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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 12:19 PM

1. Compare: Soldiers who were convicted of committing acts of

mistreating prisoners at Abu Ghraib:

An Army reservist who appeared in several of the most infamous abuse photos taken by guards at Abu Ghraib prison was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison for her role in the scandal that rocked the U.S. military's image at home and abroad.

The sentence for Spc. Sabrina Harman came a day after she was convicted on six of the seven counts she faced for mistreating detainees at the Baghdad lockup in late 2003. She faced a maximum of five years in prison, though prosecutors asked the jury to give her three years.

With credit for time served, Harman's actual sentence will be just more than four months.


The United States Department of Defense removed seventeen soldiers and officers from duty, and eleven soldiers were charged with dereliction of duty, maltreatment, aggravated assault and battery. Between May 2004 and March 2006, eleven soldiers were convicted in courts martial, sentenced to military prison, and dishonorably discharged from service. Two soldiers, Specialist Charles Graner, and his former fiancée, Specialist Lynndie England, were sentenced to ten years and three years in prison, respectively, in trials ending on January 14, 2005 and September 26, 2005. The commanding officer of all Iraq detention facilities, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, was reprimanded for dereliction of duty and then demoted to the rank of Colonel on May 5, 2005. Col. Karpinski has denied knowledge of the abuses, claiming that the interrogations were authorized by her superiors and performed by subcontractors, and that she was not even allowed entry into the interrogation rooms.

. . .

The prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi died in Abu Ghraib prison after being interrogated and tortured by a CIA officer and a private contractor. The torture included physical violence and strappado hanging, whereby the victim is hung from the wrists with the hands tied behind the back. His death has been labeled a homicide by the US military,[8] but neither of the two men who caused his death have been charged. The private contractor was granted qualified immunity.[9]


Who fares better in the US military prisons and justice system?

Someone who violates the law and mistreats prisoners?

Or someone who blows the whistle on perceived violations of law?

Can a bully expect a lighter sentence than a person who speaks out from a compassionate, if arguably misguided motive?

We shall see.

But I recognize that a part of me is in all of them.

There are moments in life, in the life of a nation as in the life of a person, in which the underlying moral fiber of the nation is tested.

Is there a moral rectitude that supersedes all else?

Do we confront our own evil and allow ourselves to be judged and condemned by others?

Or do we cower behind the rigid application of rules to condemn that part of ourselves that is honest and open about our mistakes and misdeeds?

Manning is a challenge for our nation and for our military. What happens to Manning may predict whether we survive as a free nation or whether we become a nation that lies to itself and hides its ugly truths.

Sometimes the path between insuring the security of our nation and destroying the very freedom and human values that make our nation worth securing is very hard to find much less follow.

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xchrom Dec 2012 OP
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JDPriestly Dec 2012 #1
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #2
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