Saturday, October 23, 2004

Coverup at Abu Ghraib?

Looks like it. (link)

The judge ordered the soldiers, Specialist Charles Graner and Sgt. Javal Davis, to stand trial in Baghdad early next year. Lawyers for the two men had sought immunity grants for officers, including Col. Thomas Pappas, the head of the military intelligence brigade at the prison, in an effort to show that their clients had been acting under orders.

"He reasonably and honestly believes he had been acting lawfully," said one of Mr. Graner's lawyers, Guy Womack. "The orders had been given to him by his superiors in the military police chain of command, military intelligence and civilian intelligence."

The judge, Col. James Pohl, rejected those requests. He also rejected an effort by Mr. Davis's lawyers to interview Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Stephen Cambone, the under secretary of defense for intelligence. One of Mr. Davis's lawyers, Paul Bergrin, said interviews of four generals, including Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former American commander in Iraq, showed they had had detailed conversations with Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cambone about interrogation tactics.

The generals "while they were in Iraq, had meetings with Rumsfeld and Cambone and had explicit conversations about actionable intelligence and improving interrogation techniques," Mr. Bergrin told Agence France-Presse, which provided the pool report for Friday's hearing.

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