[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 02:26 GMT 03:26 UK
US unit denies jail 'dogs' charge
Brig Gen Janis Karpinski and US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at Abu Ghraib jail, 20 July 2003
Karpinski says she has been made a scapegoat
The unit overseeing US detention operations in Iraq has denied that prisoner abuse was encouraged by military leaders.

General Janis Karpinski, who used to head the unit, told the BBC she was being made a scapegoat for the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

She said more damaging information would emerge at the trials of military police accused of involvement.

She said her successor had told her that prisoners were like dogs.

This allegation flies in the face of the philosophy of humane treatment for all detainees that Major General Miller adopted
Colonel Barry Johnson
Military police spokesman

They should not be allowed to believe they were more than dogs, General Geoffrey Miller was alleged to have said.

However, a spokesman for General Miller, Colonel Barry Johnson, said General Karpinski's statement was categorically false, and General Miller had made no such comparison to anyone.

"This allegation flies in the face of the philosophy of humane treatment for all detainees, under all circumstances, that Major General Miller adopted first at Guantanamo, and now at his position in Iraq," he said.

Gen Karpinski was in charge of the military police unit that ran Abu Ghraib and other prisons when the abuses were committed. She has been suspended but not charged.

'Serious questions'

Photographs showing naked Iraqi detainees being humiliated and maltreated first started to surface in April, sparking shock and anger across the world.

Gen Karpinski said military intelligence took over part of the Abu Ghraib jail to "Gitmoize" their interrogations - make them more like what was happening in the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which is nicknamed "Gitmo".

Top commander Ricardo Sanchez must be asked serious questions about what he knew about the abuse and when, she added.

Gen Sanchez said in May that he took a personal responsibility for the abuse by soldiers at Abu Ghraib jail. But he denied authorising interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation, stress positions or sensory deprivation.

A US general who has investigated the abuse has blamed the soldiers - and found no evidence "of a policy or a direct order given to these soldiers to conduct what they did".

But Gen Karpinski believes the soldiers had not taken the pictures of their own accord.

Brigadier General Janis Karpinski
"I believe I was a convenient scapegoat"


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific