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U.S. General Testifies On Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

Washington, 11 May 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Army general who investigated abuses of Iraqi prisoners by the U.S. military says the mistreatments resulted from a massive system failure.

Major General Antonio Taguba testified today in Washington before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

Asked what had caused the abuse of Iraqis in U.S. custody, Taguba said: "Failure in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander on down, lack of discipline, no training whatsoever, and no supervision [caused prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghurayb prison]. Supervisory omission was rampant."

Taguba said he never found any orders to soldiers directing them to use abusive interrogation techniques on detainees. He also left open the possibility that members of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as armed forces personnel and civilian contractors were culpable in the abusive treatment of prisoners.

The general said the acts were outside the bounds of U.S. military regulations and international law.