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May 10, 2004 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2004-05-10

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 10, 2004


Continued from Page 1.
Sivits is one of seven soldiers facing
charges but appears to be a lesser fig-
ure in the case. Some of the others will
likely face a general court martial,
which can give more severe punish-
ments than the "special" court martial
that will try Sivits. His trial could pro-
duce evidence for prosecuting others
believed to be more culpable.
Sivits is believed to have taken some
of the photos that triggered the scandal.
His father, Daniel Sivits, said last

month his son "was told to take a pic-
ture, and he did what he was told." He
said his son trained as a mechanic but
found himself performing military
police work for which he was unquali-
The family said it had no comment
yesterday morning.
Sivits was charged with conspiracy
to mistreat detainees, dereliction of
duty for failing to protect prisoners and
maltreatment of detainees. Seven offi-
cers have received career-ending repri-
If convicted, Sivits could face one

year in prison, reduction in rank to pri-
vate, forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay
for a year, a fine or a bad conduct dis-
charge. Penalties could include only
one, all or any combination of those
Sivits will be able to choose between
trial before a single military judge or a
three-member panel of senior officers.
He has the right to a civilian attorney
and will have access to military coun-
Officials hope the trial will convince
Iraqis that the United States does not
tolerate torture reminiscent of the dark-


est days of Saddam Hussein and will
act swiftly to punish those responsible.
Saddam's regime used the grim Abu
Ghraib facility, located on the western
edge of Baghdad, to torture and murder
thousands of his critics.
The trials could determine whether
abuse at Abu Ghraib was an aberration
- as the U.S. command insists - or
stemmed from pressure from military
intelligence units to make detainees
more compliant under questioning.
Months before the scandal broke, the
International Committee of the Red
Cross told top Washington officials it
had problems with the treatment of
prisoners in Iraq and at the U.S. deten-
tion center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
said Antonella Notari, chief agency
She said ICRC President Jakob Kel-
lenberger spoke about prison condi-
tions during January meetings with
Secretary of State Colin Powell,
National Security Adviser Condoleezza
Rice and Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz.
"He raised concerns regarding deten-
tion in Iraq, along with Guantanamo
and other locations," Notari told The
Associated Press in Geneva.
One soldier facing charges, Spc.
Sabrina Harman, said she and others
with the 372nd Military Police Compa-
ny took direction from Army military
intelligence officers, CIA operatives
and civilian contractors who conducted
American officials have insisted the
abuses at Abu Ghraib were carried out
by a handful of soldiers who failed to
follow procedures and were not part of
a systematic program of brutality.
"Please don't paint with such a wide
brush that it indicts the other 135,000
American soldiers and Marines out
there doing the right thing," Kimmitt
told reporters. He said investigators

"We were dealing
here with a broad
pattern, not individual
acts. There wars a
pattern and a system.'
- Pierre Kraehenbuel
Red Cross operations director
believe that only a "very small number
of guards" were involved.
However, Iraqis freed from U.S. cus-
tody since the war began in March
2003 have long told of abusive treat-
ment including lying bound in the sun
for hours; being attacked by dogs;
being deprived of water; and left hood-
ed for days. Until photos were pub-
lished, their complaints won little
attention except from human rights
Last summer, Amnesty International
said it learned Red Cross inspectors
were finding serious abuses, and it
charged that "torture and gross abuse
of human rights" were occurring.
On Friday, the ICRC disclosed it had
repeatedly demanded last year that U.S.
authorities correctproblems at Abu
Ghraib and other detention centers. The
Americans took action on some issue
but not others, it said.
"We were dealing here with a broad
pattern, not individual acts. There was a
pattern and a system," Pierre Kraehen-
buel, the Red Cross operations director.
said in Geneva.
U.S. lawmakers have warned that the
most repulsive photos have yet to be
released and have insisted that the Army
investigation should have repercussions
for higher-ups, not just the military
police accused of abusing detainees.

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