Sunday, January 16, 2005

A just sentence for Graner -- but an unjust world

Graner Gets 10 Years for Abuse at Abu Ghraib (
On the night shift at One-Alpha, Graner said, the Army assigned two low-ranking reservists to guard 80 to 100 prisoners, ranging from common criminals to veteran terrorists. He showed a picture of the guards' cellblock 'office' -- a closet-size space surrounded by sandbags to protect against the guns and grenades that he said were regularly smuggled to the prisoners.

Graner said the guards were told to 'terrorize' the inmates to make it easier for CIA agents and military intelligence officers to question them.

'They would say . . . give this prisoner 30 seconds to eat,' Graner recalled. 'It's pitch black in your cell. I shine a light in your eyes to blind you. I haul you out, naked, and I hand you the [packed lunch] and the whole time you're trying to eat I'm screaming at you. Then time's up. We gave you the opportunity to eat. You just didn't eat.' ...

...Graner named a series of Army officers, ranking from lieutenant to full colonel, who gave orders, he said, to mistreat prisoners -- particularly those described as "intelligence holds" who were believed to have information about the Iraqi insurgency that grew up after the fall of Baghdad. Those he named included Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade in charge of the prison; Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, the senior Military Intelligence officer; Capt. Donald J. Reese, commander of the 372nd Military Police Company; Capt. Christopher Brinson, platoon leader; and 1st Lt. Lewis Raeder, platoon leader in the military police command.
Graner deserves his 10 years. So, probably, do the people he's named. Problem is, so does Rumsfeld. And maybe, so does Bush.

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