Army Dog Handler Gets 90 Days Hard Labor for Abu Ghraib Actions

3 06 2006

Sad that this turned out this way. I just didn’t see these actions as “torture” or “assault.”

Via FOXNews:

FORT MEADE, Maryland — A military jury sentenced Army Sgt. Santos A. Cardona, an Army dog handler, to 90 days hard labor and a reduction in rank Friday for allowing his Belgian shepherd to bark within inches of an Iraqi detainee’s face at Abu Ghraib prison.

He was found guilty of dereliction of duty and aggravated assault for allowing his dog to bark in the face of a kneeling detainee at the request of another soldier who wasn’t an interrogator.

Although none of the offenses was alleged to have occurred during interrogations, Cardona’s defense team focused on interrogation policies, including three memos issued in a month’s time by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

The memos authorized harsher interrogation techniques such as stress positions, sleep deprivation and dogs at Abu Ghraib — but only with written authorization.

The changing policies confounded Col. Thomas M. Pappas, an intelligence officer who assumed the prison’s management in late 2003. Pappas was reprimanded last year for approving a request to use dogs in an interrogation without Sanchez’ approval — something Pappas testified he believed at the time the policy allowed.

“We were all confused at one time or another,” Pappas testified.

Confusion or not. As long as the dog was not turned loose on any terrorist (which wouldn’t have been a bad idea), it cannot be torture. I don’t have a very long fuse of tolerance for dealing with terrorists in custody. Maybe that is why I am not consulted for Geneva Convention amendments. Fine with me. But I back Cardona in his efforts to do his job and extract information.

I blogged about this in February comparing the media’s attention to the Danish cartoons of Mohammed:

This is not torture, nor or are they absurdities. I nearly confused these photos with a college fraternity hazing event. Some reminded me of things I had done to me.

I stand by this still. I had dogs barking in my blindfolded face during induction. Boo hoo.

More: Our soldiers are putting themselves in harm’s way. A few bad apples ruins it or the rest, and we can deal with them. But let’s be real here. The MSM is so liberal in their demeanor, that we might not be able to fight a war on terrorism unless some limitations are placed on them. If the MSM were on the beaches of Normandy, we wouldn’t have made it to the bunkers, much less Berlin. If they were in Vietnam, the Huey’s would never have even landed in the LZ’s.

Yup. Still think that’s true.




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