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News Release


Release No: 889-04
September 10, 2004

Department of Defense Statement on Seymour Hersh Book

Based on media inquiries, it appears that Mr. Seymor Hershs upcoming book apparently contains many of the numerous unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies which he has made in the past based upon unnamed sources.

Detainee operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have been examined extensively both within the Department of Defense and by an independent panel led by former Secretary of Defense Jim Schlesinger. The U.S. military itself -- not Mr. Hersh or any other reporter first publicized the facts of the abuses at Abu Ghraib in January 2004, four months before Mr. Hersh broke the story.

To date the Department has conducted 11 investigations, of which eight reports have been completed and released, additionally:

  • Over 13,000 pages of reports have been compiled thus far.
  • Investigators have completed 950 interviews.
  • 43 Congressional briefings and hearings have been conducted (not to mention 39 additional briefings for Congressional staff).

Those responsible for criminal activities at Abu Ghraib or other detention facilities are being held accountable.

  • 45 individuals have been referred for courts-martial
  • 12 for General Officer Letters of Reprimand
  • 23 Soldiers have been administratively separated

There are ongoing investigations, and there will be more information disclosed. Thus far these investigations have determined that no responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have authorized or condoned the abuses seen at Abu Ghraib.

If any of Mr. Hershs anonymous sources wish to come forward and offer evidence to the contrary, the department welcomes them to do so. There are several open investigations, and we would certainly investigate their allegations without prejudice or hesitation.

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