SPC Jeremy Sivits Cooperates, Details Abuse

As anticipated, Prison guard Spc. Jeremy Sivits, is cooperating with authorities in exchange for more lenient treatment in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The Washington Post obtained copies of his statements, and the AP reports:

[Sivits] took photos of abuse at the Abu Ghraib detention center in Iraq, described soldiers laughing and joking as they beat, stripped and sexually humiliated detainees, according to newspaper reports....

He said the mistreatment was not authorized by higher-ups in the chain of command. "Our command would have slammed us," he said. "They believe in doing the right thing. If they saw what was going on, there would have been hell to pay."

The other charged guards tell a different story:

The other guards facing charges have said they acted on orders from superiors or from military intelligence, and all six have declared their innocence.

Sivits claims:

Sivits described Graner as one of the ringleaders. The former Pennsylvania prison guard was joking, laughing, angered and "acting like he was enjoying it," Sivits said. He said Graner once punched a detainee in the head so hard the man fell unconscious. Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II forced naked detainees to masturbate, showing them how to do it "right", and seemed to enjoy watching the prisoners beaten, Sivits said. Sivits said Sgt. Javal Davis threw himself on a pile of prisoners and "then stomped on either the fingers or toes of the detainees," as they screamed in pain.

Lawyers for the other charged guards say Sivits is not credible, lying and just saying what the investigators want to hear to get himself a sweeter deal.

Update: The Washington Post profiles Jeremy Sivits.

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