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'Ghost detainees' troubled the U.S.

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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:36 PM
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'Ghost detainees' troubled the U.S.

WASHINGTON The Central Intelligence Agency's practice of keeping some detainees in Abu Ghraib prison off the official rosters so concerned a top U.S. Army officer and a civilian official there that they reached a written agreement early this year to stop the practice.

An undated copy of the memorandum was obtained by The New York Times. It was described as an agreement between the army intelligence unit assigned to the prison and "external agencies," a euphemism for the CIA, to halt practices that bypassed military rules and international standards.

Major General Antonio Taguba, the army officer who first investigated the prison abuses, concluded in his classified report that the practice of allowing what he called "ghost detainees" at the prison was "deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law." He complained that military guards were being enlisted to hide the prisoners from the Red Cross.

The memorandum provides the clearest indication to date that military officials were troubled by the practice before Taguba wrote his report.

A senior intelligence official said last week that the practice was intended "to keep the capture of a small number of terrorists quiet for some time," but was discontinued in January.

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