Abu Ghraib Torturers Appeal ‘We Were Scapegoats For Bush’

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Charles Graner the ‘ringleader’ of the abuse at Abu Ghraib is appealing his 10 year Leavenworth sentence and dishonorable discharge. Graner is this guy, pictured with the mother of his child Lynndie England.

The Times Online has this story

Prison guards jailed for abusing inmates at the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq are planning to appeal against their convictions on the ground that recently released CIA torture memos prove that they were scapegoats for the Bush Administration.

The photographs of prisoner abuse at the Baghdad jail in 2004 sparked worldwide outrage but the previous administration, from President Bush down, blamed the incident on a few low-ranking “bad apples” who were acting on their own.

The decision by President Obama to release the memos showed that the harsh interrogation tactics were approved and authorised at the highest levels of the White House.

Graner and his lawyers contend that they were scapegoated by those that crafted torture policy.

Charles Gittins, a lawyer who represents Charles Graner, the ringleader of the guards who is serving a ten-year sentence, said that the memos proved his long-held contention that Graner and the other defendants, including his former lover Lynndie England, could never have invented tactics such as stress positions and the use of dogs on their own.

“Once the pictures came out, the senior officials involved in the decision-making, they knew. They knew they had to have a cover story. It was the ‘bad apples’ led by Charles Graner,” Mr Gittins told The Washington Post.

Ms England, a poorly educated Army reservist, was pictured holding a dog leash attached to a naked detainee, and also pointing at another being forced to masturbate. She was convicted in September 2005 of abusing prisoners and one count of an indecent act. She was sentenced to three years in a military prison and was paroled after 521 days. Shortly after leaving Iraq she gave birth to a son fathered by Graner. She lives in her home state of West Virginia.

521 days? There are marijuana users in jail for longer than that. And even worse are the sentences for those that authorized torture. The ones that said Iraq would be “6 days, 6 weeks.. I doubt six months” and “Mission Accomplished.” They all need to serve at least 521 days. This video I compiled is relevant to about four minutes in.

Eight Miserable Years: Republican Rule 2001-2008

I’ve been following the story of Charles Graner Jr. because of a connection to Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers. Graner, as well as England, were directly supervised by Christopher Brinson, who was reprimanded for his role in ordering torture. Brinson is now employed by the citizens of this nation as chief of staff for Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers. Your tax dollars at work.

Update: This story is burning up the Huffington Post right now with over 2700 comments. Olon has a great comment below about how the whistle blower in the Abu Ghraib case, Sabrina Harmon was thoroughly punished.

Crossposted at the Daily Kos

First post on Docudharma! How is it going guys?


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    • rb137 on May 4, 2009 at 4:20 am

    I agree that others should be punished, too. But damn. It’s hard to be a scapegoat when there is a picture of you signing “thumbs up” right next to a dead guy.

    I’m glad you’re posting over here now, btw.  

  1. Just wandered off on a link-a-thon…. thats an amazing article, that filmmaker in the NYT from May 2008, about Sabrina Harman.

  2. an opinion.

  3. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) makes it crystal clear what to do when given an unlawful order: refuse to carry it out.  Soldiers are under no obligation within American law to obey illegal orders.  In fact, it is their duty to disobey them.  Yes, the torturers were scapegoated so the architects of war crimes could get away with their crimes.  It does not absolve the fucking vermin who carried out the orders to torture.

    • Arctor on May 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    their convictions would and should be reversed on appeal by any court in the land based on the disclosure that the entire chain of command from Sanchez to Bush failed to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence from the military court by not coming forward and revealing the policy memos and Bush’s executive order. Those in the military chain who are still on active duty who failed in this positive responsibility to come forward should be suitably disciplined.  

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