Friday, April 30, 2004

Soldier being prosecuted for abusing Iraqi prisoners a whistleblower? 

Certainly that would be entirely consistent with Bush Up-Is-Downism and vengefulness against perceived enemies.

A soldier facing a court-martial for his role in the alleged abuse of Iraqi war prisoners says commanders ignored his requests to set out rules for treating POWs and scolded him for questioning the inmates' harsh treatment.

Army Reserves Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick wfrote that Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad lacked the humane standards of the Virginia state prison where he worked in civilian life, according to a journal he started after military investigators first questioned him in January.

The Iraqi prisoners were sometimes confined naked for three consecutive days without toilets in damp, unventilated cells with floors 3 feet by 3 feet, Frederick wrote in materials obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

"When I brought this up with the acting BN (battalion) commander, he stated, 'I don't care if he has to sleep standing up.' That's when he told my company commander that he was the BN commander and for me to do as he says," Frederick wrote.

The writings were supplied by Frederick's uncle, William Lawson, who said Frederick wanted to document what was happening to him. Lawson and Martha Frederick, the sergeant's wife, said Frederick was being made a scapegoat for commanders who gave him no guidance on managing hundreds of POWs with just a handful of ill-trained, poorly equipped troops
(via AP)

Way to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, guys. Especially since the Islamic world has TV, and abuse of Iraqi prisoners is a top story.

UPDATE Alert reader 56K asks a pertinent question:

Dear Billy Graham:

Is it acceptabe in the eyes of the Lord for the US occupation troops to torture Iraqi prisoners?

If not, why are you silent?

Yours in Christ,

UPDATE Atrios points out that private contractors were supervising the interrogation of prisoners. Yech. All this was sadly predicatable. See a Republic of Mercenaries.

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