06 May 2004
Congressional Report, May 6: Prisoner Abuse Hearings Planned
U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning Abuse
of Iraqi Prisoners
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution
May 6 that condemns the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in U.S. custody
and urges the U.S. Army to conduct a thorough investigation into
all allegations of Iraqi prisoner abuse.
The non-binding resolution passed the full House by a vote of
365-50. A non-binding congressional resolution expresses the will
of the House of Representatives but carries no legal requirements
on the president or the U.S. military.
Efforts by some House Democrats, who voted against the measure,
to insert language in the resolution that called for congressional
investigations were rejected.
The measure urges that the Department of Defense "address chain
of command deficiencies and the systematic deficiencies identified
in the incidents in question."
The resolution also says "the alleged crimes of a handful of individuals
should not detract from the commendable sacrifice of over 300,000
members of the United States Armed Forces who have served, or who
are serving, in Operation Iraqi Freedom."
And it expressed the "support of the House of Representatives
and the American people for the partnership of the United States
with the Iraqi people in building a viable Iraqi government and
a secure nation."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force General Richard
Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with officials
from all three military services, are scheduled to testify before
the Senate and House Armed Services committees in two separate
hearings on May 7 -- the Senate committee in the morning and the
House committee in the afternoon.