Brig. General Jan Karpinski, who was in charge of the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison, is the subject of a glowing profile in today’s WaPo Style section.
“She says she did not have enough soldiers to staff them, and when she complained to higher-ups, they were unresponsive,” the article notes.
“I think they were setting me up over time,” General Karpinski told the Post. “In the end, it might be proven that the Taguba report [on alleged abuse in the prison] was flawed…They didn’t care if they tarnished my reputation and destroyed me in the process, because I was disposable. I was a reservist and they were careerists.”
The Taguba report, according to the Post, “depicts a commander with poor communication skills who ’rubber stamped’ investigations into escapes by detainees, and made too few visits to Abu Ghraib, which she recalls as about 35 miles from where she was headquartered.”
“It says she understaffed the prison, exercised poor oversight and failed to remind her soldiers of the Geneva Conventions,” the WaPo continues.
The WaPo quotes from the report:
“BG Karpinski was extremely emotional during much of her testimony. What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inerent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principals among its soldiers.”
Needless to say, this report annoyed Karpinski: “She says she wonders if a man would have been described that way.”
Well, yes, if he behaved in that fashion. Which is unlikely.