Reservist Pleads Guilty to Torture
- Reservist Pleads Guilty in Iraq Torture Case:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The highest-ranking soldier charged with abusing
Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison pleaded guilty Wednesday,
telling a military court that prisoners were forced to submit to
public nudity and degrading treatment "for military intelligence
Army reservist Ivan "Chip" Frederick, 38, of Buckingham, Va.,
confessed to eight counts of conspiracy, dereliction of duty,
maltreatment of detainees, assault and committing an indecent act.
He was expected to be sentenced Thursday and could receive 11 years
Frederick - a military policeman who is a corrections officer in
civilian life - acknowledged his part in the scandal, which broke in
April with the publication of photos and videos showing American
troops abusing and humiliating naked Iraqi detainees.
But the Army staff sergeant also blamed his chain of command, saying
he was given no training or support in supervising detainees and
only learned of regulations against mistreatment after the abuses
occurred between October and December last year.
He testified that when he brought issues up with his
commanders, "they told me to do what MI told me to do," referring to
His lawyer, Gary Myers, said Frederick agreed to cooperate fully in
further investigations and would testify at courts-martial for other
"I was wrong about what I did and I shouldn't have done it,"
Frederick told the judge, Army Col. James Pohl. "I knew it was wrong
at the time because I knew it was a form of abuse."
A report this year by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba said using MPs
to break down prisoners may have been a technique imported from the
Guantanamo Bay prison and possibly detention centers in Afghanistan
used to hold suspected terrorists.
During the proceeding, Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Kramer, a
military intelligence soldier called as a witness, referred to an e-
mail from the U.S. command in Baghdad telling him to order his
interrogators to be tough on prisoners.
"The gloves are coming off, gentlemen, regarding these detainees,"
said the e-mail, which was read into evidence. It added that the
command "wants the detainees broken."
Frederick, who was in charge of the night shift at the "hard site"
facility at Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, said military intelligence
soldiers and civilian interrogators told the guards how to treat the
That included stripping detainees, depriving them of sleep or taking
away their cigarettes, Frederick said. Investigators wanted
detainees "stressed out, wanted them to talk more," he said.
Frederick said that from his first day at the prison, he saw
detainees "naked, handcuffed to their door, some wearing female
underclothes." He said the first time he witnessed sexual
humiliation used as an interrogation technique came late last
October when he saw intelligence officers handcuff naked prisoners
"Nudity was to humiliate and degrade them for military intelligence
purposes. It was very embarrassing for an Arabic male to be seen
nude by another," Frederick said.
During an incident last Nov. 4 captured on photos transmitted around
the world, Frederick said he helped hook wires on a detainee's hands
and told him he would be electrocuted if he fell off a box. An Army
investigator encouraged him to abuse the detainee, saying he didn't
care what was done to the prisoner "as long as you don't kill him,"
In a Nov. 8 incident, Frederick admitted, he joined another soldier
in jumping on a pile of seven detainees accused of rioting. He also
admitted to stomping on their hands and feet.
"I should have stopped it right there," he said.
But the detainees then were strip-searched and remained naked, even
after female soldiers arrived on the scene - which is against
military rules, he said. Frederick said he punched the ringleader in
the chest so hard that the prisoner needed medical attention.
Finally, Frederick said, soldiers lined the detainees naked against
a wall with bags on their heads and then forced three of them to
An Iraqi detainee testified Wednesday that he had been forced at Abu
Ghraib to simulate humiliating sexual positions, including
masturbating in front of the soldiers.
"I was crying. I wanted to kill myself," he said, then bowed his
head on the witness stand for several minutes. "I felt humiliated,
but I had nothing to kill myself with," he said.
Frederick is one of seven members of the Cresaptown, Md.-based 372nd
Military Police Company charged in the scandal. One, Spc. Jeremy C.
Sivits of Hyndman, Pa., is serving a one-year sentence after
pleading guilty in May to three counts.
In addition, Spc. Armin Cruz, 24, a military intelligence soldier,
was sentenced last month to eight months of confinement, reduction
in rank to private, and a bad conduct discharge for his part in the
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