Karpinski to testify against Rumsfeld

Former general at Abu Ghraib plans to take the stand for the prosecution in a probe of possible war crimes by the outgoing defense secretary.

Published November 13, 2006 4:20PM (EST)

On Nov. 10, Time magazine plugged this week's issue by releasing an exclusive story: Preparations are being made in Germany to bring war crimes charges against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Lost in the hubbub of news about the suit, Rumsfeld's resignation and calls from some conservatives to pull U.S. soldiers out of Germany in response is what is perhaps the most interesting element of Time's story. Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the general once charged with running the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, will be testifying against Rumsfeld.

The abuse of prisoners has long been portrayed by the administration as the antics of a few lone soldiers and the failure of command staff on the ground -- including Karpinski -- to rein in their troops, but Karpinski will reportedly tell a different story.

Time reports that Karpinski has issued a written statement about her testimony; in it, she says that "it was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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