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Various organizations of the Department of Defense have investigated, or will investigate, various aspects of allegations of abuse at DoD Detention Facilities and other matters related to detention operations. Thus far these inquiries include the following:
- Criminal investigations into individual allegations
-- Army Provost Marshal General assessment of detention and corrections
-- Joint Task Force Guantanamo assistance visit to Iraq to assess intelligence
Army Inspector General assessment of doctrine and training for detention
Commander, Joint Task Force-7 review of activities of military intelligence
Army Reserve Command Inspector General assessment of training of
Naval Inspector General review of detention procedures at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, and the Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston, South Carolina
I have been or will have been briefed on the results of these inquiries and the corrective actions taken by responsible officials within the Department.
It would be helpful to me to have your independent, professional advice on the issues that you consider most pertinent related to the various allegations, based on your review of completed and pending investigative reports and other materials and information. I am especially interested in your views on the cause of the problems and what should be done to fix them. Issues such as force structure, training of regular and reserve personnel, use of contractors, organization, detention policy and procedures, interrogation policy and procedures, the relationship between detention and interrogation, compliance with the Geneva Conventions, relationship with the International Committee of the Red Cross, command relationships, and operational practices may be contributing factors you might wish to review. Issues of personal accountability will be resolved through established military justice and administrative procedures, although any information you may develop will be welcome.
I would like your independent advice orally and in writing, preferably within 45 days after you begin your review. DoD personnel will collect information for your review and assist you as you deem appropriate. You are to have access to all relevant DoD investigations and other DoD information unless prohibited by law. Reviewing all written material relevant to these issues may be sufficient to allow you to provide your advice. Should you believe it necessary to travel or conduct interviews, the Director of Administration and Management will make appropriate arrangements.
I intend to provide your report to the Committees on Armed Services, the Secretaries of the Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Commanders of the Combatant Commands, the Directors of the Defense Agencies and others as appropriate. If your report contains classified information, please also provide an unclassified version suitable for public release.
By copy of this memorandum, I request the Director of Administration and Management to secure the necessary technical, administrative and legal support for your review from the Department of Defense Components. I appoint you as full-time Employees of this Department without pay under 10 U.S.C. Article 1583. I request all Department of Defense personnel to cooperate fully with your review and to make available all relevant documents and information at your request.
Signed //Donald H. Rumsfeld//
Senator REED. Will they have the opportunity to call individuals to testify?
Secretary RUMSFELD. Indeed.
Senator REED. Thank you.
Secretary RUMSFELD. I wouldn't use the word "testify," but cer
Senator REED. Mr. Secretary, the Taguba Report indicated the principle focus of Major General Miller's team was on the strategic interrogation of detainees in Iraq. Among its conclusions in its executive summary was that CJTF-7 did not have authorities and procedures in place to effect a unified strategy to detain, interrogate, and report information from detainees/internees in Iraq. The executive summary also stated that detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation.
Major General Miller was involved with Guantanamo, a DOD operation in another theater. He was sent to Iraq. I don't think major generals in the United States Army make up policies about strategic interrogation of detainees unless they've coordinated and communicated to the higher headquarters. Did you ever see, approve, or encourage this policy of enabling for interrogation? Did Secretary Cambone ever see, approve, or encourage this policy at either facility?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I don't recall that a policy came to me for approval. I think that what we have known since September 11 is that we had three issues with respect to people that were detained. One issue was to get them off the street so they can't kill again— more innocent men, women, and children. A second was the question of criminal prosecution for wrongdoing. The third was to interrogate and see if additional information could be found that could prevent future terrorist acts against our country or our forces or our friends and allies. So all of those things have been parts of it since the beginning. They're different functions, as you point out. Senator REED. Is that Secretary Cambone's view, too? Did he either see, approve, or encourage-he's behind you. Can he respond? Secretary RUMSFELD. Sure he can respond.
Mr. CAMBONE. Sir, the original
Chairman WARNER. Would you identify yourself for the record, please?
Mr. CAMBONE. Yes, sir. My name is Steve Cambone. I'm the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Senator.
The original effort by Major General Miller was done with respect to Guantanamo, and had to do with, in fact, whether or not we had the proper arrangements in the facilities in order to be able to gain the kind of intelligence we were looking from those prisoners in Guantanamo. We had then, in Iraq, a large body of people who had been captured on the battlefield that we had to gain intelligence from for force-protection purposes, and he was asked to go over, at my encouragement, to take a look at the situation as it existed there. He made his recommendations.
Senator REED. Were the recommendations made to you, Mr. Secretary? Did you approve them?
Mr. CAMBONE. To me directly? No. They were made to the command.
Senator REED. But you were aware of the recommendations about enabling interrogation?
Mr. CAMBONE. I was aware of those recommendations. I was aware that he made the recommendation that we get a better coordination between those who are being held and those who were
Senator REED. Mr. Secretary, were you aware that a specific recommendation was to use MPs to enable an interrogation process?
Mr. CAMBONE. In that precise language, no; but I knew that we were trying to get to the point where we were assuring that when they were in the general population, those that were under confinement were not undermining the interrogation process.
Senator REED. So this was Major General Miller's own policy? Mr. CAMBONE. No, sir, it was not a policy; it was a recommendation that he made to the command.
Senator REED. So General Sanchez adopted this policy, making it a policy of the United States Army and the DOD, without consultation with you on any specific
Mr. CAMBONE. Sir, I don't think that's a proper rendering of it. Senator REED. I don't know what the proper rendering is, but that seems to be at the core of this issue. Were you encouraging a policy that had MP officers enabling interrogations, which created the situation where these
Mr. CAMBONE. No, sir.
Secretary RUMSFELD. May I comment? I think it is probably best put this way. They are different responsibilities, detaining and interrogating. However, they do need to be looked at together. They found, in Guantanamo, that how they are detained, in terms of the rhythm of their lives, can affect the interrogation process. So the linkage between the two is desirable if, in fact, you're concerned about finding more information that can prevent additional terrorist acts or, in the case of Iraq, the killing of our forces. So it's important that there be a linkage, a relationship. The way it can be put is that it has a bad connotation. Goodness knows, that's not desirable or a policy that General Miller would have recommended. On the other hand, it can
Senator REED. The policy seems to be to link
Chairman WARNER. Senator, I have to ask if you would require the witnesses to provide further responses for the record.
Senator REED. Mr. Chairman, I will certainly ask for additional responses.
Chairman WARNER. Thank you very much.
Senator REED. Thank you.
Chairman WARNER. Senator Collins.
Senator COLLINS. Mr. Secretary, the vast majority of American troops performed their duties with compassion, fairness, and courage. This abuse makes the tasks which they've been assigned far more difficult and far more dangerous, and that troubles me greatly. Worst of all, our Nation, a Nation that, to a degree unprecedented in human history, has sacrificed its blood and treasure to secure liberty and human rights around the world, now must try to convince the world that the horrific images on their TV screens and front pages are not the real America, that what they see is not who we are.
That is why, Mr. Secretary, I'm so troubled by the Pentagon's failure to come forward to fully disclose this appalling abuse, to express outrage and concern, and to outline swift, tough, corrective actions. I believe that had you done that, it would have mitigated somewhat how this abuse has been perceived around the world, particularly in the Muslim communities. I'm not talking about
issuing a press release from Baghdad. I'm talking about you personally coming forward and telling the world what you knew about this abuse.
In retrospect, do you believe that you erred in not coming forward, not just to the President and Congress-you've made very clear today that you regret not doing that-but to the world community? Would it have made a difference if it had been the Pentagon itself that had disclosed the full extent of this abuse, whatever you knew, and what actions you were going to take?
Secretary RUMSFELD. I think in my statement I responded in full to your question. I would characterize what was done in CENTCOM, by way of swift corrective action, as being just that— swift corrective action.
Second, I don't know quite how to respond to your question. The DOD announced that abuse was being charged, there were criminal investigations underway. No one had seen the photographs. They were part of a criminal investigation, and I say no one in the Pentagon had seen them. They were part of that CENTCOM investigative process. It is the photographs that give one the vivid realization of what actually took place. Words don't do it. The words that there were abuses, that it was cruel, that it was inhumane, all of which is true that it was blatant-you read that, and it's one thing. You see the photographs, and you get a sense of it, and you cannot help but be outraged.
There are, at any given time, in the DOD, these 3,000 courtsmartial underway-general courts-martial, some 1,200; criminal investigations, 18,000 last year. The importance of protecting the people charged, protecting their rights, and the importance of seeing that if, in fact, they're guilty, they don't get off because of command influence so there's a pattern of not reaching down into those things, bringing them up, and looking at all the evidence before it ever arrives. In this case, it was released to the press.
Now, we announced the problem to the press. We did not release the Taguba Report to the press. That was done by someone, to release, against the law, a secret document. That's how it surprised everyone. It shocked Congress. It shocked me. It shocked the President. It shocked the country.
But to suggest that they had not taken tough, swift, corrective actions in CENTCOM, it seems to me is inconsistent with what took place.
Senator COLLINS. Mr. Secretary, that's not what I said. What I said is—and I have no doubt that the military is committed to swift corrective action-it's the disclosure of the abuse, and the promise to take those actions. That's where I feel the Pentagon fell short. I think that rather than calling CBS and asking for a delay in the airing of the pictures, it would have been far better if you, Mr. Secretary, with all respect, had come forward and told the world about these pictures and of your personal determination—a determination I know you have to set matters right and to hold those responsible accountable.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Senator Collins, I wish I had done that, as I said in my remarks. We have to find a better way to do it, but I wish I knew how you reach down into a criminal investigation when it is not just a criminal investigation, but it turns out to be