Skip to comments.Demoted general details alleged shoplifting incident - Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski
Posted on 05/13/2005 3:26:55 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
SANTA CLARITA Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who served as military police commander at Abu Ghraib, said she was never arrested or charged in an alleged shoplifting incident, and the Army only brought the allegation to demote her after the Iraq prison scandal broke, a newspaper reported in Friday's editions.
Karpinski was demoted to colonel last week after the Army's inspector general investigated four allegations against her, including: dereliction of duty, making a "material misrepresentation" to investigators, failure to obey a lawful order and shoplifting. Only the shoplifting and dereliction of duty allegations were substantiated.
Karpinski has repeatedly denied shoplifting. She said the allegation arose from a 2002 incident at an Air Force base store in Florida while she held the rank of colonel.
In an interview with The Signal of Santa Clarita, Karpinski said she removed a bottle of facial cream from her purse then returned it while rummaging for her cell phone.
Though a security guard mistakenly believed the bottle belonged to the shop, store personnel later concluded it was her property and had been "clearly partially used."
"They had nothing about Abu Ghraib to use against me," Karpinski told The Signal, "so they pull this flaky allegation out and use it to demote me? ... To save face? To mislead the American public yet again?"
Army spokeswoman Pamela Hart said the demotion was unrelated to prison scandal but resulted in part from Karpinski's "leadership failures" and the shoplifting allegation.
"... Her validated shoplifting was also a factor," Hart said. "As a general officer, she would have been obligated to report prior offenses on her security questionnaire, which I do not believe was the case."
Karpinski maintains the shoplifting allegation didn't surface until she returned from Iraq in April 2004, after the prison abuse scandal had already broke.
Repeated requests under the Freedom of Information Act to learn the basis for the shoplifting allegation were ignored or didn't yield any information, she said. Her legal officers were allowed to review the Army inspector general's files for documentation, but "there was nothing to substantiate" the allegations.
On May 3, the Army announced it had demoted her back to colonel, after getting required approval from President Bush. The demotion means her career in the military, where officers must rise in rank or leave, is effectively over.
Karpinski also received a written reprimand and was formally relieved of command of the 800th Military Police Brigade.
What a scumbag. She comes across like some E-2 who got busted, not a former flag officer.
Does sound as though she's got a good case, especially if the store personnel comments are written down.
Can we all say scape goat.
Can we all say quota queen?
This general officer should never have been promoted to this rank. The shoplifting was probably a store error and there are plenty of them. She is just an incompetent goof like so many others promoted for reasons other than competence.
Pathetic. Let it go Colonel(D). You're lucky that courts martial charges aren't being brought against you for dereliction of duty.
Wasn't there a Secretary of the Army or something who was busted for shoplifting in a PX?
Can we all say "s**tbird"?
She has an interesting EXCUSE, but as TADSLOS said Dereliction of Duty .... or maybe Article 98: Noncompliance with Procedural Rules ..... Article 107: False Official Statements ... Article 133: Conduct Unbecoming .... There a few under Article 134 also. Maybe she forgot to read her commission about "Serving at the Pleasure of the President". Yes, she blew it. Congress also requires her to be responsible for EVERYTHING her soldiers do or fail to do. If she speaks again Courts-Martial her!
News organizations around the world, citing anonymous Army officials who refused to give their names, reported Thursday that President Bush approved the demotion of Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski to colonel because she failed to properly supervise guards who abused detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in the fall of 2003.
Two weeks earlier, quoting similarly anonymous Army sources, those same world-wide news organizations reported that the Army inspector general was holding only one top officer Karpinski accountable for the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.
Around the world, particularly in the Arab world, the stories sent the message that finally, the United States was holding a commander responsible. Finally, someone in a position of authority would be punished. Finally, there would be justice.
The trouble is, it wasnt true.
Oh, the Army inspector general singled out Karpinski for disciplinary action, all right.
And yes, Bush demoted Karpinski on the basis of the Army IGs recommendation.
But it wasnt for Abu Ghraib. It was unrelated.
In fact, the Army inspector general a summary of whose report was released Thursday exonerated her of any wrongdoing at Abu Ghraib, right along with the rest of the generals in the chain of command.
Though Brig. Gen. Karpinskis performance of duty was found to be seriously lacking, the summary said, the investigation team determined that no action or lack of action on her part contributed specifically to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.
Now, wait a minute. Isnt this the same Karpinski who was criticized a year ago, when Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba investigated her 800th Military Police Brigade, for failing to properly train her soldiers or remind (them) of the requirements of the Geneva Conventions?
Yes, it is the same Karpinski.
But a year and nine more investigations later, the two charges that were related to her performance in Iraq
making a material misrepresentation to an investigating team (Taguba believed she misstated the frequency of her visits to the various prisons) and failure to obey a lawful order (Taguba believed she disobeyed orders for disciplining officers and senior NCOs) were found to be unsubstantiated.
Why, then, was she busted back to colonel? For other reasons.
The Army inspector general found two different charges to be substantiated. One involved an incident in 2002 when then-Col. Karpinski was supposedly arrested for shoplifting a $22 bottle of perfume from a civilian-run department store on an Air Force base in Florida. Karpinski has said it never happened.
Even if it did, the Army didnt have a problem with it at the time. In June 2003, a year later, President Bush approved her promotion to general.
Now, its cited as the reason he is busting her back.
That and a broad, unspecified claim of dereliction of duty.
While this claim remains to be explained it may have to wait for the release of the complete Army IG report all thats officially known is what its not.
No action or lack of action on her part contributed specifically to the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib.
So here we are, a year after the world press learned of the abuse of Iraqi detainees in U.S. custody. Despite what the world press might tell you today, the United States government has demoted no general officer and has accepted no consequences at the level of general officer or above, for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
Also see: Karpinski Speaks
Leon Worden for The Newhall Signal 7/4/04
I pulled your names from the thread (Bush demotes Army general in Abu Ghraib scandal (Karpinski finally fired formally) ) that my beloved posted last week about Karpinski, thought you might like to read in her own words as it regards the charge of shoplifting.
Am I missing something, has this gal ever took responsibility for anything that she is accused of doing?
From everything I've heard and read about Abu Ghraib, this gal needed to be booted out of the service, NOT just demoted 1 or 2 ranks. To claim that there are areas in your area of Command that are "off-limits" to the Commanding general- Duh!
Thank you I always enjoy your comments. Just a odd side note, she has not given, ok maybe one, but she only grants interviews to foreign publications.
Best she do it that way she will get an earful should yack on American airways.
Thanks for the ping. I've had my personal opinion of Scarpinski, from what I've seen on TV, but her lengthy interview is very revealing. No, I don't think she ever took responsibility. There's always an excuse, her hands were tied, etc. Without being a shrink, I think she's very passive, or maybe passive-aggressive. I wonder how she ever got to be a colonel, much less a brigadier general. A little affirmative action, maybe? As a "former military chick," how do you see it?
The soldiers under your immediate command committed crimes which have cost the loss of many innocent lives. Your poor leadership is an embarrassment to the United States and to the United States Army. You really should not be trying to defend yourself. You should should be doing what a truly honorable General Officer would do in this situation. I am sure the Army will give you a very nice funeral if you do choose to do the right thing.
I hate to say this but after seeing her picture she looks like a "Bull Dyke" to me.
Anyone else have that opinion???????????????
She has that General Wesley Clark thing going for her.
They are perfect, it's the rest of the world that messed up.
If she had any integrity she's take a bus to Vegas and disappear.
It would be interesting to see what her actual duty schedule was like.
No, but I can say get a clue.
My first thought when this story broke was that she reminded me of Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb in "From Russia With Love". Then as it kept going, and it came out how little control she seemed to have over the prison, she started to remind me of Werner Klemperer as Colonel Wilhelm Klink.
Karpinski is the classic example of what happens to the military when a politician who panders to the lesbian/feminist/Hillary constituency is President. But what is more disturbing is that she was promoted from Colonel to General AFTER the 2002 shoplifting incident. Bush and Rummy need to see this crap coming. They need to destroy the Army culture that allowed a Karpinski to happen in the first place.
Thanks for the ping!
Send her to Afghanistan and have her explain the charges the Koran was dissed at Gitmo--it's the same anti-U.S. propaganda--this time she can fix it--or get an attitude adjustment.
One of the more interestings stories on Janis...is that as a Lt...her commander wrote up the non-recommendation on her staying around. While that went into her folder...at her very next assignment...she "suddenly" changed around and was a top performer (or so was written). This sudden type of change rarely if ever occurs...and when it does...there is usually some type of relationship involved. My guess...like so many male and female officers at Col or above...who are just not qualified...is that the system lets them slip through the cracks and continue on their way. There are 4-star generals in the same category today...who ought to be working as a manager for a local Wal-Mart.
Justice somehow always wins in the end . .
The Army inspector general found two different charges to be substantiated. One involved an incident in 2002 when then-Col. Karpinski was supposedly arrested for shoplifting a $22 bottle of perfume from a civilian-run department store on an Air Force base in Florida.
>>Though a security guard mistakenly believed the bottle belonged to the shop, store personnel later concluded it was her property and had been "clearly partially used." <<
On this charge, with what is presented here, I think she's getting the shaft. When it comes to her being the Commander at Abu Ghraib, I think she deserves a royal shafting along with the idiot who recommended her for that position.
Had the IG made sure she would have to wear her panties on her head for a year, then and only then would the ragheads be satisfied.
Just another senior female officer who held her position by 'assuming the position.'
This US General should have been demoted, or worse, and the army didn't need to drag up this old incident to justify her demotion.
General K, and the run-away bride can commiserate together.
I'd like to read the incident report. Give her herculean efforts to minimize her own culpability and to evade responsibility for the Abu Ghraib debacle, I can't help but suspect she's put an amazing amount of spin on her version of the shoplifiting incident, too. This does not appear to be a human being who is capable of owning up to the least bit of personal responsibility if it would put her in a bad light.
If you take Karpinski's version of the incident at face value, I agree.
If you took a similar poll of all the inmates in federal prison you would like find the vast majority are innocent, too.
I'm not saying Karpinski's version of the shoplifting incident isn't true. I am saying I would very slow to accept it at face value given how she has responded to the Abu Ghraib caper.
Again, some people are honest to the core. One indicator of a fundamentally honest soul is a willingness to accept personal responsibility even when to do so puts you in a bad light. One the other hand, if you find someone who brazenly denies the obvious in one case because it would make them look bad, you can generally expect them to behave similarly whenever acceptance of personal responsibility would make them look bad.
Well I enjoy reading most of your posts ... it is odd that she would even talk to foreign publications. I was taught that as long as you were in civilian clothes (BTW, the person who taught me that was my law professor at West Point and he reminds me of the picture that you posted of your father), you can talk openly to the press. So maybe I should back off my statement about Courts-Martialing her for talking ... but the other charges maybe still be valid.
Thanks for the ping!
The JAG and the US Army are not a bunch of ignoramuses. There would be hell to pay if they trumped up charges such as shoplifting to dump this lady general.
It simply wouldn't fly. The lawyers are too good; they'd see through it. The CofS of the Army is too smart; he wouldn't allow it.
My best guess is that this lady is guilty as charged, and that there will be substantial documentation of it when it is made public. It would be suicide to try to trump this up.
Thanks for your comments. I am always tickled to read comments from ring knocker's of my father's old stomping ground.
I would have to do a self search but she has only given a few interviews and they were not to American Publications.
She is played loose thus far, why would she pay attention to rules in and out of uniform. Hate to say this about a fellow military person, get the hell out of my military and the sooner the better. Let the door hit you pretty damn hard as go!
Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to comment, I enjoyed your remarks a great deal.
Having an image of her tearful and blaming everyone seems to follow all I have read about her.
I know things were differently in the Guard, but,I have to wonder, who the hell signed her OER? It is no longer your credentials that get you to the top, it is networking, so who did she network, lets boot them too.
yep I am harsh ... get over it .. (saying that to those who feel she is treated unjustly)
I hate to say this but, six will get you ten that DACOWITS played a big role in it. Start there and look for quota's along the way as she was coming up the ranks and then politcal smoozing after she got the LTC level.
I always have these mixed emotions of demotion and yet still giving the military member their retirement/pension.
I know they served, but, you do something wrong, how does that entitle you to benefits that other's have sweat or given their lives for and their fellow military member gives a half ass job.
Best shut up and be quiet.
Karpinski did not herself do anything criminally wrong, and I believe that this is usually what predicates loss of pensions and benefits. Her reduction in rank will have far more of a "sting" to her than the loss of a few hundred dollars a month (which is really all she would lose in being demoted from a general to a colonel).