Taguba Report Annex 84: Testimony of Sergeant First Class Shannon K. Snider, Platoon Sergeant, 372nd Military Police Company

Testimony of Sergeant First Class Shannon K. Snider, Platoon Sergeant, 372nd Military Police Company. SFC Snider's duties were as the NCOIC of the hard site. Her duties included working to safeguard prisoners, make sure inmates receive meals on time, supervise Iraqi corrections officers (ICO's), and man the different wings of the prison. On detainee abuse SFC stated "I am aware of the allegations of the abuse of the detainees. Four (4) of the soldiers involved belonged to my platoon...A few people did some things they knew they shouldn't have done. Posted or not, what I heard is not against Geneva Convention, it just against command policy. I don't care if it's written or not they should have none not to do that". SFC Snider continued "I have never heard the term "softening up" used; I assume it means breaking down. I've heard Military Intelligence (MI) saying that we have to break them down. I assume the term means break them down mentally to get them to speak free. It is my understanding that the orders MI handed down were legal. We tried to get limitations from MI on what we could and could not do, but we never received any". The panel gave SFC Snider a list of items, to be addressed, and be written on a Sworn Statement, which is contained at the end of the document.

Doc_type: 
Interview
Doc_date: 
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Monday, October 18, 2004
Doc_text: 

On 12 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 Gharib, also known as the Baghdad
Central Confinement Facility (BCCF). The panel also inquired into training, standards,
employment, command policies, and internal policies, concerning the detainees held at
Abu Gharib prison. Finally, the panel looked into the command climate and the
command and supervisory presence
The following persons were present:
CO MP, CFLCC — PMO, Interviewer
LTC A CFLCC — SJA, Interviewer
LTC 705°' MP Battalion, Interviewer
SF MP Company, Interviewee
SS 27D30, CFLCC — SJA, Recorder
The interview is summarized as follows:
My name is My social security number is I am a
Sergeant First Class. I am currently with the 372 n° Military Police Company, at Abu Ghraib BCCF. I am Reserve.
My unit moved here from Al Hila, Iraq. Our mission there was law and order and combat support operations. About the middle of September 2003 we moved back to Kuwait for unit reorganization and resupply. In the beginning October 2003 we moved to the prison.
At the MOB station we trained on all combat support, to include battlefield circulation control. MSR control, Base defense, and a little bit of law and order. We didn't receive any training on our current mission.
I am the NCOIC of the hard site. The duties of personnel working there are to safeguard prisoners, make sure inmates receive meals on time, supervise Iraqi corrections officers (ICO's), and man the different wings of the prison
Our day-to-day activities are governed by the Rules of Engagement (ROE). Our Rules of Engagement are can't shoot until prisoner reaches final barrier, shout, show, shoot, and use of minimum force necessary. We received a briefing at the MOB site on the Geneva Hague Convention, and customs of the country. The rules are not posted. I've tried to get some kind of policies from the Military Intelligence (MI), for MP's who w in the Mliwirion what they expect the MP's to do. I've asked CPTIIIIChief and CP the Jag officer who works with MI. I've asked months ago. CPT
A U N 87.
.
promised it to me, but then she went on leave and I assumed she forgot and I was never
able to catch up with her.
MI issued the rules we followed, specifically for the MI wing. We received guidance
from MI on altered diets, turning on and off of radio, and sleep management. At first we
didn'tliiidoctunen tion and then we started getting everything in writing signed by
LTC or Chief The requests were all laid out with times to do everything. It
became a problem for us because it took away from normal health and welfare for the
inmates. We were trying to get someone from MI to take care of the MI wing business,
so that we could do our regular MP duties. I assumed they refused, but I never asked.
The request were kept in the individual detainees folder, we have a folder for each cell. I
don't know if these still there or not because I have not been there for over a month. It is
possible that MI could have taken the request, because they just sit in an MRE box on
that wing. The MP NCOIC of the wing is in charge of the documents.
My role is to walk around visiting the soldiers making sure they are all right. I see if they
needed a break or anything, if so I would take their spot until they got back. I would sit
with the shift NCOIC to see if he needed anything, and would help him out. At the
beginning we didn't have a computer in the office, so I did a lot of work in my office at
the LSA typing up a spreadsheet listing the prisoners and what cells they were in.
I chose to alter my shift so that I could work with my day shift and my night shift. At times it got to be pretty rough as far as manning the prison with limited personnel. We made a request for more personnel through our company, CPT illhe went up through the Battalion. As far as I know it went all the way up to the Briga e, and we got no help. We finally did get our second platoon up from Al Hila, they just came up maybe a week ago
The battalion commander is LTC 01111111.1 He comes down maybe 2 or 3 times a week, not necessarily in the prison but on the grounds. In the MI section we keep a log on as to who comes in and speaks to certain detainees. As far as the other sections we didn't keep a lo , if there were a visitor coming in they were either escorted by CPT t CP or someone else from the Battalion.
1 am aware of the allegations of the abuse of the detainees. Four of the soldiers involved belonged to my platoon. Only MP's worked the hard site. There was a mechanic
involved who was doing maintenance to the generator and an admin clerk who worked
for the battalion, who should have never been in there. It was a violation to let these
individuals in.
I am not positive if MI asked the guards to do any of those things that occurred that night. Since this investigation we have been here so I am not exactly sure if anything has been done as far as mitigating so this doesn't happen again.
DODD0A-002935

A few people did some things they knew they shouldn't have done. Posted or not, what I heard is not against Geneva Convention, it just against command policy. I don't care if it's written or not they should have none not to do that.
There were conflicts between the MP's and MI. MI wanted to know why we wanted everything in writing. We needed everything in writing to keep everything flowing to make sure we didn't miss something. After a while we got to the point that we were almost being taken advantage of. They wanted us to do this and that, to escort the prisoners to their interrogation area, and to stand in on the interrogation. We didn't have enough personnel to do that, so we convinced them that they were going to have to escort their own detainees, and use their own people for interrogation.
I have never heard the term "softening up" used; I assume it means breaking down. ;'ve
heard MI saying that we have to break them down. I assume the term means break them
down mentally to get them to speak free. It is my understanding that the orders MI
handed down were legal. We tried to get limitations from MI on what we could and
could not do, but we never received any.
We brought problems up to LTC he said he would do the best he could. He
was able resolve a few problems such as power, we had a big problem with power and
the reckyards, we were running four tiers running through 2 reckyards, so then they
finally got a contract to get more reckyards.
We never got any SOP's from brigade. We never seen the Brigade Commander, the first time 1 seen her is when I got here and had to report to her. I don't know when she took over the brigade. I was transferred back to the 372n d back in February 2002. I've only seen her one time since the change of command back in June 2003. Her name is General Karpinski. The first time I seen the Brigade Sergeant Major is when I had to report to the general. 1 didn't know there was a change in SGM's, I didn't know the first SGM. There was a lack of Brigade presence at the facility. I don't know for sure, but I feel the Brigade had a lot to do with the problems associated with getting issues resolved at the prison.
1 am a USAR soldier
I am an electrician in my civilian career.
The M.I. wing is wing 1, where the security detainees are held, Wing 2,3,4,5, and 6 are regular inmate wings
CPT P. is the MI company commander, CPTIMPis the Judge Advocate for Ml.
I submitted some operations matters to MAJ who is with the MI unit under COL lb specifically to get MI people into wing 1, 24 hours so that they could handle MI
business
have known SPCsince February of 2003, but didn't know him very well, In October 2003 he was assigned to my platoon. He worked with SFC Os who gave him a very good recommendation.
Weapons weren't allowed into IA and 1B, until there was a serous force protection issue. We were receiving intelligence from Camp Vigilence and Camp Ganci about a plot to overthrow the guards at the prison.
The detainees were allowed 1 hour of recreation per day. CPA and ICO came up the idea. It was only for wings 1-4; wing 1 didn't get any recreation time.
I chose to work a modified shift so that I can work with all my soldiers. I wanted to be able to interact with my night shift and my day shift
CPT Oft was in charge of 1 A and 1B until mid-December, he basically was the OIC of the hard site, and I was the NCOIC of the hard site. I lead the shift NCO's. I would be there susport if they needed anything. I visited lA and 1B on a regular basis. When CPT IFIElleft asked me to keep an eye on IA and 1B.
Orders came from LTC 11.11111b, but if I had a problem I would go through my operatiiiiitie company ander depending on the situation, then up the chain to MAJ then to LTC
The panel gave SFC Oft a list of items, to be addressed, and be written on a Sworn Statement.
DODD0A-002937

SWORN STATEMENT
For use of this form, see AR 190-45; the proponent agency is ODCSOPS

PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT
AUTHORITY: Title 10 USC Section 301; Title 5 USC Section 2951; E.O. 9397 dated November 22, 1943 ISSN).
PRINCIPAL PURPOSE: To provide commanders and law enforcement officials with means by which information may be accurate ,.
ROUTINE USES: Your social security number is used as an addltional/afternate means of identification to facilitate filing ano

DISCLOSURE: Disclosure of your social security number is voluntary.
1. LOCATION 2. D ..a /7MMDD/ 4 FILE NUMBER
.‘200=2 3. TIME
CAMP VICTORY, IRAQ 2.orit Z
rLE NAME 6. SSN pm 7. GRADE/STATUS
E.'7
8.
ORGANIZATION OR ADDRESS

9.

I, , WANT TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT UNDER OATH
Q: WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE HARD SITE?
A: CPTWPWAS IN OIC OF THE HARD SITE AND CAMP VIGILANT. THE CPA WAS ULTIMATELY IN CHARGE OF THE SITE.
Q: DESCRIBE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MI AND MP IN WINGS LA AND IB. WHO'S ORDERS TOOK
PRECEDENCE?

A: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MI AND MP WAS A VERY GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP FOR THE FIRST TWO MONTHS. MI WAS VERY PLEASED WITH THE MP'S PERFORMANCE. THEN MI PERSONNEL BEGAN TO EXPECT THE MP'S TO DO MORE AND MORE. FOR EXAMPLE ENFORCEMENT OF FOUR DIFFERENT SLEEP MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR FOUR DIFFERENT DETAINEES, PLUS TAKING SPECIAL CARE OF TWO DETAINEES THAT WERE ON MI'S "GOOD GUY" LIST. THE MP'S STARTING REQUESTING THAT ALL INSTRUCTIONS BE PUT INTO WRITING, WHICH SEEMED TO FRUSTRATE SOME OF THE MI PERSONNEL. ORDERS FROM THE 320TH MP BN TOOK PRECEDENCE FOR THE MP'S WORKING IN WING 1. THERE WERE A FEW CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, WHEN THIS OCCURRED THE MP'S WOULD HAVE THE MI OPERATIONS CHIEF CONTACT THE 320TH SO THAT THE TWO COMMANDS COULD WORK OUT THE SITUATION.
Q: DESCRIBE THE ORDERS. HOW WERE THEY RECEIVED, WHO SIGNED THEM, WHERE WERE THEY KEPT.
A: THE ORDERS THAT WE RECEIVED, PRIMARILY SLEEP MANAGEMENT SCHEDULES, WERE'HAND CARRIED TO WING 1 BY A SOLDIER FROM MI, USUALLY THE DETAINEES HANDLER THAT THE SCHEDULE WAS FOR. IT WOULD INCLUDE TIMES THAT THE DETAINEE WAS TO BE AWAKE, WHEN HE WAS TO SLEEP. WHEN HE WAS TO BE GIVEN A, MEAL AND WHEN THE MEAL WAS TO BE TAKEN AWAY. THESE WRITTEN ORDERS WERE SIGNED BY EITHER COL PAPAS OR CHIEF Mk THEY WERE AND, IF THE DETAINEE IS STILL BEING HELD THERE, SHOULD STILL BE WITH THE DETAINEES FILE ON WING 1
Q: DID MI GIVE ANY ORDERS, WRITTEN OR ORAL AGAINST THE GENEVA CONVENTION?
A: YES, AN ORAL ORDER WAS GIVEN TO ONE OF THE MP'S BY AN MI SOLDIER TO *STRIP THE CELL* OF A SPECIFIC DETAINEE. THIS WAS TO INCLUDE CLOTHING AND BEDDING. WHEN THIS WAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF CHIEF RIVAS HE IMMEDIATELY HAD IT CHANGED.
Q: DID MI GIVE ORDERS TO USE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE?
A: NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE.
Q: DESCRIBE SUPERVISORY CLIMATE: WHO ELSE WOULD VISIT WING 1.
AND/OR CHIEF 1116PWOULD VISIT WINiiiipitiDAIL DO :PT ALSO VISiiiipLy AT RANDOM TIMES. LTC CPT SGM 2_ C1ST SGT ALSO VIS In=1.
) • UITE OFTEN. SM FRO CAME ' I H CRAL OCCASION . AND COL RECENTLY BEGAN 0 VISIT MORE OFTEN.
10. EXHIBR
11. INITIALS OF PERSON MAKING STATEMENT PAGE 1 OF 22 PAGES
ADDITIONAL PAGES MUST CONTAIN THE HEADING *STATEMENT TAKEN ATT
DATED
THE BOTTOM OF EACH ADDITIONAL PAGE MUST BEAR THE INITIALS
OF THE PERSON MAKING THE STATEMENT. AND PAGE NUMBER MUST BE BE INDICATED.
DEC, 1998 DA FORM 2823, JUL 72, IS OBSOLETE USAPA V1 .00
DODD0A-002938

STATEMENT OF TAKEN AT CAMP VICTORY DATED 2004/02!12
9. STATEMENT (Continued)
Q: DESCRIBE ACTIONS TAKEN TO ELIMINATE SOME PROBLEMS.
A: AFTER THE SHOOTING INCIDENT IN WING 1/A THE REQUEST WAS SUBMIT Ill) THROUGH THE CHAIN OF COMMAND TO HAVE THE UPPER WINDOWS BOARDED UP. IT WAS FOUND THROUGH INVESTIGATION THAT THE PISTOL AND KNIVES WERE RECEIVED BY THE DETAINEE FROM AN ICO THROUGH THE TOP TIER WINDOW. THE WINDOWS WERE SOON COVERED. THIS ALSO HELPED FOR COMFORT OF THE DETAINEES BECAUSE THERE IS NO HEAT IN THE HARDSITE. AFTER AN ESCAPE OF TWO INMATES FROM WING 3'A THROUGH A WINDOW AND UNFENCED AREA, MORE PRESSURE WAS PUT ON THE IRAQI CONTRACTOR FROM THE COMPANY AND BATTALION TO INSTALL MORE FENCING WHICH INCLUDED ADDITION RECREATION YARDS. THE REQUEST FOR THE RECREATION YARDS HAD BEEN SUBMITTED SEVERAL TIMES TO THE CPA, THERE WERE FOUR WINGS OF INMATES (APPROXIMATELY 600 DETAINEES) TO CYCLE THROUGH TWO REC YARDS EACH DAY. DURING A POWER OUTAGE AT NIGHT A REQUEST WAS PUT IN TO THE BATTALION FOR OUTDOOR LIGHTING. PORTABLE LIGHTING WAS BROUGHT IN WITHIN 30 MINUTES. WHEN DETAINEE SUPPLIES BECAME EXTREMELY LOW BECAUSE THE CPA WASN'T ABLE TO, OR JUST DIDN'T SUPPLY THE HARDSITE WITH THE BASIC NEED ITEMS, I ASKED, THROUGH CPT REESE, THE BATTALION FOR SOME SUPPLIES. THE BATTALION USED THEIR SUPPLY SYSTEM WHICH SUPPLIED CAMP VIGILANT AND CAMP GANCI, TO SUPPLEMENT THE HARDSITE UNTIL THE CPA WAS ABLE TO COME THROUGH WITH THOSE NEEDED ITEMS.///////////LEND OF STATEMENT/////////ealk
AFFIDAVIT
I. HAVE READ OR HAVE HAD REAL, TO ME THIS STATEMENT
WHICH , EN

N PAGE 2 . I FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONTENTS OF THE ENTIRE STATEMENT MADE BY ME. THE STATEMENT IS TRUE. I HAVE INITIALED ALL CORRECTIONS AND HAVE INITIALED THE BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE CONTAINING THE STATEMENT. I HAVE MADE THIS STATEMENT FREELY WITHOUT HOPE OF BENEFIT OR REWARD, WITHOUT THREAT OF PUNISHMENT, AND WITHOUT COERCION, UNLAWFUL INFLUEN
ure o ersonrmg tare enfl
WITNESSES: Subscribed and sworn to before me, a person authorized by law administer oaths, this I Z.-day of FE-12 at C.,,fro/P CTD 4. I 4-62
ORGANIZATION OR ADDRESS
rrurnstenng Oathl
(Typed Name of Person Administering Oath)
AL7 /34, it:4.9
ORGANIZATION OR ADDRESS (Authority To Administer Dams)
INITIALS OF PERSON MAKING STATEMENT 111111 PAGE 2 OF 2 PAGES
PAGE 3, DA FORM 2823, DEC 1998
USAPA V1.00

Doc_nid: 
2578
Doc_type_num: 
73