Firms in Iraq prison scandal deny media 'inaccuracies'

WASHINGTON: Government contractors caught up in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal have spent the past month defending against media "inaccuracies" and distancing themselves from the acts of their employees - a strategy that seemed to pay off in the Senate last week.

WASHINGTON: Government contractors caught up in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal have spent the past month defending against media "inaccuracies" and distancing themselves from the acts of their employees - a strategy that seemed to pay off in the Senate last week.

Two firms - CACI International and Titan National Security Solutions - were both named in Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba's report detailing prisoner abuse in Iraq. Both firms had employees operating as interrogators in Baghdad who were found to have "allowed and/or instructed" MPS to mistreat prisoners in order to extract information.

Titan quickly fired one named interrogator, and CACI's CEO told analysts it was "working diligently to get the facts."

Last week, CACI put out a press release aimed at correcting what it referred to as "false, distorted, or inaccurate information" relayed by the press.

The release stated that interrogation was a new field for the IT company - one that it had entered only at the military's behest - and that it was cooperating with all US investigations into the incidents.

The statement read: "We have held two public conference calls with transcripts available and discussed the business, how we became involved with it, our corporate policy of zero tolerance for any kind of illegal or inappropriate behavior at any time under any circumstances, and the complete absence of any confirmed evidence to date that any CACI employee was engaged in the reported abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib."

A spokeswoman for the company declined further comment.

Titan distributed a statement from its CEO last month "to clarify inaccuracies in a number of news media reports," namely that its employees were trained as interrogators rather than interpreters.

Last week, the Senate rejected a Democratic attempt to ban contractors from providing interrogators.

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