[News] Torture Human Rights Resistance - CACI's counter-attack

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 17 08:36:30 EDT 2005

Small but spirited good first demo Monday at the St. Francis Hotel against 
CACI’s role in torture in Iraq.  Congrats to the organizers.  Henry, I 
don’t have Sarah’s e-mail address, only Tracey’s, and Sarah told me Tracey 
is in Thailand, so please forward this to Sarah; also send me her 
e-address, and I hope she can send me some comprehensive documentation on 
CACI per our discussion walking down Powell Street this afternoon.

When I arrived home there was a personal 2-page letter from the legal 
counsel for CACI who had found Judith Sherr’s article (in the Berkeley 
Daily Planet) on the Berkeley Teach-in on Torture which mentions the CACI 
campaign.  He claims that they have been vindicated of any involvement in 
torture.  He admits that they have a contract with the U.S. Army for 
“information intelligence gathering services
which included a requirement 
for qualified individuals to act as interrogators in Iraq.”   Mr. Jeffrey 
Elefante, Vice President and Legal Council, then claims that the only 
connection between CACI and Abu Ghraib “abuses” come from the Tagabu report 
which mentions “one employee who served as an interrogator”, but that the 
“conclusions of the Tagabu report have not been confirmed.”  I have been 
advised to “avoid making damaging and false references about CACI in the 
future.” (Editorially: I’d bet a few bucks that there are more connections 
between CACI and torture than that).

It is clear that Mr. Elefante is blowing smoke when he says that the 
“conclusions of the Tagabu report have not been confirmed.”  He is 
alluding, perhaps, to the Schlessinger and other white wash reports ordered 
and controlled by the White House which, of course, never find any direct 
culpability anywhere.  I believe that General Tagabu’s report stands on its 
own merits requiring no confirmation of its “conclusions” because his 
investigation exposed systematic violations of law, military law, and human 
rights, with advocacy within the chain of command (though I have myself 
read only summaries of the report).  Presumably CACI personnel, actively 
involved in interrogation, are part of that chain of command unless they 
are operating as a rogue force under no command at all, or an extra legal 
force sustained only for purposes of plausible deniability.  But I (we) 
need to understand the interstices of this relationship better than I do at 
this moment (as does anyone who intends to work on this campaign).  The way 
I view it, the more we can expose the privatization of these functions the 
less impunity the Government (and CACI) will have.

It is imperative that those of us working in support of the CACI campaign 
have access to comprehensive and easily verifiable documentation of what 
these people do with a billion dollars in tax payer money.  I made the 
mistake of giving out my last leaflet today before reading it so I don’t 
know to what extent evidence is presented in the leaflet.  Regardless, we 
need ongoing research.  There is no question that CACI is a corporation 
receiving major public funding to sustain the U.S. sponsored illegal 
occupation of Iraq and moreover in support of some of the more heinous 
crimes against illegally confined persons--being committed in our names--to 
try to intimidate the Iraqi people so they will stop resisting the foreign 
occupiers, under the cover of the anti-terrorism campaign. I hope that Mr. 
Elefante decides to come after us on the frivolous grounds of slander 
etc.  for if he does, we will get a chance for major discovery of their 
role, and we’ll hopefully be able to get everyone involved from Human 
Rights First, to the ACLU to AI to CCR in looking at them.  In the 
meantime, we need more demonstrable facts right now that we can highlight 
and focus upon.


Marc Sapir MD, MPH
Executive Director
Retro Poll

U.S. firm defends work at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison
Mon May 2, 2005 03:58 PM ET

By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CACI International Inc., a U.S. contractor 
implicated in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, defended itself on Monday over 
a congressional report that criticized the government's handling of a 
contract given to the firm to conduct interrogations at Iraqi prisons.

"The Army needs to improve its oversight of contractors performance to 
ensure that the Army's interests are protected," said the report by the 
Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, issued 
on Friday.

CACI, based in Virginia, said the GAO report did not fully acknowledge the 
impact of the wartime situation in Iraq.

"We regret that the GAO report fails to recognize the life-threatening 
urgency of combat operations in Iraq," CACI's president Jack London said in 
a statement.

"The report just doesn't convey the wartime intensity and the immediate 
sense of urgency that existed in-theater when these orders were put in 
place in August 2003," London said. "CACI acted in complete good faith and 
provided its best efforts in honoring the Army's urgent request for help."

The GAO found that the Army's own investigation into prisoner abuse at Abu 
Ghraib pointed to lack of contractor surveillance as a "contributing factor 
to the environment in which the prisoner abuse occurred."

"In buying interrogation and other services in Iraq, Interior and Army 
officials abdicated their contracting responsibilities to a large degree," 
said the report.

The GAO report did not look specifically at prison abuse, but found 
"multiple breakdowns" with contractors from CACI and said their work often 
went far beyond initial contract terms.

The Army's report issued last August identified three CACI employees 
alleged to have been involved in abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, 
including using dogs to scare prisoners.

CACI spokeswoman Jody Brown told Reuters all three CACI staff mentioned in 
the Army report no longer worked for the company. She declined to provide 
any details of their departure but said they had left "several months ago."

Brown said the company was still conducting its own investigation into Abu 
Ghraib prison abuses.

Interrogators from San Diego-based Titan Corp. were also named in the 
Army's Abu Ghraib report. Both CACI and Titan provided interrogation and 
translation services to the military.

Several soldiers have been court-martialed for their roles in the prison 
abuse scandal but none of the contractors are known to have been charged.

Army reservist Lynndie England, who was shown in photographs holding a 
naked Iraqi on a leash at Abu Ghraib prison, pleaded guilty on Monday to 
seven charges of abuse.

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