Abu Ghraib contractors defend Iraq work
By Sue Pleming
August 27, 2004
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S.
contractors implicated in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal have defended their
work in Iraq, with one saying its employees were not involved in "horrendous" abuses listed in a new report.
Responding to two military reports this week
on the abuse by U.S. soldiers and civilian contractors of prisoners at
Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, CACI International said the company "endeavoured to act responsibly at every turn."
"CACI observed that none of
the behaviour alleged in the Fay report, to have been committed by CACI employees,
relates to anything close to the horrendous extremes seen in photographs and stated in the report, death, sodomy,
rape, sexual assault, human piling, nakedness, hooding, etc," CACI said in a statement on Thursday.
Arlington-based CACI was
referring to a report issued on Wednesday by Army Major General George Fay that
six private contractors from CACI and San Diego-based Titan were sent to the Justice Department for possible legal
action following the sexual abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners.
DOGS, STRESS AND MORE
report, which was extremely critical of the role of contractors, alleged CACI
interrogators used dogs to scare
prisoners, put detainees in "unauthorised stress positions" and encouraged soldiers to abuse inmates.
charged that Titan employees hit detainees and stood by while soldiers physically
abused prisoners. One
Titan employee was exonerated of abuse raised by a previous military report.
Both CACI and Titan have provided interrogation and translation
services to the military. The Army last month
awarded CACI a $15 million (8.4 million pound) extension of its work in Iraq supporting interrogations and other
Titan spokesman Wil Williams said a "great job" had
been done in Iraq by more than 4,000 of its employees and
said it was against company policy for any of its staff to participate or remain silent in the face of such abuses.
"If any employees have done anything wrong we will take appropriate action," said Williams.
Williams said he did not know
whether the Titan employees implicated in the Fay report were still working for
company and declined to provide details of the firm's own investigation into Abu Ghraib abuses.
CACI chairman Jack London said in the company's
statement he was disappointed and disheartened current or
former CACI employees may have engaged in any "improper or inappropriate behaviour."
said its own investigation looked at allegations against two of its employees
cited in the report, both of whom
were no longer with the company.
investigation could not confirm an allegation of abuse against one of the employees
and reached a different
conclusion than Fay regarding the other "with respect to placing the detainee in a stress position and permitting a
photograph to be taken," CACI said.
The company said it was looking at other allegations
not previously known to it, adding it did not have information of
wrongful behaviour by a third employee, Steve Stefanowicz, whose name was made public in a report leaked earlier