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ABUSE CRISIS: Top brass cleared over abuse charges

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posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 08:09 AM
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Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez has been cleared by the US army, of all allegations regarding prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. Some Democrats are claiming the Pentagon is making regular soldiers into scapegoats in the prisoner abuse scandal.

 



www.guardian.co.uk
The US army has cleared four top officers - including the three-star general who commanded all US forces in Iraq - of all allegations of wrongdoing in connection with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, officials said.

Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, who became the senior commander in Iraq in June 2003, two months after the fall of Baghdad, had been faulted in earlier investigations for leadership lapses that may have contributed to prisoner abuse. He is the highest ranking officer to face official allegations of leadership failures in Iraq, but he has not been accused of criminal violations.

Some Democrats have accused the Pentagon of foisting all the blame onto low-ranking soldiers. In a statement Friday that did not mention specific cases, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, a Virginia Republican, said that as soon as all Pentagon assessments of accountability are complete he will hold a hearing "to examine the adequacy of those reviews" and to hear senior civilian and military officials address the issue.

Gen Sanchez has been at the centre of the Abu Ghraib controversy from its start.

He issued a policy on acceptable interrogation techniques on September 14, 2003, then revised it on October 12, about the time the abuses were happening. The army inspector general found in an investigation last year that the policies were ambiguous and subject to misinterpretation by soldiers.



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I don't know how this works in the US, but when I was in the army the responsibility for getting orders right was with the officers. It's not up to soldiers to interpret their officers commands. The orders should be clear in the first place.

Not that I am particularly surprised he was let off though. The powerful will protect themselves.

[edit on 23/4/05 by gekko]

[edit on 23/4/05 by gekko]




posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 11:23 PM
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Well- kinda.

It is easy to state the that the top officer is responsible (ergo Sec. of Def. or Pres.) but in reality the 'buck' stops somewhere in between.

Sure the prison stuff shouldn't have happened and someone is responsible, but who?

The Sanchez memo should have fried him, it didn't so there were other factors.

There was a female Army Reserve General that visited the prison and was 'unaware' of abuse-
(fall guy #1)

New Yorker
Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. General Karpinski, the only female commander in the war zone, was an experienced operations and intelligence officer who had served with the Special Forces and in the 1991 Gulf War, but she had never run a prison system. Now she was in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists, most of whom, like her, had no training in handling prisoners.

General Karpinski, who had wanted to be a soldier since she was five, is a business consultant in civilian life, and was enthusiastic about her new job. In an interview last December with the St. Petersburg Times, she said that, for many of the Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib, “living conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned that they wouldn’t want to leave.”

A month later, General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army’s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way.

The US Army Reserves are going to take the fall for virtually every ill that occurs in Iraq concerning American military forces.

That is the system and it won't change. Reservists get crummy jobs, wrong headed instructions, goof-off training and no one cares until a fall guy is needed. These guys and gals played weekend warrior for years. Now has come the time to pay the piper.

I have known a lot of dedicated reservists. Many are fine soldiers/sailors/airmen. However, within their ranks are also a bunch of jokesters that thought it was fun playing playing soldier. These goof-off outfits get other people killed or hurt.

No matter what the ex-Marines on ATS say, regular Army would not have acted the way these people did.

As to reservists, many of the forces with MacArthur in the Philippines were reservists.

Some reservist's baloney (in my opinion)


special reports
April 1, 2005—Aiden Delgado, an Army Reservist in the 320th Military Police Company, served in Iraq from April 1, 2003 through April 1, 2004. After spending six months in Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq, he spent six months helping to run the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad. The handsome 23-year-old mechanic was a witness to widespread, almost daily, U.S. war crimes in Iraq. His story contains new revelations about ongoing brutality at Abu Ghraib, information yet to be reported in national media.


hypocrites
Baghdad — A U.S. soldier shot and killed an endangered tiger at the Baghdad zoo after it bit another soldier who had drunkenly reached through the bars of its cage to feed it, a security guard said Saturday.

The soldiers had been drinking beer when they entered the zoo Thursday night after it closed, said the guard, Zuhair Abdul-Majeed. After the man was bit, the other American shot the tiger three times in the head and killed it, he said.




[edit on 24-4-2005 by JoeDoaks]



posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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JoeDoaks; thanks for several good points, nice post.

It is outrageous that the commanders are going to get away with this. I am not saying that the soldiers F-ing up the situation should get away with it, but surely several memos form Rumsfeld and down the chain of command shows that senior heads should roll.

It's going to be interesting to see if the legality of the Iraq war goes to court in the UK or internationally. Documents is appearing, showing that the British government were told that the war could be illegal by their own attorney general only a couple of weeks before the invasion.

Anyone in the US will be safe from arrest by international prosecutors of course, but certain politicians and senior officers could find it difficult to leave the US in years to come...

One can only hope.



 
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