Exclusive: Who’s Behind Abu Ghraib?

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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate