President Bush approved yesterday an order demoting Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, the only general to be punished in connection with investigations into detainee abuse at U.S. military prisons.
Karpinski's rank was reduced to colonel, and she was issued a reprimand and relieved of her command. But the Army's inspector general recommended the sanctions based on a broad charge of dereliction of duty, as well as on a charge of shoplifting, essentially clearing her of responsibility for the abuse at &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/ 22/101/397/14119_AbuGhraib.html ' target=_blank>Abu Ghraib prison. As commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, Karpinski oversaw more than a dozen prison facilities in Iraq in 2003.
Pentagon officials have cited Karpinski's punishment as evidence that the military has taken the Abu Ghraib abuse seriously. But the inspector general's report does not link Karpinski's deficiencies to the abuse and, as reported last week, clears four other top officers who were in charge of the war in &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/13/39446.html ' target=_blank>Iraq. Those officers were Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq; his deputy, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski; Maj. Gen. Barbara G. Fast, Sanchez's top intelligence officer; and Col. Marc Warren, Sanchez's top military lawyer, reports the Washington Post.
Karpinski wasn't immediately available for comment.
She has said she didn't hold full authority of the prison in late 2003 and early 2004, when guards were photographed abusing and sexually humiliating prisoners.