Officer: CIA sought to thwart Geneva accords
The New York Times; Oct. 9, 2004

  WASHINGTON - The actions of the CIA in keeping inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq off official rosters appeared to have been intended to speed their transfer to sites outside Iraq, where they would not be protected by the Geneva Conventions, the former commander of the joint interrogation center at the prison has told Army investigators.
  The allegation by Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, in testimony in February, was included in hundreds of pages of secret documents released yesterday by the Center for Public Integrity.
  Jordan said the approach had been authorized under an unwritten agreement between the CIA and Col. Thomas Pappas, the top military intelligence officer at the prison.
  The center said it had obtained the documents from a journalist, Osha Gray Davidson, a contributor to Rolling Stone magazine.
  Two Army generals told Congress last month that at the CIAs request, Army jailers had failed to register dozens of detainees at Abu Ghraib in order to hide them from Red Cross inspectors.
  But Jordan said in his testimony that the CIA's purpose had been to avoid anything that might have slowed moving them.
  "They would not put them in the regular detainee process where you get fingerprinted, because once a detainee did that, you're kinda in there three to six to eight months," Jordan said in his testimony, in Camp Doha, Kuwait, on Feb. 21.
  He went on to use an abbreviation for "other government agency," a term used in military circles to refer to the CIA: "The OGA folks wanted to be able to pull somebody in 24, 48, 72 hours if they had to get'em to Gitmo, do what have you."
  In the past, U.S. officials have insisted that no prisoners from Iraq were ever transferred to the American detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which is known as Gitmo. They have acknowledged two cases in which prisoners captured were transferred out of Iraq and then returned, but they have declined to comment on whether there might have been others.
  The United States has said all prisoners captured in Iraq were covered under the Geneva Conventions. Prisoners held by the United States in Guantanamo and some other lockups, including those in Afghanistan and some secret locations, have not been granted the same protection.
  A CIA spokesman would not comment on Jordan's remarks, and a lawyer for Jordan also declined comment.
  Jordan, an Army reservist, is among the military intelligence officers identified by Army investigators as sharing in responsibility for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
  An Army report by Gen. Paul Kern and others criticized Pappas in particular for failing to challenge the CIA practice of keeping detainees off the books.
  In 185 pages of testimony, Jordan also referred to the death at Abu Ghraib of an unregistered detainee who had been brought to the prison by CIA officers.
  Jordan said he reminded Pappas at the time that it would have been better to have a written agreement with the CIA about the handling of such prisoners, and he said the colonel had responded: "Well, if I go down, I'm not going down alone. The guys from Langley are going down with me."
  The documents made public by the Center for Public Integrity yesterday also included a classified memorandum written by an Army general in September 2003 recommending that guards at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq be put under the authority of a senior military intelligence officer.
  The document provides the clearest indication to date that the military police at Abu Ghraib were made subordinate to the new Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, under Jordan.