Wednesday, August 29, 2007

a jury of your peeps

Phew, I am glad we are finally done with that nasty Abu Ghraib business. It looks as though every responsible officer in the case has been let off the hook. Hurrah!

A military jury acquitted an Army officer on Tuesday of charges that he failed to properly train and supervise enlisted soldiers involved in detainee interrogations in 2003 at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where prisoners were subjected to brutal treatment.

In the court-martial at Fort Meade, Md., the jury of nine Army colonels and a brigadier general found the officer, Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, guilty of only one lesser offense, that of disobeying an order to refrain from discussing the case.

Colonel Jordan, 51, was the only officer to stand trial on charges related to the detainee-abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, which led to prolonged investigations and charges against several soldiers.

Colonel Jordan’s acquittal on most charges means that no officers have been found criminally responsible for the abuses at the prison.

. . .

John Sifton, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the verdict was “a disappointment but not a surprise,” given the meager case he said prosecutors presented to the jury of senior officers. Mr. Sifton said prosecutors completely failed to muster evidence, including military case law, to show that Colonel Jordan, even if he did not participate in or know about abuses, was, as a senior officer at Abu Ghraib, responsible for abuses that occurred there.

“The prosecutors did not seem to understand the concept of command responsibility as a legal issue,” Mr. Sifton said, adding that other military officers, not just Colonel Jordan, should have been brought to trial for their roles in commanding detention operations in which detainees were abused.
In other news, a jury composed of Hank Greenberg, Bernie Ebbers, Dick Grasso, and Dennis Kozlowski agreed to grant Jeff Skilling early parole for good behavior and time served. Justice is served! Sweet, tasty justice . . .

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