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Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out to Dry

Jen Banbury, writing in Salon, interviews former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski of Abu Ghraib notoriety about her experiences and her new book, "One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story."

Karpinski makes a strong argument that she was made a scapegoat by George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, her immediate bosses and military intelligence commanders. Frustratingly, Karpinski never steps up and takes responsibility, in any way, for what happened at Abu Ghraib. Yet, despite her lack of accountability or mea culpa, the book is an often shocking, guns-a-blazing indictment of the inept occupation of Iraq, and of the men who planned it and continue to run it today. Salon reached Karpinski by phone this week to talk about the Gitmo-ization of Abu Ghraib, the policy that keeps thousands of innocent Iraqis behind bars, and the reasons that the people truly responsible for Abu Ghraib are still in power.

At one point, Ms. Banbury asks Karpinski about responsibility:

Do you feel like Rumsfeld is at the heart of all of this and should be held completely accountable for what happened?

Yes, absolutely. And so should his sidekick, [Undersecretary of Defense Stephen] Cambone. Really, I don't have anything against Alberto Gonzales, but he was involved in the discussions about the departure from Geneva Conventions and dealing with terrorists. So why isn't he somewhat accountable? Pappas is still on active duty. Sanchez, still on active duty. Fast, promoted and still on active duty, sergeant major of the Army. How are they silencing these guys or maintaining their silence? They're under the control of Rumsfeld, under the control of the active component.

If you're interested in the book, you can get it at Amazon.

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  • Re: Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slado on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:57 PM EST
    The screw ups at Abu Grahib are well documented and the fervor to use this as yet another excuse to go after Bush has subsided. Karpinski is just playing the game. Use your 15min to get a book deal and tell everyone if they had just listned to you it wouldn't have happened. No matter how culpable you yourself may be. I've tired of AG. Can't we move on to secret prisons at least if we're going to keep pushing the toruture issue?

    How unfortunate -- and terrible for our nation -- that former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was one of many who followed orders and looked the other way to allow torture in U.S. managed prisons. The neocons have asserted that only through torture would we get the 'truth' about the rebellion against the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq (and Afghanastan). They continue to blame the Geneva Conventions and reticence for our failures in Vietnam. But the use of torture has not worked in our favor, and has produced terrible results: - the Arab world sees that the U.S. is willing to torture people and to treat Arabs and others in a disrespectful and dangerous way - U.S. soldiers and citizens are now at far greater risk of torture in other countries, should they be captured - the information gained through torture is unreliable and often false - U.S. citizens (those deemed 'enemy combattants') are now at greater risk from their government, and are denied basic rights to jury trial

    Slado: "I've tired of AG. Can't we move on to secret prisons at least if we're going to keep pushing the toruture issue?" Oooh, he's TIRED of Abu Ghraib. Poor trollie. "Frustratingly, Karpinski never steps up and takes responsibility, in any way, for what happened at Abu Ghraib." Karpinski was responsible for something like twenty prisons (all prisons in Iraq). She was commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, based in Uniondale, N.Y., to which the 372nd Military Police Company was temporarily attached. She had NO control of the wing that CIA/Blackwater took over. IT WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM HER. Her job was processing many thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis who had been gathered up in batches, nearly all of whom were, as she says, totally innocent. MS: "(she) followed orders and looked the other way to allow torture in U.S. managed prisons." That's an assertion that is not proven in the slightest. She's a scapegoat for Donnie and Dick's Torture Circus. The private contractors and OSS/WHIG spooks rolled in with top-top orders to do what they did, and then blamed it on the legitimate leadership -- JUST AS THEY DID TO THE LEGITIMATE CIA ITSELF. Scapegoating and tearing down the legitimate government is basic to the Bushliar Coup. They do it at every opportunity, since the whole effort is to LOWER THE BAR in as many ways as possible. These are several and sequential acts of treasons. Karpinski is not a traitor -- she's an officer who was forced out of control of one area of one prison (so far as we know; out of ALL prisons in Iraq) by a gang of thugs with orders from the top of the flagpole. "Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller took over the U.S.-run detention facilities in Iraq as deputy commander for detainee operations, reporting directly to Sanchez." General Sanchez is a war criminal and DIRECTLY responsible for the failure of Karpinski's command. "Miller had previously overseen the detention facility at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay." Putting the head wolf in charge. That's an improvement, eh? Karpinski wouldn't go quietly, so they threw her out of the Corporation. Bush Must Resign.

    Re: Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:57 PM EST
    Truth be known she was the person in charge. That she has been let slide is something she should be thankful for.

    Re: Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:57 PM EST
    ppj-I thought Bush was in charge.

    Re: Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:57 PM EST
    Karpinski's name is Patsy.

    She was not in charge. Her charge was taken away from her by Gen'l Miller TO ALLOW THE BLACKWATER/OSS torturers free rein UNDER THEIR ORDERS -- orders which were not shared with Karpinski. Not discussing those orders with the general in charge is certainly a breach of military order. Blaming her for being kept out of the loop is just another SWEET, NO RESPONSIBILITY MALFEASANCE for the Bushliar Nazis.

    Re: Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    PIL - She was in charge. If she was concerned there were any number of avenues open to her. If she wants to play the "I didn't know game" she is welcome to do so. I still find that placing women's panties on the heads of prisoners not even close to abuse.

    very well then PPJ...how does getting assraped with a chemlight grab ya?

    Yeah, that's real nice, Jim. Glad you could rush back from the KKK meeting to profer your opinion once again. "She was in charge" is a LIE -- George Bush was in charge, and the orders given and not given fall on his head. Had they had different orders, they should have communicated them to her. She was 'in charge,' but surprisingly, that didn't mean she knew what Bush, Rumsfeld, or Miller's orders to interrogators was. They didn't bother to tell her that they intended to torture people in one of her prisons. That seems to be a surprising case of NEED TO KNOW. If she didn't need to know, she wasn't in charge. Period.

    Seymour Hersh:
    Last June, Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. General Karpinski, the only female commander in the war zone, was an experienced operations and intelligence officer who had served with the Special Forces and in the 1991 Gulf War, but she had never run a prison system. Now she was in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists, most of whom, like her, had no training in handling prisoners.
    The ONLY female commander in Iraq, given a job she had no training for, and soldiers equally untrained, and then ONE MONTH LATER is hung out to dry for actions that her commanding officer 'theater commander' Sanchez authorized without informing her of the details of that authorization, on orders from Rumsfeld and the Traitor-in-Chief: Hey, how can we burn that woman general? Let's set her up to be the scapegoat for our torture policy. Get that slightly brain-damaged girl and put her on trail, too. Women shouldn't be in the military if they don't expect to get roughed up, right, Donnie?

    Re: Janis Karpinski Alleges Pentagon Left Her Out (none / 0) (#12)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:59 PM EST
    Truman may not have been our best pres but at least HE knew where the buck stopped. I guess that little placard went right into the circular file on 01/21/01.