your connection to The Boston Globe

Bush OK's Abu Ghraib general's demotion

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has approved the demotion of Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, whose unit was in charge during the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses in Iraq in 2003, officials said yesterday.

The Army said three other, more senior generals had been cleared of wrongdoing in the prisoner abuse cases, actions that had been previously reported. That means Karpinski is the only general to be disciplined.

Among those cleared by the Army was Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, who was the top Army general in Iraq at the time of the prisoner abuses. He has been faulted by some for leadership failures.

The Army said it could not substantiate two allegations against Sanchez: dereliction in the performance of duties pertaining to detention and interrogation operations and improperly communicating interrogation policies.

Karpinski was demoted to colonel, a move that required the president's approval. She also received a written reprimand by Army Vice Chief of Staff General Richard Cody for dereliction of duty and shoplifting and was formally relieved of command of the 800th Military Police Brigade on April 8.

The demotion means her career in the military, where officers must rise in rank or leave, is effectively over. Messages left at her home in Hilton Head, S.C., and with her attorney were not immediately returned.

The Army did not explain the allegations, but a number of previous investigations of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses have accused Karpinski of failing to maintain order and prevent the abuses.

Without providing their names, the Army also said yesterday that one colonel and two lieutenant colonels linked to detainee abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan were given unspecified administrative punishment. Also, two other lieutenant colonels were given letters of reprimand.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives