By Chief foreign affairs correspondent
NBC News
updated 5/6/2004 6:15:45 PM ET 2004-05-06T22:15:45

As the investigation expands, officials tell NBC News that special operations forces, including both Delta Force and Navy SEALs, were possibly also involved in abusing prisoners in Iraq.

In fact, one prisoner, Mon Adel al Jamadi, died while being interrogated in Abu Ghraib by a CIA officer last November, shortly after being captured by Navy SEALs.  Al Jamadi was being questioned about a plot to attack U.S. forces with plastic explosives.

An autopsy revealed al Jamadi had broken ribs and had been “badly beaten.”  His CIA interrogator has told investigators the prisoner was injured before he was turned over to the CIA — something the Navy denies.

In a second case, the CIA is being investigated for the death of Iraqi Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush near the Syrian border, also last November. The CIA says he died several days after they questioned him.

A third CIA prisoner died last June in Afghanistan — also after a severe beating.

Did the CIA or other intelligence agencies tell the guards to get the prisoners to talk?  According to former CIA officer Robert Baer, “I can’t believe that those MPs knew enough about Arab culture to systematically do this.… Somebody prompted them.”

Intelligence officials deny directing the abuse.  But the Army’s investigation said military intelligence and “other government agencies” — the Army’s code for the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency and special operations forces, “actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.”

The general who was in charge of the prison says it got out of hand.  Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski remembers, “They said, ‘Hey, that worked pretty well.’  They told us to take the clothes away from those six prisoners, and nobody seemed to think that that was wrong, so let’s take clothes away from 12 of them.”

Now the CIA confirms that some of its officers hid prisoners from watchdog groups like the Red Cross — violations also under investigation.

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