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More US troops implicated in Abu Ghraib abuse
Updated: 2004-08-19 11:01

A new U.S. Army report clears top U.S. military brass in Iraq of abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison but implicates 20 or more intelligence troops in the scandal, defense officials said on Wednesday.

The investigation report, expected to be sent to Congress next week, recommends discipline against the military intelligence troops ranging from administrative reduction in rank and loss of pay to further investigation that could lead to military trials, one of the officials told Reuters.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, gave no further details, but said most of the troops implicated in the intelligence probe, launched by Army Maj. Gen. George Fay in April, were from the U.S. 205th Military Intelligence Brigade that was assigned to Abu Ghraib when the abuses occurred.

"I think it will find that military police weren't the only ones doing anything wrong," said one defense official of the Abu Ghraib abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners which sparked fury in the Arab world and international condemnation.


Seven U.S. military police reservists from the 372nd Military Police Company were earlier accused of humiliating and in some cases beating and photographing Iraqi detainees at the infamous prison near Baghdad, once used as a torture chamber by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Some of those military police guards allege that they were simply acting under orders from military intelligence to "soften up" detainees for interrogation.

Col. Thomas Pappas, who was commander of the 205th Intelligence Brigade, has already received a letter of reprimand for failing to ensure that his troops protected rights for prisoners guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top defense officials have promised to leave no stone unturned in several investigations into the U.S. abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who was the top U.S. military officer in Iraq at the time of the abuse, told Congress earlier that they did not find out about the abuse until this year when a military policeman revealed the problem at the prison.

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who commanded the 800th Military Police Brigade in Iraq late last year, has also received a letter of reprimand and been suspended from her post. She is protesting that suspension.

Lawyers defending military police suspects in the Abu Ghraib scandal have argued that the courts should take into account the psychological impact on suspects of working long hours in grim conditions at the big prison.

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