Fay Report Annex: Letter from Battalion Commander of the 320th Military Police Battalion re: Behavior at Abu Ghraib Detention Facility

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<p>Battalion Commander's letter re: actions and inactions at AG, which led to prisoner abuse. Acknowledged responsibility for all actions taken by soldiers assigned to the 320th MP BN, discussed that &quot;egregious acts were committed in wing 1A of the Hard Site.&quot; Quoted as saying: &quot;When [redacted] returned to Camp Bucca shortly before midnight, she took vigilante justice against EPW that she believed had raped [redacted]. [redacted] 4 out of the 10 320th MP BN soldiers abused some of the EPWs; a clear indication that the abuse was the responsibility of those individuals acting alone and was not condoned by myself or any leader at Camp Bucca.&quot; On Jan. 13, 2004, a person turned over a CD of photographs over to CID. .</p>

Monday, April 12, 2004
Wednesday, March 2, 2005




APO AE 09432

12 April 04

MEMORANDUM THR tiff Judge Advocate, III Corp

F°411111111111111111 CG, III Corps

SUBJECT: Rebuttal of AR 15-6 foMIIIIIIIIIIP320 th MP Battalion

1. I acknowledge responsibility for al actions taken by soldiers assigned to the 320 th Military

Police (MP) Battalion (BN). I have been thoroughly embarrassed and humiliated by being

suspended from my duties while the 320 th MP BN has returned home. I acknowledge the failure

to implement all corrective security measures as ordered byBG Karpinski;and documented in

GOMOR dated 10 November 2003. 1 acknowledge failing to have all soldiers assigned to the

320th MP BN trained in Internment/Resettlement (UR) Operations and knowledgeable in the

protections afforded detainees in the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of Prisoners of

War. I acknowledge failing to properly supervise soldiers working and "visiting" Tier 1 of the

Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib understanding that proper supervision would have prevented prisoner


2. I offer the following information in deciding on administrative actions to be taken against me.

I assumed command of the 320th MP BN in June 2002. I was selected for promotion in

November 2002. In accordance with Army Reserve policy, I found an 0-6 position and

requested a transfer of units in January 2003 to obtain my promotion. My request was denied

because activation of the 320 th MP BN was expected. The battalion was called to active duty on

10 February 2003. After packing unit equipment to operate a 4000 man Theater Internment

Facility (TIF), the 320 th MP BN began the mobilization validation process at Fort Dix on 19

February 2003. At Fort Dix, the 320 th MP BN received training on the Geneva Convention, Law

of War, and Arab cultural awareness. On 12 March 2003, the 320 th MP BN departed Fort Dix

for Kuwait. The battalion was able to validate in only three weeks when other units exceeded

five weeks at Fort Dix at that time because of demonstrated expertise in UR operations. First

Army and the 78th Training Division used the tactical SOP of the 320 th MP BN to validate the

mobilization readiness exercise of all other I/R battalions. In 2000 and 2001, the 320 th MP BN

performed its wartime mission in South Korea extremely effectively. The 320 th MP BN had

served as a test bed for various versions of the National Detainee Reporting System (NDRS) so

that personnel were well prepared to process and account for EPW. The competence of the

battalion and an aggressiVe training schedule enabled the 320 th MP BN to arrive at Fort Dix

weeks after the 310 th MP BN and 744th MP BN and depart weeks ahead of those battalions.

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3. The 320th MP BN arrived in Kuwait on 13 March 2003. While waiting at Camp Arian, at

my request the 320 th MP BN received another cultural awareness class from the Free Iraqi Force

(FIF) which included a mock prison scenario involving female MPs .vin orders to Iraqi EPW.

On 22 March 2003, the 320th MP BN operations staff to includ

and several other NCOs entered Iraq as part of the advance party for e Brigade

MP Brigade staff was slow to appear at the TIF near Umm Qasr, Iraq.) By 29 March 2003, I had

moved the HHC of the 320 th MP BN and two recently arrived MP Guard Companies to the TIF

by commercial 20 ton dump trucks, SSTs used to empty porta-lavatories, and commercial busses.

My units were committed to action while vehicles and containers of MTOE equipment were

aboard ship. (Vehicles and equipment arrived in Kuwait in late April through late May.) On l

April 2003,1 assumed command of Camp Freddy from a British Air Defense Artillery unit.

Camp Freddy was not designed to TIF standards in that compounds were small and located very

close to one another with a total design capacity of about 2500. By 13 April 2003, the

population of Camp Freddy exceeded 7200. All soldiers under my command were working a

scheduled twelve hour shift (routinely working 14-16 hour shifts) without any days off. I

typically worked 18-19 hours daily. During April, I recall two meetings that I held with officers

and NCOs regarding the review of proper treatment of detainees following alleged events that

were investigated and subsequently found to be groundless . By mid-May, engineers had

completed the TIF named Camp Bucca, Holding Area Freddy was closed, and the 320 th MP.BN

executive officer had been REFRAD. (The battalion CSM was held at Fort Dix for medical

problems until December 2003.) We continued to provide security for in-processing, the

medical clinic, Tribunal screening, and the Joint Forces Interrogation Facility. The 320 th MP BN

assumed so e escort missions from the 223w MP CO. On the afternoon of 12 May 200311.

as assigned on the first escort mission along with 9 other soldiers to take an empty

us to TSP Whitford at Tallil, pick up prisoners, and return to Camp Bucca for processing. Prior

to departure, a mission briefing was held which included a review of the Rules of Engagement.

At this briefing, I emphasized treating the EPWs firmly, but with respect and emphasized

utilizing the 223'd MP CO personnel to rcsol . ' tions (223 14 MP CO was

providing the left seat/right seat ride.) Whe turned to Camp Bucca shortl


b .cinight, she took vigilante justice against EPW that she believed had rape

4 out of the 10 320th MP BN soldiers abused some of the EPWs; a clear indication that

e abuse was the responsibility of those individuals acting alone and was not condoned by .

myself or any leader at Camp Bucca.

4. Between April and June 2003, four different MP Guard Companies were assigned to the 320 th

transition MP BN for varying lengths of time. This resulted in a very dynamic mision with

being the norm. In June 2003, the 800 th MP Brigade made me the Commandant of Camp Bucca

when they relocated to Victory Camp. During June and July 2003, I was responsible for a

population of about 3000 prisoners and 1500 soldiers (320 th MP BN, 530th MP BN, and 724th MP

BN). On 17 July 2003, the 320th MP BN was ordered to relocate to FOB Abu Ghraib and

assume command and control of the prison complex to include Camp Vigilant, Camp Ganci, and

the renovated prison facility. I was assigned the missions to construct Camp Ganci, improve

Camp Vigilant, and be prepared to operate the renovated, existing prison complex. I was told by

the Deputy Commander of the 800 th MP Brigade,-that the 320 th MP BN was selected

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over the 530th MP BN and 724 th MP BN because the 320th MP BN had demonstrated a greater

ability to accomplish this assignment than other battalions.

5. I arrived at Abu Ghraib with the main body on 24 July 2003 without the battalion S-4 who

was evacuated to Walter Reed Hospital for knee surgery. (The escapes and shootings at Camp

Vigilant on 4 June and 13 June attributed to the 320 MP BN on report pages 27 and 28 occurred

while the 400 th MP BN was responsible for Camp Vigilant.) Within ten days, all the concertina

wire for all eight Camp Ganci compounds had been laid. Simultaneously, we were receiving

prisoners from Operation Victory Bounty into Camp Vigilant and Iraqi criminals into compound

1 of Camp Ganci. We immediately assisted the Military Intelligence (MI) unit with intelligence

collection effort by isolating detainees as much as possible and by executing sleep management.

asked the battalion S- at least daily if there were any prisoner accountability

(Annex A) Accountin . at all times was an extremely high priority for me. I

•problems. It was a very rare event when there was a lapse in prisoner' ccountability. I visited

the processing area and the compounds daily and asked about compound manifests. I found the

compound manifests to be accurate with a few minor changes required. These changes to NDRS

were worked behind the priority of physically accepting detainees, transferring detainees to

another detention facility, or releasing detainees. Inaccurate NDRS information does not

constitute an inability for me to account for detainees. Whenever there was an escape, a timely

report identifying the escaped detainee was filed. I believe that_as quoted on report

page 24, to be in error. I believe that the escapes he identified are recorded as e. on report page

28 and p. on report page 31. I find confusion understandable as he was the platoon .

leader ' escorts an as in charge of the Hard-Site until December 2003

whe was REF

6. At the end of July 2003, seven PR&Cs were submitted for logistical support that gilt

800th MP Brigade S-4, combined into a single PR&C only to realize its impracticality o

the PR&C process and was subsequently forced to divide the one huge PR&C into several

PR&Cs. The net effect was that support requested in July 2003 was not received until October

2003. Since arriving at FOB Abu Ghraib, there was a continuous expansion of facilities and of

number of personnel working there. My schedule at Abu Ghraib consisted of 18-19 hour days

without any days off. This schedule enabled me to visit many soldiers and observe operations. I

reviewed all statements from soldiers assigned to the 320 th MP BN (Report Annex 59, 60, 62, 63,

64, 68, 71, 73, 76, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 101, 105, and 106) and conclude that I was seen

frequently while BG Karpinski was rarely seen which contradicts in part paragraph 19 on report

page 43. .

7. Expansion of operational compounds in Camp Ganci was very painful because of the lack of

support. Water, food, poria-lavatories, light sets, and sufficient personnel were issues that took

significant effort to overcome to open additional compounds to meet the growing prisoner

population. On 25 August 2003, the first three wings and the medical clinic of the Hard-Site

opened while the remainder of the prison remained under renovation. No CPA representative

was assigned on-site. The Iraqi correction officers assigned by the Ministry of Justice were

supervised by MPs.

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8. Force protection was a major issue from day one of arrival. FOB Abu Ghraib is routinely

subjected to small arms, rocket propelled grenade, mortar, and rocket attack. An internal threat

arises from local labor used to renovate the Hard-Site. The 320 th MP BN provided all perimeter

security and force protection until A CO of the 1/504 PLR arrived at the end of September 2003

and until the . 165'h MI BN arrived in December 2003 to assume the northern perimeter and assist

at the entry control point. On the night of 16 August 2003, 59 prisoners were injured (43

required Medevac) and 6 prisoners were killed when a mortar round impacted in Compound B of

Camp Vigilant and Compound 2 of Camp Ganci. On 23 September 2003, two MI soldiers were

amp Vigilant. At this time, I requested a Combat Stress team visit.

Combat Stress team periodically returned because of the high

ace o • len at FOB Abu Ghraib. This contradicts in part the conclusion

reached in paragraph 20 on page 43 of the report.

9. The CJFT-7 IG, inspected FOB Abu Ghraib in late September 2003 and exited

with the observation ou arc the forgotten. and that we were doing the

best job possible wi e resources given, but wer eiving woefully inadequate support. On

30 September 2003, inspected FOB Abu Ghraib. He made FOB Abu Ghraib an

enduring base. He also uuuated efforts to correct deficiencies. My early October 2003 was

spent escorting primary CJTF-7 staff officers on inspections of FOB Abu Ghraib, integrating

four new MP companies into confinement operations, providing information to an engineer team

with FOB Abu Ghraib. BG Kaminski

aster plan, and familiarizing01111111116acti as the 320th MP BN CSM)

reassigne from serving

u Ghraib. (I strong y recommended to

BG Karpinski that she provide a staff fo but a staff never arrived.) On 15

October 2003, the 372" MP CO relieved the _ MP CO of operation of Camp Vigilant and the

Hard-Site. On the morning of 18 October 2003. BG Karpinski reassigned me to the 800 th MP

Brigade staff. She said that wanted a new face and new ideas. She wanted me to work with

CPA on detention facilities. ould be the interim 320 th MP BN commander for two

weeks until someone else could be found. She had x ected the mayor of FOB Abu Ghraib

and not me to bricf.and escort during his inspection the previous day.

e wanted CITF-7 to provide a mayor. Finall suggested that I go to Camp

Arian to meet with the 99 th C Conunande during her visit. I did go to Camp

Arifjan, met with and returned to the 800 MP Brigade on 22 October 2003.

(Annex B) When I t met with BG Karpinski upon my return, she informed me

intended to reassign me to duties as 320 th MP BN commander at thecompletion o

two weeks. In talking with he told me that he reported to BG Karpinski that the

mission at FOB Abu Ghraib was overwhelming and that there were no major problems with the

320th MP BN. On 31 October 2003, I returned to FOB Abu Ghraib. During the time that I was

assigned to the 800' MP Brigade staff, 85% of the egregious acts were committed in wing IA of

the Hard-Site. Some acts also occurred in early November 2003 while I was commander. The

egregious acts of abuse did not occur every night from late October through early November

2003; rather, the.acts occurred on 3 isolated nights. My oversight of operations eliminated the

abuse after mid-November.

10. On 10 November 2003, I received a GOMOR for failing to take corrective security measures

as ordered by BG Karpinski. In my rebuttal to the GOMOR, I pointed out compliance with all

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the 324 th MP BN to ma

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killed by a mortar im


stress levels

to d

corrective measures for which adequate resources were provided. I also pointed out corrective

measures which were not complied with involved positioning of light sets to illuminate all dark

areas that could provide an escape route for prisoners within the grid square of FOB Abu Ghraib

and involved the number of personnel to assign to operate Camp Ganci compounds and serve as

an interior FOB Abu Ghraib roving patrol. These corrective security measures could not be

complied with because all available light sets were used to illuminate Camp Vigilant and Camp

Ganci compounds and there was an insufficient amount of soldiers to meet doctrinal

requirements for operating der ntion facilities at

the 800th MP Brigade S-4 d S-3,

h. I made personal contact with

to request additional li t sets

ands Idlers. In December w en the 320 th MP located a vendor for light sets

sent all the light sets to the 530th MP BN. eatedly denied all requests

ufor forces. During mid-Novembe was asst as my acting executive officer.

On 19 November 2003, COL Pappas ecame Abu Ghraib commander.

11. On 24 November 2003, 4500 prisoners rioted in Camp Ganci. While conducting an AAR of

the operation to quell the riot, I was informed of the shooting in the Hard-Site. In early

December 2003 the 165th MI BN arrived to perform duties of overseeing FOB Abu Ghraib

operations. Actual transition of responsibilities was limited because the I65 th MI BN expected to

return to Germany in early February. The 165 th MI BN did not want to transition things twice

within 2 months. All units on FOB Abu Ghraib continued to attend my daily briefings. The

320th MP BN TOC continued to coordinate internal and external force protection. The 165 th MI

BN assumed responsibility for mayoral functions and the management of hundreds of local

contract laborers to fulfill contracts awarded to Improve FOB Abu Ghraib.

12. On the evening of 13 Jan 2004 cd a CD of digital photographs over to

CID. At 2300 hours, came to me showed me the photographs. I agreed to

assist his investigation by utilizing the Quick Reaction Force to secure the crime scenes.

Between 2400 and 0400 on 14 January 2004, I helped secure evidence and take

sworn statements. On 18 January 2004, I was suspended from duties by BG Karpinski. On 16

March 2004 while the 320 th B aced to redeploy home, I received

om duties To this date, I have never see eport,

cport, o Report making it impossible for me p ement their

recommen lions absent di 'on from my higher command. I have recently received

notification tha ill assume command of the 320 th MP BN in early June at a

change of comman • ceremony.

13. In summary, during this entire deployment, I was assigned rrissions without the resources to

accomplish the missions by doctrine. A lack of unit equipment and vehicles existed until May.

Other logistical issues were present throughout the deployment. There was a chronic shortage of

personnel which necessitated 12 hour shifts with few days off. On the 320 th MP BN staff, for the

majority of the deployment I w.as withouian executive officer, S-4, and command sergeant

major. I relied heavily o run the day to day confinement operations so that I

could concentrate on eve e "numerous" witnesses ref ced on report page 39

were statem e b (Annex 64) and Anne who worked

for at confirmed "day to day operations were ran y My

assigned missions were constantly changing, usually growing. Over the course of the

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deployment, I had command and control of ten MP companies not counting the battalion HHC.

At Abu Ghraib, MT companies received training during transitions that failed to include formal,

documented training on the Geneva Convention or UR operations. I accepted missions assigned,

requested support as needed or anized, and corn leted the missions to the best of my

ability. In my opinion, ed acts of abuse in clear violation of any

standard of morality. Training alone would not have prevented these acts of abuse. As battalion

commander, I could not be everywhere at all times and therefore legated authority. If I were

omnipotent, I would have remove om their duties and avoided

the abuse of prisoners and the disgrace to the nation.

14. On the civilian side, I electe at the end of 2002. I

applied for various jobs prior to mobilization. have a federal governmen position held open

for me 1 return home in April.

15. I offer OERs from my previous mobilization where I worked for the V Corps G-5 to my

OER ending in June 2003 to show that I have a history of accepting challenging assignments and

doing well. (Annex C) My OER for the period of December 2001 to December 2002 is not

included because the electronic copy in my OPMS is for a captain unknown to me.

11111111111111111111. LTC, MP

320th Military Police Battalion

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