One begins to wonder if the people at the Pentagon have just put the Washington Post reporters on staff. The fact that the Pentagon is leaking information like this -- it's pretty much just flooding out, to extend the metaphor -- may indicate that the people actually working there have truly and completely had it with their civilian leaders. And while in this particular case, it's useful, in that it gets information out of a notoriously close-mouthed administration, institutionally speaking, this can't be terribly good for the Pentagon in the long term.
U.S. intelligence personnel ordered military dog handlers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to use unmuzzled dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees during interrogations late last year, a plan approved by the highest-ranking military intelligence officer at the facility, according to sworn statements the handlers provided to military investigators. A military intelligence interrogator also told investigators that two dog handlers at Abu Ghraib were "having a contest" to see how many detainees they could make involuntarily urinate out of fear of the dogs, according to the previously undisclosed statements obtained by The Washington Post.
The statements by the dog handlers provide the clearest indication yet that military intelligence personnel were deeply involved in tactics later deemed by a U.S. Army general to be "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses." [...] The newly obtained documents reinforce the picture that the abuse falls into two categories: sexual humiliation and beatings at the hands of MPs, and intimidation using dogs that is clearly tied to military intelligence. The sexual abuse happened weeks and even months before the dog incidents, some of which appear to be part of an organized strategy by military intelligence to scare detainees into talking, according to the statements.
Sgts. Michael J. Smith and Santos A. Cardona, Army dog handlers assigned to Abu Ghraib, told investigators that military intelligence personnel requested that they bring their dogs to prison interrogation sites multiple times to assist in questioning detainees in December and January. Col. Thomas M. Pappas, who was in charge of military intelligence at the prison, told both soldiers that the use of dogs in interrogations had been approved, according to the statements.
Yes, well, the issue was and is not particularly whether or not military intelligence was involved -- although I would imagine that it's of surpassing importance to them. The issue is whether or not they were directed to do so, and if they were, by whom.
Focus, people, focus.Posted by iain at June 11, 2004 11:54 AM