Taguba Report Annex 105: Testimony of Sergeant William G. Cathcart, 372nd Military Police Company

<p>Testimony of Sergeant William G. Cathcart, 372nd Military Police Company. SGT Cathcart described his deployment and stated &quot;We didn't receive any training on the Geneva Conventions while working with the Iraqi law enforcement. To my knowledge the detainees at the facilities we trained at were not under the Geneva Convention because it was Iraqi on Iraqi crime at their local facility, so Iraqi laws governed them&quot;. He states that while at Abu Ghraib he was shot at by a detainee on November 23, 2003; The bullet hit his vest; The inmate was shot and wounded in the exchange. The SGT describes this incident in detail. In regards to detainee abuse, the SGT stated &quot;My first knowledge of the allegations was when the investigation was started. I had no prior knowledge of detainee abuse. I was on duty when an incident occurred, but I did not witness anything&rdquo;. The interview was then concluded.</p>

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Monday, October 18, 2004

On 11 February 2004, a team of officers, directed by Major General Antonio Taguba, conducted the following interview. Major General Taguba was appointed as an Investigating Officer under the provisions of Army Regulation 15-6, by Lieutenant General David D. McKiernan, Commanding General of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC), to look into allegations of maltreatment of detainees, detainee escapes and accountability lapses, at Abu Gbraib, also known as the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF). The panel also inquired into training, standards. employment, command policies, and internal policies, concerning the detainees held at Abu Gharib prison. Finally, the panel looked into the command climate and the command and supervisory presence The following persons were present: MG • n M. Taguba, 576-50-8375, DCG-CFLCC, Interviewer COL Member CPT Member SFC Member SGT 372 nd MP Company, Interviewee SSG , 27D30, CFLCC — SJA, Recorder The interview is summarized as follows: My name is I am a Sereeant/E-5. My social security number is I am assigned to the 372 nd MP Company. I was assigmed to the 372'"d MP Company in November 2002. I was involuntarily transferred from the MMC at Fort Belvoir, VA. My MOS is a military police and my secondary MOS is 92A Logistic Specialist. I was on Active Duty from 1975 to 1981 as a military police officer. We mobilized out of Fort Lee, VA. We stayed three months at Fort Lee, VA. Prior to deploying we trained on basic soldier skills, and we did MOUT training at Fort Stewart. GA. Our platoon, 4' h Platoon did some additional training and I personally took some additional training. Our company was a combat support unit. We didn't receive any training in regards to being a guard company. We arrived in country in A ril of 2003. Our company commander was CPI our platoon leader was CP and our platoon sergeant was SF1111111 My squad leader was SSG unti e went home in December. Our first mission was to pull force protection at Camp Arifjan. We then moved to Al Hila, Iraq and performed an LNO/training mission for three months. In Al Hila we worked out of a warehouse. There we interfaced with the both the court system and the local law enforcement personnel. We worked with them as far as weapons safety, and we came in direct contact with detainees. We didn't receive training as far as corrections; a lot of us used our civilian background as a standard on how we treated the detainees. We didn't receive any training on the Geneva Conventions while working with the Iraqi law enforcement. To my knowledge the detainees at the facilities we trained at were not under the Geneva Convention because it was Iraqi on Iraqi crime at their local facility, so Iraqi laws governed them. We ensured that they were handled humanely and that they got to trial in due time. This is only my statement on what I understood what the detainee status was, I can't speak for the company. In June we received a PSD mission at Al Hila. After that mission we returned back to the warehouse to finish the LNO mission. Next, we received orders to return back to Arian to conduct inventory and clean vehicles. Then, around October we moved to Abu Graib. We were briefed that we would be doing Force Protection, escorting, and some corrections EPW type work. We were told that we would be assisting Iraqi Corrections Officers at the corrections facility, with one wing being solely dedicated for MI use. The wing was Tier 1. I was assigned to Tier 2 upon my arrival at the facility. I was then assigned to Tier 1 as a relief officer. While on duty in Tier 1 I was shoot at by one if the inmates, which resulted in a large investigation. The investigation determined that there was staff bringing weapons in to the inmates. The incident took place on Thanksgiving Eve, the 23 rd of November. Inmate ;1151365 informed me that there was an inmate in Tier I had a weapon and two knives. The weapon was located on the Alpha side, I worked the Alpha side and SPC Ambiaul worked the Bravo side. I had a translator talk to the in to and then I determined that I 4 had an issue and contacted the NCOIC. SOG, CO and the medics. We formulated a plan based on ROE and tried to get the i e to come out. The inmate refused and started to fire his weapon, with one of the rounds hitting my vest. We ended . up wounding the inmate and flying him out to medical attention. The 800th ROE SOP was the rules that we followed. This SOP outlined the compound rules of engagement, but it changed after the incident. There were not a set number of U.S. personnel per Tier. There were guard mounts performed prior to shift changes, but they didn't occur daily. The NCOIC of the compound would hold the guards. have the 1600 to 0400 guard shifts. SPC1111111and myself were the only personnel on duty at the time of the shooting incident. When we received the tip we informed the staff, and then we identified who the inmate was with our records. COL SG SSG SSG , SPC some MI staff, and the me les were all present w en was talking to e inmate a out im having a weapon in the cell. I was trying to get the inmate to come out of the cell so we could get cuffs on him, but he did not compl',. 2 My understanding is that CPA cleared the staff that worked at the compound. The Tier was under control by U.S. personnel, but Iraqis worked at the access control point for that Tier One of the Iraqis at the access control point provided the inmate with the weapon. When I tried to grasp the inmate's risk but he pulled away from me. The inmate got down and stated praying at that point I knew it would be a gun battle. He moved closer to the bed and started to reach under the pillow. He pulled the weapon from the pillow and then he fired. He repeatedly fired the weapon when SSG iiirshot him in the chest with two non-lethal rounds. The inmate fell down and quickly got back up. SSG agi told the inmate to put the weapon down, but the inmate did not do it. SSG Mired in into the cell a wounded the inmate. The inmate did not give up until he ran out of rounds, not because he was wounded. We secured the inmate to the door, we patted him down, and we got him to the medics for treatment. 1 continued to work relief for Tier 1, and then when SPC (Weft I took more of a primary role. uall worked the Tier 1, but hszalathe night of the incident. I never worked with just relieved him. SSG 2111111111would tell me when I would relieve there was never a roster. The usually know the personnel who work Tier 1. I have asked the MI section for guidance to Access Roster of Tier 1. I know the reason why the inmates are held in Tier 1. 1 know they are MI inmates because I get a number, and I receive special instruction and if 1 don't I ask. The people in civilian clothes are OJA staff, FBI, and CID. I can't remember any names but I know descriptions. 1 don't specifically know Stefvonovich and Israel: I probably would recognize them. The people that come into the Tier must have a need to know in order to enter the Tier. I would usually recognize the MI staff; my concerns were with the civilian agencies because there were so many. We had an access form that required all of the person's pertinent info before they entered the Tier. After interrogation the detainees were given back to us for custody. I never accompanied them to the interrogation site. When the detainees were returned we were not given any special instructions. If anyone had asked, I would have told him or her to put it in writing. I have never treated any detainees in an ill or degrading way. With my background in corrections I believe that detainees need to be in a safe environment, receive medical treatment, they need to be fed, and they need protection. I have detainees that make request regarding Geneva Conventions all the time. I take the request to the NCOIC. The request does not have my name on it: I just pass the request on to the proper individual. My first knowledge of the allegations was when the investigation was started. I had no prior knowledge of detainee abuse. I was on duty when an incident occurred, but I did not witness anything. 3 I don't remember a asking me if an inmate had been struck, because that is not the way I operate. I understand that the limit of isolation was that an inmate could be in isolation for up to 30 days. I heard that a Generalpassed that rule, but I don't know which General. I did confirm the time limit with and he acknowledged that to be true. When an inmate is in isolation, you would perform random, but frequent checks on the inmate throughout the night, and you would make sure that they would not be trying to escape. The trans-interrogation physician does make periodic checks also. There was no special meal plan, they would eat MRE's then it was changed to Iraqi food. I currently performard duty in Tier IA. My hours are from 1600 to 0400; I currently pull duty with SG and SPC There are random checks made on us dunng our shift. We had random checks before the investigation also. I believe some officers have been through during my shift, particularly CP I don't appreciate people making false complaints against me. I would probably have to work on remembering who is in and out of the facility. The panel briefed SG11111111. and then he was dismissed. 4