Taguba Report Annex 57: Testimony of Major William D. Proietto, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 800th Military Police Brigade

Testimony of Major William D. Proietto, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 800th Military Police Brigade. Major Proietto stated that he handled general legal matters involving various soldier misconduct. However, he stated "I couldn't tell you if the misconduct of the 800th MP Brigade is high or low because this is my first experience in a situation like this. The 800th has it share of problems like any other unit, but in general I don't have a bad opinion about it. I had my issues with individual soldiers on a personality level, but you learn to get over it". Although Major Proietto did not handle detainee issues he stated "Compliance with the Geneva Convention was our main mission, so that would be something we would strive to comply with...I heard that they would punish detainees by taking cigarettes away, and a confinement system. They would use a conex with chain links over the front to put suspected Al-Quida and troublemakers in. I believe the Ml was in charge of it. I don't know what was done as far as hot days". The interview was then concluded.

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

On 15 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 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 u P CFLCC -PMO, Interviewer
LTC , 705th MP Battalion, Member
CPT 265th Engineer Group - SJA, Member
MAJ 800 MP Brigade, Respondent
The interview is summarized as follows:
ab
My name is I am a Major, U.S. Army Reserve. I am ed HHC, 800 Military Police Brigade at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. I work for COL
I am the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate. My duties during wartime operations consisted of supervising and organizing the Article 5 screenings and tribunals and after major combat operations 1 was assigned to assist the Article 32 process for the Camp Bucca incident. I help the accused soldiers administratively, help them make phone calls to their counsel in Germany, make sure their were no legal issues, and I also help gather evidence ins of the Article 32. Once that was over I would handle different issues for COL at different stops in Kuwait and Iraq.
I have been in the region for a year and 2 weeks. I was due to rotate a few weeks ago.
I was assisting with the whole legal process for the Camp Bucca incident. All four accused made deals to get out on chapters. Two of the accused took Other than
Honorable discharges, and two took general discharges.
1 couldn't tell you how the numbers of disciplinary actions in the unit compares to other units because this was the first time I worked Criminal Law.
am aware of some inappropriate relationships in the command. I don't remember the details but a lot of them happened at Cam Buc a. There was a Captain who resigned his commission, and there was also SG M
A-1N N 4:4 - -7

am not familiar with an incident with a 1SG11111 It is possible COLFIlknows; he didn't fill me in on every action.
I looked over a couple of 15-6's and looked at the rest. From my standpoint all of the 15-6's that I reviewed were complete, I can't say what happened once they left my desk.
I was at Abu Graib twice. I was there once in December and once for an ICRC briefing
by CJTF-7 .
At Camp Bucca I didn't see any wild undisciplined behavior, just the normal grumbling
about having to be there. Other than that I didn't see any wild parties or anything like
that.
I once advised a Battalion Commander on a custody situation with one of his soldiers. I
advised the commander if the soldier was telling the truth, the soldier should be allowed to go home. I later found out the soldier wasn't allowed to go home to take care of his custody issue. That was my only experience here with a conunander not taking my
advice.
I arrived at Camp Bucca on April 5' h. The British was still in control of the facility and they told us if flairs went up in the air that would be a sign of detainees escaping. There must have been 2 or 3 times a night that I would see flairs going up. When we took over the facility, the escapes continued, I couldn't tell you a number though. There were investigations done and recommendations made, but I don't know what was done to remedy it.
My only knowledge of detainee shootings are from the 15 6's, from what I read it
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appeared that the ROE was followed. Gen Sanchez passed a directive that he wanted us to reinforce to the guards if the situation could call for lethal force, to not hesitate to use lethal force to protect them.
I wasn't aware that soldiers were wearing arms inside the compound, and as far as I know there was no policy change to allow guards to wear arms inside the facility. We have some new active duty units that are taking over for rotating units; it could be possible that they were not trained on the procedures that we follow.
I believe that Geneva Conventions is MP Doctrine that MP's receive throughout their career. Back in the reserves system we give that briefing once a year. I believe it to be a command directed function, so the commander directs when that training is given. We did do ROE briefings throughout the gear that some what covered Geneva Convention.
I don't know if Geneva Conventions is posted at Camp Bucca. I feel that the soldiers know the general points, but I feel that they wouldn't all the detailed areas that the Geneva Convention covers.
I am not aware of any retraining at the Brigade level for soldiers after the incident at
Camp Bucca, there could have been retraining at the Battalion and Company levels.
I have been assigned to the 800 th Military Police Brigade since July 2000.
The soldiers were discharged and reduced in grade. The command did not agree with the decision, BG Karpinski refused to give the soldiers Article 15, because she wanted them to go to courts-martial. CFLCC made the lea to discharge the 4 accused soldiers. Char es were erred oirriers: IL .igned the charge sheet. BG Karpinski, LTC and IL 11 recommended General Courts-Martial. From what I understand the charges were set to go to courts-martial when a COLl pwas involved in the shooting incident with an EPW that was in the news. Then su en y they made the decision to go with OTH discharges, I feel like it was political. I don't know who made the decision to pull the court-martials.
It appeared that the commanders in the 800th gave serious consideration to the legal
advice that they received from COL and myself.
I couldn't say to what degree disciplined was handled in the unit. I lot of issues I was not
aware of. A lot of Article 15's were given out and the command wanted to courts-martial
people, but we were told by the 377 th and CFLCC basically they didn't have the staff to
do a lot of courts-martial. I would say from August onward Field Grade Article 15's
were the vehicle of choice for discipline. I lot of the commanders would come and tell
me that their soldiers were turning down Article 15's. We went back to 377'h and
CFLCC for support but I didn't get a comfortable feeling back that they were able to
support us in this way. So I went back to the commander's and told them if you have a problem soldier to go ahead and chapter the soldier on a Chapter 14. We were not able to do special courts-martial either because CFLCC held that jurisdiction also.
The Soldier and Sailor's Civil Relief Act did not cover the soldier with the custody issue. The reason that is because of the welfare of the child, you can't put the child status on hold because the soldier is away.
During the first half of the v r COLIlland myself were busy interviewing over
5,000 detainees. COL had active duty experience so he was always doing
Criminal Law work. I can't speak much about the second half because I was back and
fO7-th between Kuwait and Iraq.
I don't recall the Geneva Conventions being posted in any of the compounds. When we relocated I know that we had some books containing detainees rights transcribed to Arabic so they could be sent to the different compounds.
When a detainee was killed BG Karpinski always ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident or it was reported to CID and they would conduct an investigation.
I don't keep personal logs of individuals that I see. I can't speak for LTC If a
commander wanted to relieve someone you would tell him what his options are, and is up
to that commander to make the call. I believe a relief for cause NCOER handles it; I
know it is an administrative action to get someone relieved. No one came to me about
that subject and if they did I would take it to LTC for guidance.
I know that there was a period of time that BG Karpinski sa in: LT was
given a break for a few days." LT had replaced LTC unng is period of time. I don't know about LT signing and assumption o command orders, I just knew at it was something informal. I believe it had something to do with the briefing LT gave Gen Sanchez. I believe that Gen Sanchez wasn't happy with the presentation that was given, but it is only speculation.
I wasn't there for the briefing, but I heard that when LTC to do public speaking starts to stutter, and my guess is that what happened. I think the break was a few days to a week. BG Karpinski probably explained to COL the reason for the suspension but I wouldn't know who knew. I heard a rumor that OL ent to the IG and made a complaint about him not being officially relieved, so soon after the meeting with the IG he was back in command. It is possible he went to the IG for CJTF­
7.
Early on I we had a problem with the British holding area, they would just pile inmates
into one cell. I didn't particularly see any problems with the way we ran the compounds.
I don't of any British areas that were holdovers that we continue to use.
The only homosexual case I am aware of was someone had seen an e-mail that eluded to improper homosexual relationship. BG Hill had to order an informal investigation, and he assigned LTIllas the investigatin officer. I hadn't heard anything else about that incident. The accused were LT and CP It was an informal inquiry; I don't believe it to be a 15-6. t was BG Hill's po icy to do the informal investigation, as far as Army poiciiin't feel that it was done to the fullest extent that it should have been done. LTC findings were that it was not enough evidence. I never saw the e-mails I heard that it pertained to sexual acts to sexual acts between the two.
COL 'was
as involved with the lost M-16; that was an investigation initiated by CFLC . e findings were that COLUIllwas not negligent, and he did not have to pay for the weapon.
We have had complaints of CP lipaking naked pictures of his female soldiers. There was also a commander invo ve in an inappropriate relationship with a specialist, and the incident with SGMIIIIIIII COL give you more insight into these incidents.
I couldn't tell you if the misconduct of the 800th MP Brigade is high or low because this
is my first experience in a situation like this. The 800 th has it share of problems like any
other unit, but in general I don't have a bad opinion about it. I had my issues with
individual soldiers on a personality level, but you learn to get over it.
Compliance with the Geneva Convention was our main mission, so that would be
something we would strive to comply with. Our basic manual AR 190-8 is based off of
the Geneva Convention and that is what we train on.
I am not aware that our office has a Staff METL. I have seen the Brigade METL, but I
haven't read it in detail. I would say the Brigade METL follows the guidelines of the
Geneva Convention.
I heard that they would punish detainees by taking cigarettes away, and a confinement system. They would use a conex with chain links over the front to put suspected Al-Quida and troublemakers in. I believe the Ml was in charge of it. I don't know what was done as far as hot days.
My observation of the command climate can be broken up into BG Hill's command and BG Karpinski's command. BG Hill was very laid back. I never saw him yell or get mad at anybody. He would locally file reprimands. BG Hill was a lot more laid back. BG Karpinski is not afraid to speak her mind. I have seen her chew out people before. I would say BG Karpinski was tougher.
I would say BG Karpinski was a roachable. I never heard anyone say that they couldn't take a problem to her. COL or myself never had an issue with her. She spent most of her time at Camp Victory.
The panel broke to discuss MAJ statements.
Finished with their discussion, the panel gave MAJIlilla list of items, to be addressed, and brought back on a Sworn Statement.
SWORN STATEMENT
For use of this form, see AR 190-45; the proponent agency is ODCSOPS
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT AUTHORITY: Title 10 USC Section 301; Title 5 USC Section 2951; E.O. 9397 dated November 22, 1943 (SSN; PRINCIPAL PURPOSE: To provide commanders and law enforcement officials with means by which information may be accuraie N. ROUTINE USES: Your social security number is used as an additional/alternate means of identification to facilitate filing and reitlevai DISCLOSURE: Disclosure of your social security number is voluntary .
1. LOCATION Camp Doha, Kuwait r 2. DATE (YYYYMMOD); 2004/02/14 3. TIME 1100 I 4 FILE NUMBER
5. LAST NAME, FIRST NA MIDDLE NAME 6. SSN Imo 7 ORADESTATJS
0-4
8. D SS
800th MP BDE, HHC
9

I, WANT TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMEN1 UNDER OATH
1. Q. What are the details you know about LTL replacement of LTC111111111Din or around Octobei of 2003 a., BCCF?
A. The first I heard of this was at a Staff meeting when LTC present. BG Karpinski said that LT was "taking a break". I do not recall any other details. I think the en cimwee
ength of this break was anywhere from a few l or more, but am not entirely sure. I am not aware of anything in writing regarding this change. I was asked by COL the SJA of CJTF-7 if he was relieved, and I told him that as far as I knew this was not a relief and that he was getting a -b cording to BG Karpinski. He expressed to me that he thought it might have been as a result of his alleged poor performance at a briefing.
2. Q. Issues with Camp Bucca?
A. We arrived at Camp or' Early April of 2003. 1 complained about the overcrow ' at Camp Freddy which was the British holding area to COL Our internment facility had not been built yet and COL told me that the prisoners were being moved as soon as it wl i t.
3. Q. Inapropriate relationship between ISGII and lower enlisted of the 670th MP Company?
A. I do not recall this issue. I asked LTC he did not recall it either. in addition, we do not have any documentation that I am aware of.
4. Q. What were the command responses to detainee abuse issues, accountability and escape attempts?
A. 1 am aware of 15-6 investigations that were conducted during BG Hill and BG Karpinski's tenure l the and
*i h e abuse. I do not know what happened with the escape findings and recomendations at Camp Bucca. LTc nd ere the Battalion Commanders of the 724th MP BN at Bucca during thi' escape attempts. I am aware that in a es, Commanders had recommended General Court Martials, which in some cases were reduced to Field Grade Article 15s, as per the advice of 377th SJA and input from the GCMCA at CFLCC. In response to the photo ' ident, I am aware that BG Karpinski put out a policy letter emphasizing that detainee abuse would not be tolerated and that LTC was suspended and recorrunened for relief for cause.
NOTHING FOLLOWS

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STATEMENT OF TAKEN AT DATED
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, HAVE READ OR HAVE HAD READ TO ME THIS STATEMENT WHICH BEGINS ON PAGE 1, AND ENDS ON PAGE 12— . I FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONTENTS OF THE ENTIRE STATEMENT MADE BY ME. THE STATEMENT IS TRUE. I HAVE INITIALED 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 INFLUENCE. OR UNLAWFU L
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2553
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73