Abu Ghraib Report Faults Rumsfeld For Iraq Plans

25 August 2004 | DemocracyNow!

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came under intense criticism yesterday by a panel he appointed to review the abuse and torture that took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The four-member panel headed by former defense secretary James Schlesinger faulted Rumsfeld’s leadership, his battle plan to invade Iraq and his failure to develop plans for a postwar Iraq. The panel revealed that the Pentagon is now investigating 300 incidents of prison abuse — three times as many cases as previously known. At least five prisoners have died from abuse during interrogations and another 23 detainee deaths are still under investigation. One member of the panel, Congressman Tillie Fowler of Florida, said, “We found fundamental failures throughout all levels of command, from the soldiers on the ground to Central Command and to the Pentagon. These failures of leadership helped to set the conditions which allowed for the abusive practices to take place.” However the panel claimed Washington did not order the abuse that occurred at the prison. Schlesinger said, “There was sadism on the night shift at Abu Ghraib, sadism that was certainly not authorized. It was kind of ‘Animal House’ on the night shift.”

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