Closing Arguments Monday in Abu Ghraib Officer Trial

A military prosecutor told jurors Monday that Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan is not being court-martialed for what he did at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but for what he didn't do.

"It's about what he divorced himself from doing," Lt. Col. John P. Tracy told the panel of nine colonels and one brigadier general in his closing statement. "He didn't train. He didn't supervise."

Jordan never appeared in the inflammatory photos of U.S. soldiers with naked and abused detainees at Abu Ghraib, but he was the highest ranking officer at the Iraq prison at the time and was accused of fostering the abuse.

Eleven enlisted soldiers have been convicted in the case.

Tracy reminded the jury that Jordan was the senior officer at Abu Ghraib in autumn 2003, when witnesses saw detainees naked and handcuffed in their cells, including a specific day that November when a dog was brought in to intimidate a detainee being questioned.

His closing statements echoed four days of testimony last week during which the government and the defense offered conflicting notions of command responsibility.

The defense contends Jordan had no obligation "to train, supervise and ensure compliance by soldiers under his control" in following interrogation rules requiring humane treatment of prisoners.

Jordan's attorneys extracted testimony from witness after witness that his two-month stint as director of the prison's interrogation center placed him outside the chain of command of both the military intelligence soldiers who interrogated detainees and the military police who guarded them.

However, Jordan was the highest-ranking officer at Abu Ghraib from mid-September 2003 until mid-November, when Col. Thomas Pappas, unhappy with Jordan's performance, took over the interrogation center director's job, Pappas testified.

And Jordan was the senior officer inside the prison on the night of Nov. 24, 2003, when he assisted MPs in a cell search that escalated into a firefight. That violence led to a roundup of Iraqi correctional officers who were strip-searched and questioned about smuggled weapons while military dogs sniffed for explosives, according to testimony.

If found guilty on all four counts, the 51-year-old officer from Fredericksburg, Va., could be sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.

The most serious charge Jordan faces is disobeying an order not to discuss an Abu Ghraib investigation with others, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

Jordan also is charged with failing to obey a regulation by ordering dogs to be used for interrogations without higher approval, punishable by up to two years; cruelty and maltreatment for allegedly subjecting detainees