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Old June 14th 04, 02:34 AM
Jim
 
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Default (ot) Interrogators hired for Iraq despite ban


Interrogators hired for Iraq despite ban


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By Matt Kelley



June 12, 2004 | The Army hired private interrogators to work in Iraq and
Afghanistan despite the service's policy of barring contractors from
military intelligence jobs such as interrogating prisoners.

A policy memo from December 2000 says letting private workers gather
military intelligence would jeopardize national security.

An Army spokeswoman said senior commanders have the authority to override
the contractor ban.

Some of the dozens of private contractors hired to interrogate prisoners in
Iraq and Afghanistan are under investigation in connection with abuses at
the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad and other prisons. Army investigators are
looking into whether the contracts were awarded properly.

The Abu Ghraib case also stirred criticism from some Democrats that the
Pentagon was relying too heavily on private contractors, even for military
functions such as collecting intelligence.

Thomas White, who quit as Army secretary last year after clashing with
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said he opposed hiring contractors to
question prisoners.

"The principle that should be applied is that the basic process of
interrogation and oversight of prisoners should be kept in-house, on the
Army side," White said in a telephone interview. "That's something that
would have to be under the direct supervision of the Army."

Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart said Saturday that the contractor ban
remains in effect. The policy allows for hiring private interrogators and
interpreters if there are not enough of those specialists in the Army.

"Commanders on the ground may use their discretion," Hart said.

The Army's top personnel official, Patrick T. Henry, wrote the policy in
December 2000.

Henry cited a "risk to national security" in turning over intelligence
functions to private sector workers. Private contractors may work for
companies that do business with other countries and are not subject to the
same chain of command that soldiers are, Henry wrote.

"Reliance on private contractors poses risks to maintaining adequate
civilian oversight over intelligence operations," Henry wrote. "Civilian
oversight over intelligence operations and technologies is essential to
assure intelligence operations are conducted with adequate security
safeguards and within the scope of law and direction of the authorized chain
of command."

An Army report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib says problems at the prison
included confusion over who was in charge of contractors and a lack of
supervision of the private workers.

The report from Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba says one contract interrogator,
Steven Stefanowicz of CACI International, and a contract translator, John B.
Israel of Titan Corp., were "either directly or indirectly responsible for
the abuses at Abu Ghraib."

Israel's family has declined comment. Henry Hockeimer Jr., a lawyer for
Stefanowicz, has said his client did nothing wrong.

A third contractor implicated in the abuses, translator Adel Nakhla of
Titan, has been fired. Nakhla's lawyer, Francis Q. Hoang, has not returned
repeated messages.



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Old June 14th 04, 02:35 AM
Harry Krause
 
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Default (ot) Interrogators hired for Iraq despite ban

Jim wrote:

Interrogators hired for Iraq despite ban


- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Matt Kelley



June 12, 2004 | The Army hired private interrogators to work in Iraq and
Afghanistan despite the service's policy of barring contractors from
military intelligence jobs such as interrogating prisoners.

A policy memo from December 2000 says letting private workers gather
military intelligence would jeopardize national security.



gosh...are these the guys the Iraqis are kidnapping?


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