Taguba Report Annex 63: Testimony of Captain Reese, Commander, 372nd Military Police Company

Cpt. Reese was the commander of the soldiers directly involved in detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. He said of his men “I'm appalled by what I saw from my soldiers; 2 out of the 7 here are correctional officers. And they were specifically put there for that reason”. He also commented on the conditions he found upon arrival at Abu Ghraib: “We I first arrived [at Abu Ghraib] in October and entered the MI wing my first reaction was "Wow there is a lot of nude people here". I was told that it was a MI tactic that was used to make the detainees uncomfortable. I was told it was ok; nothing was illegal or wrong about it. The Ml had a partition set-up so they can conduct their exercises in privacy. The exercises conducted of making the detainees do PT drills. I didn't know it was wrong at the time, but I know now”. When asked if he was trained on the Geneva Conventions he stated “No” and added “I may not be the smartest guy, sir, but I understand there's certain things you can and can't do when you're dealing with civilian internees”. The interview covered his mission orders and chain of command. The interview was then concluded.

Doc_type: 
Interview
Doc_date: 
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Monday, October 18, 2004
Doc_text: 

On 21 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 Gharib prison. Finally, the panel looked into the command climate and the command and supervisory presence
The following persons were pres:nt:
COL P, CFLCC — PMO, Interviewer
LTC A, CFLCC — SJA, Interviewer
LTC 05 th MP Battalion, Interviewer
CPT Company, Interviewee
SSG 27D30, CFLCC — SJA, Recorder

This is the second interview for CPTIMIIIIIItocial security number lag
111. He is the company Commander for 372d Military Police Company.
I was in the LSA when we received a call over the sincgars saying that there was a possible riot at Camp Ganci. Everyone had to go up to a upgraded posture, Kevlar and Flak Jacket at that point. My company was put on stancsairWhen this situation OMITS normally we take all commands from the TOC, MAJ.the Battalion S 3, put on
-
us standby. We rounded up 20 of my.people who were not working at that time and stood by in the LSA. About 10 minutes later we were called forward, we walked up to the edge of the wall just shy of Camp Ganci. When we called forward again, we stood only in the main runway and we acted as a deterrent.
When the not was going on we set up a base defense. We were in full battle rattle at that point. The basic ROE was that if they got out of the wire we could engage. If the detainees were inside their compound and no threat to escape we would use minimum force and it would escalate depending on if the detainees got out of the wire. The ammunition changed from non-lethal to lethal.
We carry walk-about radios to communicate commands. The RTO would receive command from the sincgars and then transfer the information through the walk about.
The base defense was never rehearsed. The riot was the first time the base defense was deployed. I developed a base defense plan, but I don't remember to whom it was turned in to.
My operations sergeant came in my room and notified me about the shooting. When I arrived on the scene LTC111111, LTC agog SGT Mt SSG inand the
P3
DODDOA-003266
doctor were all present. 1 also carry a man-pack the situation. I wasn't aware that an informant warned about a detainee having a weapon. Military Intelligence has overall control over Tier 1, I have MP's there, but MI runs it. It was common knowledge that COL _was the OIC over Tier I. There wasn't anything in writing but, everyone was aware that COL 111111111was in charge of Wing 1, Gen Karpinski, LTC Phillabaum, MAJ wig and anyone who worked at the hard site. I had never worked in confinement facility before, so when 1 was told COL pwas in charge of that Wing I
it
didn't ask any questions. I still made sure that my so ie rs working that wing were taken care of. but I didn't know anything about the interrogations.
I take full responsibility for my soldiers and their actions. I don't place any blame again:it LTC . I didn't seem to think anything was wrong with my soldiers working under LTC in the MI Wing because the entire chain of command was aware of it.
We I first arrived in October and entered the MI wing my first reaction was "Wow there is a lot of nude people here". I was told that it was a MI tactic that was used to make the detainees uncomfortable. There were many people way above my pay grade that walk through that wing and nothing was ever said about it. 1 was told it was ok; nothing was illegal or wrong about it.
I saw LTC' daily, he spent a lot of time at the hard site. In the beginning he
attended every staff meeting, and then it started to taper towards the end. LTC Jordan
was the OIC of the MI unit, he was in charge of all the MI personnel who were doing the
interrogations.
My soldiers had to conduct detainees accountability counting. I had made a mistake in
my last statement. The soldiers conducted accountability three times a day then a
headcount sometimes around midnight, in my prior statement I said twice, but I meant
twice a shift.
I have never seen a DA 2674-R. My people took the counts, we forwarded it to S-1 from there I don't know how it was formatted.
I; • •
The ROE changed once. JAG briefed us around the December 2003 time frame. In the new ROE we went away from warning shots. We had 20 personnel attend the ROE Training. I don't recall us receiving the pocket-sized ROE card.
My soldier felt he had to go over me to report the allegations of detainee abuse. He felt that since the soldiers were about to refrad back to the states, the proper way would be too short. He apologized to me afler. I didn't have a problem with that, and I understood what he was trying to do.
L.TCUM description is that he is about 5"l0, balding, a little overweight, and sometimes he wore glasses. He wore DCU's with a black "bear suit" type jacket. He was well known by all the guards. He is a straightforward type of guy. He would stand up for the soldiers regarding morale issues. He mostly stayed in Tier lA and 1B.
DODD0A-003267

The Ml had a partition set-up so they can conduct their exercises in privacy. The exercises conducted of making the detainees do PT stuff; I've seen the detainees holding buckets arms out, and other drills. I didn't know it was wrong at the time, but I know now. It was the nudity factor that I would question. There were females there on the left side of the hallway; we hung a sheet up because a lot of Iraqis would catcall to the females, we put the sheet up to try to deter that.
understand this a 15-6 investigation, and the seriousness of this situation. I have concerns for my First Sergeant and my Platoon Sergeant, if you want to hold me accountable that is fine with me, I just would like to ask, could they be released?
The panel bnefed CPT IOW
feel like there is a discrimination issue with us being reservist. I talked to CID and I know other people were involved but their chain of command wasn't pulled. We have been treated like criminals, we are confined to this tent, and we aren't able to go back to our living areas to get items that we need.
The panel briefed CPT again and dismissed him.
DODD0A-003268

I CaptainU, U.S. Army Reserve, was interviewed on

2 10 February 2004, as follows:
Have you received word as to why we're interviewing

3 Q.
4 you today?

Yes, sir.

5 A.

Before I start, I want to provide you with the purpose
7 of our inzerviewing you today.

6 Q.

I'm Major General Taguba. I'm
8 the Deputy Commanding General for the Coalition Land Forces
9 Component Command, headquartered at Camp Doha, Kuwait. Our

10 Commanding General, Lieutenant General McKiernan has appointed

1 me as the Investigating Officer under the provisions of AR 15-6
12 under the direction of General John Abazaid, who is Commander of
13 CENTCOM Command. This investigation will gather all relevant
14 facts and circumstances surrounding recent allegations of
15 maltreatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib Prison, also known
16 as the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility, as well as detainee
17 escapes and accountability lapses as reported by CJTF-7. Now,
18 we'll also further investigate training, standards, employment,
19 the climate, command policies and internal policies concerning
20 the detainees held at Abu Ghraib. And finally, we will be
21 assessing the command climate and the supervisory presence of
22 the 800th MP Brigade chain of command, from General Karpinski
13 all the way down to your level.

1

DODD0A-003269

So before I start, I want to advise you that we're

1
2 going to be recording our interview. And before I start asking
3 you any questions, do you have any questions as to the scope of
4 the inquiry?
S A. No, sir.
6 Q. For the record, could you state your full name, social
7 security number and unit of assignment?
8 A. social security number is 1111111,
9 111111 I am the Company Commander for the 372d Military Police
10 Company.

Q. Let me begin by asking you, how long have you been the 12 Company Commander? 13 A. I took over in December 2003--2002, excuse me. 14 Q. So, you were the Company Commander when the company
15 was mobilized and deployed to Iraq?

A. Yes, sir, I took over 2 months prior to the

mobilization. 18 Q. What was your previous position to that? 19 A. I was the Battalion Si at the 336th out of Pittsburgh. 20 Q. Was your unit, both the 336th and 372d, organically 21 assigned to the 800th MP Brigade? Could you describe what your
chain of command was?

2
DODD0A-003270

Could you describe briefly what types of training you

1 Q.
2 received there?
A lot of stuff was just check-the-block, sir, type

3 A.
4 thing. : hate to use that terminology, but that's what it was.

5 We focused on--we are a combat support company. We focused on a
6 lot of extra NBC, we anticipated also that threat. And we also
7 focused on a lot of breaching, which I'm very glad we did that

8 because we utilized that a lot in the first part of this
9 deployment.

1 . Q. Breaching operations?
1 A. Buildings, right, correct, sir. And then we just did
12 all the other ranges and all the other stuff that they had laid

13 on for us. We did a lot of extra unique-type of ranges. We did
14 a lot of _Live fire and that kind of stuff, which was really good
15 stuff for the company. So that's basically what we focused on.
16 Everything else that they had laid on their agenda was mandatory
17 training.
18 Q. So predominantly, common task. Any law enforcement or
19 1 and R type of tasks?
20 A. No I and R, sir, I wasn't--we're not an I and R--I did

21 not anticipate that mission. I honestly did not focus that way.
I knew we were going with the 1-4 Marines, and I knew we wire

4

DODD0A-003272

1 going tc do a law and order mission. That's what we did for the

2 first 6 months. So we did very little I and R.
3 Q. So your initial mission was you were going to the

4 Marines.
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. And how did you know about that particular

7 arrangement?
8 A. One of my platoon leaders is a congressional aid, and
9 he had scme connections, and he knew who that we were going that

10 way.

I Q. Did you know from the start at Fort Lee which
12 Battalion you were going to, other than the Marines?
13 A. No, sir.
14 Q. No order--
15 A. It took a lot for us to have some contact or email as
16 to where we were going. There was some confusion. Like I said,
17 we were supposed to go through--the original contingent was
18 scrapped and they came up with another plan. So, no, it took a
19 little while.

20 Q. Was your parent Battalion there mobilizing with you?

21 A. No, sir, they're currently here for OIF II; they just 22 got here. _3 Q. So you were selected out of that Battalion for----
5

DODD0A-003273
1 A. Yes, sir, all the companies were MOB'd except for the 2 Battalion Headquarters, they stayed at home. 3 Q. So you were there from February to May, and you 4 deployed first to Kuwait, and when did you arrive in Kuwait? De
5 you remember?

A. Sir, I believe it's May 15th. I'm not exactly sure, I

7 think that's correct.
8 Q. Did you receive orders then, follow-on orders to your
9 deployment northward?

10 A. Yes, sir, that's where we linked up, we were TACON to
the 1-4. And we proceeded north to the city of Al Halah, which 12 is in the Babylon Province. And there, we conducted law and 13 order operations. We also ran a police academy to train the 14 local police. And we assumed the local police stations there 15 and we actually ran the stations and gave guidance to the local 16 Iraqi police officers there and did that kind of operation. 17 Q. Which Marine outfit were you assigned to? IX A. The 1-4, sir. 19 Q. And how long did you conduct that operation?
A. we were there until October, from May through October. 21 Q. Going back to your mobilization and deployment, could 22 you describe for me the status of the readiness of your company _3 at that time?
6

DODD0A-003274

I just took over the company in December, so I did not

1 A.
2 have an opportunity to do any training with the company prior to
3 the mobilization. I went off of the previous commander's, you
4 know, where she kind of evaluated the company. When we got

there, I pretty much agreed with what she wrote as far as the
6 training, so it's basically TRP, every area there, from

witnessing and from seeing the training we did.
8 Q. How about personnel, what was the personnel status?
9 A. Our stats at the time, we MOB'd--full strength, we

10 were 180, sir, and we MOB'd with 173 at Fort Lee.

1 Q. What about your DMOSQ? Were you up there? 12 A. I know what you're talking about, sir, I honestly 13 can't remember what my numbers were. We were good enough to--we 14 had a lot of people cross level into the company, also, and that 15 brought us up in our strength as far as DMOSQ numbers. I do not 16 recall the exact, I'm sorry. 17 Q. From December to your mobilization, you didn't really 18 have time to know about your company, is what you're saying? 19 A. Well, no, sir, December is basically, typically your
20 Christmas part, and then I had January. And we MOB'd February
21 24th. So no, I knew very little about my company at that point.
22 Q. So you didn't get a chance to----

7

DODD0A-003275

1 A. We had one month of training, and that one month was
preparatory to load.
When were you alerted for mobilization?

3 Q.
4 A. There was rumors way back in December. We were

5 actually MOB'd on February 24th.
6 Q. Now, before I continue our interview questions here, I
7 want to make sure that you know Captain Imp who is also a legal
K advisor here to the interview.
9 Okay, so short amount of time, didn't get a chance to

10 know about your company. You knew about the readiness

I proficiencies of your outfit. And you said upon arrival here,
12 you were assigned to 1-4 Marines and conducting law and order
13 missions off and on.
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Okay. Let me kind of fast forward a little bit here.
16 So that gave you a little bit of time to know your people,
17 basically. who your First Sergeant was, who your platoon
1g sergeants. your platoon leaders, your company XO, that sort of
19 thing. Could you kind of describe then how the company was

20 melding together under your command?
21 A. Yes, sir. We were under very adverse conditions
22 there, on the heat, and a lot of those things played into that
_3 fact. Overall, I was very pleased with the way the company was

8
DODD0A-003276
1 headed. We received nothing but praise from the 1-4. We did an

excellent job down there. I mean, my soldiers, with the
3 conditions they were in, I think, could not have done a better
4 job, and [ truly mean that. I'm pleased with the First

5 Sergeant, for the most part. We had a few small issues, and he
6 and I talked them out and that kind of stuff, but that was
7 handled internally. There was no discipline problems. We had
8 some minor things, but everything was handled internally, like

9 any other company. 10 Q. When did you change mission and went down to Bucca? 1 A. We arrived, I believe, October 1st, sir. We assumed
12 the mission October 15th from the 72d.
13 Q. MP Company?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Were you given proper notice ahead of time, or an
16 alert not:ce stipulating that you were going to go from a law
17 and order mission to an internment and resettlement mission?

IS A. well, I guess the notice would have been when the
19 Marines were leaving and we had no home at that point, so we
20 knew we were moving. And then, we were told we fell under the
21 310th at that point, a different Battalion, and we were told at
22 different points that no, we're heading to Bucca, and then from

9

DODD0A-003277

1 Bucca, no, you're not, you're heading to Abu. So we did have
2 probably a week or so in there that we knew we were moving.

Q. So initially, you were being attached or assigned
4 somewhere to the 310th MP Battalion, which, where were they
5 located tnen?

6 A. They were in DO&E, which is about 2 hours south of
7 here.
8 Q. And when you arrived to Bucca, was the 310th then the
9 parent Battalion, or were you assigned to somebody else?

10 A. No, they were our Battalion at that point.
Q. At Camp Bucca.
12 A. Well, we never arrived at Camp Bucca. We sent the
13 advanced party anticipating our movement down there, and then it
14 got switched around, and I don't know how we ended up here, but
15 we ended up here to stay.
Ib Q. So you never served at Bucca?
17 A. Negative, sir. I just did an advanced recon, and it
18 got squashed, and we never ended up going there.
19 Q. So you were never at Bucca, you were assigned to the

20 310th....
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. And the 310th was at Al Haniah.
_3 A. Yes.

10

DODD0A-003278

And when did you get assigned to Abu Ghraib?
October 1st. And like I said, we assumed the mission

2 A.
3 October--
4 Q. You hadn't moved out of Al Hallah at that time?

A. No, we came straight from Al Hallah to straight here,

6 sir.

7 Q. So Al Hallah to Abu?
8 A. Uhm hum.
9 Q. And who were you assigned to at that point when you

10 arrived at: Abu?

1 A. Then we fell under the 320th, and then obviously the
12 800th.
13 Q. And that was around October 1st, and you assumed the

14 mission around the 15th.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Were you given any kind of specific instructions as to
17 what your mission requirements were going to be?
18 A. well, sir, when we got on ground, we basically did a
19 "right seat ROC" within 72d Military Police Company. I, myself,
20 have never been in a prison, so I had no experience at all as
21 far as a warden or that type of thing. They just showed us what

the duties were and how they did it, and we just basically fell

23 in on that.

11
DODD0A-003279
1 Q. How long was the TOA?
2 A. Two weeks, sir.
Two weeks; so you had 2 weeks to gain some

3 Q.
4 understanding of what your mission requirements were going to

5 be.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Did you get any specific guidance from the 320th MP

8 Battalion command?
9 A. Uhm....
10 Q. Did they talk tc you like we're talking right now,

I saving, "This is what I want you to do, Captain amMOMME,
12 A. I don't recall that, sir.
13 Q. Did the 72d MP Company turn over any records, any
14 SOPs, as they holding the mission then and since you were a
15 combat support company, and how you were going to do an I and R
16 mission, any kind of specialized training, their lessons

learned, that sort of thing?
18 A. I knew the previous commander from the 72d from the
19 previous OA classes and OB classes, so we had a great rapport.
20 He shared what he knew, what he could help me out... As far as
21 SOPs, there were no SOPs, I don't think so.
22 Q. Did the Battalion provide you with any SOPs?

A. Negative, sir.

12

DODD0A-003280

1 Q. Was the Battalion here already?
A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. And did you understand that they had any doing with
4 the I and R mission at Abu Ghraib at the time?

5 A. Yes, sir.
Did you ever ask for SOPs or policy guidance, or what

6 Q.
7 does an I and R company do?

A. Right, we asked, initially, a lot in the beginning.
9 And I know that the 320th also requested through the 800th, sir,

10 : know they did, for SOPs, and we never received anything. My

1 company started to write our own, and what we did was we took
12 different areas and we started to create our own SOPs from that,
13 and I think we developed about two or three, one for the

.14 visitation, which I set up, one for another wing that we wanted 15 specific IP duties and responsibilities in that wing, so we 16 wrote that. for that. And I know Sergeantillirwho's my NCOIC 17 during the daytime, was working on some other ones, too. There 18 was a generic one that was passed down from the 72d, that was a 19 blanket, cover all. It was not specific to Abu Ghraib or to 20 that particular mission, and we were tweaking that and working 21 on that as we went along. As far as anything from higher down,
22 no.

13
DODD0A-003281
1 Q. Did you ever ask any questions, any references like,
for example, AR 190-8, or even a copy of the Geneva Convention?
3 A. No, sir, I never seen a copy of that.
4 Q. Are you aware of the tenants of the Geneva Convention
5 in the performance of your duty with handling detainees and
6 prisoners and things of that nature?
7 A. I may not be the smartest guy, sir, but I understand
8 there's certain things you can and can't do when you're dealing
9 with civilian internees.
10 Q. Is that part of the training and part of the TOA
1 prccess over the 2-week period?
12 A. No, sir.
13 Q. So you had no knowledge that that was part of your
14 mission or part of the tasks associated with your mission in the
15 performance of your duties regarding Camp Ganci, Camp Vigilant
16 and the nard site?
17 A. Nothing formal, sir, but I think as an MP or as a
18 person, you understand that there's certain rights that people
19 have.
20 Q. Who was your Battalion Commander of the 320th at the
71 time when you assumed your mission?
22 A. I hesitate only for one reason, sir, because Colonel
.3 wasn't there for a little while in the beginning.

14
DODD0A-003282
1 I'm talking about in October.
A. Yes, he was gone. It was Colonel 1111por--Colonel
was there for a brief time in October, then he left

3
came in as an interim for a short

4 for a while and Colonel 1111
5 period fcr a few weeks and then Colonel came back.
6 And I don t have the dates.

Q. So who did you interact with in that----
8 A. Colonel OM.for the most part.

9 Did you interact with the Battalion XO or the
10 Battalion S3 during the

A. The Battalion S3 and I have daily conversations, sir,
12 mostly over strength and troop to tasks, and that kind of thing,
13 because we were under strength, as everybody here is. And we

14 had to, you know, do the best we could to accomplish the

15 mission, and that meant shuffling people around sometimes and
16 that kind of thing.
17 Q. So during the course of your assumption of the mission
18 requirements from October to date, you were developing your own
19 SOPs absent any guidance from higher headquarters?

20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. were those SOPs ever written or posted somewhere?
22 A. We haven't, sir. The ones we developed were more for
_3 the Iraqi corrections so that they understand their job. Our

15

DODD0A-003283

1 whole opal here was to turn this over to them and for us to step
back and let them run the prison. So we were developing SOPs

2

3 more for them so they understand what their job, what their
4 responsibilities are and what we expect of them.
S Q. And did you understand, of course, in your mission set

6 that there were interrogators that were going to be involved in
7 the detainee operations?
8 A. Yes, sir, they were there and I knew Colonel IE.
9 He was the OIC of the MI. I never had any interaction with them

10 prior to that, and I wasn't exactly sure a lot of times as to

what they did and how they did things. But we talked to Colonel
12 and he helped me. Initially, I saw some stuff that was a
13 little surprising.
14 Q. So, were you at least curious as to why interrogators
Is were involved with detainees?
16 A. Yes, sir, and Colonel" talked to Colonel - and
17 they told me that Wing One specifically was for HVDs and people
18 that we had an interest in. And there was also--there were
19 civilians, we had juveniles, we had females, we had the crazy--I

20 don't want to call them crazy, but the psych ward was also

11 dumped on Wing One. So we had quite a hodgepodge of people in
22 there.
_3 O. But what about the Camps Ganci and----

16

DODD0A-003284

.
A. I was responsible only for Vigilant, sir. I got 2 Vigilant, the hard site, an escort mission and a PSD mission 1 with one platoon in Doha. That's what I was responsible for. 4 Q. Describe for us now, Captain r how you organized 5 your unit to accomplish the mission that was given to you, hard 6 site, Camp Vigilant, how did you organize that?

A.
What I did, sir, was I basically broke it down by
8 platoon for the best we could. And from that point, I took my
9 people who were stronger. Being in the Reserves, you have--one

10 of the advantages, hopefully, is that you have some civilian

experience. I pulled my people out who were correctional 12 officers .n the civilian side and I put them in, for the most 13 part, into the leadership spots and I tried----14 Q. Leadership spots where? 15 A. Within the hard site or at Camp Vigilant. 16 Q. Were they assigned to a platoon or where you just 17 pulled them out from each of the companies?
.
I8 A Sometimes I pulled them out of the platoon, sir, if I 19 felt that we needed, you know, if the one platoon didn't quite 20 have the experience, maybe this one is a little heavier, and I 21 had some correctional people there. We pulled them out and put
them in the other platoon so that we could balance it out the

3 best we could. One of the interesting things is, you know, I've

17

DODD0A-003285

I seen the pictures from the CID. I've seen probably 90 percent
2 of them. I'm appalled by what I saw from my soldiers. I'm not
3 going to kid you. The interesting thing is that two out of the
4 seven of my soldiers who are going to be probably prosecuted
5 here are correctional officers. And they were specifically put
6 there for that reason, because I trusted them and I was relying

on their knowledge and their experience to do the job.
8 Q. Let's stop there before we go on that portion. So you
9 pulled your correctional officers and put them on the hard site.

10 How did you do the camps and how did you do the PSD and how did

you do the other----
12 A. The PSD, sir, was basically a platoon. They just
13 wanted a platoon, flat out, and that's what we did with that.

14 Q. And left them where?
15 A. They were left at Al Hallah where we originally came
16 from.
17 Q. How many platoons did you have?
18 A. I had four--well, five if you count headquarters, but
19 I had four platoons of MPs. So I had one platoon there. I had
20 one platoon basically in the hard site. I had one platoon in

21 Vigilant. And then the other two, we kind of split between
22 Vigilant and the hard site.
_3 Q. Who was your platoon leader at the hard site?

18

DODD0A-003286

A. I actually had a Captain, a Captain Mr

I

Q. Was he always assigned to you?

3 A. No, sir.
4 Q. Or was he one of these kind of guys that was a "hey
5 you"?

6 A. No, sir, he came in from a lateral transfer, I

7 believe, :rom the 352d MP Company, a very good guy, very--you
1 know, integrity, correctional lead on the civilian side.
9 Q. Did he have any experience in I and R?

10 A. No, sir.
Did he have any experience as a law enforcement

Q.
12 officer?

A. No, sir.
14 Q. what was his branch?
15 A. He's an MP, sir.
16 Q. He's an MP. Has he been a company commander before?
17 A. No, sir.
18 Q. And so, he was assigned to you as an extra person.
19 A. No, sir, he was assigned--yes, sir, as a platoon
20 leader.
21 Q. Based on his rank, not questioning his proficiency,
22 not questioning his competency, not questioning his experience,

19
DODD0A-003287
1 you placed him in the command of a platoon that was responsible

for the hardstand.
3 A. That's correct, sir.
4 Q. Did you give him any specific guidance?

A. The guidance that I gave him was to make sure we
6 didn't anything wrong, just to make sure we did everything--took
7 care of the inmates, and he understood--we had a very good
8 understanding as to what I wanted and what he--there was no grey
9 area as to what we were--what our job was from the 72d as to

1() what we should be doing.

1 Q. Who had Camp Vigilant? Which platoon was that?
12 A. That was First Platoon, sir, and the NCOIC of that was
13 Sergeant First Class MIR and I had a Lieutenant as
14 the OIC.

15 Q. Who were at Vigilant.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. And you had a platoon that was doing the transporting,
18 you said.
19 Yes, sir, we also had the escort responsibilities,
20 that was the Third Platoon, Sergeantillillpand they were
21 responsible for many of the escorts, the daily prisoner runs or

22 whatever it may be.
_3 Q. And who had the [inaudible]?

20
DODD0A-003288
1 A. That was Second Platoon. I had another Captain down
2 there, a Captain IIIIIP, and Sergeant First Class
3 Q. What was the role of your First Sergeant at this time?
4 A. The First Sergeant, basically, he would just roam
5 around, and he did a lot of force protection things. There was

6 a lot of towers and stuff that needed reinforcing, and he kind
7 of focused on Plexiglas gates and taking care of the troops,
t just when he was walking around and doing First Sergeant kind of

9

stuff. 10 Now, according to your statement, you said that you
spent 70 percent of your time focused on the construction or 12 improvements surrounding the camp. 13 A. Yes, sir. 14 Q. Your area of responsibility. 15 A. Yes, sir. 16 Q. So you didn't spend too much time checking on the 17 detention operations of your company. 18 A. When I took over the mission, sir, the previous 19 commander told me the majority of your time will be spent on
20 these other issues, and it was. I placed competent people in
21 them areas so that I would not have to, because I knew I would
22 not have the time to be everywhere at once. That's my reasoning
_3 why I put those people where I did. I spent the majority of my

21

DODD0A-003289

1 time, as yOu said, working with the contractors, working with

the CPA, _ooking at their construction. There was many, many
3 issues there, to include the generation power, water, all that
4 stuff is what I dealt with, the logging. Anything I did, they
5 basically came through me and I was like the liaison through the
6 CPA for whatever reason, and that's the job I got.

Q. At the onset of your taking over that particular
8 complex, did you write down or articulate your mission to your
9 company?

10 A. My specific mission, sir?
Q. [Affirmative.]

12 A No, they knew, though, the role that I was in. But
13 no, I didn't.
14 Q. You did not articulate to them what your role----
15 A. Oh, yeah, sure, I articulated, but there was nothing
16 in writing. They understood what I was doing, as they seen me
17 every da'.' running around doing whatever I was doing.
18 Q. What did you think your mission was?
19 A. My mission, sir, was to oversee the hard site, to

20 oversee Vigilant, to do all that stuff, and to also prepare to
21 get the jail ready to open up so we could move the people out of
22 Wing One that were not supposed to be down there and put them in
_3 Wing Five where they belonged so that we could, you know, we

22
DODD0A-003290

could aet in compliance with the...I guess the Geneva

I.
2 Convention, we were violating the--I know we were in violation,
and it was no secret that we shouldn't have juveniles and

3
4 females and all them people in the same wing or the same tier
S with HVDs and I knew that.
But did you articulate that to your higher

Q..
7 headquarters?
8 A..

6.

.Oh, yes, sir, and they had also articulated that, too.
9 There was a lot of pressure from people to open up that other
10 part of that prison. "When can we open it? When can we do

this?" "It's not ready, the beds...," whatever, it wasn't
12 ready. So I worked closely with the contractor on a daily
13 basis, and also, I spent a lot of time with the warden.
14.Q..

So basically, what did you think was your number one
IS priority based on your mission?

.
16 In my heart, sir, my number one priority is my
A..
17 soldiers, and it always will be. If you're going to that, I
18 mean, I spent the majority of my time, like I said in my
19 statement, on them other areas, sir.

20.
Q..

So your soldiers were your number one priority.

A..

My soldiers will always be my number one priority.

Q..

But in terms of your mission.

23

DODDOA-003291

1 A..
My mission, itself, I spent the majority of my time on
2 the other stuff, and I'm not going to tell you differently.
.

3.Q. Was there any time when you were conducting the
4 mission that your soldiers were even advised of the tenants of
5 the Geneva Convention in the performance of their duties?

A..

No, sir, not that I'm aware of. 7.Q ..
Was there a reason why?

A..

I don't know, sir.
.

Because you stipulated, at least you commented that
10 you knew something was not right.

9 Q..

A..

Well, sir, we have to backtrack a little, there was an
12 IC/RC investigation, and their initial findings were,1111111111
13
14
15.

That's how I was made aware of it, initially. And

lb because of that, the pressure was put on to
.

17

and that was a big snowball effect from that
IS.

whole thing.
19.Q..

Okay, now during the course of your command and your
20 mission set down there, how many incidents of riots or attempted
21 escapes oz. escapes or shootings of anything unusual that you
22 were either aware of or were reported to you?

24
DODD0A-003292
When I was there, there were three escapes. There was
2 one attempted shooting in the hard site. There was obviously
3 other ones in Ganci, I don't recall the number there. Riots,
4 there were no riots in my area.
5.How did you deal with reporting? Did you report those

1 A..

Q..

6 incidents to your higher headquarters?
.

Oh, yes, sir, of course. There was some 15-6s done,
8 usually on everything, on all of it.

7 A..

9.
Let's cover the escapes here for a moment here. You
10 said there were two escapes.

Q..

.
Yes, sir.
.

1 A..
They were not attempted, they were successful escapes.
.

12 Q..

13 A..

They were successful.
.

14 Q..

How many prisoners escaped from each incident?
.

15 A..

The first one, there was two, and they used the beds
16 to pry the window open, and they escaped out of a very small
17 area. And we believe there was some inside help from the first
18 one, as far as opening locks and doors and that kind of thing.
19 And they knew exactly where to go, what wall to go to. They
20 knew the tower that wasn't manned, and they climbed right over

21.

it and they were gone.
22 Q..

And these escapes were out of the hard site?
_3.That particular one was, sir.

A..

25

DODDOA-003293

When was that?

1.Q..

Uh....
3.

A..

A window.
4.December, sir. There was a second one that wasn't too

Q..

A..
5 long ago. That would probably have been January. And what
6 happened there was, one of the correctional officers who
7 normally supervises the work details came in and took a
8 particular prisoner out, took him to an isolated area of the
9 prison, the new part. And he was on a cleaning detail,

10 supposedly. The IP just happened to walk away, and left him

unsupervised. There was a bathroom nearby, and the particular
12 IP happened to also have access to the supply room. And we
13 believe that he gained access to the uniform and dropped the
14 uniform in the bathroom and conveniently walked away. The
15 inmate changed his clothes, walked right out of the prison,
16 walked under a manned tower that was manned by IPs, walked right
17 through it and walked right out.
18 Q..

Pertaining to the first incident, did you take
19 corrective actions at the time, that something was----

A..

Yes, sir, what we did, as we started to--we welded the
21 beds together at that point. we started welding beds and making
22 sure all the slats were welded down. The beds were welded

_3 together so they could not use them as a leverage. We also, at

26
DODD0A-003294
that point, we tried to reinforce, and I emphasize "try,"
2 because it was a daily struggle to keep the clothing off of the
3 windows so we could see the windows, that they were being
4 tampered with. That's what happened when they first--they broke
5 off the concrete and they pried away the rebar by using the bed,
6 and they aung some clothing over it so it wasn't detected.
7 That's how that happened, so that's what we did as far as that.

8 we also took corrective measures. I personally went to General
9 glig whc was the Iraqi warden at that point and explained to
10 him how this happened and how they did it. And he took
corrective actions as far as addressing his people at that
12.

1.

point.
13.Q..

Did you give the same report, the same brief to your

14 own chain of command?
.

15 A..

Yes, sir. General Karpinski came up a day or two
16 later, and I actually gave her the tour, the nickel tour, as to
17 exactly how they did it, where they went and the path they took.

.

18 Q..

Was there any change to your standard as you know it,
19 your self-imposed standard for accounting for all those
20 prisoners at any given time? How did your accountability----

.
21 A..
Right, sir, there was a checks--we had a checks and--
we actually accounted for the prisoners ourselves, and we made

27

DODDOA-003295

Doc_nid: 
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