Taguba Report Annex 76: Testimony of Command Sergeant Major Joseph P. Arrison, 320th Military Police Battalion

Testimony of Command Sergeant Major Joseph P. Arrison, 320th Military Police Battalion. CMS Arrison was not originally deployed with his unit and was “held back” at Ft. Dix and in the rear in Iraq when the incidents of detainee abuse that occurred at Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib. What happened involving his MP Battalion happened when the CMS was not with the unit. He stated that by the time he re-joined his unit the abuse allegations had come to light, and his first act was to transfer seven (7) of the soldiers involved out of the unit. He was questioned extensively about command and the leadership of the Brigade. The CMS repeated “didn't know anything had transpired. Once again, I didn't get in country until December the 3d, and didn't get to Abu Ghraib until December the 5th. I was unaware that any of this had ever occurred until this all came out, sir”. The interview continued with the CMS being asked about what he heard and him denying any knowledge of the abuse events.

Doc_type: 
Interview
Doc_date: 
Monday, February 9, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Monday, October 18, 2004
Doc_text: 

I [Command Sergeant Major 4111111111111111111, U.S. Army, was
2 interviewed on 9 February 2004, as follows:]

3 Q: MG Taguba
4 A: CSM
5 Q.Q

I'm Major General Taguba, I'm the Deputy Commanding General
6 for CFFLIC, and of course, you probably understand the extent of

7 my presence here with regards to the 15-6 Investigation that's

8 currently underway. I also understand that you have invoked

9 your riahts and have sought legal counsel in that regard, so
10 this matter of proceeding here is a matter of formality that it
'1 is stipulated that I have been advised of your invoking of your

i2 rights and seeking of legal counsel that you understand that I
13 know remand you back to your legal counsel subject to a call
14 from your legal counsel or from the investigating team with
15Q

regards t.:.) the continued process of this investigation. Do you
16Q

understand?

17 A.Q
Sir, I understand all that. I'm not sure what the
18Q

scope of the investigation is.
19Q

CPT Ray: You can go over that with him, sir.

Q.Q
21Q

20QI can go over that. The appointment that I was given

is I have been appointed by Lieutenant General McKiernan, the

22 Commanding General of Coalition Land Forces Component Command,

3 headquartered at Camp Doha, Kuwait, under the direction of

1
ANwe-i-b
DODD0A-002814
Q

General Jchn Abizaid, the Commander of CENTCOM. This
2 investigation is asked to gather all relevant facts and
3

1Q

circumstances surrounding the recent allegations cf maltreatment
4

of detainees at the Abu Ghraib Prison, also known as the Baghdad
5 Central Confinement Facility, as well as detainee escapes and
6 accountability lapses as reported through CJTF-7. My inquiry is
7 to furthe/ investigate any standards, employment, command
8 policies--internal policies concerning the detainees held at Abu
9 Ghraib Prison. And finally, the inquiry is to assess the

10 command climate and the supervisory presence of the leadership

1

1Q

of the 80(th Military Police Chain of command. That is the
i2 extent an6 the scope of the investigation into which I've been
13Qto----

appointeeQ
14QYes, sir, thank you.

A.Q
15QDoes that answer your question?

Q.Q
16 A.Q

Yes, sir.
17QSir, is there any part of the scope of the

CPT IIIII
18Q

investigation, which you feel comfortable with discussing with

19 the General today?
Q

20 A.Q

No.
21QCPT Ili Thank you.

Q

1QAnd again, since you have invoked your rights, sought

Q.Q
2 legal ccursel, I have been further instructed that I will remand
3

you to your legal counsel for further instructions. All right?
Q

Thank you.
5QCommand Sergeant Majo411111111111r you're probably

4 A.Q

Q.Q

6 wondering why you're here, right?
Q

7 A.Q

Yes, sir.
8 Q.Q

Well, if I were in your position, I'd be, too, the
9QSo before we start any proceedings at

sensitivity of this....
10 all, couic you, for the record, state your full name, rank,
'1Q

social security number, and unit of assignment?
,2QSure.Q

A..It's 13 Command Sergeant Major, 320th Military Police Battalion, war
14
ow
15 C.Q
All right, thank you. I will now introduce you to the
16 rationale or the purpose of your presence here today. I'm Major
17 General T&guba, the Deputy Commanding General of the Coalition
18 Land Forces Component Command, commanded by Lieutenant General
19 McKierney, David McKierney, stationed at Camp Doha, Kuwait. And
20 he has appointed me as the Investigating Officer under the
21 provisions of AR 15-6 under the direction of General John
22 Abazaid, the Commander of CENTCOM. Of course this

investigation, the purpose of it is to gather all relevant facts

3
1 and circumstances surrounding recent allegations of maltreatment
2 of detainees at the Abu Ghraib Prison, also known as the Baghdad
3 Central Confinement Facility, as well as detainee escapes and
4 accountability lapses as reported to CJTF-7. The investigation
5 will also look into the training, the standards, the employment,
6 the commard policies and internal policies concerning the
7 detainees held at Abu. And finally, we will ask to look at the
8 command climate and the supervisory presence of the 800th MP
9 Police Brigade's chain of command. I also want to mention that

10 in the course of our interview, all of our questions and answers
'1Q

will recorded, tape recorded, as shown to you in front. So
12 before I begin, I want to ask if you have any questions about
13 the scope and nature of this inquiry.
14 A.Q

No, sir.
15 Q.Q

Other than the Doctor opening up his Coke can there,
16 we'll proceed with some questions that I want to ask of you with
17Q

regards tc the scope of the investigation.
18QHow long have you been the Sergeant Major there, the
19 Command Sergeant Major there?
20QOut at Abu?

A..

21 Q.Q

Yes.
22 A.Q

About 2 months.

1 Q. About 2 months. So you actually got there end of
2

December....

December 5th, sir.

3 A.Q

December 5th. When you arrived, did you get any kind

4 Q.Q
5 of specific guidance or direction from the Battalion Commander
6 or from the 800's chain of command with regards to your role and
7 responsibility as the Command Sergeant Major?

Nothing written, sir. I would assume that being the

9 Command Sergeant Major and I had been the Command Sergeant Major
10 of the 320th Battalion for nearly 4 years. I was unable to
'1 deploy with the Battalion when we were mobilized due to the fact
i2 that I wasQwhich precluded me from
13 getting on an airplane with my soldiers. And I subsequently
14 stayed E i/2 months at Fort Dix until an MEB and a PEB board met
15 and finally found me fit for duty and deployable, at which time
16 I finally cleared Fort Dix and joined the Battalion at Abu. As
17

8 A.Q

far as written policies or guidance as to duties and
18

responsibilities as a CSM, sir, it's pretty much that I know
19 what my duties and responsibilities are and that I was to
20 continue with them, except just in a different environment.

21 Q.

So Lieutenant Colonel 1110111111Wad been your
22 Battalion Commander throughout your tenure as a Battalion
3 Command Sergeant Major?

Q

Not my whole tenure, no, sir. Tenure for a CSM on the

1

A.Q

2 Reserve side is 4 years. My 4 years will be up in March.

3Qwas my second Battalion Commander at the

ColonelQ
4 320th MP Battalion. The previous Battalion Commander is now
5 Colonel MOWand then in his absence, Major had
6 filled in on a temporary basis until ColonelQcame on

7 board.

8 Q.Q

When you were mobilized through Fort Dix, you said....
9 A.Q

Yes, sir.
10QWas Lieutenant ColonelQ

Q.Qwas your Battalion
'1Q

Commander'

Yes, sir, he was.

12 A.Q

13QAnd since you were not able to deploy with him, did

Q.Q
14 you go through your mobilizaion and training at Fort Dix?
15 A.Q

Yes, sir.

16QAnd then at the time, you were not able to deploy

Q.Q
17Q

because....
Q

18 A.Q

Less than 48 hours, sir, is when they decided they
19 weren't going to let me go before the plane lifted off.
20 Q.Q

Could you describe what sorts of training that you
21Q

received at Fort Dix prior to your deployment?
Q

22 A.Q

The mandatory training, sir, in regards to deployment
3Q

issues...just pretty much the mandatory training we went through,

6
Q

rifle training, pistol training, weapons certification, maybe
2 rules of engagement, tactical side of the house...different
3Q

1Q

mandatory classes, anthrax shots....
4

Q.Q

Things of that nature.
5 A.Q

Roger, sir.
6 C.Q

The general stuff.
7 A.Q
sir.

Yes,
8 Q.Q

Was there anything specific to the tasks that you had
9 to get the refresher training on or had to be validated or
10Q

certified on?

A.Qsir, Mission Readiness

We weren't afforded an MRE,
12 Exercise due to the time constraint. We had been allocated, I
13 believe, in the first week of March to the Fuda Exercise, and
14 that exercise was waived as a requirement due to the time
15 constraints to get us on the plane to get us over here.
16 Q.Q

How long were you there at Fort Dix?
17 A.Q

I'd like to say we got to Fort Dix February 19th or
18 the 20th, because I ran into my daughter. She was mobilized,
19 and she WES staying in the barracks right behind us and she
20 showea us pretty much where we had to go. I went in the Advance

21Q

Party. I'm pretty sure it was the 19th or the 20th, sir. I
22 think we moved out around March 12th or 13th, sir, I think.
3QSo you were there about a month.

Q.Q

Q

Less than that, sir, I'd say closer to a good solid 3
2Q

1QA.Q

weeks.
3QQ.Qthen, even though you were

Given the circumstances
4 unable to deploy with the battalion, you were intimately
5 involved with the personnel, command, situation, that sort of
6 thing, how would you describe then the training and readiness
7 status at the time prior to and during preparation for
8 deployment ?
9 A.Q

We really didn't know what we were going to get, sir,
10 in the line of the companies that were going to be attached to

1

1Q

us for the operation. We heard we were going to be getting a
12 company here, a company there that would be joining us. In the
13 beginning, we heard we were only going to get two companies.
14QQ.Q

Which companies were those?
15QI don't recall, sir. One I think was from the Florida

A.Q
16 area, another one from possibly California, and I believe one
17 might have been closer around the Midwest. We mobilized with
18Qthe only

146 soldiers, we put 140 on the plane. So those were
19 personallies that I was familiar with were those soldiers.
20QThey were a headquarters company----

Q.Q
Q

21 A.Q

Yes, sir. The other soldiers that were at Abu when I
22 arrived were the 372d, the 670th, the 870th, the 229 and also

Q

the 320th companies, that was my first introduction to those
2Q

1Q

soldiers when I hit the ground here.
3QQ.Q

In December, the 5th of December.
4

Yes, sir.
5QQ.Q

A.Q

When you did arrive on the 5th of December, did you
6 get any additional guidance from the Brigade leadership or the
7 Battalion leadership with regards to the missions set that they
8 are conducting at Abu at all?

Q

Not per se as far as handwritten policies or things of
10 that nature. I mostly went about reacquainting myself with my
'1Q

9 A.Q

soldiers and making visits to their locations, pretty much
12Q

everywhere. I just briefly exposed myself, just to let them
13Q

know that I'm still on the ground, kids that I hadn't seen in a
14 while, introduced myself tc their new First Sergeant, new
15 companies, briefly got an oversight of their operation and how
16 they blended with my battalion's overall concept of the
17 operation. And then as time progressed, you're able to go in
18 and reall.y get to understand the whole operation, and see the
19 individua._ soldier, you put a face with a nametag because of the

20 ability tc be there with them for that period of time. You get 21 to know their personalities. You're able to--and you try to get 22 a good ge.L there, sir, and it's tough. I had three National
3 Guard companies, two Reserve companies in my Battalion, but the

9

Q

1

concept in those five companies are working pretty well together
2

despite the difference in missions. And some of those guys were
3 able to come in and augment the shortage of personnel that I had
4 in regards to I&R duties, guard tower duties and things of that
5 nature, especially in the Ganci compound where I'm really short
6Q

31 Bravos, critically short, sir.
7QYou said when you deployed or when the Battalion

Q.Q
8 deployed Lhe Headquarters Company, you deployed with 114, 140?
9Q146.

A.Q
10QWhat is their status today?

Q.Q
'1 A.Q

We're down to abcut 118 boots on the ground, sir, and
12Q

we were h_t the hardest.... with my Battalion, when we deployed,
13Q

sir, we tad a lot of what we call "involuntary transfers,"
14 soldiers t:hat are in the Reserve system within our Regional
15 Support Command with a lower density MOS. And what I mean by
16Q

that, sir, is like my 71L's, my 63 Charlies, I had a hard time
17Q

filling those slots. The big emphasis, we always had a--back at
18 home stat_on, we always had a good number of, in this case, 31
19 Bravos, which are no longer 95 Bravos, 31 Bravos, military
20 policemen, we were able to get real good numbers there,
21Q

especially at the lower levels. When it comes time to move the
22 Battalion and we're short, in this case, physician's assistant,
3 surgeon, chaplain, and having to just get a phone call and a set

Q

of orders in the mail and tell you where to report.... So once
2 aoain, that was the first time I met most of those people, to
3 include some of the staff members, the S4, the chaplain,
4Q

1Q

chaplain'!; assistant and a whole host of others, sir.
Q

5QWhen you were back in the rear, were you keeping in

Q.
6 touch with the Battalion at all or were there any words given to

7 you or a phone call of sorts or----
8 AQ

I received a letter from ColonelQThere
9 were six of us that were left back, sir. Major Allirwas the
10Q

Physician's Assistant; he was left back /11111111111111111M1 Specialist NM big fellow, he's about 12Qhe was left back because they couldn't fit him
6'6, si:, 6'9,
13Q

properly with a JSLIST suit, so therefore he couldn't deploy
14 because it was one of the requirements. Sergeant 11111111s left
15Qthat they felt, I believe, the dust

back because ofQ
16Q

storms and stuff would have reallyQan
17QI believe she's been chaptered out of the Army
18Q

now since :hen. SergeantQwas--had been left back because
Q

19 and I believe he's been chaptered out of the
20 Army, as well, sir, for medical. And SergeantQwas left
21Qbecause he had aQem. They took

back, sir,
22 most cf his teeth, and the Army had to 11/1111111111.11.

So,

1111111111111111111111111111111151111111111111111=1111,
Q

1Qd myself eventually rejoined the Battalion.
2 Those guys much sooner than me, sir.
3

When you arrived on the 5th of December, you assumed
4 your position as the Command Sergeant Major, in the first few
5 weeks or so, how would you describe the condition of the
6 Battalion, the context of their performance there at Abu?

Q

Q.Q

7 A.Q

With what they had to do it with, sir, my soldiers'
8 morale was high. Conditions were--now I've been around, sir,
9 where very deplorable as far as sanitary conditions in an

10 environment which they had to work. And I felt the same way
'1Q

about the prisoners, sir, I mean, to see some of the way that
12 these people were living, and you had to look at what we had to
13 do it with out there. We can't have--we have no control of the
14 rain, and when it rains out there, it just turns to mud. You
15 can't bas_cally teach them our standards of personal hygiene in
16 regards to utilizing the bathroom the way we normally utilize
17 the bathroom and the way we normally utilize the bathroom is
18 something they don't, and therefore, the first one in just
19 destroys Lt for the second one and so on and so forth.

20QThe meals that were being fed by the Iraqi caterers I
21Q

found to be substandard in regards to the amount. Therefore,

I
22 had no problem saying, "Feed these people MREs." In fact, on
3 one visit down to the compound, I saw where, because of the

Iraqis strict forbiddance of pork products, they were throwing
2 the whole MRE--open a case of MREs, and take the jambalaya, and
3 I guess one other one there, pork chop, the Jamaican pork chop
4 and they would just throw that out. And I mean, there was
5 literally a dumpster full of MREs. I made a suggestion to pull
6 them out and take the crackers out, the cheese, the peanut
7 butter, things of that nature, because when you run into a
8 shortage, you can supplement it. It worked real well. I mean,
9 sometimes these guys, I saw one night they had two hard-boiled

10 eggs, a p_ece of cheese abcut this big, a cup of tea and a piece

of pita bread. I said, "That's not going to make it." You have
i2 to wonder about them, sometimes you feel sorry for them because
13 not allQ

1Q­
them are inside that wire, sir, for that same reason 14.the guilt ones are. 15 Q.Q

Did you see any, in the context of your involvement
16 with the daily operations, be it with meals or just walking
17 around and being at guard positions and things of that nature,

18 did you have any knowledge whatsoever that there should be or 19 must be established SOPs that the MPs must follow with regards 20 tc operations or handling of detainees or guard actions, for 21 example, monitoring the facilities, things of that nature that 22 you're aware of or should be aware of?
DODD0A-002826

Q

1

A.Q

We had a 320th SOP, sir, in effect in regards with IR
2

operation and things of that nature, pretty much covered
3 everything from what every individual soldier responsibilities
4 are in regards to the IR operation.
5 Q.Q

Were they posted or were they in a folder somewhere at
6 each guard position or the Battalion or each Company had a copy
7 of such SOPs?
8QF,.Q

I wouldn't say that every SOP, sir, is posted. I
9 would say that in the towers you have certain items that pertain
10 to that particular position, i.e. rules of engagement. As a

I

I standard, you would walk into a company area, you would find
12 letters on sexual harassment posted on company bulletin boards.
13 Certain things pertain in certain areas. We were--you leave a
14 paper tra .1, I guess, you would have to put some many things up
15 there in the towers. A lot of the towers that I visited had
16 your range cards set up for your weapons systems, and then there
17 were some who didn't. Some that...on the range cards, that were
18Qfound substandard and talked to the gunners up there,

in placeQ
19 made the on-the-spot corrections. A couple, I actually
20 implemented weapons systems up there for force protection. We

21
had two towers out there, and they were just bare air, just bare
22 metal towers, couldn't really control from the ground. You
3 needed something up above, for force protection, especially

Q

1Qaround, I think it was the 1st or 2d of January, we were
2 expecting a threat to come through in the form of a vehicle with
3 explosives in it. So the force protection level was stepped up,
4 but we needed certain things to go in and increase that level.
5 Elevated towers with a 50-cal were up there. So we sandbagged
6 it, as matter of fact, we did that with the help of the
7 prisoners, we were able to sandbag it.
8QWith regards to specifically detainee operations, were

Q.Q

9 you aware that there were other folks that are involved in 10 detainee operations, interrogators, the MI----'1 Yes, sir, we have my side of the house, I have the 12Q
interrogation portion of the operation. 372d Company had the 13 hard site and Camp Vigilant operation there. My Battalion 14 augmented with certain soldiers from the other companies because 15 of the shortage at the Camp Ganci operation. 16 Q. Was there any awareness on your part that there should 17 be establLshed procedures or SOPs or guidelines associated with 18 the interaction between the MP guards and the MI interrogators?
19 A.Q
I have never known of an SOP that would dictate that 20 policy, sLr. I thought that pretty much your job description 21 would dictate what your functions of daily responsibility and 22 scope are
Q

When you're conducting any operations, or even I and R
2 for that matter, you having been associated with this battalion
3 for the past almost 4 years. Are you aware that the posting of
4 the Geneve: Convention must be in the language of the nation to
5 which the detainees are from?

Q

1

Q.Q

6 A.Q

We have notices to that effect, sir, with regards to
7 the ICRC, in regards to the languages. We also had conducted
8 operatior.5; on the training side of the house in Korea, two
9 operation!;, Operation Foal Eagle, so we would see how that was

10 run, as well. We do post things in Arabic. I would assume that
'1QI see in Arabic is what is written and translated in

what
12Q

English next to it.
13 Q.Q

But in the context of the Geneva Convention, which is
14 the responsibility of the company that's conducting--or
15 battalion that's conduction I and R as required by AR 190-8, did
16 you see any of that posted or being enforced since your arrival?
17 A.Q

No, sir, not that I'm aware of.
18 Q.Q

Should there be?
19 A.Q

I would say that what I see posted, sir, pertains to
20 that part_cular post. I would say that the things that I'm
21Qlooking at. pertain to that certain--once again, I'd like to use
22 the posit:.on, for example, for the guard tower or for the

3 compound at Camp Ganci, whether it be Compound One, Compound

Q

1 Two, and also the operation building at the hard site at Camp
2 Vigilant. Being inside the compound, you'll see a great deal of
3 things posted on various sections of the camp, itself, and you
4 would glance at it. I mean, I've glanced at some of it. I've

5 seen Arabic writing, but the exact content of what it says, sir,
6Q

I....
7 Q.Q

It could be, "Don't stand here."
8 A.Q

It could, sir, or "Don't come up close to the wire,"
9 or "Deadl!, force area." I've seen some of those signs in the
10 area.

Let me shift a little bit to command climate. You
12 said you had to basically reintroduce yourself with some of the
13Q

Q.Q

folks you hadn't seen since deployment.
14 A.Q

Yes, sir.
15 Q.Q

...reacquaint yourself with some those folks you were
16 no: famil)ar with, the rest of the companies that make up the
17 battalion, and you've already elaborated that the command
18 climate seems to be pretty great. In that context, how often
19 did you interact with your NCOs and how often do you feel that
20 there's a climate in there where they would come up to you and
21Q

talk to you freely without any apprehension?
22

A.Q

It didn't happen right off the bat, sir. I'm going to
3Q

say that quite frankly. It's... not from my kids in the 320th,

17

Q

when I say "my kids," those that came from my unit up in Ashley.
2 We've always had that rapport that I have an open door policy.
3 And what : mean is, if I'm at my desk and the chair is empty,
4Q

1Q

it's your1;. Come on in and tell me about yourself, and these
5 kids know that. Here at Abu Ghraib, with the five additional
6 companies that I picked up, just making the general
7 introductJons of yourself and let them know a little bit about
8 yourself has taken some time. The first sergeants I'm working
9 with now, I hold a first sergeant's call every Tuesday morning

10 after the staff call. We air pretty much the quality of life
Issues nele at Abu Ghraib, which are basically none. We have no
12Q

PX. We have no Haaji shops like some installations have.
13 There's nothing there for these soldiers. There's no
14 barbershor. There's no place to sew on nametags. So if you're
15 going to make an on-the-spot correction for a soldier who's in
16 violation of the uniform, you've got to take into consideration
17QIf it's a

that, what's he in violation of the uniform for?Q
18Q

sterile uriform, it's probably because there's no way to sew
19 these nametags, etceteras, to keep the soldier up to AR 670-1
20 standards. There's nothing there.

21
Q.Q

Did you bring this up to the attention of the five
22 brigades?

Q

Yes, sir. The Five Brigade ?? is the one that threw
2 the Haaj: vendor off, sir. That was a serious morale deterrent
3 right there. They have nothing, sir. Some of these kids go and
4

buy a blanket for $25. That will keep them and get them through

5 the :.Did nights and it made them happy. The PX that we had out

6 there at Abu Ghraib is one that my company stood up itself. We

7 went over and signed for a $20,000 account and we got it up and

8 running and sold the basic soldier needs, sodas, shaving cream,

9Q

toiletries, out of the PX for the soldiers. We had to close it
10 up on February 1st because we're in the process of clearing. I
'1 brought up the fact that every time I meet with a senior Command
i2 Sergeant Major, and I met with another one yesterday, Brigade
13 CSM from The 16th was out for 3 days prior to that, I'd bring
14 up the quality of life issues about the PX, the Haaji vendors,
15 things that everybody has here on Camp Victory that we don't
16 have out at Abu Ghraib.

Q

17 But you came in on the 5th of December to assume the

Q.Q

18 position of CSM, what happened to your predecessor?
Q

19 I couldn't tell you who the predecessor was, sir.
20 I've heard rumors that it was Sergeant Major MN who's the
21Q

Operations Sergeant Major, was put in my place. I heard that it
22Q

was a Command Sergeant Major by the name ofQwas the
3 Acting Ba:talion CSM in my absence for a brief period of time.

Q

Who was the Sergeant Major when they deployed and you
2 stayed behind?
3Q

1

Q.Q

A. That would have to be Sergeant Major W, sir.
4 would assume he assumed the dual responsibility of CSM and
5 Operations Sergeant Major.
6 Q.Q
was the "acting," I guess.

Sergeant MajorQ
Q

7 A.Q

Roger, I guess you would say that, sir. He was
8 probably wearing both hats.
9Qwas from the

CPT III, Command Sergeant MajorQ
10 800th, the Command Sergeant Major at the Brigade-level, sir.

Understand, but I just want to make clear that you
i2 arrived on the 5th of December to assume the position as the
13Q

Q.Q

Battalion Command Sergeant Major.
14QA.Q

Yes, sir, Battalion CSM.
15QThe question that I have is, who was your predecessor

Q.Q
16Q

before?
17 A.Q
wouldn't know, sir.

I
18 Q.Q

You wouldn't know. You know it was Sergeant Major
19 IIIIIIIrat the time that the time the battalion deployed to Iraq
20 at that point, when they left Fort Dix.

21

A.Q

Yes, sir.

Q

1
So, just for the record, to make that clear, I want to
2 make sure that you were assuming the position, not necessarily
3

replacing someone.
4QA.Q

That's right.
5QSo you were replacing somebody.

Q.Q
6QA.Q

Well, I wouldn't--I'm not sure, you got me here.
7 You've gotta explain that one to me as far as----
8QLet me back up. You were not deployed at the time.

Q.Q
9QA.Q

No, sir.
10QQ.Q

Because you had a

Roger, sir.
12QQ.Q

A.Q

So somebody assumed the position as the Acting
13 Sergeant Major. You were not necessarily relieved of your
14 position, you were not deployed. But you were not exactly alto
15 DEMOB'd. At the time, you were still MOB'd, is that correct?
16QA.Q

That's correct, sir.
17QQ.QFort

So you were basically in a holding pattern at
18Q

Dix.
19QA.Q

Yes, sir, that's correct.
20QQ.Q

So, at that time, there must have been some condition
Q

21 that prec_pitated your deployment to assume the position or
22 relieve somebody from the position of the Command Sergeant
Major.

"Rejoin
2 your battalion,"Q

1 A. They just cut me a set of orders and said,Q

sir.
3 Q. They said,Q

"Rejoin your battalion."
4 A. sir.

Yes,Q

5 Q. So you were actually reassuming your position as the
6 Command Sergeant Major.
7 A. sir.

Yes,Q
8 Q. Because those people that you mentioned,Q

to include
9 Emerson, were actually in an acting capacity.
10 A. Yes,Q

sir. 11 O. They were not appointed as the Command Sergeant Major, i2 because yc.0 are the Command Sergeant Major. 13QRoger, sir.
A.Q
14QOkay, got it, just to make sure that we're not mixing

Q.Q
15 apples and oranges for the sergeant major's position of the
16Q

800th MP E'rigade.
17QAll right, obviously, when you arrived, again, you
18Qgc.t acquainted. Was there any mention to you of any

kind of
19 reported or alleged detainee abuses or escape incidents prior to
20 or during your arrival, at the time of your arrival?
21QYes, sir, I was briefed on certain things that had

A.Q
22Q

transpired.
3QWho briefed you on that?

Q.Q

Q

A.Qsir, pretty much.

Everybody I talked to,
So you weren't really briefed, you were informed.

1
Q.Q
Q

Right, sir. I knew about the incident at Camp Bucca
4 involving the Battalion, I mean, that's something that bad news
5 travels fast, even back at Fort Dix. So I knew about that one.
6 It involved 10 of my soldiers that had been originally cleared,
7 and the others were eventually prosecuted. The battalion never
8 really recovered from that as far as I'm concerned, sir. My
9 soldiers have done magnificent work with what they've had to do

10Qwith, Little or no support, little or no sleep. They

3 A.Q

it

literally built that camp. And for them to take it on their
i2 chin like they did and still soldier on, that says a lot for the
13 caliber of those kids from the 320th, but we never really
14 recovered from it. Formal certain instances had transpired, I
15 was informed about the riot that took place. I was informed
16 about the mortars that fell on top of the prisoners one night in
17 Compound Two. I was informed of the body parts and the brains
18 hanging out and things of that nature, how well my medics did.
19 I was informed of the escape that night.

20Q0.Q

Was it an escape or attempted escape?
Q

21 A.Q

I believe one of them got out, sir. Okay, I believe
22 he got ou: from under the wire.
3QAt Bucca?

Q

No, sir, not at Bucca, up at Abu Ghraib.
2QC.Q

1QA.Q

Okay.
3QA.Q

Just trying to stay up on the events that had
4 transpired and get the overall OPTEMPO and the climate of what

the conditions were, what things could get done maybe better or
6 what happened that facilitated that. It's tough to be
7 everywhere. I found myself torn. The hard site yesterday, I
8 got caught up in a riot when we were just inside there, just
9 trying to get a walkthrough of how the guy escaped from the day

10 before. He didn't get out of the compound--he got out of the
'IQ

compound, he just didn't get out of the overall LSA or the guard
12 tower. They were able to chase him down. They found him trying
13 to get ou: of the orange jumpsuit under a bus. So he was taken
14 back into custody and placed in confinement.
15QBut then we had an incident where we--and it could
16 have been part of the diversion, there was a fight in Tier--or
17 Wing Five, and the whole block was put on a lockdown, certain
18 privileges taken away. And so yesterday, they started
19 rebelling. So while I was getting a tour of the facility with

20 the First Sergeant, Sergeant of the Guard, Sergeant Ward, we got

21
pressed 11 a service, the three of us, basically. About 2 1/2

22 hours later, he was put down.
Q

3 Q.Q

This was yesterday?

Q

1
A.Q

Yes, sir.
2QQ.Q

In the context of the investigation that's currently
3 underway, that accused some of the guards there that were
4 operating in Tier One A, are you familiar with that particular
5Q

case?
6 A.Q

I've heard rumors, sir. It allegedly occurred before
7 my arrival there.
8QThis case is a suspension of the battalion commander

Q.Q

9 and certain elements of the company was done these past 2 weeks.
10QYes, sir, I'm aware of that.

A.Q

Q. You're of that. And certainly you know the suspension i2 would arise to the awareness that certain things are happening 13Q
in that particular site, the hard site, that constituted the
14 suspension of the Battalion Commander and the Company Commander
15 and the Operations Sergeant. Was that the first time you were

16 aware that the whole thing was happening?
17QYes, sir. The Battalion Commander, Colonel

A.Q18Qmy Operations Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major 19 owthe company First Sergeant, First Sergeant UMW
20 the Company Commander, Captain IIIII1Pand the Platoon Sergeant,
21 Sergeant First Class 1111111, All five were suspended, sir.

22
Q• Now giving the circumstances, had there been any type 3 of corrective action that was taken by the leadership of the
battalion, the Acting Battalion commander, yourself, or the
2 chain of command with regards to corrective actions to prevent
3 such reoccurrences that you know of?

1

Yes, sir. First off, at my first convenience, I got
5 rid of the seven individuals, there was eight originally that I
6 saw. Since one soldier's complaints were unfounded by CID, he
7 was returned to duty, but rot at that location where the alleged
8 crimes occurred. The other seven, I had transferred over here
9 to Camp victory and are now working at 16th Brigade, various

10

4 A.

capacit1e:3 relating to their MOS's.

And they were just from that one company that's....

12

'1 Y.
....conducting this mission, 372d.

13 Q.

14 A.

Yes, sir. Those were the seven soldiers--I believe
15

there were 10, sir, all tolled from the report that I read. The
16 two are from the MI, I think, the other eight were from the
17 Lite I say, the charges against the one were unfounded,

372d.
18 he was returned to duty. Colonel all, made the call on that
19 one and said, "Well, we got nothing to hammer this guy on.
20

Let's put him back to work."
21 c.

So these are the seven individuals of the 10 or so

22 that were involved in the abuse case?

3 A.

Yes, sir, we moved them here to Camp Victory.

26
1 Q. So they're not performing any more duties--2 A. No, sir. 3 Q. And how were you able to replace those guys? 4 A. We just work a little harder, sir, with what I had. 5 Some of the soldiers that were involved in that incident were 6 non-MP-type soldiers. Therefore, they weren't really in the 7 hard site, they were pulling administrative duties, along the 8 lines Df, I think one might have been a mechanic. One might 9 have been a clerk. I think, sir, four may have been MPs, five,
10 maybe. I know two were MI. So we just go ahead and suck it up,

'
1 sir.
12 Q. Sergeant Major 111111" who was suspended, he was, at
13 the time, I believe, was the acting Command Sergeant Major prior
14 to your arrival.
15 A. Him and Command Sergeant Major I believe
16 were, sir

17 Q. And who was Command Sergeant Major 11111111.

18 A. I met him on one occasion, sir, briefly. In fact, he
19 came bac off leave back to the battalion shortly after I
20 arrived there. Once they found out that I was in place, there
21 was no need for two CSMs, Sergeant Major 1.11111rejoined I
22 think, I'd like to say, sir, the 530th MP Battalion or the 510th

3 MP Battalion. He also came under the 800th.

1 Q. The same brigade. 2 A. Yes, sir, the 800th. But I don't know which facility 3 ne went back to, sir, but he did rejoin that battalion. 4 C. Upon your arrival, once again, was there anything 5 given to you, provided to you by the MP Brigade chain of 6 command, namely General Karpinski or the Brigade Sergeant Major 7 on the topic of your performance and how you're supposed to
8 interact :.n with regards to your new mission at Abu Ghraib?
9 A. No, sir. The first time I met General Karpinski and

10 Sergeant Major 111111111,who was the interim Sergeant Major, the
Command Sergeant Major of the Brigade at that time, or
previously:, had been a guy named -, I think. He wasn't

13 there when I first arrived, and Sergeant Major again
14 was the interim CSM for the Brigade. I met them here at Camp
15 Victory when I came over with Major DiNenna for a conference.
16 Other than formal introductions and apologies on my part for
17 conduct o one of my NCOs who emailed the General directly
18 without going through the chain of command, I would conclude
19 that's a heck of a way to start business.

20 Q. With regards to the conduct of the guards on the daily
21 operations, both day and night, was there any effort that you
22 know of established policy that the leadership presence was

1 either an implied mission task given the nature of the business
2 that you were conducting there at Abu Ghraib?
3 A. I wouldn't say implied, sir. We would--a lot of us
4 would do lt, I mean, upon my arrival, I would tour the facility

5 sometimes at different hours of the night, especially with the
6 jetlag. . just couldn't get a sleep pattern down, so it
7 wouldn't be uncommon for me to be moving through the compounds
8 at 2 or 3 in the morning, or as far up as 5 or 6. Pretty much
9 later on Ln the day, I suffered. But in the beginning, it

10 wasn't a problem. It wasn't uncommon to see some of the first
'1 sergeants transporting coffee and tea and things of this nature
12 out to various guard posts to the soldiers on watch. Various
13 elements of the leadership on the 3-side could be seen roaming
14 the compounds at different hours. The commander, Colonel
15 4111111111,would be seen doing the same thing, sir. Some of
16 the company commanders that I can recall were doing pretty much
17 just chezking on their men, per se, not an overall view, except
18 for that one first sergeant, First Sergeant He pretty
19 much visited all the kids on all the towers. He was with the

20 229th Company and his towers responsibilities were usually
21 supporting Ganci One and Two compounds. He'd make it a point,
22 sir, to go and hit all the towers.

1 Q. 372d was not assigned or attached until they arrived

2 in count:fy, if I'm not mistaken. Had you ever trained with the
3 372d before?
4 A. No, sir, not as a company.
5 Q. So basically, the first introduction with the 372d was
6 when you arrived in country?
7 A. Yes, sir.

8 Q. So did you know their reputation or training readiness 9 or things of that nature? 10 A. No, sir.
Q. You had no knowledge, whatsoever.
A. No, sir. 13 Q. And the point where you mentioned the incident down at 14 Bucca which pretty much degraded the morale of the battalion, 15 the headquarters, primarily, did you get an inclination of who 16 were involved with the incidents down there, whether it involved 17 directly the 320th MP Battalion or the 372d? 18 A. Yes, sir, the 320th. Yes, sir, I read the newspapers. 19 Sir, the bad news travels fast, even back at Fort Dix. Every 20 one of the soldiers named, I knew. 21 Q. But they were not assigned to the 320th, I don't 22 think, were they?
3 A. Yes, sir, every one of them was.

1 The 320th MP Company?
2 A. MP Battalion, sir, the HHC out of Ashley,
3 Pennsylvania. In fact, Master Sergeant she was an E7

4 originally, and I got--heard she was promoted, promoted in the

5 Battalion. She had been with the 424 and had been with the
6 Battalion previous to my arrival. Sergeant First Class
7 1111111111111, I got him years ago when he was an E5, and made it up
8 to E7. Specialist IIIIIIrand Sergeant 11111, I knew him as an
9 E3 in the Battalion, sir. So those four soldiers were mine.

10 Q. Assigned to the 320th.
,1

A. Yes, sir. 12 Q. Headquarters and Headquarters.... 13 A. Ashley, Pennsylvania, yes, sir. 14 Q. So there was no undisputable fact that they were not 15 assigned 7.0 anybody else but----16 A. No, sir, they were mine, sir. 17 C. And the incidents that had been made knowledge to you 18 with regards to the current investigation that's being conducted 19 now, based on what has been recorded so far, those people that 20 you reassigned somewhere or were suspended, what corrective 2 1 actions within the context of that one facility or one tier, can
22 you describe any type of corrective actions that were taken?

1 A. Yes, sir. As soon as it happened, and the leadership

2 was put on the spot, per se, the S3, Majoring, decided to

3 develop a DA 6 on E7s and above from the headquarters element,

4 itself, That would pull unscheduled visits of the hard sites in

5 Ganci compounds of the towers during the hours of probably 2300

6 to 0600 every night. So that if we went by alphabetical order,

7 Sergeant010, I'm just using an example, sir, Sergeant imp
8 might pill .pull it the next

_ it one night, Chief

9 nigh:. ,3eutenant 11111might pull it the next night. That's 10 what we've been going with, sir. '1 Q. So those are the actions that have been taken to 12 ensure there's a new set of eyes that are looking or overseeing 13 the operations of that particular site, which is also considered 14 the security detainee tier, if I'm not mistaken. 15 A. Yes, sir, that site and the other sites, as well. The
16 instructions aren't just clearly directed towards that hard site
17 or Camp Vigilant. It's instructed to look at the whole
18 operation, to include the towers and the TOC.
19 Q. Have you inquired on the interaction of the

20 interrogators with other MPs?
21 A. No, sir.

Q. Are you aware that there is an active interaction
2 between interrogators and the MPs with regards to an
3 interrogation plan, punishment plan, things of that nature?
4 r. Yes, sir. I wouldn't want to say--a Regular Army-type
5 thing, but there seems to be that break right there, sir, where
6 it's t'1 on the Regular Army side of the house and the IR
7 settlement on the Reserve and Guard side of the house. I
8 wouldn't say there's a job description breakdown, but it seemed
9 that they would do what their job requirements are and nothing

10 more. And my soldiers would do their requirements and nothing
'1 more. There seemed to be a break there. I had good interaction
12 with the command Sergeant Major that was on the ground for the
13 165th. Ln fact, he helped me quite a bit out there in regards
14 tc getting soldiers back into uniform standards and things of
15 this nature, Command Sergeant Major He

He was the 165th MI

16 Battalion CSM.

17 Q. You had interaction with him.

18 A. Yes, sir. He was--if I'd say over all my years of

19 working with various CSMs in the active side of the house and 20 Reserves. he'd be like the best friend I had, good man, sir. 21 Q. How often did you meet with your senior NCOs with 22 regards :o conduct of detainee operations, soldier quality of
3 life, soldier discipline, things of that nature?

1 A. Like I say, sir, every Tuesday morning, after we had
2 staff ca.A, was my normal call with the first sergeants.
3 However, the open door policy that I've got, sir, I can be
4 stopped anywhere. Last night, I had a first sergeant come to my
5 room, caucrht me at 2100 and wanted to talk, first sergeant from

6 the 670th Company having an issue with his company commander.
7 He asked for some guidance and things of this nature. That's
8 not uncommon. I think that's good. They were trying to work
9 something out. He's got about 62 days left. He's a pretty good

10 man, sir.
'1 C. Do you often interact with Sergeant Major
12 from 800th MP?
13 A. I would say, sir, on the trips I would have to make to

14 Camp Victory to the Brigade Headquarters. I think he came out

15 to Abu Ghraib on two occasions, maybe three, maximum. He came

16 out with Command Sergeant Major Mr° introduce his 16th

17 Brigade CSM. He had one NCO call with my senior NCOs, and then

18 he came out with the General on Christmas Day. We would take

19 pretty much quality of life issues, standard of uniform and

20 appearance, which greatly increased there at Abu Ghraib.

21 C. When the incident was finally put out into the open in

22 regards tc, detainee abuses, was there any concerted effort by

3 the battalion or the companies to do an all-hands call to let

34
1 them know what was going on, why their leadership was being

2 suspended at Abu Ghraib?
3 A. I went over to the 372d Company, sir, and I talked to
4 al_ the 5cddiers involved, the same day that I brought the five
5 soldiers up here. I escorted all the way down
6 to Sergeant here to Camp Victory. When I got back, I
7 called fo! a meeting with the 372d company members, told them

8 what had transpired, what the alleged actions of certain
9 individua2s in our company. There was no doubt that some of
10 those individuals were present in that meeting on the night with

the company. Because at that time, I didn't have any names. In
i2 fact, I hadn't even seen an investigation report. Colonel
13 111111111was the one that showed me the report, and I don't know
14 whetner That's due to Colonel with the
15 confident_ality portion of it; I'd like to think that that's the
16 case. IIIIIIrshowed it to me and said, "Sergeant Major,
17 this is what you're dealing with here. These are the seven
18 individua.s, or eight individuals." That's when I finally found
19 out who the names were. But getting back to my meeting with the
20 company, [ told them that the actions of a certain few have
21 caused a great many to suffer from it. I said, "Two individuals

22 from my side of the house, being my colonel and my Sergeant
3 Major," who I had a great deal of (inaudible) for. I took the

1 hurt very, very hard...their first sergeant, First Sergeant
2 IIIIIIIIr. When you're with a Reserve unit, sir, a lot of times
3 you think you'll be with a unit for a great unit of time, so you

4 build the friendships there, as well. And I asked them, I said,
5 "I don't know how close these soldiers were to these
6 individuals, but if any of these were with them for a long
7 period or time and considered them a friend," I said, "You've
8 hurt that: friendship by your actions." It took about a half
9 hour for me to talk to most of the soldiers. I tried to

10 reinforce the good things that they've done in the past, that
'1 because of the actions of a few, and I told them about my
12 soldiers bearing that scorn, as well, the incident at Camp
13 Bucca, that my Battalion had gone through, that it's something
14 we've go: to overcome and we've got to continue on with the
15 mission because you can't walk off your post.
16 Now that the seven individuals were out of there, I'd
17 like to go back and talk with the soldiers again and assess the
18 climate. I spent a lot of time over there with them, and their
19 First Sergeant because I have an acting First Sergeant in that
20 position sight now, Sergeant owAnd at the same time, we

21 had the only officer left in the company, Lieutenant who 22 assumed the role as the company commander. So, we put those two 3 in that position, it required a little closer mentorship and a
36
1 little more visibility, sir, than I would normally give a
2 company that was operating at this normal tempo.
3 Q. A lot more closer attention, I'm sure.
4 The amount of time that's been given to detention
5 operations,, Sergeant Major, also would suggest that there are
6 other folks that are involved in your operation because you're

7 one of the: tenant units in that forward operating base that's
8 now unde:-the command and control of the 501st MI Brigade. And
9 previous 1.o that, of course, you belonged to the 205th MI

10 Brigade as a tenant unit. '1 A. Yes, sir. 12 Q. So you are under tactical control of the Brigade that 13 is currently above you, but you are still assigned to the 800th 14 MP Brigade. When things of that nature typically--and I'll be 15 going bac to your interaction with the 800th, with things of 16 that nature, you were under further dual responsibility of 17 reporting, one to the Brigade that you were currently under 18 tactica:L :control, and one to the Brigade that you were assigned 19 to, the 8JOth. And I keep going, harping back at your
10 interaction with both Command Sergeants Majors and that
21 particular point, given the circumstances, did you ask for any
22 assistance from either Brigade to help alleviate the problem

3 that you were undergoing with one company that has a difficult

37
1 mission o! guarding a hard site, let alone, a camp? Did you
2 request ar.y assistance from any assistance or were you doing
3 things OE your own in terms of what your capability----

4 A. I didn't know the 372d was under that type of trauma
5 or any!-.hirig, sir. I didn't know about the incident until after
6 it surfaced on January the 13th. I didn't know anything had
7 transpired. Once again, I didn't get in country until December
8 the 3d, and didn't get to Abu Ghraib until December the 5th. I
9 was unaware that any of this had ever occurred until this all

10 came cat, sir.
"1 Q. So have you asked for any assistance from the two
12 superiors that you have to give you further guidance so you can
13 accomplish your mission in Abu Ghraib?
14 A. As to----
15 Q. Had you been given any assistance, whatsoever, or have
16 you requested any assistance from either the 800th or the 504th
17 or the 20!)th to give you additional personnel so you can
18 accomplish the mission in Abu Ghraib?
19 A..

I haven't asked for any, sir, no. In order for them
20 to accomp_ish the mission, I would need exact replacements for
21 the MOSs that are gone of those seven soldiers that have been

22 transterred over here, in this case, I believe four MPs and
3 three lower density MOSs. The 504th, I just met their Command

1 Sergeant Major for the first time yesterday. The 202d MI
2 Battalion just came in, Command Sergeant Major.I met him
3 for the first time when Command Sergeant Major 11111came on

4.In fact, I

the grounc.. That was a couple days ago, as well.
5 invited tl-em to the NCO call we had with Command Sergeant Major
6 111111Ihi; first day on the ground out there. We are trying to
7 work the .72d issue and keep them up to speed, sir, with the new
8 First Seraeant. Word was that a new First Sergeant was inbound;
9.

i don't think that's a good call. These soldiers, once again,
10 know nothing about this and it will come down to the trust
'1 factor. It took me almost 2 months to get this close to them.
12 They're not going to open up to a brand new First Sergeant
13.

coming in on the ground.
14.Q. If you did not ask for any specific personnel
15 replacements--

16 A..

We've always been asking for replacements, sir. With
17 the Reserve side of the house and the Guard side, it's not like
18 Regular Army where you could go to a Replacement Battalion.
19.

It's just--this is issues and echelons above me, sir, it's just
20 something that's gotta be worked out. Right from the get go,
21.

when we left out of Fort Dix, we were six people short. Now
22 we're down to 118. Again, I've got MOS-trained soldiers that I

1 know are back at the Reserve Center just sitting there just
2 doing--
3 Q. Well, I guess what I was looking for, Sergeant Major,
4 is not exactly getting a replacement from the States, it's
5 getting some reallocation of assets within the Brigade or even
6 within the Battalion to help out with that issue. You said you
7 book out seven NCOs or seven personnel out of a company that was
8 guarding site, and then reallocated within that company, per
9 se, to cover that site.
10 A. Four were guarding the site, sir. The other three
'1 worked in the admin side of the house.
12 Q. So you were still out seven soldiers.
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 O. Which means that company is still seven soldiers
15 short..
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 O. But then no movement whatsoever or whether the
18 Battalion was either going to augment that company or whether
19 the Brigade would take any action to reallocate within their own
20 Brigades and give you the additional seven people that you are
21 short of.

1 A. That's a roger, sir, I haven't asked for seven
2 additional people. We just go ahead and just work with what
3 we've got here.
4 Q What is the personnel status of the 372d?
5

6 A. They just got, which is one good thing, sir, they just
7 get a platoon back that was on the Hallow ?? mission providing
8 escort duty in that area. I believe 17 personnel came back up

9 with that element, to include their acting company commander
10 right now, Captain Steva. So the timing was good--

1 Q Are the 17 personnel up here now?
12 A Yes, sir, they're on the ground now.
13 Q. What is that company doing now?
14 A. They're still conducting the operation at the hard
15 site at Camp Vigilant, sir.

16 Q. That company has now has been given--but that's a
17 platoon, : thought, or is it a company?
18 A. That's a platoon--well, it's a designated company,
19 sir, but when we just back the other day, it was a platoon, a
20 platoon-strength element.
21 Q. So that platoon was conducting hard site duty?
22 A. Yes, sir, hard site at Camp Vigilant.

1 Q. Okay, that is under the command and control of the
2 372d MP Company?
3 A. Yes, sir.

4 Q. Under the command of Lieutenant
5 A. Captain low, sir, the at acting company
6 commander
7 Q. Captain MIN

8 A. yes, sir.
9 c. When did that occur?

10 A. When he hit the ground, sir, at Abu Ghraib. '1 Q. When was that, this week? 12 A. Yes, sir. 13 Q. Because on the 2d of February, we met Lieutenant 14 Raider. 15 A. Yes, sir, I was there. 16 [The session paused at 1533, 9 February 2004, and reconvened at 17 1559, 9 February 2004.) 18 Q. When you arrived back on the 5th of December and 19 assumed the role as Command Sergeant Major, did you know that 20 there was an MI Brigade that was operating as your higher 21 headquarters for the Forward Operating Base? 22 A. I know that there was an 06 on post, Colonel Pappas.
3 I know they were basing the 5 commanders of Abu Ghraib and that

42
I the Internment/Resettlement operation was pretty much a 320th

2 task.
3 Q. Have you ever asked or inquired as to the command
4 relationstip between the 320th and 205th MI Brigade?

5 A. No, sir, I never asked about the command--I never
6 asked what the climate was or anything like that between it was.
7 Q. In other words, you understood the 320th was the

8 detention operations. 9 A. Yes, sir. 10 Q. But you never asked to what extent are you related
somewhat to command and control to the 205th, other than being a
t2 tenant unit.
13 A. Roger, sir, that was our understanding. The 205th had
14 a LRS company out there that conducted--cr 165 had a LRS company
15 on the ground out there with us that provided LRS operations

16 outside the wire, as well as the 82d, and our own QRF as far as
17 security forces there. The MI conducted military interrogations
18 and things of that nature. And we reported basically to Colonel
19 Pappas and his chain. I met the Brigade CSM on one occasion,
20 Command Sergeant Majoring" I believe a lot of their elements

21 were here at Victory, as well, and had only a small cell at the
22 FOB, one out at Abu Ghraib.

1 Q. What do you think is the role of the Forward Operating
2 Base?
3 A. My assumption would be, sir, that they would be in

4 charge of the quality of life issues on post, the facilities,
5 the overall operating facilities that they have there on post,
6 coordination as--or the head element as far as the coordination

7 between tl-e sub-elements on post, the monitoring of the exact
8 operaticn on the post, itself. A lot of times, I would find
9 myself as the Battalion CSM looking for further guidance up

10 there to the FOB because I understood the FOB ran the operation
'1 out there. But it wasn't somewhat in place. A lot of times, I
woulo makE• an onthespot correction in regards to uniforms, and

-

-

13 there would be two sets of standards. Some soldiers were
14 allowed to--in fact, I grabbed a soldier in the mess hall before
15 we came out. He had that Iraqi scarf-type thing in a tan and
16 white check, per se, around his neck and he told me, he said,
17 "That's accepted--," or he said, "That's authorized by my
18 commander."
19 Q. Did you ask him who his commander was?
20 A. He said he's a LRS element, sir, and that's what I
21 plan t-D take up when I go back to Abu Ghraib.

1 Q. Now, you've been in this business now as a Command

2 Sergeant Major for the last 4 years with the same outfit, the
3 320th.
4 A. Correct, sir.
5 Q. Now surely, in the context of conducting an I and R
6 mission it a combat operation that holds detainees, that there's
7 going =o be some interaction with interrogators. Were you at
8 all curious or aware of what interrogators do, interacting with
9 your MPs with regards to, you got prisoners in there in a

10 security area to secure the detainees, and you've got folks
'1 somewhat providing either instructions or interaction or
12 coordination between the MP guards and the interrogation. Were
13 you ever curious as to what are the established procedures?
14 A. Yes, sir. I've observed some of tne procedures, sir.
15 I've observed the interrogation block located over at Camp
16 Vigilant there, just on the--it's the building on the outskirts
17 of where Vigilant began, the building right there, and I've
18 walked through it. I have not interrupted any of the sessions
19 that I saw, but never observed anything out of the ordinary,

20 other than talking to the prisoners. 21 Q. You never inquired about what should be the 22 established SOP or any guidance written or otherwise that would
3 establish why they're even coming into the cell and taking out

45
1 any of these detainees and taking them to the interrogation
2 room, anv practices whatsoever in regards to punishment

or

things of that nature?

4 A. No, sir. I would assume that that was part of the
5 operational role and that they were doing it for the military
6 side of tl..e house in regards to the operations. I would never
7 see them co into a cell and take them out because basically, the
8 cells were down on the hard site there and they'd come down in
9 cars and things of that nature. What I observed mostly with the

10 M: is coming by Camp Ganci and taking the prisoners out, moving
'1.

3.

them up into the facility right there and conducting the
12 interrogations there. Then I would tour into the interrogation
13 area, and like I say, sir, I've never observed anything out of
14 the ordinary. I observed basically two soldiers or two
15.

interrogators talking to an Iraqi prisoner. What the content
16 was or what he was charged with, what they were asking him, I
17 don't know, sir. It was pretty much soundproof.
18.C..

Have you ever asked your guards and say, "How do you
19 guys do that?" Have you inquired on your guards or your
20 leadership? What's our interaction with them since we're
21 supposed to be doing detention operations?

.

22 A. The MI compound--or the MI guards would show up, sir,
3 and say they want to see Prisoner such-and-such. They'd give my

1 compound cuards an ISN number. A compound representative, who
2 spoke English most of the time, would go in and summon that
3 person that needed to be seen by the MI. The MI would then
4 escort the prisoner from that area up into the interrogation
5 area.
6 Q. Have you ever asked any questions just out of sheer
7 curiosity of why those prisoners are being held in solitary
8 confinement?
9 No, sir. The one yesterday in solitary that I

10 observed with the handcuffs on was the one that tried to escape. '1 c. Which ore tried to escape? 12 A..couldn't tell you his name, sir.
I
13 Q. When did he try to escape?
14 A. The day before, sir, out of Tier number five. He was

15 the one that--
16 V. He was the one that was crawling underneath the bus?
17 A. Roger, he went around the side, sir, with the barbed
18 wire we nad there, pushed his way through it, down to the left,
19 aot pinched--tried the one gate there that was locked, which I
20 find amazing—that the Iraqi Guards, the ICOs, they don't lock
21 anything, sir. They have to be constantly told. And has he
22 kept going, the one guard in the tower tried to come down the

3 stairs, but he couldn't get out in time. And then when the

1 alert went out, Sergeant MIwas coming out of Tier One A and
2 fumbling around with the keys. He was finally able to get out
3 of the guard tower and down to where he went under. as
4 able to come out and get him out from underneath the bus.
5 Q. Okay, you mentioned something about corrective actions
6 that were made since the allegations have been made of multiple
7 detainee abuses. Did you cr your Battalion Commander, acting
8 Battalion Commander, Colonel 111111111 discuss any kind of a plan
9 or were you informed of any plan, written or otherwise, to

10 conduct corrective actions to prevent reoccurrences of detainee
'1 abuses by the guards?
12 A. Yes, sir. Different flyers and notices have been
13 posted. 4ules of engagement were once again gone over.
14 Q. What I meant to say is, what I mean by a plan, it has
15 to be a written plan, like an operations order of some sort, or
16 an OPLAN Dr an SOP, and then bring people in and instruct them,
17 as op•osei to just arbitrarily posting SOPs and flyers and
18 things of that nature. We're talking about a training plan of
19 sorts that would correct the shortcomings that were perpetrated
20 by the seven or ten other soldiers that did all these alleged

21 abuses. 22 A. We AAR'd it and talked amongst ourselves, sir, what 3 transpired. We can't really say at liberty, I guess, because
I there's a confidentiality to report what the full content was.
2 We talked with the staff. We hope that maybe this 15-6, once
3 it's finalized, will help us formulate a training plan, I
4 believe, find out where the shortcomings were, what we can do to
5 implement a plan, that something like this won't happen.
6 Q. So even to this day, you are not aware of any
7 specificity of what those soldiers did?
8 A. I've seen the charges, sir, but the exact--I've seen

9 t!-.e wording of the charges. The exact elements of exactly what
10 went into each of those charges that precipitated the next
'1 element, no, sir, I'm not aware of it.
12 O. You were just shcwn, "indecent acts, cruelty," things
13 of that nature, but you've not seen any film or photographs,
14 things of that nature?
15 A. No, sir, no film, whatsoever.
16 Q. And your guards that you talk to every day have not
17 told you anything of any degree of specificity of what those
18 soldiers might or might not have done?
19 A..

No, sir.
10

',D. Not at all.
21 A No, sir. I know some soldiers have seen photos,
22 allegedly. I know some members of the staff may have seen some

3 of these photos. I haven't seen a photo, sir.

1 Q So really, the corrective actions that you're talking
2 about is not a comprehensive list of corrective actions, it was
3 just kind of a response or a reaction to what is really
4 transpiring, like more signs out there reminding people to not
5 do this scuff, that sort of thing.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. That's the kind of corrective action you're talking
8 about.
9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. And have you seen Colonel IIIIIIgt all, whatsoever?
'1 He gathered all these guys and you read everybody the full
12 context of the allegations that are made against the Battalion?
13 A. Has he....
14 Q. Has he done any of that stuff? Since you were with
15 him, at Ile time when people were getting suspended and being
16 relieved from their particular job position and he was then, of
17 course, sibsequently appointed as the Acting Battalion
18 Commander.
19 A. Yes, sir. Colonel IIIIIIIcame in on the ground with
20 Colonel r and Colonel -said he's going to be
21 staying o-i as the Battalion Commander.
22 Q. But before then though, who did you think, since the

3 Battalion Commander was suspended on or about the 13th of 14th

1 January or something like that, who was then the

or 15th of
2 Acting Battalion Commander at the time?

3 A. The X0, sir, Majoring.,
.

4 c.
Major...I/was the X0. Did he then take immediate
5 action to correct the problem?

6 A.
Once again, sir, we implemented that plan of
7 unscheduled checks and visits by staff personnel. The reading
8 of once again, and posting of signs and things, encouraging
9 soldiers to report violations of detainee abuse and to overall

10 to make the command aware of--without going into certain details
'1.

of the incident that had occurred with the 372d.
12 Q..

But since you've been in this business for a long
13 time, what do you consider as your bible, so to speak, when
14 you're taking about detention operations? What are the
15 regulatory and doctrinal field manuals, MTP that particularly
16 would be associated with the conduct of detention operations or
17.

Internment: and Resettlement?
18 A..

It would be, sir, the Battalion SOP, which we have, or
19 the MTP are the two books that I mostly look at.
20 Are you familiar with AR 1908?

Q. ­21 A..

If you give me the name of it, sir, I may.
22 Q..

It has something to do with detention and
3.

resettlement.

1 COL NELSON: Which one, sir? I've got it.
.

2 MG TAGUBA: 190-8.
.

3 COL NELSON: Enemy POWs or retained personnel, civilian
4 internees and other detainees.
.

5 Q..

Are you familiar with FM 3-19-40?
.

No, sir.
7.

6 A..

COL NELSON: And that's MP internment, resettlement
8.

operations.
9.

CSM ARRISON: The excerpts coming out of this, sir, and it
10 would be in the MTP or anything. As far as sitting down and
'1.

opening it up front to cover and know that that is the AR and
0.

that's the title, no, sir.
13 Q..

These are things that should be somewhat relegated to
14 you as the Battalion Command Sergeant Major. You should be the
15.

subject matter expert.
16 A..

On the training, yes, sir.
17 Q..

But you should also be very, very, very keenly
18 familiar with the context of this AR, because it has something
19 to do with the mission that you're conducting today.

20 A..

If you're asking me, sir, if I can tell you about the
21.

size of tte compounds, which come out of that, but to say that I
22 no, sir, I don't.

know verbatim what that manual says,

1 Are you familiar with the context of the Geneva

Q..

2 Convention?
.

Yes, sir, I've had Geneva Convention training.
.

3 A..

Do your soldiers have Geneva Convention training?
.

4 Q..

I believe that was one of the classes, sir, that we

had before we mobilized--or deployed, rather.
.

5 A..

Are you able to articulate the context of the Geneva
8 Conventicr that would make you culpable to war crimes if you
9 violate such provisions of the Geneva Convention?

10 A..

7 Q..

Yes, sir, and I know that there's crimes--a code as
far as that goes.
12 Q..

What is typically associated with the Geneva
13 Conventior and the handling of prisoners?
14 A..

Abuse, from which is one kind, stealing of trophies,
15 prisoner':. belongings, the administering of punishment, things
16.

of that nature.
17 Q..
goes beyond that, as you know, cruel and inhumane

It
18.

treatment, what is allowed, is not allowed.
19 A..

Yes, sir.
20 Have you seen any of your guards parading any of our

Q..
21.

detainees without their jumpsuits or their clothing?
.

22 A. No, sir.
Have you had any knowledge, whatsoever, that things

1 Q..

like this----
.

2.

Just what I read, sir.
4 Q..

3 A..

Just what you read? Have you heard any rumors
5.

associated with that?
.

No, sir.
.

6 A..

7 What about the use of force relative to the handling

Q.

8 of a detainee getting prepared for interrogation?
.

The use of force as in applying handcuffs and moving
10 them from one position to another? And again, your question
again or that, sir, is am I aware of handcuffing the prisoner
12.

9 A..

and moving him?

13 c..
This is all part of an interrogation plan.
14 b..
Yes, sir.
15 Q..
That basically stipulates what are those things that

16 are contained in an interrogation plan as they relate to the
17 removal of the detainee from his cell and taken to an
18.

interrogation room, being interrogated, returned back to his
19 cell, is there anything associated with any kind of post-
20 treatment? In other words, should that detainee be put on a
21.

special meal plan? Or should that detainee be deprived of
22 sleep, for 4 hours every 24 hours to keep him awake? That he's
3 only doing to get 4 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period? Should

he be shackled? Should he be stripped of his clothing? Should

2 there be cther treatment? Are you familiar with that?

1

I'm not aware of what would authorize that, sir, or
4 how it's perceived or who makes that determination of what that
5 conduct--is implemented. I do know that certain prisoners are
6 placed on lack of sleep schedules, per se, but who makes that
7 determination is, I assume, the MI and what their focus is on
8 that as far as what information they need to extract from a
9 prisoner. I don't know about them being paraded around naked or

10 things of this nature or abuse, other than as far as the sleep
'1

3 A.

schedule, I do know that.
i2 What did you hear when four members of the 320th were

Q.
13 neid accountable for detainee abuses way back in May? When did
14

you first 'near about that?
15 When I was at Fort Dix, sir.

A.
16 When was that?

C.
17 In May, sir, I guess, I mean, it was--like I said, it

A.I

18 was well known. It didn't take long for it to travel back. We
19 had one of my soldiers, I think, come back to Fort Dix in the
20 May timeframe for a back problem. He was the one that made me

21

aware of it.

22 Q. How would you characterize your relationship with your
3 Battalion Commander, Colonel MEW

A. I have a good relationship with Colonel 111111111111

2 sir. It's professional, yes, sir.
3 Q When you were not deployed and you were sticking

.

4 around at Fort Dix, were there any phone calls, whatsoever, or 5 emails -6 A. I received a letter from Colonel sir, 7 stating that he knew the predicament the six of us were in, that 8 he wished he could do something about it, that his thoughts and 9 prayers are with us, things of that nature, sir. He knew that
10 all of us wanted to deploy, but for certain reasons, we were
'1 unable--he didn't hold that against us. He said that the
i2 soldiers know.
13 Q. Ever since you've been in that Battalion for the last
14 4 years, 'row long was Colonel 1111111111,your Battalion
15 Commander up until the deployment time? How long was he in
16 command and you being his Command Sergeant Major? To what
17 extent was. your relationship with him, how long was that?
18 A. Probably 7 months, maybe, sir.
19 Q. Seven months; did you know him before?

20 A. No, sir. 2 1 c.
Was he assigned to the battalion before that?
22 A. No, sir.
3 Q. So basically, 7 months worth of relationship----

1 A. I'd say that's probably right, about 7 months, sir. I 2 think sometime in the May timeframe, April timeframe of the 3 summer before that, we got mobilized. 4 Q. So you really didn't establish a good solid 5 relationship with him, per se? 6 A. We never performed at AT together, no, sir. 7 .So the first time you really performed together was at

8 mobilization?
9 No, sir, we drill weekends and conferences together
10 and things of this nature, but as far as performing a mission
together, no, sir.

i2 Q. Not in the collective sense.
13 A. No, sir.
14 Q. What about any other members of the Battalion?
15 A. The S3, sir, I've been on board with him for the whole

16 time.
17 C. Who's the S3?
18 F. Maj or IIIIIIIIIIII
19 c. So he's been there the whole time you've been there

20 for :he past 4 years?

21 He was in the group, sir, the MP group that was here

A.I

22 in the sane building when I was at 367th, a group when I
3

originall ¦ ' came on board, and then came and moved into the
57
1 Battalion. Sergeant Major/NIP which is also a fulltime, an
2 AGR, he's always been as the Battalion Operations Sergeant Major
3 for the whole time I've known him.
4 Q. What about the X0, Major 111111111r

5 A The first time I laid eyes on Major sir, was
6 when I cane here to Abu Ghraib.
7 Q. So you never knew him?
8 A. No, sir.
9 Q. Headquarters Company Commander?

10 A. Lieutenant ...Fs one of my E6s, sir, back years
, ago. I was helpful in getting his direct commission to First

Lieutenant--Second Lieutenant, and eventually, now he's a First
13 Lieutenant.
14 Q. Reporting detainee abuses or inmate escapes, on your
15 best knowledge, Sergeant Major, what are the established,
16 through SOP or different doctrine, field manuals and MTP, is the
17 procedure for reporting that, documenting that?
18 A. The alert notification, sir, to the TOC, the

19 summonsinc of the IRF and the QRF, if it's a mass escape or if
20 it's an irdividual escape, a quick assessment and
21 accountability, the overall trying of the apprehension, the
22 facts that go into it, that if he does get outside the wire, who

3 is he? IE he going to go back to certain areas and things of

58
1 this nature? Was there weapons involved? Are there injuries?
2 It's pretty much along that line there, sir.
When you first heard that the Bucca incident occurred

3 Q.
4 and you said it somewhat demoralized the morale of the
5 battalion, did you provjde any advice, whatsoever, to the chain
6 of commano or perhaps even suggested or recommended to get the
7 Battalion back on its feet?
8 A. Sir, I wasn't here when it happened.

9 Well, through your intermittent contact with the 10 Battalion: '1 A. I never had much contact with the battalion, sir,
12 other thar the soldiers that were coming back through Fort Dix.
13 C. And what about the note, memo or contact with your
14 Battalior. Commander--other than the letter that you got----
15 A. No, sir. They pretty much had their--I wouldn't say
16 the Battalion did, sir, but pretty much--mind was made up that I
17 was going to be medically discharged from the Army.
18 Q. Are you still suffering from diabetes?
19 A. I feel fine, sir. I mean, it will eventually kill me,

20 but that'!, not today or tomorrow. That will be somewhere down
21 the road.
22 Q. Competent medical authority cleared you for
3 deployment.?

1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Are you on medication now?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. And your leadership knows that?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. The 800th MP knows about it?
7 A. Well, I don't know if the 800th knows. I mean, they
8 knew that I was a medical hold due to diabetes, sir.
9 Q. But you're not aware whether they know....

10 A. What type of medication I'm on, no, sir.

.1

C. All of your medical conditions.... 12 A. No, sir. 13 Q. Have you made that known or made any attempt to 14 contact-----15 A. No, sir. 16 Q. When was the last time you saw General Karpinski? 17 A. The morning she came out to Abu Ghraib, sir--well, no, 18 sir, I'm sorry, I stand corrected, on the change of command 19 ceremony, sir, here on the 31st of January--the TOA, I'm sorry,
20 the transfer of authority.

21 Q. The first time since your deployment?

22 A. No, sir, that's the last time I saw the General, sir.

3 Q. When did you see her before that?
1 A. She came out right after this incident occurred,
talked tc the leadership at their staff meeting that morning.
3 The time before that was Christmas Day, I think, sir, she came
4 out to VIEit the troops. And the time before that, I met the
5 General here on Camp Victory.

6 Q. Did you say something, converse, or was it just a 7 matter of meetings and things of that nature. 8 Yes, sir. I apologized for my Master Sergeant 9 email.inc the General directly with a matter, sir. That's when I
10 firs: cot on board, so I'm not sure whether that Master Sergeant
'1 knew : wa:3 on the ground, because she's stationed down at Camp
12 Arifjan. I didn't come through Camp Arifjan on my way in, I
13 came in through Camp Wolf up to here.

14 How would you characterize Colonel dill*
15 leadership style?
16 A. Very approachable, sir, very soldier-oriented, to the

17 needs of :he soldier, very hands-on, he leads by example. If

18 the soldiers are stringing wire, he's stringing wire. If the

19 soldiers are getting rained on, he's getting rained on. He
20 leads from the front, sir. The soldiers love him. I know my
21 kids do in the 320th. They're pretty well upset that their

Colonel is over here and not back at Abu Ghraib.

1 Q. When you arrived and he was the Battalion Commander 2 and based on your observations up until the allegations were 3 made, thus. removing some of the soldiers from their position, 4 how did you characterize the interaction between Colonel 5 Phillabaum and the rest of the soldiers? 6 A. Colonel is always respected by his 7 soldiers, sir. The soldiers, I guess, at the subordinate 8 company levels didn't know him as well as we know him, just like 9 I don't know their commanders or first sergeants as well as they
10 do because of the different geographical areas. They're not

organically assigned to us. That's one of the problems in the
i2 Reserves; we don't know what we're getting until we show up and
13 get it Ale had one escort Guard Company that was organic to us
14 for a good number of years, the 305th Company out of West
15 Viroini. and those kids were great and we had a great working

,

16 relationship with them. They'd come to AT with us and do their
17 portion of the mission, which was the towers, the escorts of the
18 prisoners, and things of this nature. And for some geographical
19 reason, where Ashley, Pennsylvania, and Wheeling, West Virginia,
20 and B:g Pend, West Virginia, are located, they decided that we
21 couldn't provide the guidance that they needed and pulled the
22 company from our control, which when they reassigned the

3 company, there was only another hour difference, 4 hours as

1 opposed t:c 5 hours of travel time. And they assigned it to an
2 Ordnance group, which makes no sense to me.
3 Q. Sergeant Major, what would be your recommendation tc
4 help obvLate some of the situation that your Battalion is
5 currently undergoing?

6 A. Well, sir, we have to realize that this incident right
7 here was no reflection on my Battalion. This is not my
8 Battalion of soldiers. These soldiers are from the 372d
9 Company. My Battalion has taken the hit, sir, from that Bucca

10 incident, which we brought on ourselves with the conduct of
'1 those fou: soldiers. These are not my soldiers. We inherited
i2 it because of this operation, and I'd like that to be known. I
13 didn't see these soldiers before I got on the ground, therefore,
14 I didn't .cnow what type of soldier I'm getting. If this is an-
15 internal problem with the 372d that has been existent for a
16 great period of time, I'm not aware of it. Once again, sir,
17 this is echelons above us as far as who we get to do the job
18 with. I think maybe perhaps a problem of this nature could be
19 eliminated if somewhere in the future we knew what we were

20 working with. As I mentioned in the case with the 305th
21 Company, we knew what those kids were about. I knew who had
22 heart problems. I knew who had these kind of problems and

3 things of this nature. They would know me. They came from the

poorest: part of the country and the poorest states, those kids
2 down there. The biggest employer they had was the Army
3 Reserves, and they get to know these kids. But you don't get to
4 know then when you never meet them. So the leadership has to
5 get down there. But if you don't know what you got until you
6 get here on the ground, you're never going to meet the
7 leadersh_p and they're never going to get a chance to trust you
8 until you get in there to interact with them, and that takes
9 time, It's not something that's developed from the first

10 time these units get on the ground and say, a day later or 48

hours laier so you have to get to trust these guys. It doesn't
i2 happen that way, sir.
13 Q. So you are basically recommending that the 372d fix
14 their own problem?
15 A. I'm not saying that they have to fix their own

16 problem, !ur. I'm saying that that problem they had with those
17 individua_s shouldn't be a reflection on my soldiers from the
18 Battalion. Like I say, sir, we shot ourselves in the foot at
19 Camp Bucca with the conduct of those soldiers, and we'll take
20 the hit for that. But this here, we didn't do, sir.
21 Q. Was the 372d, just so I'm clear in my head, was the

22 372d part of the 320th at Camp Bucca?
3 A. No, sir.

1 Q. They were not. Who were they assigned to? 2 A. I'd like to say, sir, the 530th, and I can't be sure 3 of that. I believe they came in country in the May timeframe,
4 which is Light around the time the Bucca incident happened. But
5 who they were with down here, sir, I wouldn't know.
6 Q. So the 372d was assigned to another Battalion at Camp
7 Bucca.
8 A. I'm not sure if they were at Camp Bucca, the 372d,
9 sir.

10 Q. They were.

A. They were somewhere--oh, they were, okay. I wasn't
12 aware of that.
13 Q. And when everybody from the 800th got their mission,
14 I'm not sure to what extent the 372d was reattached or
15 reassigned to another outfit in the 800th, other than that the
16 800th assumed the mission here that was assigned to the 320th
17 that the 372d was then made part of. Okay?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Do you have anything else you want to add?
20 A. No, sir.
21 [Command sergeant Major was duly warned and departed the
22 interview area. The interview terminated at 1630, 9 February

3 2004.j

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Doc_nid: 
2570
Doc_type_num: 
73