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Defence of Soldiers

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There were a lot of theories about what went on at Abu Ghraib.

First of all, there was the defense of the soldiers involved.

They had a number of ‘justifications’ as to why it came as far as torture.

  • Firstly they were understaffed. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of three prisons in Iraq including Abu Ghraib, said that, in total, there were around 6000 detainees and they were 300 staff short.

For example, there were around 1000 detainees at the “hard-site”, where the highest-value detainees were kept such as suspected terrorists who are thought to be members of groups like the Al-Qaeda or the Taliban and others who work against the coalition. There were only 6-7 guards guarding those 1000 detainees.The fact that they were understaffed put a lot of pressure on them and raised the tension.

  • They weren’t trained to be prison guards. The 372nd military police company was trained to support combat operations.

Ken Davis, and MP from the 372nd military company said that: “If there was ever a turn of moral, it was right there, that I could see, everything hit rock bottom” about their arrival at Abu Ghraib.

Apart from Sgt. Chip Frederick and Sgt. Charles Graner, who have both worked in civilian prisons, no-one had any experience in handling prisoners. Therefore Graner and Frederick where somewhat put in charge.

Graner said: Charles Graner: “ we were asked to violate the Geneva Convention. We were asked to do certain things that I wasn’t trained to do.” which leads to the next point.

I am going to explore this following point more later on.

  • The personnel of the 372nd military police company claim that they got orders from people higher up. They say that they were ordered to ‘soften up’ detainees who were to be interrogated by Military Intelligence and O.G.A (Other Government Agencies such as the C.I.A).
  • In addition to this these soldiers claim that the rules and regulations changed so much that none of them knew what the actual boundaries were. Maj. Gen. George R. Fay said:” By mid-October the interrogation policy in Iraq had changed three times in less than 30 days.” Ken Davis said:” It was never clear to me what was and what wasn’t allowed”. Roman Krol agreed with this saying that it was confusing as there were so many changes about what you can and can’t do.
  • To complete this, most of these soldiers were from small towns in America and could be seen as ‘uneducated’. By telling them that what they were doing would have ‘Global Implications’. They were repeatedly told that the ‘inhumane’ way  in which they were treating the detainees was the right way. “Good job”, they would tell them. These prisoners thought that they were protecting their country from these terrorists and making the people who were responsible for 9/11 and other terrorist attacks pay, which you could argue is an oversimplified way of seeing it.
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Written by coskufertingercmp

November 23, 2010 at 2:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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