Torture and “Intelligence” in 2004

By my count (and please correct me, if I’m mistaken), through this Wednesday in August, 2004, the public realm has been blessed with four official U.S. Government (whether directly or so-called independently, on behalf of an official request) investigations into the practice of torture and other forms of detainee abuse at the American-run Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad, and no less than five official government (though spread across four different governments) investigations into the status of the pre-war “intelligence” claims that the former regime in Baghdad possessed various nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons capabilities and/or programs, as well as important ties to terrorist organizations, but to the Al Qaeda organization in particular.

For the sake of gathering this material together in one location, I’m depositing weblinks to all of them below.

Please note that what follows constitutes the public face of these investigations only, and that their inclusion here serves an archival interest above all else. Nothing more.

On the Abu Ghraib question especially, other reports either remain classified (the Miller and the Ryder reports from the fall of 2003, specifically), or have yet to be completed, let alone published.

While on the “intelligence” side……..Oh, well.

What, in the final analysis, might History conclude from all of this?

That the Americans were good at some things, but not others?


(1) Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade, U.S. Department of the Army, ca. March, 2004 (a.k.a., Taguba Report)

(2) Department of the Army, The Inspector General: Detainee Operations Inspections, July, 2004 (a.k.a., DAIG Report)

(3) Final Report of the Independent Panel to Review Department of Defense Detention Operations, James R. Schlesinger et al., U.S. Department of Defense, August, 2004 (a.k.a., Schlesinger Report)

(4) Article 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Prison and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, LTG Anthony R. Jones, U.S. Department of the Army, August, 2004 (a.k.a., Fay-Jones Investigation)


(1) Report on the Committee of Enquiry into the Intelligence System in Light of the War in Iraq, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, March, 2004 (a.k.a., Steinitz Report)

(2) Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, Select Committee on Intelligence, United States Senate, July, 2004 (a.k.a., Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report) (Also see the very helpful synopsis, Conclusions—Excerpted from Full Report.)

(3) Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors, July, 2004 (a.k.a., the Butler Report)

(4) Report of the Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies, July, 2004 (a.k.a., the Flood Report)

(5) The 9/11 Commission Report (homepage, including the complete PDF of the Report and a section-by-section version of the same)

A) The 9/11 Commission Report, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, July, 2004

B) Monograph on Terrorist Financing, John Roth et al., Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, August 2004

C) 9/11 and Terrorist Travel, Thomas R. Eldridge et al., Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, August, 2004

Postscript.—For some very interesting local Chicago-area stuff, see the third of these (Monograph on Terrorist Financing, John Roth et al.), specifically Ch. 6, “The Illinois Charities Case Study” (pp. 87-113). It details how the U.S. Government has exploited its so-called Homeland Security tools to destroy two Chicago-area Islamic charities—the Global Relief Foundation of Bridgeview and the Benevolence International Foundation of Palos Hills—even though the Government’s investigation of these two entities never generated a single indictable count—related to so-called Homeland Security and War on Terror issues, that is, or the ostensible reason for the investigations, including freezing their assets for a prolonged period of time as a way of destroying them.

And now that they’ve been destroyed? The Government marches on to do the same thing elsewhere.

Pure political harassment.

Nothing more.

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