General who authored Abu Ghraib report retires
ARLINGTON, Va. — Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba is retiring as of Jan. 1, said Army spokesman Paul Boyce.
Taguba is best known as the author of The Taguba Report, an internal Army probe into allegations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, which accused soldiers with the 800 Military Police Brigade of “sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses.”
A retirement ceremony for Taguba was held Wednesday at the Pentagon, and guests included retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, former Army chief of staff, along with other officers, friends and family, Boyce said.
“Gen. Taguba was an outstanding Army leader, who served his nation proudly for 34 years,” Boyce said. “He was a warrior, a scholar and a leader of troops known for his work with the active-duty Army and the Army Reserve, known for his attention to detail and thoroughness.”
Taguba became a 2nd lieutenant in 1972, and his subsequent commands include a stint as a battalion commander and later a plans officer in Korea in the 1990s.
In January 2004, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, requested an investigation into allegations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison. Taguba was later tasked with leading the investigation looking into the 800th MP Brigade’s detention and internment operations going back to Nov. 1, 2003.
Taguba’s report documented a lack of accountability and standard operating procedures for handling Iraqi detainees.
It also found that attempts by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, then head of all prisons in Iraq, to address escapes and “accountability lapses” were never properly followed up.
“Had the findings and recommendations contained within their own investigations been analyzed and actually implemented by BG Karpinski, many of the subsequent escapes, accountability lapses, and cases of abuse may have been prevented,” the report found.
Later, when asked by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., how the abuses at Abu Ghraib could have happened, Taguba replied: “Failure in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander on down. Lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision. Supervisory omission was rampant.”
In the end, the officer in charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib lost his command; Karpinski was demoted to colonel; and Sanchez, who was cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with the abuse scandal, retired in September.