The U.S. military next week will begin the first in a series of courts-martial in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse allegations, trials that could bring new revelations on whether the mistreatment of Iraqis was an aberration or stemmed from pressure from commanders.
Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits of Hyndman, Penn., a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, will face a military court in Baghdad on May 19 — less than a month after photos of prisoners being abused and humiliated were first broadcast April 28.
Both the speed of the trial's scheduling and the venue in the Iraqi capital underscore the military's realization that it must demonstrate resolve in prosecuting those responsible for a scandal that threatens to undermine the U.S. mission in Iraq and President Bush's re-election chances.
Courting the Facts: Will Justice Be Done?
A sample of your responses:
Can you tell us why these pictures and films were made of these abuses. Is it a normal thing? If not, then was this some kind of conspiracy to setup the Bush Administration?
My uncle was a German POW in an American POW camp in France in 1945. Possibly a score or more of the POW's died of starvation. The American commander sold their allotted food on the black market. He was discovered and subsequently prosecuted. Let's get over this self-flagellation over these Iraqi prisoners, have full disclosure and prosecute the guilty.
Glen Allen, VA
It does not matter how low ranking the individuals that are accused of these actions, they are supposed to be supervised by senior NCOs and Officers. Those senior NCOs and Officers were negligent in their duties by not supervising their subordinates.
Canon City, CO
While I can understand how this could have happened, it can never be acceptable. We can not stoop to the level of these terrorist. I still feel the officers in charge should bear most of the responsibility for this. No one should just get a slap on the wrist but the young people involved are so very inexperienced in how to handle situations like the ones they are in or alot of life lessons that they are experiencing in Iraq that I do find myself finding more fault with the leaders.
I pray for a speedy end to all of the situations in Iraq. I don't believe this round of courts martial will put an end to this issue.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to have the Courts Martial be public or televised. We are using our military judicial system for social and political purposes... very dangerous... The Arabs/Muslims will take snippets out of context and use them against us to infuriate more Arabs/Muslims.
Justice will be done. But the televised part is a bad idea! If we don’t usually extend the American public televised Court Martial proceedings, we shouldn’t do it for the Iraqi’s. The Iraqi’s will have to learn to trust government just like we do.
Press reporters should be able to attend the trial and they can report to the public what happened.
This trial is politically motivated by the left wing in an effort to sabotage the efforts of the US Army in Iraq. Everyone will be "found" guilty.
Spring Lake, NJ
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