I'm guessing that this answers, for the most part, the question of how high up the knowledge of various types of abuse went.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, acting at the request of George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, ordered military officials in Iraq last November to hold a man suspected of being a senior Iraqi terrorist at a high-level detention center there but not list him on the prison's rolls, senior Pentagon and intelligence officials said Wednesday.
This prisoner and other "ghost detainees" were hidden largely to prevent the International Committee of the Red Cross from monitoring their treatment, and to avoid disclosing their location to an enemy, officials said. [...] In July 2003, the man suspected of being an Ansar al-Islam official was captured in Iraq and turned over to C.I.A. officials, who took him to an undisclosed location outside of Iraq for interrogation. By that fall, however, a C.I.A. legal analysis determined that because the detainee was deemed to be an Iraqi unlawful combatant - outside the protections of the Geneva Conventions - he should be transferred back to Iraq.
Mr. Tenet made his request to Mr. Rumsfeld - that the suspect be held but not listed - in October. The request was passed down the chain of command: to Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then to Gen. John P. Abizaid, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, and finally to Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the ground commander in Iraq. At each stage, lawyers reviewed the request and their bosses approved it.
Of course, the fun part is that not only did the request to hide this prisoner from the Red Cross and other inspectors (including, of course, our own) go up to the top of both Defense and the CIA, but once they'd done that, they lost the prisoner. Completely forgot where they put him, forgot about questioning him after one cursory sesison, just misplaced him altogether.
One way or another, Defense and the CIA continue to demonstrate their shining incompetence, day after day after day after day ...Posted by iain at June 17, 2004 06:13 PM