Investigating Abuse at Abu Ghraib

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Thursday from his Shalimar home, 67-year-old retired Air Force Gen. Chuck Horner reflected on the investigation into prisoner abuse released by the Schlesinger panel. That report looks at abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, including incidents at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.

The panel found no policy of abuse and directly blames soldiers and their supervisors for the violence against prisoners. It also blames senior leaders, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for lax oversight.

"The joint chiefs of staff did not prepare the security police they deployed to the prison. They were trained to run a prisoner of war camp, completely different group people. Now that doesn't mean the joint chiefs of staff are incompetent. It just means that none of us really anticipated what the war would be like and what needed to be done."

Since the report's release, some have called for Rumsfeld's resignation. Gen. Horner says that's ridiculous.

“It means nobody's reading the report ‘cuz the report says these are sins of omission and not premeditated or, and there's absolutely no cover-up in all of this and that's what I'm proudest about."

"The important thing is have the courage to confront your own shortcomings and make sure they don't happen again. I think we've done that in this report."

Gen. Horner served as commander of Tyndall Air Force Base from 1983 to 1985. He also commanded air operations during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.


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