President Bush Demotes Abu Ghraib’s Karpinski
Janis Karpinski , the former commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade during the time of the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal, has finally been demoted to colonol from brigadier general.
The Army will demote and issue a formal letter of reprimand to the only general punished in the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski will be reduced to the rank of colonel as a result of an Army Inspector General investigation into a scandal that tarnished the United States’ reputation abroad and set in motion a string of high-level inquiries. In a statement released Thursday, the Army said Karpinski was guilty of dereliction of duty and shoplifting. Investigators did not substantiate allegations that she made a false statement to an investigating team and failed to obey a lawful order. Karpinski was relieved of command of the 800th Military Police Brigade on April 8.
President Bush had to approve the Pentagon’s action against Karpinski. In its statement, the Army said that “though Brig. Gen. Karpinski’s performance of duty was found to be seriously lacking, the investigation determined that no action or lack of action on her part contributed specifically to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.”
It’s amazing this action took so long. She was in command of the prisons. Whether she knowingly turned a blind eye to the abuses there or was simply clueless about the things going on in her command is largely immaterial.
It should be pointed out, though, that while Karpinski was formally relieved on April 8, she was suspended in May 2004 pending the outcome of the investigation. As written, the story makes it sound like she was still running the unit until last month.