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Anthony Taguba

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Anthony Taguba is a retired major general (MG) of the United States Army, best known for his highly critical report on irregularities at the Abu Ghraib prison. While his report was classified, it was leaked, raised wide adverse publicity, and put him into disfavor with senior leadership. He was ordered back to a makework job, and then involuntarily retired.

Abu Ghraib

AA series of press reports later broke regarding interrogation tactics and prisoner treatment at Abu Ghraib; a senior officer was selected to investigate. Taguba was deputy commanding general for support of the Land Component Command (Third United States Army) of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and had no connection to the activities under Multi-National Force-Iraq, a very different subordinate CENTCOM organization. [1] MG Taguba, in his report, said Sanchez' decision to put the prison under the control of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade was an unwise decision, because it “effectively made an MI Officer, rather than an MP officer, responsible for the MP units conducting detainee operations at that facility. This is not doctrinally sound due to the different missions and agenda assigned to each of these respective specialties.” He also criticized Miller's assumptions abut priorities, saying "the intelligence value of detainees held at...Guantánamo is different than that of the detainees/internees held at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq....There are a large number of Iraqi criminals held at Abu Ghraib."[2]

Early in Taguba's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) asked him: "Why do you believe that there should be a separation between the military police and intelligence officers?"[3] He answered: "Army regulation 190-8, which is a multiservice regulation, establishes the policy in executive agency for detention operations. And there enumerates in paragraph 1-5 the general policy and the treatment of not just [prisoners of war] but civilian internees, retained personnel and other detainees. . . . We also used the M.P.s' doctrine on detention operations, which is Field Manual 3-19.40. And we further referred to . . . Field Manual 34-52."

Committee Chairman Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) tried to question Stephen Cambone, the Defense Department civilian intelligence official, by asking, "In simple and plain words, how do you think this happened?", Cambone answered: "With the caveat, sir, that I don't know the facts, it's, for me, hard to explain."

The same question to Taguba. "In simple words -- your own soldier's language -- how did this happen?" produced the answer, "Failure in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander on down. Lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision. Supervisory omission was rampant. Those are my comments."

Early career

Of Filipino ancestry, he was born in Manila as a U.S. citizen, son of a U.S. Army sergeant. [4] He grew up in Hawaii, and learned he had no ethnic limitations. "Hawaii opened my mind to the capabilities and opportunity in America," Taguba told the publication AsianWeek in 1997, when he became the second Filipino American to attain the rank of brigadier general. Trained as an armor commander, he became a specialist in support operations.

Taguba is an ROTC graduate of Idaho State University and received a history degree in 1972. He holds graduate degrees in public administration, international relations, and national security and strategic studies

Current recommendations

Taguba supports the formation of a nonpartisan committee to investigate possible abuses during the George W. Bush Administration, pursuant to its approach to what it termed the war on terror. He does not believe it is practical to prosecute former officials.[5] He sees the need as "a study of administration claims that abuse gleans good intelligence, which he fervently disputes." He want to get "to the bottom of George W. Bush Administration civilian leaders' claims for the legality of the administration's interrogation and detention policies, which he called 'despicable and questionable." He wants to be able to "make recommendations for the future, to help ensure such abuses never occur again."

References

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