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Reservist Pleads Guilty to Torture

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    Reservist Pleads Guilty in Iraq Torture Case: http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/9965316.htm BAGHDAD, Iraq - The highest-ranking soldier charged
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2004
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      Reservist Pleads Guilty in Iraq Torture Case:

      http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/9965316.htm

      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
      purposes."

      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
      in prison.

      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
      military intelligence.

      His lawyer, Gary Myers, said Frederick agreed to cooperate fully in
      further investigations and would testify at courts-martial for other
      soldiers.

      "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
      detainees.

      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
      together.

      "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,"
      Frederick said.

      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
      masturbate.

      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
      scandal.

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