- Further serious allegations of prisoner abuse have been
levelled against American special forces operating in Iraq, this time by
agents of the Pentagon's own spy service, the Defence Intelligence Agency.
- The allegations centre on reports from two DIA interrogators
assigned to a holding camp in Baghdad over the summer, who protested after
witnessing Iraqi prisoners arriving with burns on their backs, bruising,
and complaining of kidney pain.
- According to a memo from the DIA to Stephen Cambone,
the Pentagon's under-secretary for intelligence, one of the pair saw officers
from Task Force 6-26 - a special forces unit - "punch a prisoner to
the point the individual needed medical attention".
- The interrogator took photographs of the injuries and
handed them to a task force supervisor, who immediately confiscated them,
according to the memo. The DIA personnel then found their official car
keys confiscated and were effectively confined to barracks.
- The June 2004 memo describes abuses taking place well
after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke in April, sparking outrage as
photographs of sexual humiliation and dog attacks by American military
reservists reached the media.
- The memo was written by the head of the DIA, Vice-Adml
Lowell Jacoby. Following the complaints, he told Mr Cambone, special forces
officers "threatened" his men, "instructed them not to leave
the compound without permission, informed them that their e-mails were
being screened" and "ordered them not to talk to anyone in the
- The Jacoby memo became public this week after civil rights
groups sued for its release under the Freedom of Information Act. A Pentagon
spokesman said the released papers had formed part of previous investigations
of abuse, or ongoing investigations.
- On Monday, it emerged that FBI agents assigned to the
Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba had witnessed coercive interrogations.
- Several released memos and e-mails centre on the role
played by Maj Gen Geoffrey Miller, the former commandant at Guantanamo
Bay, who was later sent to Abu Ghraib.
- An FBI e-mail complained that Gen Miller "continued
to support interrogation strategies [the FBI] not only advised against,
but questioned in terms of effectiveness."
- Gen Miller was this week moved to a post in charge of
- © Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004.