Exclusive: Who’s Behind Abu Ghraib?

For the first time, one chart shows the scandal’s full chain of command from Bush to detainees.

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Exclusive: Who's Behind Abu Ghraib?

Disclaimer: No clear chain of command existed at Abu Ghraib because so many individual members of various companies and brigades were thrown together there; the chaos and lack of accountability that ensued created an environment that was ripe for abuse. According to an internal military investigation, overall responsibility for detainee operations never came together under one person short of Lt. Gen. Sanchez himself, who was the chief commander in Iraq. “It is important to understand that the MI units at Abu Ghraib were far from complete units,” reads the internal report. “They were small elements from those units. Most of the elements that came to Abu Ghraib came without their normal command structure. The unit Commanders and Senior [Noncommissioned Officers] did not go to Abu Ghraib but stayed with the bulk of their respective units. The bringing together of so many parts of so many units, as well as civilians with very wide backgrounds and experience levels in a two month time period, was a huge challenge from a command and control perspective.”

Sources include the Fay Report and the Taguba Report.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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