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Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens


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The trial of Abu Ghraib dog handler Sgt. Santos A. Cardona opened today. He is accused of letting his dog bite a detainee, which resulted in the detainee receiving stitches. The actual charges are:

....assault, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees, conspiracy to maltreat detainees and lying to investigators in late 2003 and early 2004. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 16 1/2 years in prison.

Opening statements were held this morning.

Maj. Matthew Miller said in his opening statement that Sgt. Santos A. Cardona harassed prisoners for "nothing more than the entertainment of the accused and the enjoyment of the other corrupt cops serving on the night shift at Abu Ghraib."

But defense attorney Harvey Volver said Cardona, a 32-year-old military policeman from of Fullerton, Calif., followed the law and obeyed orders at a time when the Pentagon was pressing for intelligence and the chain of command at the prison was broken.

Human Rights First attorney Hina Shamsi is attending and the courts martial trial and blogging about it. at the trial. Via e-mail, Human Rights First asks:

Cardona's lawyers are expected to call Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller to the stand. Gen. Miller has been a central figure in much of the detainee abuse scandal, with many questions not fully examined regarding his role and that of the Pentagon in establishing abusive interrogation and detention policies.

It's clear from testimony of other officers that senior leaders bear significant responsibility not only for the abuses at Abu Ghraib, but also throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay. We're hoping you will help us increase public awareness about this lack of accountability - and shine a spotlight on the important proceedings as they unfold this week.

This week we hope to find out: Who ordered what? What was the policy? When were interrogation approaches like the use of dogs, sleep deprivation and nudity authorized or prohibited or permitted? Hopefully we will get some answers.

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  • Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#1)
    by Sailor on Tue May 23, 2006 at 01:24:37 PM EST
    Yeah, but at least he didn't cut off his head[/premptive strike]

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue May 23, 2006 at 03:35:14 PM EST
    Sailor - True. He would have received the same punishment as did those Moslems who beheaded Pearl, Berg and Koda... (sarcasm alert)

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:28:02 PM EST
    Yeah like Miller is going to answer truthfully. Ever seen "Breaker Morant"? Enough of this small fry crap. Arrest the architects of this abomination. I've just read the first 10 pages of Cobra II and I am NOT in a good mood.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#4)
    by Al on Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:49:05 PM EST
    PPJ: Sarcasm alert my foot. You're just saying that so that when someone calls you on that fat racist non-sequitur of yours, you'll whine that you are being misunderstood, that you were merely being "sarcastic". As for the snivelling coward who goes on trial for releasing a dog on a completely helpless detainee, I won't hold my breath expecting the military to mete out those maximum 16 1/2 years he could theoretically get. Everybody knows by now the military protects its cowards and its thugs very carefully. Courts martial are a complete mockery. This idiot should be tried by a proper court.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:18:31 PM EST
    I also doubt this guy will get significant time if he's convicted. It's a shame that the supervisors aren't held accountable.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:56:36 AM EST
    Al - Well, you missed the point. No surprise there. The point was that the beheaders will receive NO punishment. He will. Now, tell me how saying the above is "racist?" Heck, you don't even know the definition of the word, or its proper use. You write:
    Everybody knows by now the military protects its cowards and its thugs very carefully. Courts martial are a complete mockery. This idiot should be tried by a proper court.
    So we just throw away the UCMJ? They are all just mockery? A proper court? And you call this guy an "idiot?" Look in the mirror.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:05:44 AM EST
    He is accused of letting his dog bite a detainee, which resulted in the detainee receiving stitches. Stiches!!! Oh my GOD... hang him from the highest tree! He was suppose to bring him hot chocolate & cookies... read him a bedtime story...etc. After all, he's innocent & was only there because we are a mean & evil empire trying to wipe his kind out. Al... As for the snivelling coward who goes on trial for releasing a dog on a completely helpless detainee, Yes...as we all know (and the liberal left keeps shouting) all our boys in the military are cowards. Just ask Bill Mahr. Now, those guys that fly planes into buildings... blow themselves up... cut people's heads off... those are the real heros...huh? We can't compete with that with just a few stiches!

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#8)
    by Al on Wed May 24, 2006 at 09:42:29 AM EST
    PPJ, the beheaders are completely irrelevant to this coward's actions. The helpless, bound prisoner he set his dog on had absolutely nothing to with any beheading. There are lots of evil things that happen all over the world every day, and none of them have anything to do with this coward's setting his dog on a prisoner that cannot defend himself. But not only do you excuse him, but you also portray his actions as retaliation for what "those Moslems" did. And see? You did whine that your "sarcasm" was misunderstood. ----- BB, nobody said the military are cowards. And nobody said the beheaders or the people who attacked the WTC are heroes. I did say that this particular specimen is a snivelling coward, which he obviously is, because setting a dog on a person who obviously has no way of defending himself is about as cowardly as it gets.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:21:03 PM EST
    Al - If you read the very first comment in the thread, you will understand my comment. You know, I really wonder if you are just being dificult, or really don't understand. BTW - " He is accused of letting his dog bite a detainee," Innocent until and all that, eh?

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#10)
    by Al on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:46:05 PM EST
    Innocent until proven guilty, PPJ? I don't know, that picture is good enough for me ...

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:52:44 PM EST
    "Perl, Berg, and Koda" Invading their country and unleashing a maelstrom that consumes sons, daughters, brothers and sisters might be considered punishment enough by some. Of course, as long as its not Jim, and he gets his tax-cut, what else matters?

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sailor on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:52:58 PM EST
    Al - Well, you missed the point.
    Nobody missed the point, you've always been for torture. You supported the illegal war, you've supported the torture, you've supported war crimes. Want links?

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Wed May 24, 2006 at 06:01:25 PM EST
    Actually I think his standard line is: Im-against-it-but-prove-it-dosnt-work. A more back-handed endorsement. The man oozes integrity out of every pore.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:37:30 AM EST
    Sailor - Tell you what. When TL gives an open thread, yeah bring the links. You can also bring the link were you claimed I had made technical errors, and I invited those links. In that thread, as well as Tuesday's open thread. Of course you didn't provide any. No surprise. BTW - Here is a link about Abu Ghraid you won't like.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peaches on Thu May 25, 2006 at 07:03:54 AM EST
    I did say that this particular specimen is a snivelling coward, which he obviously is, because setting a dog on a person who obviously has no way of defending himself is about as cowardly as it gets.
    I wouldn't go that far. I would not blame the soldier or the dog handler in this case. I feel very sad for them. They have been used and abused by the powers who put them there. Noone knows the atrocities that we are all capable of committing if we are placed into the circumstances of war. The criminals are the ones who make the decisions that we can use dogs on prisoners and that decided we should be there in the first place. The criminals are the ones who made the decision that beheadings on videos would help the overall cause of the insurgency, not the grunts carrying out the orders, even if they enthusiastically carried it out. War creates opportunties for horrendous crimes against humanity. As people like RA and Jim like to point out to us, these things happen in war and are part of war. We go into war knowing that unpleasantrys will happen to all sides--even civilian collateral damage. Don't blame the soldiers, blame the ones who knowingly put the soldiers into these situations. They are the true criminals.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Thu May 25, 2006 at 12:30:50 PM EST
    ppj - Dumb or just dishonest? Im starting to think dumb (along with the other 29%). As if the Pentagon had any choice about "investigating" when the photos were already circulating: catch a clue, its called damage control.

    Re: Abu Ghraib Dog Handler's Trial Opens (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Fri May 26, 2006 at 12:31:11 AM EST
    Don't blame the soldiers, blame the ones who knowingly put the soldiers into these situations. They are the true criminals.
    True enough, but there are those who have the courage to not go along with the program: My Lai Abu Ghraib
    Taguba also hailed Master at Arms 1st Class William Kimbro, a Navy dog handler, for refusing to participate in abuses despite "significant pressure from the" military intelligence "personnel at Abu Ghraib."
    What a stark contrast between their actions and the moral turpitude of the creepy crawlers that try so hard to justify torture and wars of agression.