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Senior Abu Ghraib interrogator was worried about inexperience: testimony

[JURIST] US Army Col. Thomas Pappas [Wikipedia profile] testified Tuesday that the senior officer running the interrogation center at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] was concerned when he was chosen that he did not have the proper training or experience questioning prisoners to assume that role at the facility. At the Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder; JURIST report], which will determine whether Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan [Wikipedia profile] should face a court-martial for charges [JURIST report] stemming from the abuse scandal, Pappas said he responded to Jordan's worries by telling him that he was selected for his leadership skills. Pappas was in charge of military intelligence in Iraq at the time of the abuse scandal, but received immunity for testifying against Jordan.

A witness for the defense, Maj. Mike Thompson, said his operations chief told him that Pappas, not Jordan, was actually in charge of Abu Ghraib's Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Pappas admitted during testimony that he was the lead officer at the facility when some of the abuses occurred, but claimed he did not know about the use of interrogation tactics involving nudity or prisoner humiliation. Jordan's lawyers suggested that overcrowding at Abu Ghraib created stressful working conditions and a poor environment for questioning. The Baltimore Sun has more.

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