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Taguba says conscience and 'Army values' guided his investigation

WASHINGTON -- In the middle of a tough week for the US Army, Major General Antonio M. Taguba said he had stuck fast to ''Army values" in putting together his report spelling out soldiers' abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

''Bottom line," he told his investigative team to ''follow our conscience and do what is morally right," Taguba said at yesterday's Senate hearing.

''Sir, I think you've done that," said Senator John Warner, a Virginia Republican and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Senators of both parties praised Taguba, a 53-year-old, two-star general who was born in the Philippines. Now deputy assistant secretary of defense for readiness, training, and mobilization, Taguba was deputy commanding general of the Third Army when he was assigned to investigate reports of wrongdoing among American military jailers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

''Your report reflects an honest and detailed assessment of the situation there and includes sensible recommendations on how to begin fixing those problems," said Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.

Taguba, who is known as Tony, grew up in the Philippines and, later, in Hawaii. He attended Idaho State University, where he graduated in 1972, and joined the Army soon after. He attended several military-training schools and received master's degrees in public administration, international relations, and national security and strategic studies.

Taguba told the Senate panel that he assembled his investigation team with these instructions: To ''maintain our objectivity and integrity throughout the course of our mission in what I considered to be a very grave, highly sensitive, and serious situation; to be mindful of our personal values and the moral values of our nation; and to maintain the Army values in all of our dealings; and to be complete, thorough, and fair."

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