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May 14, 2004

This soldier sacrificed his honor...

...but he at least knows some shame, and that's the first step to regaining his honor.

SPC Jeremy Sivits will plead guilty.

U.S. Soldier Details Iraq Abuse, to Plead Guilty
May 14, 1:47 AM (ET)

...The paper said that Spc. Jeremy Sivits, the first soldier to face a court-martial in the abuse scandal, has told investigators "a harrowing tale" of how guards led by Spc. Charles Graner abused the detainees during nightly rounds.

The Times said that according to documents it had obtained, Sivits claimed Graner was always "joking, laughing ... acting like he was enjoying it."

Sivits, one of seven military police officers facing charges in the case, will plead guilty at a court-martial proceeding next week, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

I'm pretty sure how the barking moonbats are going to spin this.

Sivits, 24, of Hyndman, Pa., admitted in a sworn statement that he photographed the abuse but never reported it, according to the newspaper.

His offer to plead guilty was accepted by the staff judge advocate overseeing his court-martial, according to a memo reviewed by The Washington Post and lawyers representing others charged in the case, the newspaper said. But the paper said it could not be determined to which charge he would plead guilty.

The Times also reported that Sivits' statement implicates five of the other six soldiers accused of abusing detainees at the prison outside Baghdad.

Wait for it.

According to the Times, Sivits said all of the abuse was done without the knowledge of their superiors in the Army chain of command. "Our command would have slammed us," he said, according to documents quoted by the paper.

"They believe in doing the right thing. If they saw what was going on, there would be hell to pay." He said Graner warned him not to say anything, telling him: "You did not see (this)."

Here's going to be the Moonbat spin. "He's lying. He's just saying this to get a light sentence, and he's been coached threatened to do so if he doesn't. It's all lies. Rumsfeld ordered it, and it was taped for George's personal viewing pleasure, just like Hitler watching the films of the July Plot conspirators being hanged and beheaded."

More reasonable people will be certainly able to argue that he's doing what he can to save his butt some pain. But I (of course) tend to accept what he says. Still plenty of blame and NCO and Officer bodies to stand up in front of the wall of professional ruin over this.

Graner's attorney, Houston lawyer Guy Womack, was not immediately available for comment but has said, according to the Times, that Graner and other soldiers were under pressure by military interrogators to "soften up" the detainees to get intelligence.

This isn't over, not by a long shot. It's entirely possible that the MI people did recommend that the soldiers do that - soften up the prisoners. If they did, it was also incumbent upon them to supervise the process. Which they either did not - or they didn't look very closely, deliberately, or otherwise.

Which means there are a few more heads waiting for pikes. For either gross dereliction, or criminal conduct.

Because even if these soldiers did this as an extracurricular activity, twisting their instructions to their own sadistic pleasure - the Chain of Command is still responsible, both the direct chain up the MP side, and the MI chain on the interrogator side.

Sorry, BG Karpinski - nothing I've seen yet relieves you and your prison commander of responsiblity here. The only question for me from evidence thus far is whether it's dereliction, gross dereliction, or criminal. I lean towards gross dereliction for the prison commander and simple dereliction for the BG. Recognizing I haven't heard the whole story - but caveating that nothing Karpinski has said changes my mind.

The whole article is here.