Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits is convicted of abusing Iraqi prisoners in the first court-martial to come out of the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison. Plus, three other accused appear for arraignment.
Soldiers' stories: Duty or disgrace?
It is definitely a disgrace! Having been a member of the military for 10 years ... I can tell you that we are taught from day one in basic training that it is our duty to disobey an illegal order. Therefore, even IF they were ordered to commit these atrocities (which I highly doubt) they are REQUIRED to disobey. There is no excuse for what they did. There is no way they didn't know it was wrong.
I do not condone mistreatment of anyone, and I believe that members of the United States military are trained to treat all prisoners humanely, and that they should be held to the high standards reflective of this training. However, it is necessary to remember that this is wartime and these enemy combatants were the cruelest monsters we've had the displeasure to encounter ....
The publicity this is getting is way overblown and destroying this country.
As we see and hear the reports coming from Iraq, we must realize that WE are not there and do not have the whole story. Were the soldiers wrong with following orders of their commanders? If the commanders ordered this abuse, then yes! I do not see any officers on trail for giving this order!
I am a sergeant currently deployed in Baghdad, Iraq. I find it a disgrace that these soldiers have committed such horrible acts. Whatever their reasons, they are not justified and I am thankful that we are doing something about it.
Of course it's a disgrace and it is a shame that there are those in this world who behave badly. Does is rise to the level of the young contractor who was beheaded — absolutely not.
While I believe the soldiers must be held accountable for their actions, I do not believe that simply convicting the enlisted soldiers is enough. Yes they are responsible for their individual actions but then so are their squad leaders, their company commanders, their brigade commanders and the entire local chain of command.
I do not condone what has happened in the prisons but let's face it, the politicians on Capitol Hill are using the scandal to voice their opinions and political views. I think it is a disgrace for the way things are being handled.
I do not think anyone who has not served in the military can make any judgment on these soldiers. They have been under incredible stress for long periods of time, watching friends die and civilians being murdered. Let the military handle it.
Garden City, Kans.
The disgrace is that politicians and news media brought it out in the open. It should have been discretely handled by the military and kept quiet.
Boynton Beach, Fla.
I say disgrace! It was just plain weird! A dominatrix complex and too much Springer? A strange way of having fun!
Of course we cannot tolerate this. And we must determine how high these transgressions went and reprimand to those levels. But we must punish to fit the crime. And we cannot let the hysteria dictate the punishment.
DUTY! I am outraged by the outrage!!
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