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First soldier pleads guilty to Iraqi prisoner abuse

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  • First soldier pleads guilty to Iraqi prisoner abuse

    excerpt courtesy of the NY times.
    Let's hope we keep get whoever was at the top of this idea!! We don't need to revert to such tactics to win the fight!


    First Soldier Pleads Guilty in Iraq Prisoner-Abuse Case
    By DEXTER FILKINS

    Published: May 19, 2004


    BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 19 Specialist Jeremy C. Sivits, the first person to stand trial in connection with the prisoner mistreatment scandal, pleaded guilty here today to abuse charges and was sentenced to the maximum one year in prison, reduction in rank and a bad-conduct discharge from the military.

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    "I would like to apologize to the Iraqi people and to the detainees," he said during the special court-martial. "I want to apologize to the Army, to my unit, to the country. I want to apologize to my family. I let everybody down. This is not me. I should have protected the detainees. I've learned a huge lesson: You have to stand up for what is right."

    Specialist Sivits, 24, a military police reservist, was found guilty of two counts of mistreating prisoners, dereliction of duty for failing to protect them from abuse, cruelty and forcing a prisoner "to be positioned in a pile on the floor to be assaulted by other soldiers," the military said after the proceedings, which were open to members of the news media, including reporters from Arab news services, but not representatives of human rights groups who had asked to attend.

    American military officials said Specialist Sivits had agreed to testify against others under a plea agreement. His sentence will ultimately be reviewed by Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, who can approve, reduce or vacate it. Specialist Sivits's conviction and sentence will also be automatically reviewed by the Army's legal branch.

    According to his testimony, Specialist Sivits, who said he was sent to Iraq as a mechanic, was only briefly involved in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, and as a result of happenstance.

    On Nov. 8, he said he was putting gasoline in a generator at Abu Ghraib prison when he struck up a conversation with Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick II, one of three other soldiers who have been ordered to stand trial in connection with the case.

    Sergeant Frederick led him to a cellblock where he saw prisoners being abused, the defendant said, adding that five soldiers, in addition to Sergeant Frederick, were present: Specialist Megan M. Ambuhl, Sgt. Javal S. Davis, Pfc. Lynndie R. England, Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr. and Specialist Sabrina Harman.

    Specialist Sivits said that on that same day he witnessed prisoners some naked, some hooded stacked in a human pyramid, and saw Sergeant Frederick punch a prisoner so hard that he thought it had caused the man to go into cardiac arrest.

    He said he took a photograph of Specialist Graner with a prisoner in a headlock, faking a punch.

    Specialist Sivits had earlier told investigators about brutal conduct by Sergeant Frederick and Specialist Graner, who, in turn, called him a liar.

    "I should not have taken that picture," Specialist Sivits said. "I love the Army. I love the flag. All I ever wanted was to be an American soldier. I want to stay in. I think I can teach other soldiers the difference between right and wrong. I am truly sorry. I am truly sorry for what I did."

    At least twice during his testimony, Specialist Sivits choked up, apparently holding back tears. He was contrite and apologetic throughout rigorous, extended questioning by the presiding judge, Col. James Pohl.

    "You knew it was wrong to treat people like that," the judge said. "You knew it was wrong to treat people that way, didn't you?"

    "Yes, your honor," Specialist Sivits replied.

    "No doubt in your mind?"

    "No doubt in my mind," the defendant responded.

    But Specialist Sivits said that one of the other soldiers participating in the abuses he said he could not remember who said the soldiers had been told by people with military intelligence, commonly referred to as M.I., to mistreat the officials.

    "They told me later they were asked to do this," the defendant said.

    "Who told you that?" the judge asked.

    "One of the six," Specialist Sivits replied. "They told me they were told by M.I. to keep doing what they were doing. It was working. They were talking."
    All your ACG posts are belong to us!

  • #2
    Is it true that there are lawyers out there looking at the Geneva Convention and trying to find a possible loophole on treating the prisoners?

    I thought I heard that if they are considered terrorists that they are not covered under the Geneva Convention.

    Is the Geneva Convention only for soldiers of warring nations?

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    • #3
      and civilians... I don't believe there is much in it regarding non-state actors acting as 'terrorists' or being held as 'detainees' but uniformed soldiers of nations at war are explicitly covered... now are Iraqis fighting American occupation 'soldiers at war' (if in uniform?... though most aren't anyways)... got me, but I don't have an agenda to forward, rules to twist, conventions to ignore, or info to beat... get out of 'prisoners'.
      If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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      • #4
        Are there any official rules by which non-military prisoners are to be treated? If there aren't, some should be created and enforced.
        "You realize that if I could actually purchase a weapon, I would stab you with it now?" --Roy, Order of the Stick #136

        Governor of South Florida, Cuba, Louisiana, Manhattan, Hawaii, Illinois, Moon and Mars. Chief of Cybernetics Div., S.INC

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jguritza
          Is it true that there are lawyers out there looking at the Geneva Convention and trying to find a possible loophole on treating the prisoners?

          I thought I heard that if they are considered terrorists that they are not covered under the Geneva Convention.

          Is the Geneva Convention only for soldiers of warring nations?
          good points. What does the Geneva convention say about treatment of terrorists? anyone know?

          downside is that the images will put (or already have put) the Iraqi people against the U.S.!
          All your ACG posts are belong to us!

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