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New US Head of Prison System in Iraq Bans Use Of Hoods
VOA News
05 May 2004, 00:49 UTC

The recently-appointed head of the U.S. military prison system in Iraq says he will review interrogation techniques and cut in half the number of detainees in the prison where U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi detainees.

Major General Geoffrey Miller said Tuesday he wants to reduce the number of detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison from about 3,800 to about 2,000 at most.

General Miller also said he has ordered soldiers to stop covering the heads of Iraqi prisoners with hoods, and that he wants to re-assess military interrogation methods.

Six U.S. military officers face criminal charges in the case, while six other people have been reprimanded.

The photographs that sparked the scandal show naked Iraqi prisoners in humiliating positions and wearing hoods.

In another development, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told Al-Arabiya television President Bush is determined to get to the bottom of the matter and to make sure those responsible are punished.

The White House later said President Bush is planning interviews "soon" with Arab television networks to discuss the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. It is not clear when the interviews will take place.

Earlier Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the photographs "un-American" and "deeply disturbing." He vowed to take all necessary action to hold those involved accountable.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says there have been 35 investigations into alleged cases of prisoner abuse by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan since December, 2002. A military official said these include probes into 25 cases of prisoner deaths, 10 of which are still pending.