Not a Demohomocrate Hate America first Lib
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Date Posted: 00:35:24 09/17/04 Fri
In reply to:
's message, "Iraq abuse: U.S. soldier sentenced" on 14:35:51 09/11/04 Sat
>Iraq abuse: U.S. soldier sentenced
>Saturday, September 11, 2004 Posted: 1109 GMT (1909
>BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S. soldier has been
>sentenced to eight months' confinement in the Abu
>Ghraib prison abuse scandal, demoted to a private and
>given a bad conduct discharge.
>Army Spec. Armin Cruz is the first military
>intelligence operative charged in connection with the
>abuse scandal. He pleaded guilty to charges of
>conspiracy and maltreatment of prisoners.
>He entered into a plea bargain in which he agreed to
>testify for the prosecution against at least four or
>five others in exchange for immunity from his
>The judge on Saturday asked Cruz to explain why he
>forced the detainees to strip naked, and Cruz said,
>after a long pause, that he associated the prisoners
>with Iraqis who killed two members of his company one
>He said he was told by military police soldiers that
>the detainees were suspected of raping a 15-year-old.
>Cruz admitted to handcuffing the detainees and forcing
>them to crawl on the ground. He also said he was aware
>he was abusing them at the time.
>Explaining his decision to plead guilty, Cruz told the
>judge he was acting independent of higher authorities.
>His attorney's played a tape from Cruz's father saying
>his son is a good person and that he chose to serve
>his country by enlisting to become a soldier.
>Cruz's father said what happened was tragic but his
>son is taking responsibility and he hopes the judge
>will consider this when he issues his sentence.
>Cruz's fellow battalion members also spoke to the
>court on his behalf, saying they would serve with him
>Earlier this week, Cruz's lawyer issued a statement
>saying, "He is extremely remorseful ... and he
>apologizes to the people of Iraq."
>The Army announced Thursday that Cruz will go before a
>special court-martial on Saturday. His is the second
>guilty plea in the prison scandal.
>Attorney Steve Karns of Dallas said, "He takes full
>responsibility and in doing so, accepts whatever
>punishment the court will deem appropriate."
>Both the Fay Report at the Pentagon and testimony in
>another Abu Ghraib case have identified Cruz as taking
>part in the abuse of three prisoners who were being
>questioned about the rape of a teenage boy.
>Cruz, from Plano, Texas, was an intelligence analyst
>with the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion
>assigned to help question possible insurgents and
>terrorists held at Abu Ghraib, although the Fay Report
>said these prisoners "were not of intelligence
>He was present, along with an interrogator, Spec.
>Roman Krol, and another analyst, Spec. Israel Rivera,
>on the night of October 25 last year when the three
>rape suspects were brought into the high-security cell
>block at the prison.
>Rivera testified in another military hearing a month
>ago the three men were brought out of their cells
>naked, made to crawl on their stomachs on the hard
>floor, then "were put together in a big bundle of
>bodies and they were handcuffed together. They were
>made to look like they were having sex."
>Rivera said Cruz and some of the prison guards used
>their feet to press down on the buttocks of the men to
>simulate the appearance of a male sexual embrace.
>The Fay report said Cruz joined in the abuse with
>Staff Sgt. Ivan (Chip) Frederick and Cpl. Charles
>Graner, both of whom already are facing courts-martial.
>"All three made the detainees act as though they were
>having sex," the Fay report said.
>Frederick, the ranking enlisted man on the night shift
>in the cell block, is scheduled to enter his guilty
>plea on October 20. He will be the third man to plead
>guilty. Graner is one of five other military police
>soldiers still facing pending charges.
>Neither Krol nor Rivera, the other two military
>intelligence operatives present, has been charged,
>although Krol has told CNN he does expect he will face
>some form of punishment eventually, for not reporting
>what he saw.
>Lawyers for several of the MP guards already charged
>with the abuse have contended they were acting on
>military intelligence orders. The Fay report, however,
>said, "This incident was most likely orchestrated by
>MP personnel," and it went on to name Graner and
>Frederick, among others.
>This is the only instance of physical abuse in the
>cell block at Abu Ghraib where military intelligence
>members are said to have been present and participants
>in what happened.
>Cruz can be seen standing to the right of the tangle
>of bodies in one of the Abu Ghraib photos. Also in
>that picture are Krol, a civilian intelligence
>interpreter and two MP guards, including Graner.
>Krol has identified Cruz in the photo in an interview
>on CNN's Paula Zahn Now. The Fay report used a code
>number for Cruz, but Krol also identified that person
>as Cruz, and the Fay account matches Rivera's
>testimony, which named Cruz in open court.
>The Dallas attorney, Karns, said Cruz had earned the
>Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before this incident.
>The first Abu Ghraib soldier to plead guilty was
>another guard, Pvt. Jeremy Sivits, who was sentenced
>to a year in prison and a bad conduct discharge in May.
>Still awaiting courts-martial, along with Graner, are
>Sgt. Javal Davis, Spec. Sabrina Harman, and Spec.
>Pfc. Lynndie England also is charged, and is awaiting
>a decision on whether she, too, will be ordered before
>The Fay report said England and Harman also took part
>in the abuse of the rape suspects, along with Graner,
>Frederick and the three intelligence soldiers.
>Rivera testified about what he saw Cruz do at a
>preliminary hearing in military court for England at
>Fort Bragg on August 5.
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