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A policy memo from December 2000 says letting private workers gather military intelligence would jeopardize national security.
An Army spokeswoman said senior commanders have the authority to override the contractor ban.
Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart said Saturday that the contractor ban remains in effect. The policy allows for hiring private interrogators and interpreters if there are not enough of those specialists in the Army. "Commanders on the ground may use their discretion," Hart said.
An Army report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib says problems at the prison included confusion over who was in charge of contractors and a lack of supervision of the private workers.
The report from Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba says one contract interrogator, Steven Stefanowicz of CACI International, and a contract translator, John B. Israel of Titan Corp., were "either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib."