Children were held at Iraq Torture prison - Abu Ghraib Prisoner Looked Like He Was 8 Years Old
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Children were held at Iraq Torture prison

Associated Press | March 11, 2005

WASHINGTON - A boy no older than 11 was among the children held by the Army at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, the former U.S. commander of the facility told a general investigating abuses at the prison.

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski did not say what happened to the boy or why he was imprisoned, according to a transcript of her interview with Maj. Gen. George Fay that was released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

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The transcript of the May 2004 interview was among hundreds of pages of documents about Iraq prisoner abuses the group made public Thursday after getting them under the Freedom of Information Act.

Karpinski, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib from July to November 2003, said she often visited the prison's youngest inmates. One boy ``looked like he was 8-years-old,'' Karpinski said.

``He told me he was almost 12,'' Karpinski said. ``He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying.''

Military officials have acknowledged that some juvenile prisoners had been held at Abu Ghraib, a massive prison built by Saddam Hussein's government outside Baghdad. But the transcript is the first documented evidence of a child no older than 11 being held prisoner.

Military officials have said that no juvenile prisoners were subject to the abuses captured in photographs from Abu Ghraib. But some of the men shown being stripped naked and humiliated had been accused of raping a 14-year-old prisoner.

The new documents offer rare details about the children whom the U.S. military has held in Iraq. Karpinski said the Army began holding women and children in a high-security cellblock at Abu Ghraib in the summer of 2003 because the facility was better than lockups in Baghdad where the youths had been held.

The documents include statements from six witnesses who said three interrogators and a civilian interpreter at Abu Ghraib got drunk one night and took a 17-year-old female prisoner from her cell. The four men forced the girl to expose her breasts and kissed her, the reports said. The witnesses - whose names were blacked out of the documents given to the ACLU - said those responsible were not punished.

Another soldier said in January 2004 that troops poured water and smeared mud on the detained 17-year-old son of an Iraqi general and ``broke'' the general by letting him watch his son shiver in the cold.

On another subject, Karpinski said she had seen written orders to hold a prisoner that the CIA had captured without keeping records. The documents released by the ACLU quote an unnamed Army officer at Abu Ghraib as saying military intelligence officers and the CIA worked out a written agreement on how to handle unreported detainees. An Army report issued last September said investigators could not find any copies of any such written agreement.

The Pentagon has acknowledged holding up to 100 ``ghost detainees,'' keeping the prisoners off the books and away from humanitarian investigators of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he authorized it because the prisoners were ``enemy combatants'' not entitled to prisoner of war protections.

The ACLU has sued Rumsfeld on behalf of four Iraqis and four Afghans who say they were tortured at U.S. military facilities. Rumsfeld and his spokesmen have repeatedly said that the defense secretary and his aides never authorized or condoned any abuses.

Six enlisted soldiers have pleaded guilty to military charges for their roles in abuses at Abu Ghraib, and Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. was convicted at a court-martial this year and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Karpinski, one of the few generals to be criticized in Army detainee reports for poor leadership, quoted several senior generals in Iraq as making callous statements about prisoners.

Karpinski said Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski, then the No. 2 Army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.

``I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians. We're winning the war,'' Karpinski said Wodjakowski told her. She said she replied: ``Not inside the wire, you're not, sir.''


Abu Ghraib Prisoner Looked Like He Was 8 Years Old

ASSOCIATED PRESS | March 11, 2005
BY MATT KELLEY

WASHINGTON -- Children held by the U.S. Army at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison included one boy who appeared to be only about 8 years old, the former commander of the prison told investigators, according to a transcript.

"He looked like he was 8 years old. He told me he was almost 12," Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski told officials investigating prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."

Karpinski's statement is among hundreds of pages of Army records about Abu Ghraib that the American Civil Liberties Union released Thursday. The ACLU got the documents under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

Karpinski didn't say what happened to the boy in her interview with Maj. Gen. George Fay. Military officials have previously acknowledged that some juvenile prisoners had been held at Abu Ghraib, a prison built by deposed President Saddam Hussein's government outside Baghdad.

Military officials have said no juvenile prisoners were subject to the abuses captured in photographs from Abu Ghraib. However, some of the men shown being stripped naked and humiliated had been accused of raping a 14-year-old prisoner.

The documents released Thursday offer rare details about the children the U.S. military has held in Iraq. Karpinski said the Army began holding women and children in a high-security cell block at Abu Ghraib in the summer of 2003 because the facility was better than lockups in Baghdad where they had been held.

The documents also include statements from six witnesses who said three interrogators and a civilian interpreter at Abu Ghraib got drunk one night and took a 17-year-old female prisoner from her cell. The four men forced the girl to expose her breasts and kissed her, the reports said. The witnesses -- whose names were blacked out of the documents -- said those responsible were not punished.

On another subject, Karpinski said she had seen written orders to hold a prisoner that the CIA had captured without keeping records.

The documents released by the ACLU also quote an unnamed Army officer at Abu Ghraib as saying military intelligence officers and the CIA worked out a written agreement on unreported prisoners. An Army report issued in September said investigators could not find any such agreement.

The Pentagon has acknowledged holding up to 100 "ghost detainees," keeping them off the books and away from humanitarian investigators from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he authorized the practice because the prisoners were "enemy combatants" not entitled to prisoner of war protections.

RESERVIST TRIAL: Army Pfc. Lynndie England, who was shown in photographs of Iraqi prisoners being humiliated, will go on trial May 3, officials at Ft. Hood, Texas, said Thursday.

England, a 22-year-old reservist, faces up to 16 1/2 years in prison if convicted at a general court-martial of nine counts involving acts at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2003.


Abu Ghraib Prisoners 'Included Boy Aged 11'

The Scotsman | March 11, 2005

A boy no older than 11 was among the children held by the US army at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, the former US commander of the facility told a general investigating abuses at the prison.

Brigadier General Janis Karpinski did not say what happened to the boy or why he was imprisoned, according to a transcript of her interview with Major General George Fay that was released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The transcript of the May 2004 interview was among hundreds of pages of documents about Iraq prisoner abuses the group made public after getting them under the Freedom of Information Act.

Karpinski, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib from July to November 2003, said she often visited the prison’s youngest inmates. One boy “looked like he was eight-years-old,” Karpinski said.

“He told me he was almost 12,” Karpinski said. “He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying.”

Military officials have acknowledged that some juvenile prisoners had been held at Abu Ghraib, a massive prison built by Saddam Hussein’s government outside Baghdad. But the transcript is the first documented evidence of a child no older than 11 being held prisoner.

Military officials have said that no juvenile prisoners were subject to the abuses captured in photographs from Abu Ghraib. But some of the men shown being stripped naked and humiliated had been accused of raping a 14-year-old prisoner.

The new documents offer rare details about the children whom the US military has held in Iraq. Karpinski said the Army began holding women and children in a high-security cellblock at Abu Ghraib in the summer of 2003 because the facility was better than lockups in Baghdad where the youths had been held.

The documents include statements from six witnesses who said three interrogators and a civilian interpreter at Abu Ghraib got drunk one night and took a 17-year-old female prisoner from her cell. The four men forced the girl to expose her breasts and kissed her, the reports said. The witnesses – whose names were blacked out of the documents given to the ACLU – said those responsible were not punished.

Another soldier said in January 2004 that troops poured water and smeared mud on the detained 17-year-old son of an Iraqi general and “broke” the general by letting him watch his son shiver in the cold.

On another subject, Karpinski said she had seen written orders to hold a prisoner that the CIA had captured without keeping records. The documents released by the ACLU quote an unnamed Army officer at Abu Ghraib as saying military intelligence officers and the CIA worked out a written agreement on how to handle unreported detainees.

An Army report issued last September said investigators could not find any copies of any such written agreement.

The Pentagon has acknowledged holding up to 100 “ghost detainees,” keeping the prisoners off the books and away from humanitarian investigators of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

US Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he authorised it because the prisoners were “enemy combatants” not entitled to prisoner of war protections.

The ACLU has sued Rumsfeld on behalf of four Iraqis and four Afghans who say they were tortured at US military facilities. Rumsfeld and his spokesmen have repeatedly said that the defence secretary and his aides never authorised or condoned any abuses.

Six enlisted soldiers have pleaded guilty to military charges for their roles in abuses at Abu Ghraib, and Private Charles Graner Jr. was convicted at a court-martial this year and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Karpinski, one of the few generals to be criticised in Army detainee reports for poor leadership, quoted several senior generals in Iraq as making callous statements about prisoners.

Karpinski said Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski, then the No. 2 Army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.

“I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000 innocent civilians. We’re winning the war,” Karpinski said Wodjakowski told her. She said she replied: “Not inside the wire, you’re not, sir.”

 

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