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Text of Remarks by Gen. Kimmitt on Prisoner Abuse in Iraq - 2004-04-30

Text of remarks by U.S. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Coalition Operations on prisoner abuse
Baghdad, Iraq
April 28, 2004

Let's start from the beginning. In early January, a soldier came forward at Abu Ghraib Prison. That soldier said, "There are some things going on here that I can't live with. I am aware of some activities that are being conducted by the guards and some of the interrogators that are inconsistent with my job and inconsistent with my values as a soldier." That soldier came forward. He presented evidence to his chain of command. The chain of command brought it forward. General Sanchez, upon hearing it, immediately started a criminal investigation.

I don't remember the exact date I stood in front of this podium and talked about the outcome of that investigation. So that outcome is now -- has resulted in criminal charges being levied against six soldiers.

To answer your other question, this does not reflect the vast majority of coalition soldiers, vast majority of American soldiers that are operating out of Abu Ghraib Prison. We have had thousands, tens of thousands of detainees in Abu Ghraib. We have understood that a very, very small number were involved in this incident, and of the hundreds and hundreds of guards they have out there, a small number were involved in the guards.

I'm not going to stand up here and make excuses for those soldiers. I'm not going to stand up here and apologize for those soldiers. If what they did is proven in a court of law, that is incompatible with the values we stand for as a professional military force, and it's values that we don't stand for as human beings. They will be tried before a court, and then those decisions will be made.

Source: Coalition Provisional Authority website

Kimmit statement on prisoner abuse investigation from March 20, 2004 briefing in Baghdad

As you know, on 14 January 2004, a criminal investigation was initiated to examine allegations of detainee abuse at the Baghdad confinement facility at Abu Ghraib. Shortly thereafter, the commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force Seven requested a separate administrative investigation into systemic issues such as command policies and internal procedures related to detention operations. That administrative investigation is complete, however, the findings and recommendations have not been approved. As a result of the criminal investigation, six military personnel have been charged with criminal offenses to include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, assault, and indecent acts with another.

The coalition takes all reports of detainee abuse seriously, and all allegations of mistreatment are investigated. We are committed to treating all persons under coalition control with dignity, respect and humanity. Coalition personnel are expected to act appropriately, humanely, and in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions. Lieutenant General Sanchez has reinforced this requirement to all members of CJTF-7.

Source: Coalition Provisional Authority website