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Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial

Closing arguments were this morning in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse trial of Charles Graner. The jury received copies of e-mails Graner sent to family and friends, joking about the pain he inflicted:

[Prosecutor] Graveline used some of Graner's own e-mails as evidence of how much he enjoyed the pain he inflicted on detainees. In one e-mail, he described beating on prisoners as "a good upper-body workout, but hard on the hands." The e-mail messages were given to jurors Tuesday. The New York Times, which said it got them from a person close to the defense, reported that they were sent to Graner's family and friends, including his young children.

"The guys give me hell for not getting any pictures while I was fighting this guy," said the message, titled "just another dull night at work," with the photograph of the howling, bound, bleeding detainee, according to the Times. The paper also reported that Graner responded to an e-mail message about a Take Your Children to Work Day event, "how about send a bastard to hell day?" attaching a photograph of a detainee's head bloodied beyond recognition.

A photo of him stitched a detainee's wound had the note, "Things may have gotten a bit bad when we were asking him a couple of questions. O well," and a message with a similar photo read, "Not only was I the healer, I was the hurter. O well life goes on," the Times reported.

None of this fazed Graner's attorney, Guy Womack, who argued:

Womack said there was nothing wrong with stripping what the prisoners, whom he termed "hardened terrorists," and stacking them into a pyramid to control them. "They did it in a safe manner so nobody would get hurt ... It was an ingenuous move," he said. "If there was anything wrong, it was that they took a picture and they were smiling."

We'll see how long the jury stays out.

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  • Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 11:18:09 AM EST
    He must be an ambassador of American values in Iraq. I guess Bush will decorate him.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 12:17:19 PM EST
    What a nice man. A veritable posterboy for a plethora of causes including Americans Saving the Happy Iraqis. /sarcasm.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 12:22:55 PM EST
    This guy may very well be a patsy for the truly guilty(i.e. Rummy, Smirky McChimpster, "The Scowl",aka Dick Cheney, and Albi G.), but he should have the boom lowered on him. The bits excerpted from his e-mails are incredibly disgusting to any civilized individual.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#4)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 12:28:32 PM EST
    "He's the son I never had." GWB

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#5)
    by wishful on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 12:36:32 PM EST
    So this is what we've come to...sigh... Like it or not, this guy represents us. And apparently he is not alone. Just ask Albert Gonzales. Oh I forgot, we already did, and he did not outright denounce torture.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 12:43:40 PM EST
    This guy sounds like a candidate for the Bush Medal of Freedom.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#7)
    by Richard Aubrey on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 01:08:24 PM EST
    Unfortunately, guys, he didn't make any references to orders from above. Too bad, huh?

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#8)
    by Adept Havelock on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 01:51:37 PM EST
    Let's see. Bush gives the Medal of Freedom to civilians who f**k up in the worst way. This guy deserves at least a DSC..maybe even the CMOH!!

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#9)
    by john horse on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 03:21:58 PM EST
    So its ok to shackle prisoners hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor for 18 to 24 hours and leave them to urinate and defecate on themselves. Its ok to do anything to prisoners short of "death, organ failure…serious impairment of bodily functions" or prolonged and severe mental illness. Its ok to strap a detainee down, wrap his face in a wet towel with dripping water on it to produce the sensation of drowning. Its ok to humiliate prisoners by making them stand around naked and insult their religion by ripping out pages of the Koran in front of them. The list of what is permissible goes on... However, its not ok to have naked prisoners simulate oral or anal sexual acts. Its not ok to stack naked prisoners in a "cheerleader" pyramid. Here we draw the line. Could someone explain the distinction between what is permissible and what is not permissible? As far as I can tell, the only distinction between the two is that Rush Limbaugh says that the later gets him excited.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 03:31:05 PM EST
    You obviously haven't read the comments on the previous Grainer postings of the last few days, john horse, or you would know that our right wing watchdogs have declared that "boys will be boys" and NONE of it is torture, "just" abuse of "hardened terrorists." And we're all taking a second look at cheerleaders - possibly hiring them as interrogation advisers.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 12:38:28 AM EST
    You can write and talk all you want about this little guy and yell he is evil as hell, but he is still a political Scapegoat for bush. I Think the guy had the idea for was doing the right thing, sad, sad world.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Jan 15, 2005 at 11:01:46 AM EST
    Unfortunately, guys, he didn't make any references to orders from above. Too bad, huh? Richard Aubrey, unfortunately for you, the Taguba Report does: 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 Graner. She stated: “MI wanted to get them to talk. It is Graner and Frederick’s job to do things for MI and OGA to get these people to talk.” Mr. Adel L. Nakhla, a US civilian contract translator was questioned about several detainees accused of rape. He observed (sic): “They (detainees) were all naked, a bunch of people from MI, the MP were there that night and the inmates were ordered by SGT Graner and SGT Frederick ordered the guys while questioning them to admit what they did. They made them do strange exercises by sliding on their stomach, jump up and down, throw water on them and made them some wet, called them all kinds of names such as “gays” do they like to make love to guys, then they handcuffed their hands together and their legs with shackles and started to stack them on top of each other by insuring that the bottom guys penis will touch the guy on tops butt.” SGT Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company, stated in his sworn statement as follows:...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).” ...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 . Stuff like that.” SPC Jason Kennel, 372nd MP Company, was asked if he were present when any detainees were abused. He stated: “I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes.” SPC Neil A Wallin, 109th Area Support Medical Battalion, a medic testified that: “Cell 1A was used to house high priority detainees and cell 1B was used to house the high risk or trouble making detainees. During my tour at the prison I observed that when the male detainees were first brought to the facility, some of them were made to wear female underwear, which I think was to somehow break them down.” The report also states: Specifically, I suspect that COL Thomas M. Pappas, LTC Steve L. Jordan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, and Mr. John Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and strongly recommend immediate disciplinary action as described in the preceding paragraphs as well as the initiation of a Procedure 15 Inquiry to determine the full extent of their culpability.

    Re: Graner's E-Mails Go to Jury in Abuse Trial (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 16, 2005 at 10:23:44 AM EST
    I still think he would make a wonderful son-in-law for Jim or Cliffie. What do you think, guys? Got any daughters you want to introduce to Mr. Graner. I understand he likes to go fishing. Go fishing with him and get back to us, please.