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Charles Graner Update: Defense Witnesses Help Prosecution

This can't be good for Charles Graner, who began the defense portion of his trial today on charges he abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. His defense witnesses are scoring points for the prosecution:

Army Spc. Charles Graner had a habit of disobeying orders from his military police superiors while serving as a guard at Abu Ghraib prison, according to testimony Wednesday from the first witness for the defense.

Master Sgt. Brian Lipinski, then the top noncommissioned officer in the 372nd Military Police Company, said under cross-examination that Graner wore his hair too long, altered his uniform in violation of regulations and refused to stay away from Pfc. Lynndie England despite being repeatedly told to do so.

"He just didn't like to follow orders," said prosecutor Maj. Michael Holley asked Lipinski. "That's true, sir," Lipinski said. "He wants to do his own thing?" Holley said. "Yes, sir," the sergeant responded.

It gets worse for Graner:

Lipinski also testified that Graner initially lied about the cause of face and neck injuries suffered by a detainee in November 2003.

Graner and then-Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick told Lipinski and an officer that the detainee tripped on a pile of rubble in the prison, the witness said. But later Graner admitted that he slammed the prisoner against the wall, Lipinski said. The impact was hard enough to leave a smear of blood on the wall. Lipinski said Graner was warned then about his conduct and told that leaders of the 372nd would be watching him. The warning came after the offenses Graner is charged with, according to prosecutors.

Graner's defense is he was following orders and he thought the orders were lawful. The defense also recalled Ivan Frederick, who provided some damaging testimony as well.

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  • They obviously were not watching him too closely from the beginning.

    Re: Charles Graner Update: Defense Witnesses Help (none / 0) (#2)
    by Darryl Pearce on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 12:31:48 PM EST
    Wow! Graner's one bad apple*. . . . * How's the barrel?

    Re: Charles Graner Update: Defense Witnesses Help (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 12:42:15 PM EST
    Charles Graner had a habit of disobeying orders from his military police superiors while serving as a guard at Abu Ghraib prison, according to testimony Wednesday from the first witness for the defense.
    So I suppose he was ordered to comfort the prisoners and make them feel better, before he went off the deep end (on his own volition)and stacked them into pyramids.

    Graner belongs at the bottom of the dirt pile and has certainly earned severe punishment. Hopefully he will receive it. He is a disgrace not only to his uniform, but to the American people and our country.

    LoL At least at the bottom of the pyramid!

    Graner is a disgrace to this country and to all military personnel. I'm betting he gets a minimum of 10 years! What do you think?

    I bet he will get close to the max. My guess is 15 years at Levenworth. The United States will want to prove to the muslim world that this is being taken very seriously.

    I think he will get 10 years but that Bush will pardon him when he leaves office.

    Graner, schmaner. Let's see an officer be charged for some of the "legitimate" torture incident to navigation. Spare us this indignation over what a few "bad apples" did and let's hear from someone who did rely on the memos from Gonzales, Bybee, etc. down the chain of command. Graner and Lynnde England, as disgusting as what they did is, are just the enlisted men fall guys. They didn't try enlisted men as war criminals at Nuremberg, did they?

    "...incident to [navigation??] interrogation at Abu Gharib, Gitmo, Baghram, etc....

    Gee, this almost seems like it's staged to make Graner look like a loose cannon who did this entirely on his own.

    Re: Charles Graner Update: Defense Witnesses Help (none / 0) (#12)
    by cp on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 09:01:16 PM EST
    actually jackl, they did try enlisted men at nuremburg. several concentration camp guards were tried for crimes against humanity, for their part in the "final solution". however, most were either found not guilty, or given far less severe sentences than their superiors, because it was recognized that, for the most part, they probably were just following orders. same thing with japanese pow camp guards in the pacific theatre. the officers were hung, the enlisted got jail time. of course, the german army, under the control of hitler and the nazis, was, i hope, a far cry from our military, and a soldier in our army doesn't risk an immediate bullet to the brain for refusing to follow clearly illegal orders. i hope. graner has a civilian history of similar activity as a prison guard. a pattern if you will. frankly, he should never have been in a uniform, other than prison denims, in the first place. obviously, the psychological tests used by the army, to keep people like him out, failed miserably.

    Graner was an attack dog for the Military Intelligence people. The Taguba report makes it clear that Graner and others were following orders from above. The "bad apples" angle is just as big a fraud as the WMD. This thing goes up the chain of command right up to the Prez, who was and still is under the influence of the Neocons.

    Re: Charles Graner Update: Defense Witnesses Help (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 09:39:26 AM EST
    Bush would never pardon this guy. Only bluebloods get pardons.

    "He just didn't like to follow orders," said prosecutor Maj. Michael Holley asked Lipinski. "That's true, sir," Lipinski said. "He wants to do his own thing?" Holley said. "Yes, sir," the sergeant responded. Graner was doing what he was told to do, and being the racist thug that he was, he fully enjoyed it. But the important thing to remember here is that he was ordered to do what he did. From the Taguba Report: SPC Sabrina Harman, 372nd MP Company, stated in her sworn statement regarding the incident where a detainee was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis, “that her job was to keep detainees awake.” She stated that MI was talking to CPL Grainer. She stated: “MI wanted to get them to talk. It is Grainer and Frederick’s job to do things for MI and OGA to get these people to talk.” SGT Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company, stated in his sworn statement as follows: “I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section, wing 1A being made to do various things that I would question morally. In Wing 1A we were told that they had different rules and different SOP for treatment. I never saw a set of rules or SOP for that section just word of mouth. The Soldier in charge of 1A was Corporal Granier. He stated that the Agents and MI Soldiers would ask him to do things, but nothing was ever in writing he would complain (sic).” When asked why the rules in 1A/1B were different than the rest of the wings, SGT Davis stated: “The rest of the wings are regular prisoners and 1A/B are Military Intelligence (MI) holds.” When asked why he did not inform his chain of command about this abuse, SGT Davis stated: “ Because I assumed that if they were doing things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines, someone would have said something. Also the wing belongs to MI and it appeared MI personnel approved of the abuse.” SGT Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said he stated: “Loosen this guy up for us.” Make sure he has a bad night.” “Make sure he gets the treatment.” He claimed these comments were made to CPL Granier and SSG Frederick. Finally, SGT Davis stated that (sic): “the MI staffs to my understanding have been giving Granier compliments on the way he has been handling the MI holds. Example being statements like, “Good job, they’re breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They’re giving out good information, Finally, and Keep up the good work .

    Free Sgt. Graner!!!!! He should be awarded The Medal of Honor. No Justice, No Peace!!!!