A published report says U.S. military officials in Iraq knew that American forces were abusing detainees throughout that country, more than a month before mistreatment at the Abu Ghraib prison was uncovered.

The Washington Post newspaper Wednesday, says a confidential report about the abuse was given to Army generals in Iraq in December 2003, before military investigators received photographs of the abuses at Abu Ghraib. That Abu Ghraib scandal became public several months later when news media published photographs of the abuse.

The Post says the confidential report was written by retired Colonel Stuart Herrington. He disclosed that members of a special joint military and Central Intelligence Agency task force TF-121 were abusing detainees throughout Iraq and using a secret interrogation facility to hide their activities.

A Pentagon official told the Post the Herrington report was taken very seriously, and that its findings were passed on to U.S. Central Command.

Some information for this report provided by AP.