Karpinski Alleges Rumsfeld Personally Ordered Abusive Interrogations

Former General Karpinsky (demoted to Colonel) has an axe to grind: she was made into the scapegoat for Abu Ghraib. Circumstantial evidence is pretty strong that higher-ups who reported directly to Rumsfeld, notably Gen. Miller, were at least as much to blame, but they escaped all responsibility.

How reliable a witness is Karpinsky? Hard to say — but reliable enough to deserve a hearing. Or two: one in the House and one in the Senate, say.

Rumsfeld okayed abuses says former U.S. general: MADRID (Reuters) – Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison’s former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.

Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain’s El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation.

Karpinski, who ran the prison until early 2004, said she saw a memorandum signed by Rumsfeld detailing the use of harsh interrogation methods.

“The handwritten signature was above his printed name and in the same handwriting in the margin was written: “Make sure this is accomplished”,” she told Saturday’s El Pais.

And, of course, Rumsfeld had better not plan any European travel any time soon.

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7 Responses to Karpinski Alleges Rumsfeld Personally Ordered Abusive Interrogations

  1. Randy Paul says:

    And, of course, Rumsfeld had better not plan any European travel any time soon.

    Or anywhere where he might get served.

  2. anon says:

    Europeans will not convict Donald Rumsfeld of “war crimes” where the charge is merely subjecting prisoners to sleep deprivation.

  3. Michael says:

    I agree with the comment above, and didn’t mean to suggest otherwise; Rumsfeld’s legal problems have to do with charges of more serious abuses. (I do think, however, that if Rumsfeld’s denial on this point were to be proved false, it would cast doubt on the credibility of other, related denials.)

    If, however, half the allegations about Guantanamo were proved true and due to his orders …

  4. shmuel says:

    Europeans are big heroes on war crimes in Africa and Asia and will go even for a Serb. Rumsfeld can buy a nice house in Provence but he better not hire an Israeli gardener.

  5. BroD says:

    The (alleged) fact that the memo in question was addressed to civilian contractors rather than anyone on the uniformed side is really interesting. It suggests that Rummy knew there would be an ugly dust-up if he ordered military people to do these things and also raises the spectre of a contractual gestapo-style organization which corrupts the military indirectly.

    This is scary stuff.

  6. Privatization of torture :-(

    [I mean, why not – it’s already being offshored, with “extraordinary rendition”. One could write a Swift-style satire on the benefits of having a free market in “interrogation techniques”]

  7. Mojo says:

    How reliable a witness is Karpinsky? Hard to say
    It’s not really hard to say; she’s a completely unreliable witness. The only consistent thing in all of her stories is that nothing is her fault. When the scandal broke, she claimed she had no idea what was going on at Abu Ghraib and would have stopped it had she known. Now she comes out and says that she saw written orders approving abusive techniques but for some reason didn’t mention that fact during any of the many investigations. This latest story may be true but you can’t separate the wheat from the chaff with her.
    I’d love to see Rumsfeld serve some prison time but Karpinsky isn’t the one who’ll put him there.

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