66th Military Intelligence Brigade

66th Military Intelligence Brigade

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66th Military Intelligence Brigade

 


66th Military Intelligence Brigade

 

The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade is a military brigade unit of the American military which reports and acts under the supervision of the army's Intelligence and Security Command. The purpose of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade is to provide support to soldiers operating in the field of combat. Previously, the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade was a unit devoted solely to work in the field of gathering intelligence and counter intelligence. Founded in 1986, it was shut down in 1995, then reactivated in 2002.

 

One of the controversies which the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade has been involved with concerns the torture and death of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib facility established by the army following the invasion of Iraq. Among the facilities and groups operating at Abu Ghraib was the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center. By the end of December 2003, the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade was one of six military battalions and groups operating at the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center. At this time, the total number of personnel stationed was 160, including 45 soldiers acting solely as interrogators and 18 acting as linguists or translators.

 

The Abu Ghraib concerned a wide range of misconduct committed by American soldiers, documented in videos and still photographs which became public in 2004. The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade was implicated in several of these instances, either through active participating in inhumane interrogations or by witnessing inhumane acts committed against detainees. These incidents were documented in internal army investigations, although the names of the soldiers were omitted.

 

For example, one incident reported concerns the November 2003 interrogation of an Iraqi policeman. A member of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade witnessed a civilian contractor using his hand to restrict the policeman's breathing and twisting the policeman's arm behind his back. The witnessing member left the interrogation cell when the contractor told the detainee that he knew how to torture detainees without leaving any physical marks as evidence. The witnessing member of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade did not report the event. This member of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade also saw another civilian contractor threatening another detainee with torture and coercive interrogation if they did not cooperate during interrogation.

 

Another incident reported concerns a soldier who was aware of multiple acts of soldier misconduct. In addition to witnessing a soldier slapping a detainee, this member of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade stripped a detainee naked and then forced him to walk naked from his interrogation booth to another location outside during a cold winter night. This soldier also ordered the abuse of prisoners. This soldier also was aware that military members were taking photographs of detainees. This soldier was also aware of another incident in which a soldier forced a detainee to take a cold shower, roll in the dirt, and then stand naked outside until dry.

 

Any court martials taken against members of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade have not been made public.

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