Taguba Report Annex 56: Testimony of Major David Hinzman, Personnel Officer, 800th Military Police Brigade

Testimony of Major David Hinzman, Personnel Officer, 800th Military Police Brigade. Major Hinzman stated "I had very little involvement with detainee operations. I would brief the detainee numbers, as part of our daily update to the Commander". In response to detainee abuses the Major said "I think the Brigade came out with additional policies. I think there were reiterations of the Rules of Engagement, as well. I think the S3 or JAG may be providing these documents. I think BG Karpinski emotional response was one of shock; kind of a "I can't believe people actually did this," type of thing. She took the
situation seriously". The interview was then concluded.

Doc_type: 
Transcript
Doc_date: 
Sunday, February 15, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Monday, October 18, 2004
Doc_text: 

On 15 February 2004, a panel 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. McKieman, 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 Ghraib, 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 Ghraib prison. Finally, the panel looked into the command climate and the
command and supervisory presence
The following persons were present:
COL_ MP, CFLCC - PMO, Interviewer
LTC_ 705th MP Battalion, Interviewer
CPT_ th Engineer Group - SJA, Interviewer
MM_ 800th MP Brigade, Respondent

The interview is summarized as follows:
My full name is_Thetis for_— Rank - Major... My status is Reserve, but I'm AGR, Active ward Reserve. I'm assigned to the 800th MP Brigade out of Uniondale, New York. I'm attached there from St. Louis, AR PERSCOM, as the Sl, Personnel Officer. My Social Security Number is
I'm primarily responsible for all the Personnel functions, OERs, NCOERs, pay, personnel numbers. I've been in this position, since October of 1999. I've been on active for 16 years. I went straight from Active component one day, to AGR status the next day. -BG Hill had just taken over the Brigade, the summer before I arrived there.
I deal with the Battalion Si s. I provide support, through them, to the companies. I try keeping people in their own lane, so everyone can do their jobs. Communication has been important from day one. As they processed through Ari fj an, at the beginning of the war, I met with all the Sls, and explained to them the PERSTAT reporting requirements. A lot of the initial stuff was covered in the FRAGO that was written, when we first got here. One of the big roles, initially, was the PERSTAT, enforcing personnel accountability, and timely submission. A lot of the communication with the Battalions, after they left Arifjan, was primarily through e-mail, NIPR, and SIPR.
We strive for a hundred percent accuracy, so we constantly work with the Battalions, to refine their numbers. We have pretty good accuracy. When we did the initial scrub of the Joint Theater Personnel Roster with 3rd PERSCOM, we had over ninety-percent accuracy, and that included some attachments on their roster that didn't belong to us. I think some of the Battalions, initially, had problems getting reports from their companies. A lot of the Battalions had companies not physically with them, and depended on communications to get their information, which wasn't always reliable.
DODD0A-002554

Our philosophy was always one hundred percent accuracy on the PERSTAT, and that
was put out as our goal in the FRAGO, and BG Karpinski did not say anything to change
that. She is my rater. I think she rates seventy to eighty, total. Initially, after our XO
left, due to REFRAD, there was a lot of turbulence in our XO and Deputy positions for a
while. There wasn't a whole lot of continuity, there. The only continuity was, really, the
General. I recommended to the General, and she approved it, that she be the Rater and
Senior Rater for a lot of the prim_staff officers in the Brigade Headquarters. Of the
personnel in ose positions, COLthose _had the longest stay, as the Deputy, from the
October to December.
As far as I understand, BG Karpinski never suspend LTC 11.11.111th writing, or
relieved him. She said that he needed a break. I guess things were pretty stressful for
him. He didn't want to take leave at that point. He'd already been home on emergency
leave. It was after a meeting at Baghdad Central. I think General Sanchez or MG
Wojdakowski was there for a briefm , and the briefing didn't go that well. I think she
felt that she needed to give LTC _a break. That's the way it was phrased. He
spent two weeks, roughly, at the Bnga e headquarters. LTC 1111 took over in the
interim. I think the 320th MP Bn should have Assumption of Command Orders.
got a Center of Mass. He's probably near the bottom of the Battalion Commanders. Personally, I wouldn't have put him back in command. He's a nice man, a very smart individual, and he's very concerned about his soldiers, but he did not have the strength in leadershi or ex erience, it seems like, and the responsibilities were huge at that facility._the Operations Officer, seemed to be the person that most of the staff had to deal with, to get things done.
I thought we provided pretty good support. I believe the company, who had their awards lost, was from the 320th MP Battalion. We tried our best to track them. I don't recall that we ever received them at Brigade level. With the 320th, there were multiple times that we returned awards for corrections. If mistakes were minor, we tried to correct them ourselves. There are quite a few Bronze Stars. Most of the Battalion Commanders were submitted for Bronze Stars. LTC _wasn't one of them. I couldn't tell you the number of company commanders. T ere were a lot of people, who did a lot of hard work.
I have an electronic file of stuff I've worked on with the SJA, in terms of letters of reprimand, or relief. I don't have a spreadsheet per se, but I have an electronic file of people who were relieved of command.
My relationship with BG Karpinski is not as close as the relationship I had with BG Hill. I feel more like a clerk — do this, do that, get it done. With BG Hill, I could give advice. I felt there was more respect for my position, and what I did. I would go to her to get stuff signed, or ask a question, if I needed information, but I didn't sit down and talk to her everyday. There was one-way communication for the most part. She makes up her mind, and that's pretty much it. As a Commander, I think helps to have an open mind, to
DODD0A-002555

i
talk to your staff, and to your commanders. She seems to d end on a smaller group of
eo le than BG Hill did, mostly the S3 section, MAJ _the S3, CPT
who is the Operations Officer, and SG _ who came in as the

lla.
Operation ergeant Major from active duty, while we were in aghdad.
I know there are allegations of detainee abuse at Camp Bucca, and BCCF. I believe the
soldiers involved at Bucca were all discharged, and a few of them got Article 15s.
I had very little involvement with detainee operations. I would brief the detainee
umbers, as part of our daily update to the Commander. Early on, under BG Hill, MAJ
was made the DRS Officer, responsible for reporting detainee numbers. She did
not work for me. I did not rate her. She was, essentially, made a separate staff officer. I
think, early on, there were some problems with detainee numbers, because they decided
to incorporate the British database into our database, and there were problems with the
British database. One, I think there were some compatibility problems, but they managed
to convert it over to our database. I don't think the British had a solid hold of
accountability — they had escapes, they didn't know who escaped... The incorporation of
the database resulted in multiple entries, which had to be worked through.
There were several emails from BG Karpinski to LT_telling him to fix the problems with accountability, at Baghdad Central. At one pom we sent some expert processing people from the 310th MP Battalion, to assist the 320th, and I think there were some processing people from the 324th MP Battalion. I recommended, because Baghdad Central had five companies, that they use the admin personnel in these companies, and integrate them into processing, and they said these people were already tapped out, doing guard duty, and force protection, in addition to their company administrative duties.
In response to detainee abuses, I think the Brigade came out with additional policies. I think there were reiterations of the Rules of Engagement, as well. I think the S3 or JAG may be providing these documents. I think BG Karpinski emotional response was one of shock; kind of a "I can't believe people actually did this," type of thing. She took the situation seriously.
From what I understand, I don't know how you would stop people who would do that from doing something like that. You could give additional classes, and policy letters, but, if they actually did that, they wouldn't have the morals... From what I understand, there's not a lot of visibility in the area this took place. That probably aided the fact that this could happen.
Personally, it was kind of rough, going from being looked at to re-deploy, to getting
another mission to build another internment facility. It was like starting all over again. I
think it was tough from a morale standpoint. You had to restart that drive all over again.

Finished with their discussion, the panel gave_a list of items, to be
addressed, and brought back on a Sworn Statement.

DODD0A-002556

SWORN STATEMENT
For use of this form, see AR 190-45The proponent agency Is ODCSOPS
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT AUTHORITY:_Title 10 USC Section 301;Title 6 USC Section 29511.0. 9397dated November 22.1943 ISSN/. PRINCIPAL PURPOSE:_To provide commanders and law enforcement officials with means by which information may be accurately ROUTINE USES:_Your social security number is used as an additional/alternate _means of Identification to facilitate filing and
DISCLOSURE:_Disclosure of your social security number is voluntary.
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AFFIDAVIT
, HAVE READ OR HAVE HAD READ TO ME THIS STATEMENT WHICH BEGINS ON PAGE 1, AND ENDSI . I FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONTENTS OF THE ENTIRE STATEMENT MADE BY ME. THE STATEMENT IS TRUE. I HAVE INMA ALL CORRECTIONS AND HAVE INITIALED THE BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE CONTAINING THE STATEMENT. I HAVE MADE THIS STATEMENT FREELY WITHOUT HOPE OF BENEFIT OR REWARD, WITHOUT THREAT OF PUNISHMENT, AND WITHOUT COERCION. UNLAWFUL INI CEMENT.
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Subscribed and sworn to before me, a person authorized by law
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Doc_nid: 
2552
Doc_type_num: 
79