Last updated on: 6/12/2008 10:33:00 AM PST
What happened at Abu Ghraib prison after the US military took over the facility in 2003?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Martin Asser, Reporter for BBC News Online, described the first day US military police took control of Abu Ghraib prison in a May 25, 2004 article titled "Abu Ghraib: Dark Stain on Iraq's Past":

"By chance, while reporting for BBC News Online, I was at Abu Ghraib on 22 April 2003, the very day that US military police arrived to take over the facility after the fall of the regime...

The American troops knew neither the name nor the past function of the set of map co-ordinates they had been given. I remember wondering whether they weren't sending the wrong message to Iraqis by installing themselves in the very heart of the darkness of Saddam's regime.

To underline the point, as the MPs fanned out through compound, we stumbled across the remains of probably the last victims of Saddam's Abu Ghraib nightmare..."


May 25, 2004 - Martin Asser 

USA Today, in a May 9, 2004 article, described dates and major events at Abu Ghraib prison concerning the US military abuse scandal, which they source from "House, Senate testimony; Taguba's report, military and Bush administration officials; staff and wire reports":

  • "June 30, 2003 - Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski named commander of 800th Military Police Brigade, responsible for guarding Iraq prisons (including Abu Ghraib)...

  • Aug 31-Sept 9, 2003 - Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who runs the military prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, conducts an inquiry on interrogation and detention procedures in Iraq. He suggests that prison guards can help set conditions for the interrogation of prisoners...

  • Oct-Dec, 2003 - Many of the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib take place during this time period...

  • Oct 13-Nov 6, 2003 - Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, provost marshal of the Army, investigates conditions of U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib. He finds problems throughout the prisons. Some units, including the 800th Military Police Brigade, did not receive adequate training to guard prisons, he notes. He also says military police (MPs) should not assist in making prisoners more pliable to interrogation, as their job is to keep prisoners safe...

  • Jan 13, 2004 - Army Spc. Joseph M. Darby, an MP with the 800th at Abu Ghraib, leaves a disc with photographs of prisoner abuse on the bed of a military investigator...

  • Jan 14, 2004 - Army launches criminal investigation of Abu Ghraib abuses...

  • Jan 31, 2004 - Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba appointed to investigate prison abuses...

  • March 12, 2004 - Taguba presents his report to his commanders. He finds widespread abuse of prisoners by military police and military intelligence. He also agrees with Ryder that guards should not play any role in the interrogation of prisoners...

  • April 12, 2004 - CBS's 60 Minutes II informs Pentagon that it is planning to broadcast photographs of Abu Ghraib prison abuse...

  • April 28, 2004 - CBS airs the photos, setting off an international outcry..."

  • May 9, 2004 - USA TODAY 

    Antonio M. Taguba, MA, US Army Major General, conducted a US military investigation of prisoner abuse at Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF), formerly Abu Ghraib prison, in January of 2004. His May 2004 report titled "Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade," reached the following conclusion:

    "...between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320th Military Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF). The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements (ANNEX 26) and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence."

    May 2004 - "Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade" (Taguba Report) (173 KB)  
    Antonio M. Taguba, MA 

    The Associated Press, in a Sep. 3, 2006 article posted at the Boston Globe online, described the official handover of Abu Ghraib prison from American military control to the Iraqi government on Sep. 2, 2006:

    "Iraq's government has formally taken over Abu Ghraib, where inmate abuses by US soldiers caused a scandal, and all inmates have been transferred to another facility, officials said Saturday.

    Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the facility, which has become synonymous with abuse, had been emptied of any detainees.

    'The Abu Ghraib detention facility was handed over to the Iraqi government,' said Dabbagh, spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Lieutenant Colonel Keir Kevin Curry, US spokesman for detainee operations, also confirmed that coalition forces had transferred operations of Abu Ghraib to the Iraqi Justice Ministry on Friday."


    Sep. 3, 2006 - Associated Press (AP) 

    Oliver Poole, columnist for the Daily Telegraph UK, in a Sep. 9, 2006 article described actions of the Iraqi government at Abu Ghraib prison on Sep. 6, 2006, days after taking control of the facility from the US military:

    "...Iraq's new government announced that it had hanged 27 prisoners convicted of terror and criminal charges.

    The death penalty was reinstituted in 2004, and yesterday's executions took place just days after control of Abu Ghraib was handed over to the Iraqi authorities...

    News of the executions was made public by Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, when he attended a ceremony to mark the transfer of control of Iraq's military from the United States to the recently elected government..."


    Sep. 9, 2006 - Oliver Poole