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Context of 'October 15, 2003: 372nd MPs Take Over Guard Duty at Abu Ghraib'

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Soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company arrive in Iraq and are assigned to routine traffic and police duties. [New Yorker, 5/10/2004]

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

Soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, who since May (see (May 2003)) have been performing routine traffic and police duties, are reassigned to prison-guard duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, replacing the 72nd MP Company from Henderson, Nevada. They are provided with no training or guidelines on prison management, though two members of the 372nd previously worked as civilian prison guards back in the United States. They are not given copies of the Geneva Conventions. [Washington Post, 5/9/2004; New Yorker, 5/10/2004; US Department of Defense, 8/23/2004 pdf file]

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

Soon after the 372nd Military Police Company arrives at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski sends Lt. Col. Jerry Phillabaum, who is in charge of the prison, to Kuwait for two weeks so that he can have “some relief from the pressure he was experiencing.” [US Department of the Army, 3/9/2004; Washington Post, 5/9/2004]

Entity Tags: Janis L. Karpinski, Jerry L. Phillabaum

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

Antonio M. Taguba.Antonio M. Taguba. [Source: US Army]Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba files a 53-page classified report which finds that between October and December of 2003, members of the 372nd Military Police Company and US intelligence community engaged in numerous incidents of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” against prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. As evidence, he cites “detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.” The photographs—which are later leaked to the press (see Mid-April 2004), causing an enormous international public outcry—are not included in the report. [US Department of the Army, 3/9/2004; New Yorker, 5/10/2004; New Yorker, 5/17/2004] Taguba also takes issue with the November 5 (see November 5, 2003) Ryder report which concluded that the military police units had not intentionally used inappropriate confinement practices. “Contrary to the findings of MG [Maj. Gen.] Ryder’s report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to ‘set the conditions’ for MI interrogations.” Army intelligence officers, CIA agents, and private contractors “actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.” [US Department of the Army, 3/9/2004; New Yorker, 5/10/2004] He presents his report to his commander on March 3 (see March 3, 2004).

Entity Tags: Antonio M. Taguba

Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives

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