|------ Original Message -----
From: Sherry Swiney
To: PATRICK Crusade
Cc: MRS. WANDA Valdes
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 7:33 PM
Subject: [patrickcrusade] Fw: Officer's memo praised work of guard accused of prison abuse
You get the idea, right? This kind of behavior must stop now. Here is the message from the people: no, it is not good to abuse human beings - abuse is only for the sick-minded. Here is the message from the jailers: yes, it is good to abuse human beings as long as we keep covering it up successfully.
All who violate the laws of the land and humanity are okay with that until they are caught. Then, not woe is you - but woe is he/she.
This disease must be exposed. Please read on...
----- Original Message -----
Officer's memo praised work of guard accused of prison abuse=20
By DAVID DISHNEAU
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- A platoon leader's memorandum to an Army reservist charged with abusing Iraqi detainees praised him for "doing a fine job" and said prisoners often tried to incite the guards to aggression.
The message from Capt. Christopher Brinson, who in civilian
life is deputy chief of staff to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., also held Spc.
Charles A. Graner Jr. blameless for a prisoner's bloody injuries but urged
him to study the military's rules governing treatment of
The counseling memo from Brinson to Graner is dated Nov. 16, 2003, eight days after Graner was photographed in images showing some of the abuses alleged at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. In one, the former Pennsylvania prison guard stands grinning behind a pyramid of naked prisoners. In another, his fist is cocked as if to punch a hooded prisoner.
Brinson's memo bolsters defense claims that higher-ranking soldiers condoned rough treatment by Graner and six other members of the 372nd Military Police Company charged in the scandal. Some defendants have claimed commanders and military intelligence personnel encouraged such treatment to soften up prisoners for interrogation.
The memo also reflects eroding discipline and Brinson's concern that job stress could cause soldiers to lose control.
Brinson has neither been recommended for nor received any discipline for his role at Abu Ghraib. He declined through an attorney to comment. The lawyer, David Sheldon, said Brinson has been advised through his chain of command not to talk due to the government's continuing investigation into the alleged abuses.
Rogers, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, also declined to comment. His spokesman, Marshall Macomber, said it was an Army issue.
Graner's lawyer, Guy L. Womack, said Brinson did the right thing by investigating a prisoner's injury and praising Graner's job performance. Womack denied that Graner hurt prisoners, except in self-defense.
"The praise was for helping soften up prisoners, and that would certainly include being aggressive and perhaps intimidating the prisoners to help control them psychologically. If you act like you're weak, they'll perceive that, they'll take advantage of you or maybe hurt you," Womack said.
Graner, of Uniontown, Pa., has been identified by three different witnesses at separate military hearings as a ringleader in the abuse. One of his former commanders, Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum, wrote in a memo that Graner "led acts of abuse in clear violation of any standard of morality."
Brinson's memo begins with praise: "Cpl. Graner, you are doing a fine job in Tier 1 of the BCF." Tier 1 was the part of the prison, known as the Baghdad Confinement Facility, that housed detainees believed to be of high intelligence value as well as those isolated because of noncompliant or aggressive behavior or mental illness.
Brinson wrote that Graner had "received many accolades from the MI units here and specifically from Lt. Col. Jordan. Continue to perform at this level and it will help us succeed at our overall mission." Lt. Col. Steve Jordan, the top military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib when the abuses allegedly occurred, reportedly told Army investigators he was under intense pressure from the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA to get better information from detainees.
The memo scolds Graner for some unspecified sloppiness in his appearance: "I require all soldiers to maintain the Army's uniform and appearance standards at all times and encourage them to exceed them when possible." Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba's report detailing problems at Abu Ghraib last fall noted the lack of a clear standard on uniforms.
Brinson then expresses concern about the stress of working
in Tier 1, where, he wrote, "detainees often try to incite our soldiers
"I am concerned that it does not affect your performance," Brinson wrote. He ordered a rotation of Graner's work schedule to allow some time away from Tier 1, and suggested he visit the unit's chaplain or consider counseling for stress management.
Finally, Brinson addressed a Nov. 14 incident "involving a security detainee whose actions in your words required you to use force to regain control of the situation." Brinson wrote that the detainee received abrasions and cuts on his face, and said he accepted Graner's explanation of self-defense.
Womack said the prisoner was among six that Graner had been ordered by military intelligence soldiers to "process" for interrogation by strip-searching them and exhausting them with physical activity. Womack said one of the prisoners became combative and lunged at Graner, who then pushed the prisoner against a wall, causing a cut on the prisoner's chin. Any other injuries were inflicted before Graner took possession of the man, Womack said.
Graner and three of the other accused reservists from the Cresaptown, Md.-based 372nd have pretrial hearings scheduled for Aug. 23-24 in Mannheim, Germany.