Who leaked the 'Taguba Report'?

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Beginning with the moment of its public appearance on May 5, 2004, the burning question has been Who leaked the 'Taguba Report'?

In January 2004, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 7 and the senior military official in Iraq, requested an investigation of "the conduct of operations within the 800th Military Police Brigade" following persistent allegations of human rights abuses at the Camp Bucca, Camp Ashraf, High Value Detainee (HVD) Complex/Camp Cropper and Abu Ghraib Enemy Prisoner of War camps, citing "reports of detainee abuse, escapes from confinement facilities, and accountability lapses, which indicated systemic problems within the brigade and suggested a lack of clear standards, proficiency, and leadership." [1]

Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba was appointed and directed to conduct an informal investigation [per the report], or "ordered by Lt. Gen. David McKiernan to investigate complaints of military police wrongdoing at Abu Ghraib prison and other U.S. confinement facilities in Iraq" on 31 January 2004, ... and produced what has been characterized as the 'U.S. Army Report on Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners', "the 6,000-page" 'Taguba Report', which has been published on the internet since May 5, 2004. [2]

However, the source for this, one of many Bush administration leaks, has not--to date--been identified.

From the headlines

In the May 28, 2004, Guardian/UK article "Catch-22 revisited," David Leigh points out that the "world has focused on US soldiers' abuse of Iraqi prisoners. But the leaked inquiry reveals incompetence worthy of Joseph Heller's novel."

  • On May 6, 2004, Mark A. Kleinman, on his blog site, featured "Walking the Black Cat. Who leaked the Taguba Report," in which he explored current theories.
"It is also time to start walking back the cat: how did these pictures (Abu Ghraib: Photographic Evidence of Brutality) and this report become public? Two major theories: First, they get passed around electronically from staff computer to staff computer at CENTCOM or in the Pentagon because they are so outrageous until eventually they reach some foreign intelligence service, which then decides it is time to make them public. Second, somebody on Taguba's staff or somebody who saw the report plus documentation decided that the Pentagon was sitting on it in an inappropriate way, and that something needed to be done to save the honor of the army and to goose command into significant and serious action. Remember: the prime movers--Colonel Thomas M. Pappas of the 205 MI Bde., Steven Stephanowicz of CACI International--appear to still be in Iraq. It's only General Janis Karpinski who has been sent home."
"All this is clever, but probably not right. Lost in the midst of a brilliant and underappreciated essay on Abu Ghraib by a brilliant and underappreciated blogger, the attentive reader will find this brilliant and unappreciated observation, which surely holds the key to the puzzle:
"The lawyer for Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick III, the senior non-com charged in both rank and age, was a defense attorney for some of the My Lai accused. Any bets on who handed Seymour Hersh the Taguba report?
"I don't know how criminal procedure under the UCMJ differs from the civilian brand, but I'm willing to bet the defense gets to see the report on which the Article 36 proceeding (roughly, the grand jury) is based. I'm not sure Sgt. Frederick's lawyer actually did his client a favor by making the case a worldwide cause celebre, but it probably seemed like a good idea at the time."
  • According to the May 5, 2004, Daily Mislead, "Since late February, the Pentagon has been in possession" of the report. "Months later, despite knowing of the 53-page report's existence, top administration officials responsible for the military still have not read the document. [Note: link no longer available.]
"Three weeks before the press reported the story of the Abu Ghraib report, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard B. Myers knew enough about it to call Dan Rather and ask him to delay airing the story."
"By classifying an explosive report on the torture of Iraqi prisoners as 'Secret,' the Pentagon may have violated official secrecy policies, which prohibit the use of classification to conceal illegal activities."
  • Notebook, TIME.com, May 31, 2004 (Issue):
"Another big stack of pages is causing concern over at the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is investigating abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Committee aides discovered belatedly that their copy of the 6,000-page report on prison abuses produced by Major General Antonio M. Taguba might not be complete. The copy they got after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's testimony on May 7 was a thick document with 106 annexes, and it was quickly arranged into separate binders. Only later did the committee stack up all the pages, compare them with a ream of 6,000 blank pages and decide that at least 2,000 pages were missing. 'We'd certainly like to know why they're missing,' said Republican Senator John McCain. Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita insisted, 'If there is some shortfall in what was provided, it was an oversight.' Committee staff members haven't actually counted the pages. Chairman John Warner will investigate this week to see what is missing."

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