FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A military intelligence platoon that participated in interrogations at an Afghanistan detention center where two prisoners died also questioned prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison (search), an Army spokesman said Monday.
Company A of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion (search) spent most of 2003 in Iraq, following a 2002 deployment in Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Billy Buckner, spokesman for the Fort Bragg-based 18th Airborne Corps.
Capt. Carolyn A. Wood was the officer in charge of interrogations during both deployments, Buckner said.
The New York Times on Monday reported the company's presence at both Abu Ghraib and Bagram (search), a military base north of Kabul (search). Wood's name also surfaced in a Washington Post report over the weekend that quoted a military defense lawyer saying Wood condoned the interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib.
The military has said it is investigating the December 2002 deaths of two Bagram inmates, both of which were ruled homicides after autopsies.
The investigation comes amid an international scandal involving allegations that American troops mistreated Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Some pictures of the abuse show prisoners being sexually humiliated and stacked naked in a human pyramid.
Buckner said neither Wood nor her unit have been accused of any wrongdoing in Afghanistan or Iraq.
He said that when Wood redeployed to Iraq last year, she modified the interrogation techniques used on prisoners there.
"In Afghanistan they had some interrogation rules of engagement. When they deployed to Iraq, she [Wood] brought those rules with her," Buckner said. "Those rules were modified to make sure the right restraints were in place."
Buckner said the company returned from Afghanistan to Fort Bragg in January 2003, then redeployed to Iraq in March of that year. In January, the unit left Kuwait to return to Fort Bragg.
Asked Monday for an interview with Wood, Buckner said she is not currently stationed at Fort Bragg and that he did not know her whereabouts.
Asked about the unit's involvement in the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib, Buckner said, "At the time most of the alleged abuses occurred in Iraq, the unit was preparing to transition to the United States, so they had only a handful of interrogators at Abu Ghraib."
Capt. Robert Shuck, a military defense lawyer assigned to defend one of seven members of the Army company facing criminal charges for abusing Abu Ghraib inmates, has said Wood was "involved in intensive interrogations of detainees, condoned some of the activities and stressed that that was standard procedure, what the accused was doing."
Prison officials have blamed the abuse on low-level military police, some of whom have maintained they were just following orders.