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Prisoner abuse report expected next week

Overall 'command climate' criticized

Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison
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U.S. Army

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Some U.S. reserve military police and intelligence units in Iraq were ill-equipped and poorly trained for the job of guarding thousands of detainees ranging from common criminals to terrorism suspects at Abu Ghraib prison, an Army officer told CNN Monday.

That finding is part of a long-awaited report from the Army inspector general on the Army's internment and detention policies.

The report, scheduled for release next week, is expected to focus sharply on failures at the infamous prison.

The abuse at the prison sparked outrage around the world especially after photographs were made public showing naked, hooded Iraqi prisoners forced to assume humiliating positions as U.S. soldiers smiled beside them.

Other pictures showed the prisoners being threatened with dogs, and one image showed a hooded prisoner standing on a box with wires attached to his outstretched arms.

One U.S. Army Reserve soldier, Spc. Jeremy Sivits, who served as a guard at the prison has been court-martialed in the case and six others have been charged. (Full story)

One of those six, Pfc. Lynndie England, is scheduled to go on trial June 22 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

England is the female soldier shown in two of the most notorious photos, one in which she is holding a leash tied to an Iraqi prisoner's neck, and another in which she is pointing to the genitals of a hooded detainee. (Full story)

The prison abuse was cited by Islamic militants who kidnapped an American in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. On an al Qaeda-linked Web site, the group said its members have the "legal right to revenge their brothers and treat the hostage in the same way the Americans treated our brothers in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib based on the legal right to treat others as they treat you."

The report is expected to also recommend soldiers get more training in the constraints of the Geneva Conventions as well as international laws governing land warfare, the Army official said.

It will also criticize the overall "command climate" provided by some senior personnel involved in detainee operations.

The first indication of criticism of the inspector general came back on May 19 when Gen. John Abizaid, head of the Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services committee there were serious problems with Army doctrine on detainee operations.

"Our doctrine is not right. It's just not right," he said. "I mean, there are so many things that are out there that aren't right in the way that we operate for this war."

Abizaid went on to say, "This is a doctrinal problem of understanding ... what do the MPs do, what do the military intelligence guys do, how do they come together in the right way. And this doctrinal issue has got to be fixed if we're ever going to get our intelligence right to fight this war and defeat this enemy. "

Last week, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq asked to be recused from any role in reviewing the results of an investigation into prisoner abuse at the prison. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez requested that a higher-ranking general be appointed to assume that responsibility, Pentagon officials said. (Full story)

The inspector general's report overall will address the command climate at Abu Ghraib, leadership issues, training and readiness, and interrogation techniques and processes.

The soldiers seen in the photographs said they were following orders to "soften up" the prisoners before interrogation.

Four British soldiers will face courts-martial for alleged abuses committed in Iraq, according to Britain's attorney general. The charges include allegations the soldiers made Iraqi civilians perform sexual acts with each other. (Full story)

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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