Kucinich Calls for Expanded Investigation of Iraqi TortureDemocratic Dennis Kucinich demanded "the immediate removal and replacement of all military and non-military personnel who played any role whatsoever in the operation of the Abu Ghraib prison" near Baghdad where Iraqi detainees were allegedly tortured and abused.
Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich today demanded “the immediate removal and replacement of all military and non-military personnel who played any role whatsoever in the operation of the Abu Ghraib prison” near Baghdad where Iraqi detainees were allegedly tortured and abused.
New allegations today that the International Red Cross was deliberately deterred from investigating conditions at the prison “has all the earmarks of a cover-up, and until this matter is fully investigated and the perpetrators are brought to justice, everyone who is any way connected with that facility is under a cloud of suspicion,” Kucinich said. That includes military police assigned to the prison, military intelligence personnel, CIA agents, and private security contractors.
According to news reports here and in England, the former head of U.S. military prisons in Iraq, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, said the prison was staffed by personnel under her command, but the cell block where the abuses allegedly occurred “were under the control” of military intelligence. She also charged that military intelligence officers went to great lengths to try to exclude the ICRC (International Committee for the Red Cross) from access to that interrogation wing.”
Amnesty International has also disclosed receiving “frequent reports of torture or other ill-treatment by Coalition Forces during the past year.” The organization said “virtually none of the allegations of torture or ill-treatment has been adequately investigated by the authorities.”
“The allegations of torture, abuse and humiliation, in and of themselves are appalling,” Kucinich said, “but now several different sources are claiming that there was a concerted attempt to conceal those activities.” Kucinich pointed out that a report completed several months ago by Maj. Gen. Donald J. Ryder, the Army’s top law-enforcement officer, concluded that military intelligence did not order military police to put pressure on prisoners to prepare them for interrogations. A subsequent investigation and report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba details significant examples and evidence of torture. Information regarding both reports was published over the weekend in the New Yorker magazine.
“Until this matter is thoroughly investigated and all information is made public, how do we know who and what to believe?” Kucinich asked. Until those questions are satisfactorily answered, “anyone even remotely connected with that prison should be removed, reassigned, or suspended.”