RICHARD BOYD BARRETT TD SPEAKING IN DAIL AT 6PM TODAY ABOUT CONCERNS OVER COMPANY ACCUSED OF INVOLVEMENT IN INTERROGATION AT ABU GHRAIB PRISON IN IRAQ

On Tuesday, 29 March in the Dail, Richard Boyd Barrett TD asked the Taoiseach to make a statement in relation to the company CACI UK who will be providing the hardware and software required for processing the returned census forms aswell as providing on-site support for the CSO.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD asked the Taoiseach to confirm whether this firm is a foreign based company CACI (UK), and whether he is aware that serious allegations have been made against the parent company, CACI in the US, that it was involved in torture and interrogation on behalf of the US military in Abu Ghraib prison and other US run prisons in Iraq. The Taoiseach did not answer on Tuesday and Deputy Boyd Barrett has successfully moved the question again and it will be debated at 6pm today. CACI International claims on its website to provide “professional services and IT solutions needed to prevail in the areas of defense, intelligence, homeland security”. Amnesty International in a report in 2004 stated that “At Abu Ghraib in late 2003, private contractors, about 30 in all, made up half the interrogation teams.” In May 2005, Seymour Hersh’s article in The New Yorker revealed that Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison were being tortured and that interrogators employed by CACI were involved. Two CACI employees are reported to have been named in a secret U.S. Army report about the abuse. CACI is currently trying to block lawsuits brought against it by former Abu Ghraib prisoners by claiming “official immunity” and to date, the legal actions concern whether CACI has civil immunity. In 2009 the US court of appeals ruled that CACI fell under the US military chain of command and thus had government contractor immunity. The supreme court is considering the case. There has been no ruling on the actions of the CACI employees. Some concerned members of the public are asking if they should fill out the census form at all. Richard Boyd Barrett TD said, “Serious questions need to be asked about the use of a company who has allegations of torture against it having access to sensitive and personal information about ordinary citizens. The census is effectively a database of all the information the state has on the citizens of the country”.