Testimony by General Paul Kern before the Senate Armed Services Committee re: Detainee Abuse Allegations at Abu Ghraib Prison

General Kern testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the detainee abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib prison. Gen. Kern stated "We set our course to find truth, not to “whitewash” or to convict those who are not incriminated". And "we violated regulations by allowing "ghost detainees" in detention facilities". He continued with "We found that abuses, on the part of military intelligence and military police personnel, clearly occurred at the prison at Abu Ghraib". He concluded by saying that it was a breakdown in leadership that led to the abuses.

Doc_type: 
Transcript
Doc_date: 
Thursday, September 9, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Doc_text: 

STATEMENT BY

GENERAL PAUL KERN
COMMANDING GENERAL, UNITED STATES ARMY MATERIEL COMMAND

BEFORE THE

ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES SENATE

• ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE 205TH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BRIGADE AT ABU GHRAIB PRISON, IRAQ

SECOND SESSION, 108TH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 9TH , 2004

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Committee, on behalf of LTG Jones, MG Fay, and MG Taguba, I

appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and

report to you the findings of our investigations concerning

the events surrounding the allegations of detainee abuse at

Abu Ghraib.

I am General Paul Kern, the Commander of the United

States Army Materiel Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. .0n

June 16th of this year, acting at the direction of the

Secretary of the Defense, the Acting Secretary of the Army

designated me as the new appointing authority for the

investigation that LTG Sanchez began back on March 31st of

2004. This investigation, or "Procedure 15"'s specific

purpose was to look into the alleged misconduct by certain

personhel assigned or attached to the 205th Military

Intelligence Brigade at Abu Ghraib Detention Facility. As

you know from prior hearings, MG Taguba's investigation

focused on the 800th Military Police Brigade. I have spent

41 years wearing an Army uniform, and was taught to live by

standards - duty, honor, country, the Code of Conduct, the

Army values, the Soldiers' Creed.

•.

Over the years of my career, I have been led by and

inspired by incredibly talented and dedicated individuals -

soldiers like SPC Patrick Miller, an. Ordnance Soldier who

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fought bravely and courageously until he was captured in An
Nasiriya - to senior officers such as Generals McArthur and
Patton. These people, and thousands like them, dedicate
their lives to their country quietly, with honor.

Our report, however, discusses the failure of a
relatively small number of soldiers who served at Abu
Ghraib prison. The teams conducted an investigation that
focused on the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade and its

chain of command; however, we went where the facts led us.
Our final report from this investigation is complete. In
the course of this investigation, we discovered serious
misconduct and a loss of moral values. We set our course
to find truth, not to "whitewash" nor to convict those who
are not incriminated. We found the pictures you have seen
were not the result of any doctrine, training or policy,
but violations of law.

We learned there were leaders in Abu Ghraib who knew
about this misconduct - knew better and did nothing. Some
Soldiers behaved improperly because they were confused by
their experiences and direction. And we violated our own
regulations by allowing "ghost detainees" in detention
facilities.

All this was happening as thousands of Soldiers,
Sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilians and contractors fought

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Afghanistan. Weare very proud of their service,

commitment, courage and values. They and their families

can stand tall and proud. I regret, however, that we must

report on those who failed.
Our investigation team brings a depth of knowledge and
experience necessary to the task of investigating the
activities regarding alleged detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib.
LTG Jones has over 34 years military service,
commanding at all levels up through major general. He is
currently the deputy commander of one of our Army major
commands. He has served in the operational Army, both
conventional and special operations, leading Soldiers in
war, contingency operations, and in peace. He is a great
trainer, and was the commander of Fort Rucker, Ala., where
he was charged with initial military training, doctrine,
leader development and creating the vision for the future.

His has served in assignments overseas include duties in
Europe, Korea, Bosnia and Southwest Asia. His experience
also includes being the chief of staff for the 24th Infantry
Division and the US Army Europe. His depth and breadth of
operational assignments, experience at the tactical through

strategic levels, and knowledge of training and doctrine

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is a Soldier's Soldier who knows what is right.

MG Fay served on active duty for four years, followed
by 27 years in the Army Reserve. He was mobilized
immediately after 9/11 and has been on active duty for
almost two and one-half years since then. The vast
majority of both his Active and Reserve experience has been
in Military Intelligence. In civilian life, MG Fay is a
managing director of a major global property/casualty
insurance company. He has nearly 30 years' experience
investigating and overseeing complex claims and litigation.

The investigative teams conducted a comprehensive
review of all available background documents and statements
pertaining to Abu Ghraib from a wide variety of sources.
These sources included the reports written by MG Geoffrey
Miller, MG Donald Ryder, MG Antonio Taguba and the
Department of Army Inspector General. LTG Jones did
extensive review of previous reports, operations plans,
policy. memorandums, and sworn statements collected by the
MG Fay team. He also personnally interviewed LTG Richardo
Sanchez and MG Barbara Fast, the CJTF-7 Senior Intelligence

Staff Officer. MG Fay's team conducted over 170 interviews
concerning the interviewees' knowledge of interrogation and
detention operations at Abu Ghraib and/or their knowledge

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of and involvement in detainee abuse..

MG Fay's interviews

included interviews with MG Fast, MG Walter Wojdakowski, MG

Geoffrey Miller, MG Thomas Miller, and BG Janis Karpinski.

Over 9,000 documents were collected, catalogued and

archived into a database. • My review team consisted of 12

people, including general officers, subject matter expertS

and legal advisors. The investigative teams traveled to

Iraq eight times, including a visit by the appointing

authority and investigating officers in early August 2004.

The events at Abu Ghraib cannot be understood in a
vacuum. Three interrelated aspects of the operational
environment played important roles in the abuses that
occurred at Abu Ghraib. First, from the time V Corps
transitioned to become Combined Joint Task Force-7. (CJTF­7), and throughout the period under investigation, it was
not resourced adequately to accomplish the missions of the
Combined Joint Task Force. Those missions were stability
and support operations (SASO) and support to the Coalition
Provisional Authority (CPA). The CJTF-7 headquarters lacked
adequate personnel and equipment. In addition, the military
police and military intelligence units at Abu Ghraib were
severely under-resourced. Second, providing support to the
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) required greater
resources than envisioned in operational plans. Third,

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and provide support to the CPA in a relatively nonhostile
environment. In fact, opposition was robust and hostilities
continued throughout the period under investigation.
Therefore, CJTF-7 had to conduct tactical counter­insurgency operations, while also executing its planned
missions. That is the operational context in which the
abuses at Abu Ghraib took place.
Abuses

We found that abuses—on the part of military
intelligence and military police personnel-- clearly
occurred at the prison at Abu Ghraib. For purposes of this
report, abuse is defined as treatment of detainees that
violated U.S. criminal law or international law or
treatment that was inhumane or coercive without lawful
justification. Whether the Soldier or contractor knew, at
the time of the acts, that the conduct violated any law or
standard, is not an element of the definition.

There is no single, simple explanation for why this
abuse at Abu Ghraib happened. The primary causes are
misconduct (ranging from inhumane to sadistic) by a
relatively small group of soldiers and civilians, a lack of
discipline on the part of the leaders and Soldiers of the
205th MI BDE and a failure or lack of leadership by multiple

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to issues affecting command and control, doctrine,

training, and the experience of the Soldiers we asked to

perform this vital mission.

The abuses at Abu Ghraib primarily fall into two
categories: a) intentionally violent or sexual abuse and,
b) abusive actions taken based on misinterpretations or
confusion regarding law or policy.

LTG Jones found that while senior level officers did
not commit the abuses at Abu Ghraib, they did bear
responsibility for lack of oversight of the facility,
failing to respond in a timely manner to the indications
and warnings provided by reports of incidents within the
command and as reported by agencies such as reports from
the International Committee of the Red Cross, and for
issuing policy memos that failed to provide clear,
consistent guidance for execution at the tactical level.

MG Fay found that from 25 July 2003 to 6 February
2004, twenty-seven 205th MI BDE Personnel allegedly
requested, encouraged, condoned or solicited Military
Police (MP) personnel to abuse detainees and/or
participated in detainee abuse and/or violated established
interrogation procedures and applicable laws and
regulations during interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib.

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occurred separately from scheduled interrogations and did

not focus on persons held for intelligence purpbses. No

policy,. directive or doctrine directly or indirectly caused

violent or sexual abuse. In these cases, Soldiers knew they

were violating the approved techniques and procedures.

Confusion about what interrogation techniques were

authorized resulted from the proliferation of guidance and

information from other theaters of operation; individual

interrogator experiences in other theaters; and, the

failure to distinguish between interrogation operations in
-other theaters and Iraq: This confusion contributed to the
occurrence of some of the nonviolent and nonsexual abuses
but did not contribute to the abuse that you have seen in

the photographs

Alleged incidents of abuse by military personnel have
been referred to the CID for criminal investigation and the
chain of command for disciplinary action. Alleged
incidents of abuse by civilian contractors have been
referred through the Department of Defense to the
Department of Justice.
Discipline and Leadership

Military Intelligence and Military Police units had
missions throughout the Iraqi Theater of Operations (ITO);

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leaders at Abu Ghraib failed to execute their assigned
responsibilities. The leaders from units located at Abu
Ghraib or with supervision over Soldiers and units at Abu
Ghraib, failed to supervise subordinates or provide direct
oversight of this important mission. These leaders failed
to properly discipline their Soldiers. These leaders failed
to learn from prior mistakes and failed to provide
continued mission-specific training. The 205th MI Brigade
commander did not assign a specific subordinate unit to be
responsible for interrogations at Abu Ghraib and did not
ensure that a Military Intelligence chain of command at Abu -
Ghraib was established. The absence of effective leadership


was a factor in not sooner discovering and taking actions
to prevent both the violent/sexual abuse incidents and the
misinterpretation/confusion incidents.

Neither Department of Defense nor Army doctrine caused
any abuses. Abuses would not have occurred had doctrine
been followed and mission training conducted. Nonetheless,
certain facets of interrogation and detention operations
doctrine need to be updated, refined or expanded,
including, the concept, organization, and operations of a
Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC); guidance
for interrogation techniques at both tactical and strategic

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between Military Police and Military Intelligence personnel
at detention facilities; and, the establishment and
organization of a Joint Task Force structure and, in
particular, its intelligence architecture.
Other Contributing Factors

Demands on the Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
capabilities in a counterinsurgency and in the future joint
operational environment will continue to tax tactical and
strategic assets. The Army needs trained and experienced
tactical HUMINT personnel.

Working alongside non-DOD organizations/agencies in
detention facilities proved complex and demanding. The
perception that non-DOD agencies had different rules
regarding interrogation and detention operations was
evident. Interrogation and detention policies and limits of
authority should apply equally to all agencies.in the Iraqi
Theater of Operations.
"Ghost Detainees"

My investigation resulted in specific findings
regarding the issue of "ghost detainees" within Abu Ghraib.
It is clear that the interrogation practices of other
government agencies led to a loss of accountability at Abu
Ghraib. DOD must document and enforce adherence by other

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procedures while conducting detainee interrogation

operations at DOD facilities. This matter requires further

investigation and, in accordance with the provisions of AR

381-10, Part 15, is being referred to the DOD Inspector

General, as the DOD liaison with other government agencies

for appropriate investigation and evaluation.

Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines should never be put in
a position that potentially puts them at risk for non­compliance with the Geneva Convention or Laws of Land
Warfare.
Conclusion

Leaders and Soldiers throughout Operation Iraqi
Freedom were confronted with a complex and dangerous
operational environment. Although a clear breakdown in
discipline and leadership, the events at Abu Ghraib should
not blind us from the noble conduct of the vast majority of
our Soldiers. We are a values based profession in which the
clear majority of our Soldiers and leaders take great
pride.

A clear vote of confidence should be extended to the
leaders and Soldiers who continue to perform
extraordinarily in supporting our Nation's wartime mission.
Many of our Soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice to

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preserve the freedoms and liberties that America and our
Army represent throughout the world. The events of this
report stand in stark contrast to the values and honor of

all these Americans. With that, we look forward to
answering your questions.

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From: Sent: To: Cc: LTC -20, =on S CON\ -Co YvVVI LTC; CPT 01-; C ODCSOPOW-mail)';1111111.- MAJ;
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Subject: sker -- Detainee Abuse-htm
Follow Up Flag: Flag Status: Follow up Flagged

FWVCSATasker-Detainee Abu...
pls assist if you can with providing info to OPMG
so they can answer this VCSA.tasker

they are looking for OIF/OEF training for I/R units
believe 1st Army trained most at Dix with Ctmo scenario

yr

LTC
Chief, MP Operations/DPM
FORSCOM PMO

404. den. 3G7 fax. INNIMP
forscom.army.mil
.army.smil.mil

-----Original MessageJ
From: AOC/CAT Law Enforcement (AAOPMG) Army G3
Emailto:AAOPMG3@HQDA.ARMY.SMIL.MIL]
Sent: /J

Januar• 19, 2004 3:31 AM
To: - LTC': MAJ'
Subject. FiJDetainee Abuse .htm

Tas erJ

Gentlemen,

I know the details of the attached are sketchy and the attachment referred
to is not attached, but I need your help in addressing the issues raised by
kev leaders in the Army staff.

Thanks.

v/r

MAJ VAIIIIIAllab

OPMG-OPS Des FOfficer Crisis Action Team Army Operations Center DSN 223-110/ COMM 703-693-WO mailto:aaopmg0hcida.army.smil.mil
FW VCSA Tacker -- Detainee Abuse .htm
«FM VCSA Tasker --Detainee Abuse .htm»

1
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