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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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