- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

LONDON (AP) — The American general who was in charge of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison said she was being made a scapegoat for the abuse of detainees, and that her successor once told her that prisoners should be treated “like dogs.”

A spokesman for Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, accused of making the “like dogs” remark, denied the accusation.

In a radio interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. yesterday, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski said Gen. Miller told her last autumn that prisoners “are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you’ve lost control of them.”

Gen. Miller was in charge of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba and oversees U.S. prisons in Iraq.

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a spokesman for detention operations in Iraq, said Gen. Karpinski’s accusations were “categorically false.”

Gen. Karpinski was suspended last month from command of the 800th Military Police Brigade after she and other officers were faulted by Army investigators for paying too little attention to the prison’s day-to-day operations and failing to strictly discipline soldiers for violating standard procedures.

Several soldiers are facing courts-martial over accusations of abuse at the jail, which flared when pictures of troops abusing and humiliating naked Iraqi detainees were published in April.

Gen. Karpinski said she was being made “a convenient scapegoat.”

“The interrogation operation was directed. It was under a separate command, and there was no reason for me to go out to look at Abu Ghraib at cellblock 1a or 1b or visit the interrogation facilities,” she said.

Gen. Karpinski said she was unaware until November that the International Committee of the Red Cross had visited the jail and expressed concerns about detainees’ treatment to U.S. officials. She said she did not see the abuse photos — thought to have been taken late last year — until late January.

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