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US REPORT ON JAIL ABUSE

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US REPORT ON JAIL ABUSE

Twenty-seven military intelligence specialists are said to have taken part in the abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"We discovered serious misconduct and a loss of moral values," said General Paul Kern, the head of the US Army investigation.

According to the report, the 27 either encouraged or participated in the abuse.

Of those individuals accused of complicity in the abuse, 23 were members of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade that oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

The other four were civilian contractors working for the unit.

Six more soldiers in the unit, and two additional contractors, witnessed the abuse but failed to report it, which also violates regulations, Gen. Kern said.

All of these people may face charges or disciplinary action.

An additional five people, including Colonel Thomas Pappas, the commander of the 205th, also face possible disciplinary action.

While they did not take part in abuses from July 2003 to February 2004, they contributed to the conditions that allowed them to take place, officials said.

The report blames the abuses on several factors: misconduct (ranging from inhumane to sadistic) by a small group of morally corrupt soldiers and civilians; a lack of discipline on the part of leaders and soldiers; and a failure or lack of leadership by higher command in Iraq.

The report distinguishes between the abuse depicted in many of the now-famous photographs from the prison, which the military says was committed by a small group of guards and others, and abuses committed during interrogations.

Seven members of the 800th Military Police Brigade, which supplied the guards at the prison, have been charged in connection with the abuses seen the photos.

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