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NCIS Memo: Summaries of Investigations Regarding the Deaths or Mistreatment of Enemy Prisoners of War as of May 13, 2004

May 13, 2004 | NCIS | ACLU-RDI 533

This NCIS memo summarizes six (6) separate investigations and one preliminary inquiry regarding the death or alleged mistreatment of enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs). Portions of the report are redacted in full, but the portions that are available are reports of incidents where soldiers mostly fabricated their accounts of abusing detainees or otherwise were incapable of carrying out the suspected acts or were otherwise not acts of abuse or mistreatment.

  • 2003-03-29, An Nasiriyah, Iraq, Death
    • El Gashame, a suspected Fedayeen member, was captured on March 28, 2003, and detained in the Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) Collection Point for interrogation. On March 29, 2003, El Gashame was interrogated and following this session he was placed back into his assigned detention room. According to command members El Gashame reportedly attacked a Military Police guard and during the struggle for the weapon, El Gashame was shot and killed. An investigation was conducted and confirmed that El Gashame unexpectedly came toward him, hands extended in a manner to grab his rifle and after a verbal warning shot El Gashame. The Commanding Officer determined that the guard acted in self-defense therefore no disciplinary action was pursued.
  • 2003-04-01, Baghdad, Iraq, Death
    • A member of Combat Services Support Company, FSSG, that while attending a party that he had been ordered by his former Commander to execute three Iraqi Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW) during April 2003 while his unit was conducting combat operations near an abandoned Iraqi pharmaceutical factory south of Baghdad. He claims he killed the three Iraqi EPWs and disposed of the bodies in an eight-foot deep hole. The service member was interviewed and provided an explanation concerning his previous claim that he executed three Iraqi EPWs. He claimed that he was intoxicated and fabricated the entire story. The service member was provided a polygraph examination and was determined to be truthful.
  • 2003-10-01, Unknown, Iraq
    • A Corpsman admitted "roughed[ing] up some Enemy Prisoner War (EPW) while in Iraq" and pushing one EPWs face in the dirt and tripping other difficult EPWs to put them on the ground while assisting USMC members conducting "pat down" searches of Iraqis taken into custody. A prosecutive review of the investigation was conducted and it was found to have no prosecutive/disciplinary merit.
  • 2004-07-09, Unknown, Iraq
    • A USMC member being treated at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, California "was overheard bragging about stabbing dead and wounded Iraqi EPWs." The investigation found that the soldier had fabricated numerous aspects of his other claims while at the hospital, but continued to investigate his claims of stabbing, wounding and killing Enemy Prisoners of War.