Abuse at Abu Ghraib

ABUSE AT ABU GHRAIB….David Adesnik points out something I missed reading through today’s Washington Post analysis of the abuse at Abu Ghraib: it started almost immediately after the 372nd Military Police Company arrived there. Here are the key dates:

The abuse first occurred shortly after the 372nd arrived at Abu Ghraib on Oct. 15, taking control of Tier 1A, which held prisoners wanted for questioning by military intelligence.

….In the photographs obtained by The Post, the earliest abuse appears in those dated Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. One shows a hooded Iraqi handcuffed to the bars of his cell; another shows a handcuffed naked man with women’s underwear covering his head.

That’s only two days. There’s plainly no way that a bunch of MPs from Maryland decided to start abusing prisoners in bizarre ways within two days of arriving, which means (a) they got instructions from someone else, and (b) it had been going on for some time before they got there.

The evidence is already pretty overwhelming that this abuse was not limited to a few “bad apples” in the 372nd, and this is yet another piece of evidence. So whose idea was this? And how high did it go?