So, as many of us suspected, the scandal of abuse in Iraqi prisons was not the fault of a few "bad apples". Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez (the highest-ranking US general in Iraq) authorised the use of interrogation techniques that included sleep manipulation, stress positions and the use of dogs to "exploit Arab fears" of them on September 14 2003. He was in charge of Abu Ghraib when US forces physically abused and sexually humiliated Iraqi prisoners.
Twelve of the techniques breach the US army´s own field manual and the general even notes that four could be in breach of international law and the Geneva conventions. Scarily, the memo notes that the techniques are a watered down version of those applied in Guantanamo Bay, modified to fit a situation "in which the Geneva conventions apply".
ACLU commented, "the memo clearly establishes that Gen Sanchez authorised unlawful interrogation techniques for use in Iraq....these techniques violate the Geneva conventions and the army´s own field manual governing interrogations....He and other high-ranking officials who bear responsibility for the widespread abuse of detainees must be held accountable."
The US administration has maintained any abuse was the result of improper individual action and was not sanctioned by leaders. The Pentagon initially refused to release the memo on national security grounds.