Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Private Contractor Stephen Stefanowicz Sued For Abu Ghraib Torture

Back in 2004 a question was asked:

Private Contractors Who Torture

But what of the civilian contractors who worked hand in glove with the military at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison? Will the atrocities they committed be, at most, bad for their careers - a source of negative letters in their employment files? Or will the civilians who shared responsibility for the criminal abuse meted out to detainees at Abu Ghraib be tried, convicted, and sent to prison?

I highly suggest reading the rest of this article as well.

Given the immunity law in place at the time that was only lifted January this year and the obvious reluctance of US civilian authorities to prosecute the offenders the answers to these questions are no they will not be sent to prison.

One may however be hit in the pocket book.

A 43 year old blacksmith Emad Al-Janabi is suing:

US contractors accused in Abu Ghraib torture suit

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Employees from US military contractors helped torture Iraqi civilians detained at Abu Ghraib prison five years ago, according to a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Monday.

Lawyers for Emad Al-Janabi said the 43-year-old blacksmith and other prisoners were subjected to months of abuse while being held at the notorious Baghdad jail following his arrest in September 2003.

Al-Janabi was later released without charge in July 2004.

According to the lawsuit, Al-Janabi was subjected to physical and mental torture which included being shown a mock execution of his brother and nephew, being repeatedly deprived of food and sleep and threatened with dogs.

The lawsuit is lodged against defense contractors CACI International Inc, CACI Premier Technology, L-3 Communications Titan Corporation, and former CACI contractor Stephen Stefanowicz.


And according to the Associated Press...

Iraqi alleges Abu Ghraib torture, sues US contractors

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Iraqi man sued two U.S. military contractors, claiming he was repeatedly tortured while being held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison for more than 10 months.

Emad al-Janabi's federal lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles, claims that employees of CACI International Inc. and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. punched him, slammed him into walls, hung him from a bed frame and kept him naked and handcuffed in his cell beginning in September 2003.

Also named as a defendant is CACI interrogator Steven Stefanowicz, known as "Big Steve." The suit claims he directed some of the torture tactics.


... the suit claims that "Big Steve" directed some of the torture.

Thing is, it's not just the suit. So did the article 15-6 investigation of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prepared by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba by orders of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez who was the senior military official in Iraq at the time.

Known as the "Taguba Report" below are the excerpts from the executive summary mentioning Stephen Stefanowicz.

The "Taguba Report" On Treatment Of Abu Ghraib Prisoners In Iraq



11. (U) That Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, Contract US Civilian
Interrogator, CACI, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade,
be given an Official Reprimand to be placed in his
employment file, termination of employment, and
generation of a derogatory report to revoke his security
clearance for the following acts which have been
previously referred to in the aforementioned findings:

* Made a false statement to the investigation team
regarding the locations of his interrogations, the
activities during his interrogations, and his knowledge of

* Allowed and/or instructed MPs, who were not trained in
interrogation techniques, to facilitate interrogations by
"setting conditions" which were neither authorized and in
accordance with applicable regulations/policy. He clearly
knew his instructions equated to physical abuse.


13. (U) I find that there is sufficient credible information
to warrant an Inquiry UP Procedure 15, AR 381-10, US Army
Intelligence Activities, be conducted to determine the
extent of culpability of MI personnel, assigned to the
205th MI Brigade and the Joint Interrogation and
Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib (BCCF).
Specifically, I suspect that COL Thomas M. Pappas, LTC
Steve L. Jordan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, and Mr. John
Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for
the abuses at Abu Ghraib
(BCCF) and strongly recommend
immediate disciplinary action as described in the
preceding paragraphs as well as the initiation of a
Procedure 15 Inquiry to determine the full extent of
their culpability. (ANNEX 36)


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