[JURIST] The former US Army [official website] commander of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that the Army lacked clear rules regarding the use of dogs during interrogations of Iraqi prisoners. Col. Thomas Pappas [Wikipedia profile], who has been given immunity, testified at the court-martial [JURIST report] of dog handler Sgt. Michael J. Smith, who has been charged with 14 counts of misconduct for using unmuzzled dogs to abuse detainees. Pappas said he regrets that he did not establish more concrete rules for the handling of dogs in interrogations, which resulted in bites to Iraqi detainees.
Pappas, however, indicated that Smith's use of an unmuzzled dog inches from a prisoner's face, depicted in photos, was not in compliance the 2003 policy which required dogs to wear muzzles and be under the control of the handling officer. Pappas said the policy states that dogs were to be used for "setting the conditions" of interrogations and approval for their use was approved on a case-by-case basis by Pappas' supervisor. Col. Pappas is the highest ranking official scheduled to testify in Smith's trial. AP has more. Trial observers from Human Rights First provide additional coverage of Pappas' testimony.