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6/25/2018 7:04:05 PM
Posted: 9/4/2004 9:39:08 PM EDT
September 04, 2004

General says top generals conspired to blame her for Abu Ghraib

By Jim Krane
Associated Press

BAGHDAD — The U.S. Army general who once ran detention operations in Iraq said a “conspiracy” among top U.S. commanders in Iraq has left her to blame for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.
Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who commanded the Army’s 800th Military Police Brigade, said she fears more senior Army generals may escape punishment, even though they issued or approved guidelines on the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners.

Karpinski said in an e-mail interview with The Associated Press that she was unfairly cited by a report issued last month by an independent panel of nongovernment experts, headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger.

The Schlesinger report blamed Karpinski for leadership failures that “helped set the conditions at the prison which led to the abuses.” She failed to ensure that Iraqi prisoners were protected by the Geneva Conventions and failed to deal with ineffective commanders below her. It recommended that she be relieved of command and given a letter of reprimand, which would essentially end her career.

The panel also said disciplinary action “may be forthcoming” against Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of the Army’s 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, which was assigned to Abu Ghraib last year.

That recommendation may allow top generals in Iraq to sidestep punishment, Karpinski said.

Those she said might avoid sharing responsibility are Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former land forces commander in Iraq; his deputy, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski; Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, the former head of military intelligence here; and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, deputy commander for detention operations in Iraq.

“It was a conspiracy all along,” Karpinski said. “Sanchez and Miller and likely Fast had fallback plans and people to blame if anything came unglued.”

When things became unglued, Karpinski said she got the blame.

“This is not an unbiased report,” she said.

Fast, Wojdakowski, Sanchez, as well as Karpinski are criticized in the Schlesinger report and a subsequent Army investigation led by Maj. Gen. George Fay.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday to consider the Fay and Schlesinger reports and will likely raise questions about which, if any, senior military officials should share blame for what happened at Abu Ghraib.

Fast and Miller declined to comment on the report or Karpinski’s allegations. Sanchez, Wojdakowski and Pappas could not be reached.

Karpinski said she was snared in a Catch-22 situation. Allowing the tougher methods of prisoner interrogation to go ahead — as recommended by Miller and approved by Sanchez — landed her in trouble. But, she said, if she had disregarded those guidelines, she would also be in trouble.

“Can’t win,” she said.

Karpinski complained that Schlesinger’s investigation gave her an only perfunctory opportunity — an interview of less than an hour — to rebut the allegations.

“ ... (I)n such short lengths of time, they all agree it was my leadership failures leading to the situation and photographs,” Karpinski said. “Do they think I received my promotion in a Cracker Jack box? I earned it like active component general officers do, by demonstrating strong leadership abilities.”

Karpinski also scoffed at the Schlesinger report’s finding that U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon officials can be faulted for failed leadership and oversight, even though the report concludes that Rumsfeld bears no direct responsibility for the abuses.

The general said the report’s focus on Rumsfeld was “clearly done as a show of unbiased investigation techniques” to bolster its credibility.

In fact, Karpinski may not be the only Army general whose career suffers — or ends — because of the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Observers have said they believe the probe could eventually reach the others. Investigators concluded that the other generals are partly responsible, but not legally culpable, for the abuse last fall.

Sanchez and Wojdakowski are cited in an Army investigation for failure to “ensure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations” in Iraq.

Sanchez, who returned in June to his command of Army 5th Corps headquarters in Germany, has already been passed over for promotion to a four-star slot as chief of Southern Command because of Rumsfeld’s expectation that Sanchez would face trouble in a Senate confirmation hearing.

Karpinski faulted the reports for leaving her languishing as the only general suspended.

“Sanchez and Wojdakowski remain in their positions. Fast still plans to take command of Fort Huachuca, and Miller is still running the prisons in Iraq,” Karpinski wrote. “What kind of justice keeps me suspended and concurs with (an Army report’s) recommendations yet leaves Sanchez, Wojdakowski, Fast and Miller in place?”

Link Posted: 9/4/2004 9:48:03 PM EDT
Whatever you do in this country remember it's never your fault. More than likely George Bush made you do it!
Link Posted: 9/4/2004 11:30:26 PM EDT
Sounds like she hasn't figured out the whole being in command means being responsible thing.

Mind you, that was why she got in trouble in the first place....
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 12:03:40 AM EDT
Of course the buck doesn't stop with her, she's just a poor opressed woman who is being made a scape goat by the evil men.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 1:40:58 AM EDT
Let me see here. She's a general which means she's ambitious and wanted to command. She was in charge of the personnel at the prison. She considered her orders to be less than legal, but carried them out because she didn't want to get in trouble. Then when they put her tit in the wringer, she pointed her finger and said "They made me do it."

I'm damn glad she wasn't in charge of a combat arms unit.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 5:48:37 AM EDT
Typical overly ambitious, arrogant woman in a position of authority. They seek out the positions due to the status and to feed their ego. They look for their subordinates to make the decisions (and see that as a positive because they're "empowering" people) and then scapegoat their people (especially men) who happen to work for them when anything contraversial happens. If scapegoating doesn't get their ass out of the sling and they have to take accountability, they whine like you wouldn't believe.
The corporate world is full of these types.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 5:56:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 6:33:54 AM EDT
Yes, I beleive she is right.

Get a grip, girl. I bet she cheerfully participated in ruining other guy's careers as well.

I read Wadell's book (the skipper of the sub that sank the Japanese fishing boat), and he was singing the same tune. He thought he was on the inside as a ring knocker, the group that covers each other and mistakes are basically forgiven.

He was shocked, SHOCKED!, that the group of flag officers he worked with would turn on him, a promising commander with a bright future....what a load of crap. If this guy was that naiive and self centered, he had no business being in command as well.

It cracks me up. Some of the guys in the military forget the same standards of discipline apply to them TOO, and they will get reamed hard no matter how unjustified if it suits someone's purposes.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 6:38:35 AM EDT
reminds me of a few bosses I had who would take credit for things that went well and pass the buck for things that did not.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 7:14:17 AM EDT
... she was utterly incompetent from what ive read, had no discipline standards at all
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 7:37:08 AM EDT
It don't really surprise me at all.

What a dumb bitch
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 7:37:11 AM EDT
Wasn't she originally claiming she didn't know what was going on? Now, her story is that EVERYONE knew what was going on, and that the guidelines came from higher. Perhaps she has a future working as a speechwriter for John Kerry
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 9:20:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 9:37:21 AM EDT
Top brass also conspired to plant women's public hair between her teeth....

Link Posted: 9/5/2004 11:41:28 AM EDT
Have you ever known a woman who made a bad choice stand up and accept responsibility for her actions?

I'm nearing 50 and I can't think of a single example.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 1:34:27 PM EDT
Go munch some carpet Janis.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 2:05:26 PM EDT
That's funny, the Army's own report on the torture at the prison said that she was not even allowed to enter that section of the prison.

This crap came straight down from DOD and Rummy!
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 2:21:01 PM EDT
I wonder if she's ever heard the old Naval maxim: 'The Captin is responsible for the actions of his crew'...

Her troops did it, on her watch.

She, as the CO, is responsible.

Of course, that would require professionalisim to see, which she obviously lacks...

She is merely continuing to showcase her incompetance.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 2:25:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JHill:
That's funny, the Army's own report on the torture at the prison said that she was not even allowed to enter that section of the prison.

This crap came straight down from DOD and Rummy!

Link Posted: 9/5/2004 2:30:31 PM EDT
She needs to spend time in Leavenworth. In fact, she should have been the FIRST ONE put on trial, not some lowly E-4. Also, whoever promoted her to General needs to be harshly disciplined. What a huge mistake.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 3:16:46 PM EDT
She really isa sorry piece of shit.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 5:32:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mahatma8Rice:
Have you ever known a woman who made a bad choice stand up and accept responsibility for her actions?

I'm nearing 50 and I can't think of a single example.

Janet Reno.
Link Posted: 9/5/2004 5:55:34 PM EDT
I believe she isn't the only one culapble, but she did more than her fair share.

I read the summary of Tabuga's (sp) report. It was amazing, the number of senior NCO's, and officers that were either incompetent, or lazy. There were multiple Lt. Cols and Cols relieved for inept leadership. A CSM was relieved for lying to investigators. etc. etc, all of that IS Karpinski's fault. She knew she had inept commanders but didn't do anything to address the leadership issues.

Then again,

Lt Gen Sanchez DID put MI Col Pappas in charge of part of the prison. Quick name the other times any of you have heard of a Col. being placed in charge of something over a general. Col. Pappas is supposedly awaiting charges. I'm not sure why Gen Sanchez did that, but at the very least that certainly sent a message that the MI mission was of the utmost importance.

The DoD also had civilian interogators working int the prison, some with very lax supervision. That was also a mistake IMHO.

Next EPW/POW operations require skill, discipline, and attention to deatil. It is a mission that can easily get srewed up beyond belief. Why were reservists doing that critical mission? The way I see it there is very little difference between E-1 - E-4, or O-1 - O-3 between the reserves and ctive duty people. There is a huge difference between the E-7+ and O-4+ beteween reserve and active duty. Would anyone want a NG/AR infantry Brigade spearheading a ground offensive, while regular Army/USMC troops were following them? Of course not.

Next, Major General Miller, he was in charge of Gitmo for a while. He was fundamental in implementing the interogation techniques used, and only approved for Gitmo. Funny thing is MG Miller visited Iraq, and toured EPW/POW/MI areas, and after he left some of those Gitmo only interogation methods showed up in Iraq.

I believe that Karpinski and Pappas are responsible for most of what happened in the EPW/POW scandal, due to failing to lead, and leading poorly. But a lot of the basis for the bad ideas about EPW/POW and MI interogations seem to have come from, and been encouraged by MG Miller.

Was there a conspiracy to deflect blame to Karpinski...................................NO.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 2:51:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 2:52:01 PM EDT by PanzerOfDoom]

It was her friggin command!

She knows about the accountability of a CO, if she doesn't WTF is she doing in the military?
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