There are no indications that being a woman prevented Brig. General Janis Karpinksi from doing her job.

There are, however, strong indications that when Karpinski, who was in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison, might not have been doing her job, the Army was hesitant to discipline her because she is one of its highest ranking female officers.

Writing in the Washington Times’ commentary pages, Donald Devine notes:

“A military investigation in late summer 2003 of the 800th Military Police Brigade under Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller found a breakdown in discipline at the prison. When told that her troops were not even saluting, the general refused to order them to begin doing so.

“Central Command, concerned about the breakdown but apparently worried about disciplining one of the highest ranking female Army officers in Iraq, devised a compromise bureaucratic solution to hand control of the critical central interrogation prison at Abu Ghraib to the military intelligence unit questioning the prisoners. The critical order was issued October 12, 2003, and was confirmed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez in November. This put the interrogators in charge and was the precipitating event for what investigating Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba called sadistic criminal abuses, the first one of which apparently took place on October 17, 2003.”