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34. Senator KENNEDY. General Romig, was the JAG Corps involved in the decision to give private contractors much broader authority to interrogate military detainees? General ROMIG. My office was not involved in the decision to employ private contractor interrogators or how much authority private contractors should have when interrogating military detainees.
35. Senator KENNEDY. General Romig, who made this decision and when and how was it transmitted to the field?
General ROMIG. I don't know.
36. Senator KENNEDY. General Romig, in making this policy change, did policymakers discuss the lack of accountability under the UCMJ for civilian contractors? General ROMIG. I don't know.
37. Senator KENNEDY. General Romig, was there any discussion of the limits of jurisdiction for prosecuting military contractors?
General ROMIG. There has been considerable discussion within all the Services regarding the increasing reliance of contractors on the battlefield, the lack of UCMJ jurisdiction except during periods of a congressionally declared war, and the other possible forums for exercising criminal jurisdiction (the War Crimes Act, 18 USC §§ 2340-2340A, and potentially the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act). However, I am not aware of discussions focused on contractors hired to perform interrogations.
38. Senator KENNEDY. General Romig, do you share the concerns reportedly expressed by the JAG articles as summarized in the three articles I have referenced? General ROMIG. As set out in my answer to question 30, I believe the concerns reportedly raised by Judge Advocates in the articles were based upon an incorrect understanding of JAG roles in observing_interrogations, both during Operation Desert Storm and in our present conflicts. To that extent, I do not share their concerns. As to any concerns I may have had regarding the formulation of interrogation policies at Guantanamo, please see my answer to question 28.
[Whereupon, at 5:57 p.m., the committee adjourned.]
ALLEGATIONS OF MISTREATMENT OF IRAQI
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2004
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:35 a.m. in room SH216, Hart Senate Office Building, Senator John Warner (chairman) presiding.
Committee members present: Senators Warner, McCain, Inhofe, Roberts, Allard, Sessions, Collins, Ensign, Talent, Chambliss, Graham, Dole, Cornyn, Levin, Kennedy, Byrd, Lieberman, Reed, Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Dayton, Bayh, Clinton, and Pryor.
Committee staff members present: Judith A. Ansley, staff director; and Leah C. Brewer, nominations and hearings clerk.
Majority staff members present: Charles W. Alsup, professional staff member; William C. Greenwalt, professional staff member; Gregory T. Kiley, professional staff member; Elaine A. McCusker, professional staff member; Lucian L. Niemeyer, professional staff member; Paula J. Philbin, professional staff member; Lynn F. Rusten, professional staff member; Scott W. Stucky, general counsel; Diana G. Tabler, professional staff member; and Richard F. Walsh, counsel.
Minority staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, Democratic staff director; Daniel J. Cox, Jr., professional staff member; Jeremy L. Hekhuis, professional staff member; and William G.P. Monahan, minority counsel.
Staff assistants present: Michael N. Berger, Andrew W. Florell, and Bridget E. Ward.
Committee members' assistants present: Christopher J. Paul, assistant to Senator McCain; John A. Bonsell, assistant to Senator Inhofe; Darren M. Dick, assistant to Senator Roberts; Arch Galloway II, assistant to Senator Sessions; Derek J. Maurer, assistant to Senator Collins; D'Arcy Grisler, assistant to Senator Ensign; Clyde A. Taylor IV, assistant to Senator Chambliss; Aleix Jarvis and Meredith Moseley, assistants to Senator Graham; Christine O. Hill, assistant to Senator Dole; Russell J. Thomasson, assistant to Senator Cornyn; Sharon L. Waxman and Mieke Y. Eoyang, assistants to Senator Kennedy; Frederick M. Downey, assistant to Senator Lieberman; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; Davelyn Noelani Kalipi and Richard Kessler, assistant to Senator Akaka; William K. Sutey, assistant to Senator Bill Nelson; Eric Pierce, assistant to Senator Ben Nelson; Rashid Hallaway, assist
ant to Senator Bayh; Andrew Shapiro, assistant to Senator Clinton; and Terri Glaze, assistant to Senator Pryor.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN WARNER,
Chairman WARNER. Good morning, everyone. The committee meets today for the third in a series of hearings regarding the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by a small-hopefully, a very smallnumber of personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States, in violation of U.S. and international laws.
Testifying before us today are General John P. Abizaid, Commander, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM); Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq; Major General Geoffrey Miller, Deputy Commander for Detainee Operations, Multi-National Force; and they are joined this morning by their Judge Advocate General (JAG), which I think is a very wise decision.
We welcome our witnesses and thank them again for their service. Many times members of this committee and other Members of Congress have gone abroad and visited each of you in CENTCOM, and, most particularly, in Afghanistan and Iraq. We must all be mindful of the role of our witnesses in the operational chain of command and of their related responsibilities in the administration of military justice. Each witness this morning will use caution with regard to their comments, such as not to inadvertently influence, in any way, the ongoing criminal or administrative proceedings and the investigations. Many investigations instituted by the Department of Defense (DOD) are now ongoing. Indeed, this morning we see the opening of the first trials, an opening in a manner in which the entire world can see democracy in action.
As I have previously stated, this mistreatment of prisoners represents an appalling and totally unacceptable breach of military regulations and conduct. Our committee, a part of the United States Congress, a coequal branch of government, has a solemn responsibility to determine, as best we can, how this breakdown in military leadership and discipline occurred, and, most importantly, what steps are being taken, by the civilians in control and, indeed, those in the uniform, to see that it never, ever happens gain.
I firmly believe this prisoner mistreatment represents an extremely rare chapter in the otherwise proud, magnificent history of the United States military. It is counter to every human value that we, as Americans, have learned beginning in our earliest stage with our families, our schools, and our churches. It is counter to what this Nation stands for, and it is counter to the principles that the men and women of the Armed Forces, today and in years past, have fought to protect wherever they are in the world. It is counter to the cause of freedom.
There must be a full accountability for the abuse of Iraqi detainees, and important questions must be asked of the chain of command to understand what happened, how it happened, when it happened, and how those in positions of responsibility either ordered, encouraged, authorized, or maybe looked the other way at
Our witnesses today are uniquely qualified to answer many of these important questions, including:
What policies and procedures were established for the treatment of prisoners and detainee interrogations?
What was the chain of command at the prison?
Were military police (MPs) or military intelligence (MI) personnel in charge, and at what times?
When did you I say that collectively and individually-realize the magnitude, seriousness, and uniqueness of these allegations? What measures did you take to inform the civilian structure, from the President to the DOD, Department of State, and others, that civilian structure that has the ultimate responsibility for the control of the United States military, which goes back to the very origins of this country?
What steps were taken to respond to earlier reports of mistreatment of prisoners received from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and possibly other sources?
Finally, how did the conduct of interrogations and detainee operations evolve from May 2003 until January 2004?
I am confident that you will, to the best of your ability, be responsive to these and other questions.
I am proud of the manner in which the Armed Forces of the United States, represented by these extraordinarily accomplished officers before us, have promptly reacted to the allegations, undertaken the appropriate investigation, and begun disciplinary actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The trials, in some instances, begin today.
We are a nation of laws. We confront breaches of our laws openly and directly, and we must find the evidence to hold those who break the law accountable. We must not forget our overall purpose in Iraq and, indeed, in Afghanistan. Success in both areas is essential not only to our Nation and the people of Iraq, but to the entire world as we fight global terrorism.
We all have an important stake in learning the truth. We must not allow these acts of a few to tarnish the honor of the many dedicated men and women in uniform, 99.99 percent of whom are valiantly upholding the values they were taught in the cause of freedom, and doing so at great personal risk and with great sacrifice. Lastly, how this hearing originated is spelled out in a letter that I wrote to the Secretary of Defense (SEČDEF) last week on May 13, in which I thanked him for his participation and assistance in facilitating the hearings that we had had. I indicated that our committee would pursue further hearings and involve a list of witnesses, and I named them all, you three among them.
Then I will recite this paragraph: "To date, in scheduling, the committee has tried to meet your requirements, and we hope to continue such cooperation in arranging the earliest possible date for appearances of these witnesses. Given that some witnesses may need to remain in Iraq for operational reasons, we are open to exploring the option of video teleconferences for some hearings."
In the course of the last few days, in working with the Department on having, I thought, several civilians come up today, somewhat unexpectedly my distinguished colleague, Senator Levin, and I were informed that you were in town, General Abizaid, and had