The images of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, abused and humiliated at the hands of American service men and women, will not soon be forgotten. However, the Department of Defense seems to have no bounds to its arrogance. Even as uniformed soldiers were being court martialed for their misconduct at Abu Ghraib, the U.S. Army announced that it had awarded a no-bid contract worth up to $23 million to CACI International Inc., a private contractor that employed an interrogator cited for involvement in the sexual humiliation of Iraqis at the notorious prison. The purpose of the contract -– to provide private interrogators in Iraq!
Secretary of State Colin Powell, himself a retired Army general, who must represent the United States to the rest of the world, should condemn this shameful contract and call on the Army to cease working with CACI unless the company and its employees are fully exonerated from current charges of participation in the Abu Ghraib abuse.
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the Army awarded the contract without competitive bidding claiming that CACI’s interrogators were already on the ground. However, an internal Army investigation found evidence of serious abuse of prisoners by both U.S. military personnel and private contractors. In fact, the report found that a CACI employee “clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse.” The report recommended that this employee be fired for his actions. Shockingly, CACI has not terminated a single employee in connection with this scandal.
Call on Secretary of State Colin Powell to condemn the CACI International Inc. contract and work to halt it before additional prisoners are put at risk of abuse and the reputation of the United States further damaged.
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Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520