Wednesday, March 22, 2006

NYT: "Army Dog Hanlder Is Convicted in Detainee Abuse at Abu Ghraib" (Eric Schmitt)

"Army Dog Handler Is Convicted in Detainee Abuse at Abu Ghraib" is the title. Eric Schmitt is the credited write. The New York Times is the source. And clarity is among the losers.

Take Thomas M. Pappas whom Shanker tells us testified " for the defense under a grant of immunity" -- where's the public record on Col. Pappas?

From the BBC (May of last year):

A top US commander at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq - where detainees were abused by American guards -- has been reprimanded and fined $8,000 (£4,274).
The US army found Col Thomas Pappas guilty of two counts of dereliction of duty, including that of allowing dogs to be present during interrogations.

Is Schmitt aware of that? If so, why isn't that noted in the Times' article? He has no problem listing the other verdicts of others (low ranking) from Abu Ghraib who've faced sanctions of any kind. "Two counts of dereliction of duty" are pretty serious findings. (Not serious enough, in my opinion.) So how does that not make it into the paper this morning? Especially when one of the counts Michael Smith was found guilty of by the jury was "dereliction of duty."

From Schmitt's article:

The soldier, Sgt. Michael J. Smith, 24, was found guilty on 6 of 13 counts, including maltreatment, dereliction of duty and conspiring with another Army dog handler to frighten detainees into urinating and defecating on themselves. Sergeant Smith could face more than eight years in prison, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge. Had he been convicted of all counts, he would have been subject to more than 24 years in prison.

For what Michael Smith was found guilty of, click here. (Note that The Washington Post and the BBC both report that the judge threw out one of the counts.)

From Josh White's "Dog Handler Found Guilty of Abu Ghraib Abuse" (Washington Post):

The verdict focused largely on two incidents of abuse on Tier 1 of the prison's "hard site," which housed suspects who were under interrogation by military intelligence, as well as women and children who were in U.S. custody. In one incident, Smith brought his dog within inches of the face of Ashraf Abdullah Ahsy al-Juhayshi, a detainee who was believed to be linked to terrorist networks and was placed under a special interrogation plan monitored by high-ranking officers. In the other, Smith allegedly participated in a contest with Sgt. Santos A. Cardona to make detainees urinate or defecate on themselves. Cardona's court-martial is set for May.

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