Wednesday, September 28, 2005

So who will go to jail in the latest torture scandal?

Update on the 82nd airborne prisoner abuse. Quotes are from the New York Times:

The Army captain who tried in vain to go up through the chain of command with revelations of torture at an 82nd Airborne base in Iraq, and who then talked to several senators and Human Rights Watch, is now being threatened with prosecution. The captain, Ian Fishback, met with lack of interest at best, and hostility at worst, in his attempts to have the torture problem investigated and corrected. That is, until Human Rights Watch released its report.

Then the investigators leapt into action. Captain Fishback was suddenly ordered to see the investigators and underwent six hours of questioning.
"They're asking the same questions over and over again," [Fishback] said. "They want the names of the sergeants, and they keep asking about my relationship with Human Rights Watch."

Captain Fishback said he has refused to disclose the names of the two sergeants - one who has left the Army and another who has been reassigned - because he promised not to disclose their identities if they came forward. But he said his command told him Tuesday that he could face criminal prosecution if disobeyed its "lawful order" to disclose.
Fishback said the the investigators, from the Criminal Investigation Command and the 18th Airborne Corps inspector general, had expressed little interest in the names of the soldiers who committed the abuses, but wanted only the names of the other whistleblowers. This is certainly not encouraging. You could almost think an effort at intimidation and a coverup is going on.

Captain Fishback said he had no regrets about coming forward, adding, "It's the right thing to do." Let us hope that he does not end up in jail for it.

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