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Formica Report: Article 15-6 Investigation of CJSOTF-AP and 5th SF Group Detention Operation

Nov. 8, 2004 | DOA | ACLU-RDI 2315
Report on an informal investigation conducted by Brigadier General Richard P. Formica into specific allegations of detainee abuse within CJSOTF-AP [Combined Joint Special Operating Task Force – Arabian Peninsula] and 5th SF [Special Forces] Group Detention Operation. The report found that the "specific allegations of egregious physical abuse" were "not substantiated by the evidence," and that "CJSOTF-AP ... facilities generally met the minimum standards required under AR [Army Regulation] 190-8 and relevant international law." It also found that five interrogation techniques used (Sleep Management, Dietary Manipulation, Stress Positions, Environmental Manipulation, and Yelling/Loud Music) did not comply with controlling CJTF-7 policy, but did comply with what interrogators believed to be controlling policy at the time. Brigadier General Formica recommended that all CJSOTF-AP personnel receive "mandatory corrective training and education in the principles of the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of detainees." The report also recommended that detainees be tracked "from the moment of capture and through each transfer" to facilitate detainee accountability. No adverse action against CJSOTF-AP personnel was recommended.
  • 2003-12-31, Abu Ghraib (Baghdad Correctional Facility (BCCF)), Iraq, Death
    • Investigation into allegations by a brother and sister (names redacted) detained at Abu Ghraib; the male detainee alleges that he was "sodomized with a water bottle" and with an "iron stick," and the female detainee alleges that she was "beaten and slapped for several hours" and "threatened with 'getting the bottle.'" Both allege that a third sibling, a brother, was "tortured to death," and the male detainee claims that his "brother's dead body was thrown on him." The investigation found the siblings' allegations of physical abuse to be unsubstantiated, based in part on background information that the siblings were "heavily involved in AIF [Anti-Iraqi Forces] activities," and on inconsistencies in the siblings' allegations. The doctor who examined the male detainee reported that her findings "neither support nor contradict the allegations." No action was taken against any CJSOTF-AP personnel as a result of the investigation.
  • 2004-04-05, Abu Ghraib (Baghdad Correctional Facility (BCCF)), Iraq
    • Investigation into allegations by two detainees who were captured in April 2004; their allegations involve abuse by an Iraqi policeman and an Iraqi-born, Lebanese-trained interpreter. One detainee alleged that he was "held in various rooms, cuffed to the floor without a blanket, pillow, change of clothes, or shower," fed only bread and water for 17 days, burned with a cigarette, beaten with a stick, and jolted with electricity. The second detainee alleged that he was beaten multiple times, had a bag put over his head, had chlorine put in his mouth, and threatened with electricity. Both detainees claimed to have been sexually abused, and intimidated with dogs. Neither detainee had any complaints against US personnel, and both said no US personnel were present during the alleged abuse. The investigation found that "allegations of physical abuse and mistreatment" were "not substantiated by the evidence," in part because the detainees "had several motives to lie" and because it was "unlikely" that the Iraqi policemen and interpreter had "unaccompanied access to the detainees." The investigation did find "some ... allegations relating to the circumstances of their detention to be founded"; the detainees had been fed only break and water for 17 and 13 days respectively, and the report deemed 17 days too long to maintain such a diet, although the detainees showed "no indication" of "any nutritional deficiencies as a result of this diet."
  • 2004-04-27, Abu Ghraib (Baghdad Correctional Facility (BCCF)), Iraq
    • Investigation into allegations of abuse by three detainees. One detainee alleges that he received no food or water for three days, was prevented from sleeping due to loud music and knocking on his cell door, was slapped on the face and back, and was placed in a crate about four feet high. The second detainee alleges that he was kept for three days without food and water in a space that was "1 meter long and 1 meter high," taken out and "beaten on the head by five or six people," and subsequently kept naked for two days without food and water. The third detainee alleges that he was kept for seven days in an area he referred to as a "box" after having his clothes cut off, that his mouth and nose were duct-taped, that water was thrown on him, that he was beaten, kicked, and electrocuted, that "a Kurd" threatened to have sex with his two wives, and that he was given no food or water for five days. The investigation found the "allegations of allegations of physical abuse and mistreatment to be unfounded," but acknowledged that the detainees had been held in small cells for not more than 72 continuous hours, according to personnel. The report deemed 24-48 hours in such cells to be acceptable, but five to seven days excessive. The report also found that interrogators had used tactics "not in compliance with controlling CJTF-7 Interrogation policy" but that did comply with what "interrogators believed to be controlling CTJF-7 policy in effect at that time"; the report recommended "no adverse action against CJSOTF-AP personnel."