Tag Archives: Abu Ghraib

Abu Ghraib Still Around

We are years away from court cases that dealt with prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq when several enlisted men were found guilty of abusing prisoners. Cpl. Charles Garner is the last remaining enlisted man who is still serving time for mistreating prisoners, but his case may soon be reviewed. His defense attorney is asking for reconsideration of this case since during the trial the judge refused to allow entry of evidence which revealed that the president of the United States, the vice president of the United States and the Secretary of Defense all defended use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”– the ones for which enlisted men were convicted.

The tragedy of Barack Obama’s administration is failure to have a bipartisan commission investigate the entire Iraq war as well as what happened to prisoners. Back in the 1940s, then President Harry Truman had on his desk a sign saying, “The Buck Stops Here.” As far as Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld are concerned, the sign reads: “The Buck Stops At Enlisted Men Who Carry Out Orders.”

What Obama Does Not Wish World To See!!

A former American general who was involved in researching alleged cases of abuse in Abu Ghraib as well as at other prisons in Iraq indicated the photos President Obama does not want released depict even more vivid examples of abuse by American guards than previously seen by the public. General Antonio Taguiba agrees showing these photos would be damaging to the American war effort. “I am not sure what purpose their release would serrve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops.”

According to the British newspaper, the Telegraph, the photos depict an American soldier raping a female detainee and an American male translator raping a male detainee. It is still unclear who made the photos and who actually has examined them.

These photos eventually will be all over the Internet, given modern communication and the power of blogs. It would be preferable if the American government released them with appropriate apologies to all concerned.

Just Following Orders – So Who Is At Fault?

Right wing pundits are blasting President Obama for releasing Bush administration memos in which top level officials outline the process of torture. However, these same individuals were quite silent when lower level soldiers were placed on trial for abusing prisoners. Col. Janis Karpinski, who was demoted for prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, said the memos show clearly those at the prison were following orders from their superiors. “From the beginning, I’ve been saying these soldiers did not design the techniques on their own, and the soldiers said in their own court martials that ‘we didn’t do this on our own. We were following orders.’”

Colonel Karpinski is clear that what was done at Abu Ghraib shows clearly those responsible were both the soldiers implementing orders and Bush administration officials who gave the orders. We have placed on trial the soldiers, when are Bush and his subordinates placed on trial?

Abu Ghraib Detainees Sue Contractors

Four men who were held in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison have instituted legal action against two security firms, CACI and L-3, for violating their rights as human beings. The law suits were simultaneously brought in Washington, Maryland, Washington and Michigan through the assistance of the Center for Constitutional Rights which is at the forefront of the action. Sa’addon Ali Hameed Ogaldi, who was imprisoned in Abu Ghraib claims he was hidden away to the Red Cross would not know of the torture inflicted upon him by members of the security firms. Attorney Katherine Gallagher, stated bluntly: “Private military contractors and the individuals they employ cannot act with impunity. Contractors must act within the bounds of law and must be held accountable.”

One of the individuals she intends to testify is Timothy Dugan, who was urged by a private in the military to cease abusing prisoners and replied: “I have been doing this for 20 years and I do not need a 20 year-old private telling me how to do my job.” Hopefully, he will be told by the courts of the United States exactly how he should have done his job.

Sunni Attacks Rise In Abu Ghraib Area

There has been a modest but ever increasing rise in the number of attacks on U.S. troops in the Abu Ghraib area of Iraq. Although al-Qaeda has been driven away, a large Sunni resistance remains and is active. Many Sunnis have joined Sons of Iraq, an American sponsored group which is paid to maintain law and order. According to a Stars & Stripes reporter, “moreover, a pair of recent bomb attacks–one of which killed four U.S. soldiers– occurred within a few hundred yards of checkpoints manned by Sons of Iraq forces. Lt. Coplonel Mario Diaz, commander of the infantry battalion in the area, noted:”there’s a latent insurency that is capable of rearing its head.” He has been told by Sons of Iraq leaders about a growing frustration among Sunnis who distrust the Iraq government.

Preesident Bush and General Petraeus insist the surge has been successful in reducing attacks. Colonel Diaz says roadside bombs and small-arms fire are down from the previous year, but they have risen from November and December. Sunnis do not feel a sense of belonging to the Iraq government, and it is a matter of time before they turn toward insurgency. Of course, now they have arms supplied by the Americans to conduct a new series of militant attacks.

Abu Ghraib Probe Bungled Claim Rights Activists

The decision of the US military to throw out the only conviction of an officer for misbeavior in the Abu Ghraib scandal has raised the level of criticism by human rights advocates regarding the failure of the military to conduct a fair investigation. Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, whose conviction was overthrown, admitted many officers and enlisted soldiersdid not face adequate scrutiny in the investigation. He said the probe was “not complete” and a link between Abu Ghraid and conditions in Guantanamo as never pursued. If rough interrogation techniques were taught militay personnel who abused prisoners, Jordan said, “the question at that point is, who’s responsible for that? Is is Donald Rumsfeld? General Sanchez?..I don’t know.”

Colonel Jordan raises important questions that unfortuntely will never be answerd as long as George Bush holds the presidency. At what point do those in top level commands assume responsibility for what occurs on their watch? Why are those at the bottom of the chain of command the only people to be convicted? As Harry Truman used to say about his reponsibility as president, “the buck stops here.” That is a buck that will never appear in the wallet of George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld.