Col. Donn said the coup would lead to military tribunals…


Richard Moore


Could this be the beginning of such a tribunal, timed to go on the air 
just before the election?


    "No date for a trial has been set, but Womack told
      reporters he did not believe it would begin before October..."


 Judge: Abu Ghraib Prison May Not Be Destroyed
 By The Associated Press

 Monday 21 June 2004

Baghdad - Defense lawyers for soldiers on trial in the
Iraqi prisoner abuse case won permission Monday to question
two top U.S. generals, and the military judge ordered that
the Abu Ghraib prison not be torn down because it is a
crime scene.

The judge also refused to move the trials of Spc.
Charles A. Graner Jr., Sgt. Javal S. Davis and Staff Sgt.
Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II outside Iraq.

The judge, Col. James Pohl, left open the possibility of
calling other senior figures if the defense could show
their testimony was relevant - which Guy Womack, the
civilian lawyer for Graner, said the lawyers intended to

Womack said outside the pretrial hearing that there was
"a good chance" he would seek to question Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld. He said he doubted he would try to depose
President Bush, although "certainly we will be considering

Civil lawyers for Davis and Graner won permission to
seek testimony from the top U.S. general in Iraq, Lt. Gen.
Ricardo Sanchez and from the chief of the U.S. Central
Command, Gen. John Abizaid.

Davis' civil lawyer, Paul Bergrin, has also said he
wants to question Bush and Rumsfeld about the prisoner
abuse, though he did not formally present a request in

"We would like to interview Bush because we know as a
matter of fact that President Bush changed the rules of
engagement for intelligence acquisition," Bergrin said

Lawyers for Davis and Graner also sought unsuccessfully
to have the trial moved to the United States or Germany.
However, Pohl said he might reconsider his ruling if future
events in Iraq precluded a fair trial.

No date for a trial has been set, but Womack told
reporters he did not believe it would begin before October,
because it would take time to put the case together,
particularly given the difficulty in questioning witnesses
and other security difficulties now present in Iraq.

After the pretrial hearing in Baghdad, lawyers for the
three defendants said their clients were following orders
by senior officers and military intelligence.

"We can't have American soldiers in a war zone
questioning the legality of orders," Womack told reporters.

Pohl postponed a pretrial hearing for Frederick until
July 23, after his civilian lawyer failed to appear and the
defendant refused to waive his right to co-counsel.

Pohl declared the Abu Ghraib prison a crime scene and
said it could not be destroyed prior to a verdict. Bush had
offered to dismantle Abu Ghraib to help remove the stain of
torture and abuse from the new Iraq - an offer Iraqi
officials had already dismissed, saying it would be a waste
of the building. Saddam Hussein used Abu Ghraib to torture
and murder his opponents.

Bergrin told reporters during a recess that
lower-echelon troops at the prison had worked under intense
pressure from their commanders and the CIA and were using
"Israeli methods" - including nudity - known to work
against Arab prisoners.

The three are among seven soldiers accused of abusing
prisoners. One of them, Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits, pleaded
guilty last month and was sentenced to a year in prison.

The hearings took place in the Baghdad Convention Center
in the heavily guarded Green Zone, the nerve center of the
American-run occupation of Iraq. U.S. authorities hope the
proceedings will convince Iraqis that the United States
does not tolerate abuses of civil liberties.

Davis' military lawyer, Capt. Scott Dunn, failed to win
an order to reopen the Article 32 investigation, which
would have in effect dismissed the current charges. Dunn
had argued that the military failed to make available a
witness during the Article 32 proceedings, which ended with
a recommendation for court martial.

However, the judge granted a request by Bergrin to
declassify all parts of an Army investigation report
conducted by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba.

As the session began, Dunn, Davis' military lawyer, said
the defense understood that security conditions in Iraq
made it difficult to provide access to some witnesses. He
wanted to question an inmate at Abu Ghraib.

Dunn said his client still had a right to confront his

"We couldn't go to him. They wouldn't bring him to us.
They said it was impossible to obtain any telephone
testimony. We object to not obtaining his testimony at
all," Dunn said.

The Army has argued that a sharp rise in violence around
the Abu Ghraib prison in April, including the siege of
nearby Fallujah, made the area around the detention center
too dangerous. One witness said convoys to and from the
prison were sent out on an emergency basis only and they
required the permission of a colonel or general to meet the
defense request.

The seven soldiers charged in the case were from the
372nd Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit from
Cresaptown, Md. The abuse scandal broke in April when CBS'
"60 Minutes II" broadcast photographs of hooded and naked
prisoners. Since then other photographs showing sexual
humiliation have surfaced in a scandal that has sparked
massive international criticism and undercut the moral
authority of the U.S.-led mission in Iraq.

A hearing for another soldier charged in the scandal,
Pfc. Lynndie England, 21, will be held separately on
Tuesday at Fort Bragg, N.C., where she is now stationed.

The military has not decided whether to refer the cases
against two others - Spc. Sabrina Harman and Pfc. Megan
Ambuhl - to courts-martial.

Graner, of Uniontown, Pa., has been accused of jumping
on several detainees as they were piled on the floor. He is
also charged with stomping the hands and bare feet of
several prisoners and punching one inmate in the temple so
hard that he lost consciousness.

He also faces adultery charges for allegedly having sex
with England last October. He could receive 24 1/2 years in
jail, forfeiture of pay, reduction in rank, and a
dishonorable discharge.

Frederick, of Buckingham, Va., is accused of forcing
prisoners to masturbate, placing naked detainees into a
human pyramid and placing wires on a detainee's hands,
telling him he would be electrocuted if he fell off a box
on which he was forced to stand.

He faces a maximum punishment of 16 1/2 years in
confinement, forfeiture of pay, reduction of rank, and a
dishonorable discharge.

Davis, of Maryland, is accused of maltreating prisoners,
stomping on their hands and feet and putting detainees in a
pile on the floor to be assaulted by other soldiers. He
faces maximum of eight and a half years in jail, forfeiture
of pay, reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge.


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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland
    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in ourselves - not gods, ideologies, leaders, or programs.
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