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US soldier jailed for Iraq abuses

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US soldier jailed for Iraq abuses

A US court martial in Baghdad has sentenced a soldier to eight months in jail for maltreating and conspiring to maltreat Iraqi detainees.

Specialist Armin J Cruz had confessed to forcing three naked inmates at Abu Ghraib jail to crawl along a floor before making them simulate sex acts.

Cruz, 24, was spotted in a photo taken during abuses committed in October.

He is the eighth American soldier to be charged over the abuses but the first from military intelligence.

In addition to the jail sentence - four months short of the maximum term - the court reduced Cruz to the rank of private and gave him a bad conduct discharge.

Cruz is filing an appeal against the sentence.

'Remorseful'

At the trial, Cruz testified that he had gone to a cell in the prison one night in October and ordered the prisoners to be stripped and then took part in actual abuse.

The prosecution said the actions of Cruz and others tarnished the image of the US army and of the nation and would make future enemies readier to fight them.

But the defence called him an American hero who had made one mistake.

Lawyer Stephen Karns said earlier his client took "full responsibility" for his actions and was "extremely remorseful [with] great sympathy for those who have suffered abuse in the prison".

The US has tried to transform Abu Ghraib since the scandal but questions remain as to how high up the chain of command the abuses were sanctioned, the BBC's Mike Donkin reports from Iraq.

And many Iraqis are unimpressed by the way they say the Americans are judging their own for the Abu Ghraib abuses, he says.

Inquiry calls

The abuses at Abu Ghraib caused outrage around the world when photographs were made public.

The seven others indicted are military police soldiers. One of them, Private Jeremy Sivits, pleaded guilty at a special court martial held in Baghdad in May and was sentenced to a year in prison and other penalties.

Our correspondent says that prisoners now have better conditions and, the army says, interrogation techniques based on fear and degradation are banned.

But most of the 2,700 men detained in Abu Ghraib have been there for months without being charged and can be held indefinitely if considered a security threat.

Iraqis believe sentences, like Cruz's, are so low as to be insulting and they, along with international human rights campaigners, want a full independent inquiry, our correspondent says.

That, they say, should pursue the real story of the events at Abu Ghraib right up the chain of command.

Two US public reports - Schlesinger and Fay - were released this summer. The Fay report found 44 incidents of abuse at Abu Ghraib.

Both reports lay most of the blame for what went on in Abu Ghraib at the feet of the soldiers involved and their local commanders but they also suggest that higher authorities were aware of abuses.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3646748.stm

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8 months thats it!!! He should be chucked away for at least a couple of years and have what he did to the prisoners done to him. Its peopel like that, that deserve to rot. They are scum. Its really sad when human beings do that to other humans.

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well said Inca, I agree with you thumbsup.gif

they think because they are soildes they can do what they like and get away with it, but then again, with a sentence like that, they have

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8 months thats it!!! He should be chucked away for at least a couple of years and have what he did to the prisoners done to him. Its peopel like that, that deserve to rot. They are scum. Its really sad when human beings do that to other humans.

meh 99% of people placed in his situation would have done the same thing

go read up on the Stanford prison experiment for more info

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meh 99% of people placed in his situation would have done the same thing

Strange, I don't remember them allowing the guys the Nuremberg trails that excuse tongue.gif

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i never said we should let him off, i was just saying that 99% of people in that position would do exactly the same thing, even those of us who claim we wouldn't.

that said, the nazis etc were following orders, it was a systemic thing, they were told to do that sort of stuff and they did it. Whereas the Abu Grahib deal had allot more in common with the Stanford Prison experiment.

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Yeah bathory but if you dont agree with it why bother posting and winding up people with your original comment.

Just because you think 99% of people wouldve done the same thing doesnt mean you need to post that typ of comment in such a sarcastic manner implying that you dont think he deserved the sentence.

He deserved more, the only way you deter it in the future is if you severley punish the culprits.

When the British army took a city in India and went on the rampage looting and raping , the then commander of the army ordered every 4rth looter shot , this ensured that it never happened again.

I mean im not saying this type action is what should be taken here , of course i amnt, all im saying is if hed been left to rot in a proson for 3 years do you think any of these idiotic scumbags would do it so readily again.

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Yeah bathory but if you dont agree with it why bother posting and winding up people with your original comment.

because of people calling him scum etc when the reality is that anyone of us in that position would have most likely done the exact same thing, quite the moral dilema

yes he should be jailed because he broke the law, but i'm weary about taking a moral high ground after studying experiments such as the stanford prison experiement at uni.

the only way you deter it in the future is if you severley punish the culprits.

of course, if you enforce the concept that something is wrong and it shouldn't be done, then it won't happen. One university did a similar experiment to Stanford where the only rule was that the 'wardens' couldn't physically abuse the 'prisoners'. No physical abuse occured, however plenty of psychological abuse etc did as well as abuse which didn't involve 'wardens' physically touching the prisoners.

do you think any of these idiotic scumbags would do it so readily again.

yes they would

you should really go read up on these kind of experiments

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because of people calling him scum etc when the reality is that anyone of us in that position would have most likely done the exact same thing, quite the moral dilema

Your right! blink.gif It was so thoughtless of me to call SS and SA scum, I was clearing forgetting their moral dilema.

When the British army took a city in India and went on the rampage looting and raping , the then commander of the army ordered every 4rth looter shot , this ensured that it never happened again.

I mean im not saying this type action is what should be taken here , of course i amnt, all im saying is if hed been left to rot in a proson for 3 years do you think any of these idiotic scumbags would do it so readily again.

Yeah, but we occupied the world and held it for a few hundred years, Ithink its safe to say the UK were experts when came to occupation... and the French. thumbsup.gif

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Your right! blink.gif It was so thoughtless of me to call SS and SA scum, I was clearing forgetting their moral dilema.

SS and SA?

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......

OH MY GOD

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oop, i see Nuremberg trials:)

i was trying to work out what connection SS and SA had to the thread

the SS and SA were following orders, they weren't simply thrown into a prison and told to look after some prisoners, its a little more complicated (as well as they were doing more than just physically abusing prisoners)

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the SS and SA were following orders, they weren't simply thrown into a prison and told to look after some prisoners, its a little more complicated (as well as they were doing more than just physically abusing prisoners)

And in Vietnam the US troops killed hundreds of civilians making up excuses like 'better dead than red'

Anyway, the 2 public reports seem to think higher ups were aware of what was going on. Maybe they were taking order. huh.gif

I must admit, I don't have a problem with torture to get information from terrorists etc, but this wasn't terture for info... this was sexual... and for fun blink.gif

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And in Vietnam the US troops killed hundreds of civilians making up excuses like 'better dead than red'

Anyway, the 2 public reports seem to think higher ups were aware of what was going on. Maybe they were taking order. huh.gif

I must admit, I don't have a problem with torture to get information from terrorists etc, but this wasn't terture for info... this was sexual... and for fun

what do the US troops killing civilians in Vietnam have to do with this? its a completely different situation, completely different context

Maybe if they could prove it was higher up i would change my opinion

I personally don't have a problem with torture if its known the tortured person is affiliated with whatever terrorist group, regardless, its irrelevant to my point...

Edited by bathory

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what do the US troops killing civilians in Vietnam have to do with this? its a completely different situation, completely different context

Like SS, its an example of people doing evil things under orders.

Maybe if they could prove it was higher up i would change my opinion

Dude their official reports, they're must be something to it.

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