U.S. commanders in Iraq had "shirked their responsibility to provide support to my brigade, including but not limited to logistics, personnel replacement and force protection."

The Army report also cited evidence that she failed to properly respond to an International Committee of the Red Cross report in 2003 that cited numerous deficiencies in the treatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib.

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