Fay Report Annex: Statement of Lieutenant Colonel: 320th Military Police Battalion re: Conditions at Abu Ghraib Prison

This is a sworn statement by a Lieutenant Colonel with the 320th Military Police Battalion concerning his deployment to, and experience at Abu Ghraib prison. "It became obvious to me that the majority of our detainees were detained as the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and were swept up by Coalition Forces as peripheral bystanders during raids. I think perhaps only one in ten security detainees were of any particular intelligence value. It appeared that there was is reluctance to release these low value inmates because of the fear that one of them might return to attack Coalition Force."

Doc_type: 
Interview
Doc_date: 
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Doc_text: 

SWORN STATEMENT
For use of this form, see AR 190-45; the proponent orient ,/ is ODCSOPS
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT
ISSN'
Title 10 USC Section 301: Title 5 USC Section 2951: E.O. 9397 dated November 22. 1943
AUTHORITY:
To provide commanders and law enforcement officials with means by which information may be accurately
PRINCIPAL PURPOSE:
and letnev...
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Your social security number is used as en additional/alternate means of identification to facilitate filing
Disclosure of your social security number is voluntary.
DISCLOSURE: a. FILE NUMBER
2. DATE IYYYYMMDDI 3. TIME
1. LOCATION
2004/05/26 S2-5-Coraopolis, PA
6 SSN 7. GRADE/STATUS
AME 10 LE NAME
05
, ORGANIZATION OR ADDRESS
320th MP Bn. Ashley, PA
9.
= WANT TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT UNDER OATH:

I am currently assigned to the 320th Military Police (MP) Battalion (BN) ii Ashley. PA. having been the 320th Commander from 1 Jun 02 until 1 May 04. The 320th was mobilized for Operation IRAQ FREEDOM on 10 Feb 03 and assembled at the mobilization
point at Fort Dix, NJ. on 19 Feb 03. On 12 Mar 03, we departed Fort Dix and deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait where we
remained for about two weeks before crossing into Iraq. Our first mission was to take over operations from the British at Camp
Freddy, which later became Camp Bucca. HHC 320th was at Camp Bucca and had about 140 or the authorized 154 personnel. The 314th and 447th MP Companies were assigned to the 320th. On 24 Jul 03. the 320th advance party went to Abu Garayb (AG)
to establish operations, and I personally arrived at AG on 28 Jul 03. My Rater was the 800th MP Brigade (BDE) Commander,
initially BG Paul HILL until the end of May 03, and then BG KARPINSKI. Upon my arrival at AG, the 72nd MP Co, an Army
National Guard (ANG) unit from Las Vegas, NV, was the only MP unit there, and it had arrived at AG at the end of May 03. It was subordinate to the 400th MP BN headquartered at BIAP. Since the 72nd was already in place, the decision was made to reassign the 72nd to the 320th, and the 314th, which had been assigned to me at Bucca. was "traded" to the 400th in exchange. The 447th MP Co arrived AG together with the 320th. Thc next MP unit to arrive at AG was the 229th MP Co. an ANG unit from Virginia Beach, VA. and they arrived about the Aug 03 umeframe. The 372nd MP Co arrived on 1 Oct 03. followed shortly thereafter in early Oct 03 by the 870th and 670th MP Co. and then the 320th MP Co toward the end of Oct 03. The 72nd MP Co, which had been deployed for approximately 13 months, was then redeployed and departed AG during the first couple of days in Nov 03. Thc conditions at AG upon my arrival on 28 Jul 03 were not favorable. AG covered a grid square and was divided into four compounds. Local Iraqis had thoroughly looted and striped AG after Saddam Hussein fell, and there was no infrastructure to speak of. The 72nd had only cleared and occupied one area. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was funding the reconstruction of AG and had hired local contractors to refurbish the facilities. However, thee were never any CPA representauves at AG, there was no CPA project officer, and there was not, until much later, CPA oversight of the Iraqi Correctional Officers. One of the compounds became Camp Vigilant, and was designated as the holding area for suspected Saddam Fedayeen members that were to detained as a result of Operation VICTORY BOUNTY, which began in early Aug 03. Camp Ganci, which would eventually occupy one compound, did not yet exist. Elements of A Co, 519th Military Intelligence (Ml) BN were al a the d when I arrived at AG, and my was that they must be there in preparation for VICTORYBOUNTY. as alrea . was with a ad conversation about the delineation o MP and MI Ales at AG. roved shortly thereafter. as the Operations Officer that ranand managed interrogation operations, she was the ghest-ranking MI officer at G at that e, and it was with her th,at I would coordinate any Ml relat . hard site was still being remodeled and MI interrogations were taking place in tents at CampVigilant. I would go t ensure we were accomplishing our mission and that we were appropriately separating high and low value detainees. It became obvious to me that the majority of our detainees were detained as the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and were swept up by Coalition Forces as peripheral bystanders during raids. I think perhaps only one in ten security detainees were of any particular intelligence value. It appeared that there was isreluctance to release
esc low value inmates because of the fear that one of them might return to attack Coalition Force
Nor

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Coraopolis, PA 4.'05:26
STATEMENT OF TAKEN AT
9. STATEMENT (Conrinuedl
Detainees wcrc coming into AG faster than they were being released. The release process was very slow and laborious. There was a "Security Release Board" that was set tip in late Sep to early Oct 03 to review Security Detainees for release. The Security Board was chaired by BG FAST and also had BG KARPINSKI (800th E Co der) and,11111.111A) as members. I really don't know how the board was created. I know that d been sen rec en lions for release of selected Security Detainees to her higher headquarters, but th ere all enied. There were many Criminal Detainees accused of Iraqi on Iraqi crimes and the criminal clement was managed well, and there was an efficient tele -rocess There was a "Criminal Release Board" which was headed by BG KARPINSKI, and also had BG FAST and Board members. I also had the authority to authorized release of misdemeanor offenders after they had been incarcerate or 30 . days. Major offenders still had to be reviewed by the Criminal Release Board for determination. This authority granted to mc was instrumental in managing the numbers of criminal detainees, and there was no similar mechanism or authority in place for review of the Security Detainees. The Security Release Board met for the first time in late Sepicarly . Oct 03 and was supposed to review 20 to 30 cases at least once a week. About the same timeframe (late Summer to early Fall), there were still considerable number of VICTORY BOUNTY Security Detainees of no or minimal intelligence value and they were contributing to the overcrowding situation. Many of the maneuver divisions were turning in very large numbers of Security Detainees that also contributed to overcrowding. As an example, the 4th ID contributed triple digit number of detainees every week. The 4th ID Commander appeared to be of the mind set that they would send every detainee they picked up in sweeps to AG. The divisions would hold similar boards to review Security Detainees for release, but the division commanders frequently overrode the boards' recommendations and the detainees were sent to AG. And along the Nov/Dec 03 timeframe, busloads of Security Detainees began. arriving at AG from Bucca as operation there were being transferred to AG. Although at this time the total number of detainees at AG remained about the same, as a result of the criminal releases, VICTORY BOUNTY detainees; and the increasing number of Security Detainees pouring in from the divisions and Bucca, the demographics of the AG detainee population began to change increasingly to Security Detainees. This is when I realized that the Security Release Board was not doing its job and this was also perfectly clear to the local MI folks. The Security Release Board did not Initially have a set schedule to meet and because there were two generals and colonel, it was difficult to find a time for all members . to coordinate their schedules. There was also the. problem that board members, especially BG FAST, had questions about the detainees being reviewed and the process was slowed. After about four weeks, we formed a "Pre-Board" that would meet before the Security Release Board in an effort to anticipate and address the general's questions. This board consisted of representatives of Ml, MP, CID, and the Magistrate Cell, and the
re-Board ap 'ired to streamline the release process somewhat. By Jan 04, the Security Release Board was meeting once a week.
roved in late Aug/early Sep 03 and he was then the highest ft-leer ked closely w.th him. I
is lo to be that if I had a problem or question about MI, I went to Assumed fro
he role of attending the MP daily morning meetings The "hard site ed for detainee o ions on 25 Aug'. I had
ed that the hard sie would be used as a post-trial confinement area. However, the Iraqi legal system was very slow and there were only about 25 convictions the entire time I was at AG Cell Blocks 1A and 1B were the Isolation areas. 1B was designated for female, juvenile, and psychiatric detainees. I A was designated for Ml Holds, and MI decided who would be put them. To the best of my knowledge, MI controlled who went in IA and 1A was exclusively Ml. MI was afforded the latitude to pick who went in IA, and when and where detainees would be moved to interrogations, and MPs would facilitate those decisions. I left the daily running of 1A and IB to the 372nd and MI. Trouble-makers or problem detainees were put in 1B. Only MPs were allowed in IA and lb. The rest of the prison was CPA and Iraqi Correctional Officers covered those area, but were not allowed in IA or 1B. LTG SANCHEZ had his first visit to AG on 30 Sep 03. BG KARPINSKI and COL PAPPAS were there as well, but BG FAST was not. I briefid LTG SANCHEZ on all aspects of AG operations an ' eprisoner population . demographics and US Soldier population with him. He basically saw everything. briefed LTG SANCHEZ on the interrogation process. LTG SANCHEZ's second visit to AG was during the first e n ov .. This was strictly an MI function and 1 had no.role in this visit, although I did accompany his entourage on part of the tour. BG FAST accompanied him. lie received briefings on MI and interrogation issues. It is possible that an interrogation was going on at the time of his visit to the interrogation area. but he was only in that area for five to ten minutes. There was no one from the MP Chain of Command present when LTG SANCHEZ was in the interrogation area, although its likely there was an MP guard or guards present. BG KAPR1NSKI visited AG less than ten times and they were on media days and VIP days. She also came in early December to make a decision on the location of Camp Avalanche and came on Christmas to visit Soldiers. I tried to get her to go see Ganci and the other sites, and visit the troops and detainees, but she was too busy. When she visited AG, she gut to go wherever she wanted to go and she was never denied access to anywhere. I personally escorted her on all her visits. On 19 Nov 03, there was an OPORD which appointed COL PAPPAS as commander of the AG Forwar Operating Base (FOB). I had been the FOB Commander unfit then. I do not know the rationale or reason for the OPORD ._.•
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Doc_nid: 
2991
Doc_type_num: 
73