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Thomas M. Pappas

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Col. Thomas M. Pappas is "currently the commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade." [1]

In the report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba regarding the alleged acts of brutality, abuse, and torture at the Enemy Prisoner of War facility at Abu Ghraib and other Enemy Prisoner of War Camps in Iraq and Afghanistan, Taguba said, "'Specifically I suspect that Col. Thomas M. Pappas, Lt. Col. Steve L. Jordan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz and Mr. John Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib and strongly recommend immediate disciplinary actions ..." [2]

Pappas, who "at one time was the chief of the Architectures Division of the Intelligence Center's Futures Directorate on Fort Huachuca," Taguba "has recommended he be given a general officer memorandum of reprimand. Pappas assumed command of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade in June 2003, after attending the Naval War College in Newport, R.I." [3]

"Within the Army a general officer memorandum of reprimand is considered a career killer." [4]


Douglas Jehl writes in the May 19, 2004, New York Times that "Officers Say U.S. Colonel at Abu Ghraib Prison Felt Intense Pressure to Get Inmates to Talk.

"As he took charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison last September, Col. Thomas M. Pappas was under enormous pressure from his superiors to extract more information from prisoners there, according to senior Army officers," Jehl writes. "'He likened it to a root canal without novocaine,' a senior officer who knows Colonel Pappas said of his meetings with his superiors in Baghdad. Often, the officer said, Colonel Pappas would emerge from discussions with two of them, Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast and Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, without a word, but 'clutching his face as if in pain.'"

Eric Schmitt and Douglas Jehl report in the May 18, 2004, New York Times that "M.P.'s Received Orders to Strip Iraqi Detainees," according to Col. Pappas, who told Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, the "senior Army investigator that intelligence officers sometimes instructed the military police to force Iraqi detainees to strip naked and to shackle them before questioning them. But he said those measures were not imposed 'unless there is some good reason.'

Col. Pappas also told Maj. Gen. Taguba "that his unit had 'no formal system in place' to monitor instructions they had given to military guards, who worked closely with interrogators to prepare detainees for interviews. Colonel Pappas said he 'should have asked more questions, admittedly' about abuses committed or encouraged by his subordinates."

"The statements by Colonel Pappas, contained in the transcript of a Feb. 11 interview that is part of General Taguba's 6,000-page classified report, offer the highest-level confirmation so far that military intelligence soldiers directed military guards in preparing for interrogations. They also provide the first insights by the senior intelligence officer at the prison into the relationship between his troops and the military police. Portions of Colonel Pappas's sworn statements were read to The New York Times by a government official who had read the transcript."


In the May 17, 2004, edition of the Army Times, Vince Crawley writes in "'Failure in Leadership'. Lead investigator cites breakdown in Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse case" that:

"The confusion hardly was limited to Abu Ghraib. At the May 11 hearing, [when Taguba] ... testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his 6,000-page report detailing how American soldiers mistreated Iraqi prisoners, ... [he] firmly disagreed with Stephen Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, over who was in charge of the prison.
"Cambone testified that a Nov. 19 'fragmentary order' placed the prison under the control of Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. But Cambone said Pappas' control was over the building and grounds, not the activities of the MPs guarding the prisoners.
Senator Carl Levin, "quoting from Taguba's report, said the command arrangement 'effectively made a military intelligence officer rather than an MP officer responsible for the MP units conducting detainee operations at that facility.'
"Levin then asked if that still was his conclusion.
"'Yes, sir,' Taguba testified. 'Because the order gave him tactical control of all units that were residing at Abu Ghraib.'
"Cambone said the military intelligence brigade commanded the Abu Ghraib 'forward operating base,' but the unit's relationship was comparable to that of a building manager.
"'I do not believe that the order placing Colonel Pappas in charge gave him the authority to address MP activities in direct op-con conditions,' he said.
"Taguba said General Janis Karpinski 'challenged the authority' of Pappas, creating 'confusion and friction.'
"Cambone said the uncertainty over who was in charge 'doesn't go … to the heart of his being able to give what would have been … unlawful orders to the commander of that military police battalion.'
"Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, deputy chief of U.S. Central Command, said Karpinski's brigade is one of two units in the U.S. military with the specific mission of guarding prisoners in wartime.
"Even if Pappas was placed in charge, it did not give him authority to change the unit's mission, Smith said. ... 'They're trained to a specific task,' Smith said. '[Pappas] can change the priorities for these folks, but they still have to operate within the guidelines and the doctrine that they are trained to. So they are still cops doing cop business.'"

The Army Times reports on May 17, 2004:

"On the military side, a key focus is Army Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. A controversial order last fall put Pappas in overall charge of Abu Ghraib on Nov. 19. The abuse of prisoners had already begun there, however, and Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Romig, Army judge advocate general, told a congressional hearing last week that the search for culpable officers may encompass others.
"Red Cross inspectors who visited Abu Ghraib in early October 2003 and found many of the abuses that have since come to light spoke to an unnamed military intelligence officer before Pappas took command of the prison. Romig told members of Congress last week, 'Clearly ... we'd like to know who that was.' Red Cross reports are kept confidential to prevent publicity-averse governments from denying the organization access to prisons around the world. Key witnesses are often not named.
"Pappas and his unit have rotated back to their base in Germany. The colonel did not respond to a request for comment through the U.S. European Command and the Army command in Europe."

David Madrid, in his May 7, 2004, article "Prison boss was officer at Huachuca" published in The Arizona Republic writes:

"Although it was military police who are accused of the actual abuse, Pappas, commander of the Germany-based 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, was given operational control of the prison last year.
"He is accused of failing to ensure his soldiers were properly trained and understood prisoner protections guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions.
"According to the report, several of the military police personnel told investigators that they were encouraged to abuse prisoners by the intelligence personnel under Pappas' command, presumably to break the Iraqis' will and make them more likely to cooperate."
"Pappas was division chief of the Futures Development Integration Center at Fort Huachuca, leaving that position four years ago.
"The center plans and designs the future of the Military Intelligence Corps and develops intelligence concepts and training.
"At some point, virtually every Army intelligence staffer undergoes training at the fort."

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