The American general who was in charge of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison said she was being made a scapegoat for the abuse of detainees and claimed her counterpart at Guantanamo Bay once told her that prisoners were “like dogs.”
In an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio that was broadcast Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski said Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller told her prisoners “are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you’ve lost control of them.”
Miller was in charge of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba and now oversees U.S. prisons in Iraq.
Karpinski was suspended last month from command of the 800th Military Police Brigade after she and other officers were faulted by Army investigators for paying too little attention to the prison’s day-to-day operations and not acting strongly enough to discipline soldiers for violating standard procedures.
Several soldiers are facing courts-martial over abuse allegations at the jail, which flared when pictures of troops abusing and humiliating Iraqi detainees were published in the media.
In her defense, Karpinski has said that interrogations at the prison were not under her command but were run by a military intelligence unit.
“I believe that I was a convenient scapegoat,” she said.
“The interrogation operation was directed, it was under a separate command and there was no reason for me to go out to look at Abu Ghraib at cell block 1a or 1b or visit the interrogation facilities.”