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Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. General Karpinski, the only female commander in the war zone, was an experienced operations and intelligence officer who had served with the Special Forces and in the 1991 Gulf War, but she had never run a prison system. Now she was in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists, most of whom, like her, had no training in handling prisoners.
General Karpinski, who had wanted to be a soldier since she was five, is a business consultant in civilian life, and was enthusiastic about her new job. In an interview last December with the St. Petersburg Times, she said that, for many of the Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib, “living conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned that they wouldn’t want to leave.”
A month later, General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army’s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way.
April 1, 2005—Aiden Delgado, an Army Reservist in the 320th Military Police Company, served in Iraq from April 1, 2003 through April 1, 2004. After spending six months in Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq, he spent six months helping to run the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad. The handsome 23-year-old mechanic was a witness to widespread, almost daily, U.S. war crimes in Iraq. His story contains new revelations about ongoing brutality at Abu Ghraib, information yet to be reported in national media.
Baghdad — A U.S. soldier shot and killed an endangered tiger at the Baghdad zoo after it bit another soldier who had drunkenly reached through the bars of its cage to feed it, a security guard said Saturday.
The soldiers had been drinking beer when they entered the zoo Thursday night after it closed, said the guard, Zuhair Abdul-Majeed. After the man was bit, the other American shot the tiger three times in the head and killed it, he said.