Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 and early 2004, was the highest-ranking witness scheduled to testify at the trial of Sgt. Michael J. Smith of Fort Lauderdale, an Army dog handler charged with abusing detainees at the prison in Iraq.
Pappas, testifying for the defense under a grant of immunity, said he regretted having failed to set ''appropriate controls'' at the prison, where detainees were bitten by dogs and assaulted and sexually humiliated by guards. 'In hindsight, clearly we probably needed to establish some definitive rules and put out some clear guidance to everybody concerned,'' Pappas said.
The fact that the Bush administration went to so much effort to redefine torture to allow much more abusive practices should make this crystal clear. As we hear from more of he higher ranking officers, it is clear that there was no real effort made to protect those we were holding, and that extracting information (even when there was not information to extract) was the only thing that mattered.
Tactics Broke Rules
The judge advocates general, responding in writing to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee about the treatment of suspected terrorist Mohamed al-Qahtani, found that several techniques used at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could be considered violations of interrogation policy because individually they are humiliating or degrading.
Yet the administration keeps inssting they are fine.
Abu Ghraib Geneva Conventions Iraq