Browse Topics



For immediate release
October 27, 2005
Chad Campbell, NPR: | (202) 513-2304

NPR News Details the Final Hours of the Only Abu Ghraib Detainee Whose Death Was Ruled Homicide and Examines Trail of U.S. Accountability on Today's All Things Considered

Exclusive Report by John McChesney; Streaming Audio to be Available on

Washington, D.C. -- Using unreleased documents and exclusive interviews, NPR News correspondent John McChesney goes moment-by-moment through the chain of U.S. accountability during the last six hours of the only Abu Ghraib detainee whose death was ruled a homicide by military autopsy in a special 20-minute report airing on today's NPR news magazine All Things Considered. Check for stations and times of All Things Considered. Streaming audio of the report will be available on at approximately 7PM (ET).

Manadel Al Jamadi, believed to be a key member of a terrorist cell, died in U.S. custody at Abu Ghraib; his death was ruled a homicide. During this six-hour period, he was in the custody of Navy SEALs, the CIA and U.S. military police, yet no one has been held accountable. Following months reviewing thousands of secret military and CIA documents obtained by NPR and interviews with eyewitnesses, McChesney reveals how Manadel Al Jamadi underwent physical beatings, beginning with his capture and through the interrogation processes. Al Jamadi was transferred from the custody of Navy SEALS - whose platoon leader was court-martialed on these charges but later acquitted - to the CIA, military police and another CIA team. Eyewitnesses interviewed report that Al Jamadi told his captors "I'm dying" and was suffering with labored breathing, although others deny he uttered those words and was physically capable of continuing the interrogation.

An NPR review of logs shows that Al Jamadi was a "ghost detainee," never formally checked in to Abu Ghraib. McChesney also examines conflicting recollections about whether medics were called when the detainee appeared to be in extreme difficulty, although he reports where the accounts differ. Finally, an expert provides analysis of the military autopsy.

Editors of the investigation are Philip Bruce and Ellen Weiss.

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.