Monday, July 05, 2004

Brig Gen Janis Karpinski Interview

This interview is amazing.

Prison Chief: Rumsfeld Authorized Torture, Iraqis Involved

(The Signal is the local paper for Santa Clarita, CA, in the Antelope Valley, a little north of Los Angeles.)

Signal: Last week the Pentagon released memos showing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved particular interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay. To your knowledge, are there documents showing he also approved particular interrogation techniques for Abu Ghraib?

Karpinski: I did not see it personally, but since all of this has come out, I've not only seen, but I've been asked about some of those documents, that he signed and agreed to.

Signal: About Abu Ghraib?

Karpinski: Yes. About using the same techniques that were successful in Guantánamo Bay, at Abu Ghraib.

Signal: Those documents have not been released yet.

Karpinski: No.

Signal: What can you characterize about them?

Karpinski: I know that Col. Pappas, on three occasions, sent a request to Gen. Sanchez to escalate their interrogations, and that involved using - and he lists them. And in one case he said they wanted to use dogs, and they wanted to increase the length of time that they could be isolated, food deprivation, that kind of - sleep deprivation. And in at least two of those cases, there is a signature of approval from Gen. Sanchez.

Signal: And you've seen these documents.

Karpinski: Yes, I have.


Signal: What about CIA activities? Specially, Mr. Rumsfeld's recent acknowledgement that he hid a so-called "ghost detainee" at another detention facility in Baghdad at the request of ex-CIA director George Tenet.

Karpinski: Right.

Signal: Did you have knowledge of that?

Karpinski: I certainly did.

Signal: So you knew at the time that there was a ghost detainee.

Karpinski: I absolutely did. And we objected.

Then, and Now

Their George and Ours Barbara Ehrenreich traces parallels between King George and 'King' George W.

  • "depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury."
  • tax burden imposed to support the king's wars
  • "obstructed the Administration of Justice." -- evading judicial review by hiding detainees in Gitmo, or not checking detainees in at all (in Iraq).
  • "taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments." -- Bush's 'inherent' powers as Commander in Chief.
  • "transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation." -- Ehrenreich suggests you change the word 'mercenaries' to 'contractors' and read the sentence again.

Read the whole thing.