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.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.