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Army officer charged in Abu Ghraib prison abuse
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The Army on Friday announced criminal charges against a military intelligence officer who was second-in-charge of interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, accusing him of cruelty and maltreatment of detainees, dereliction of duty and making false statements.
Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan faces six charges, including allegations that between September 2003 and December 2004 he oppressed Iraqi detainees "by subjecting them to forced nudity and intimidation by military working dogs" and later lied about his knowledge of any such abuse, according to the Army.
Jordan would become the highest-ranking Army officer tried in the abuses at Abu Ghraib if a preliminary hearing known as an Article 32, for which the date has not yet been set, determines the case should be sent to court-martial.
Jordan was also charged with "dereliction of duty" for failing to train and supervise soldiers under his control in following military policy on interrogation, which resulted in the abuse of Iraqi detainees. He also allegedly failed to obtain permission of the U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, to employ certain specified interrogation techniques, such as the use of dogs, the charges said.
The second-highest-ranking military intelligence officer at the prison, Jordan worked under Col. Thomas Pappas, who took over the operation of the Abu Ghraib facility in late 2003, as military commanders sought to gain better intelligence from the prisoners held there. Pappas is the most senior officer to face punishment for actual abuses at the prison but, unlike Jordan, he was not charged with crimes. Instead, he was fined $8,000 and reprimanded for once approving the use of dogs on a high-value detainee without properly seeking the permission of top officers in Baghdad. He later received immunity to testify in courts-martial against military-police-dog handlers.
A number of lower-ranking soldiers, including seven military police, have been prosecuted and found guilty of abuses.
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