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    The New York Times
    December 8, 2004
    Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Reported After Abu Ghraib Disclosures

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - Two Defense Department intelligence officials reported observing brutal treatment of Iraqi insurgents captured in Baghdad in June, several weeks after disclosures of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison created a worldwide uproar, according to a memorandum disclosed Tuesday.

    The memorandum, written by the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to a senior Pentagon official, said that when the two members of his agency objected to the treatment, they were threatened and told to keep quiet by other military interrogators.

    The memorandum said the Defense Intelligence Agency officials had seen prisoners being brought in to a detention center with burn marks on their backs and complaining about sore kidneys.

    The document was disclosed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained it as part of a cache of papers from a civil lawsuit seeking to discover the extent of abuse of prisoners by the military.

    Other memorandums disclosed this week, including some released by the A.C.L.U., showed that the interrogation and detention system at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had drawn strong objections from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which argued that the coercive techniques used there were unnecessary and produced unreliable information.

    The Associated Press reported Monday that one F.B.I. official had written in a memorandum of witnessing a series of coercive procedures at Guantánamo, among them a female interrogator squeezing the genitals of a detainee and bending back his thumbs painfully.

    The June 25 memorandum, written by Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was addressed to the under secretary of defense for intelligence, Stephen Cambone. Admiral Jacoby wrote that one of his officers had witnessed an interrogator from the Special Operations unit known as Task Force 6-26 "punch a prisoner in the face to the point the individual needed medical attention." The admiral said that when the D.I.A. official took photos of that detainee, the pictures were confiscated.

    The memorandum said the two D.I.A. officials, who were not identified, had found the keys to their vehicles confiscated, and been instructed "not to leave the compound without specific permission, even to get a haircut"; they were also threatened, and told their e-mail messages were being screened. It said they had persevered and provided their accounts to superiors in the agency; the accounts reached Admiral Jacoby on June 24. The memo suggests that the incidents experienced by the officials occurred earlier in June.

    A Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday in response to the document's disclosure: "U.S. policy condemns and prohibits torture. U.S. personnel are required to follow this policy and applicable law."

    The spokesman did not say what action, if any, had been taken by Mr. Cambone, but said: "We have said all along that we do not tolerate any mistreatment of detainees. We investigate thoroughly any credible allegations and take appropriate action if they are substantiated. The same process applies to these allegations."

    Late Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Michael Shavers, said many of the documents provided to the A.C.L.U. by the Pentagon already "are either part of previous inquiries or are informing inquiries yet to be completed."

    One Pentagon official said that when Mr. Cambone received the complaint from Admiral Jacoby, he immediately raised the matter with his senior staff and officers at the military's Special Operations Command. The incidents are under investigation.

    The Pentagon has also said the activities disclosed earlier this week about Guantánamo, including the account of the actions of the female interrogator, were under investigation.

    The place in Iraq where the events described by Admiral Jacoby occurred is referred to in his memorandum as the Temporary Detention Facility in Baghdad. Task Force 6-26 is a special unit that is devoted mostly to capturing and interrogating what the military calls high-value detainees involved in the Iraqi insurgency, officials said.

    It is not known whether the members of the task force involved in the incidents were military or civilian.

    The situation of the prisoners likely to be interviewed by such Special Forces teams differs from that of those held at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, military officials said. The prisoners in custody at the Temporary Detention Facility are more likely to be interrogated about some activity that just occurred, in the hope that fresh intelligence might be obtained immediately after an incident.

    Thom Shanker contributed reporting for this article.

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