Detainees Getting Proper Care, Assures Coalition Military Official
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 5, 2004 Detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison are being fed, have and wear clothes, and do not sleep on the ground, asserted a coalition military spokesman at a Baghdad press briefing today.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director for operations, Combined Joint Task Force 7, said a reporter had been "obviously been misinformed" at an allegation that Abu Ghraib prisoners are being held without clothes or food and sleep on the ground in tents.
Kimmitt assured that abuse had stopped at the prison. "We continue in the vast majority of cases to be in absolute adherence to the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of security detainees," he said.
The soldiers involved in the abuse were immediately taken away from Abu Ghraib and suspended from any contact with any portion of the prison, Kimmitt said. "As soon as it was found out that they were involved in this, they were instantly suspended and given no ability to go back into that prison as a guard," Kimmitt said.
"They are being prosecuted. Six are facing criminal charges. Most are through the process of the investigation, and we would expect that after the end of those final investigations, it may end up in a military court martial."
Kimmitt guaranteed that "the United States Army will make a full-faith effort to do everything it can in its power in training, in resourcing and discipline to ensure this never happens again. Is it a fail-safe, 100 percent guarantee? I wish I could stand up here and promise you that. Is it as close to a 100 percent guarantee that one can reasonably expect? That I can guarantee you."
He said, "My Army been embarrassed and shamed by this. And on behalf of my Army, I apologize for what those soldiers did to your citizens. It was reprehensible and it was unacceptable. And it is more than just words that we have to take those words into action and ensure that never happens again. And we will make a full-faith effort to ensure that never happens again."
"It's our firm determination that there will continue to be oversight procedures, training mechanisms in place to ensure that no type of detainee abuse will occur again in the future," Kimmitt said.