Ed Driscoll

Graner Guilty

The Wall Street Journal writes, “A military jury has found Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr. guilty of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib”. Subscription may be required to read the article, but here’s the gist of it:

FORT HOOD, Texas — Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr., the reputed ringleader of a band of rogue guards at the Abu Ghraib prison, was convicted Friday of abusing Iraqi detainees in a case that sparked international outrage when photographs were released that showed reservists gleefully torturing prisoners.

Graner, the first soldier to be tried on charges arising from the scandal, was convicted of all five charges and faces up to 17 1/2 years behind bars.

The jury took less than five hours to reach the verdict.

The verdict came after a five-day trial in which prosecutors depicted Graner as a sadistic soldier who took great pleasure in seeing detainees suffer. He was accused of stacking naked prisoners in a human pyramid and later ordering them to masturbate while other soldiers took photographs. He also allegedly punched one man in the head hard enough to knock him out, and struck an injured prisoner with a collapsible metal stick.

The jury of four Army officers and six senior enlisted men rejected the defense argument that Mr. Graner and other guards were merely following orders from intelligence agents at Abu Ghraib when they roughed up the detainees.