Monday, August 23

NBC: Top Commanders to Blame for Abu Ghraib

Karpinski's about to get her ass handed to her.
NBC: Panel finds overlooked problems, understaffing at prison

The Pentagon commission investigating abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq will accuse top commanders of responsibility for disorganization in the command structure that led to wrongdoing at the prison, according to excerpts of the commission’s report obtained by NBC News.

The investigation, headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, is one of two expected to be released this week. The other was ordered by the Army.

The Schlesinger commission found no evidence that units up the chain of command from the 800th Military Police Brigade, which was in charge of security at Abu Ghraib, and the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, which oversaw interrogations, were directly involved in the incidents. But it will accuse the Joint Staff at the Defense Department of failing to recognize deteriorating mission performance among military intelligence interrogators owing to the stress of repeated combat deployments.

The Schlesinger commission concluded that Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, commander of the 800th MP Brigade, and Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, knew or should have known that the abuses were taking place and should have taken measures to prevent them.

Pappas received a letter of reprimand. Karpinski, who was suspended in May, has denied knowing about any mistreatment of prisoners until photographs surfaced at the end of April.

The report is particularly harsh on Karpinski, accusing her of leadership failures that set the conditions that led to the abuses.