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Policies were written in the wake of 9/11 to allow for harsh interrogation tactics and fight the war on terror. These policies were written by civilians without due consideration of the effects on troops on the ground handling many types of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba.

Seven Military Police soldiers were court-martialed for carrying out the mission that their Military Intelligence and Military Police Chains of Command set before them: Generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq and stem the tide of ever increasing attacks against their fellow soldiers by setting the stage for interrogations to occur.

They accomplished their mission and the world found out. Now they have been called to account and not one of those officers or policy-makers came to stand beside them.

Interrogation techniques were brought over from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and from Afghanistan. Soldiers at Abu Ghraib signed a memo two days after the so-called "unsigned OCT 10 Sanchez memo" that they fully understood that they could manipulate diets, temperatures, isolate detainees, use the presence of working dogs, use sleep management, use sensory deprivation (lights, music, etc.), and employ stress positions, among other techniques.

In an interview with one soldier who was at both Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib under CPT Wood, who created the above Interrogation Rules of Engagement, he said policies and procedures followed at Abu Ghraib were very similar to those his unit followed while in Afghanistan.

Techniques for controlling and softening detainees were taught to MPs by interrogators brought over to "Gitmo-ize" Abu Ghraib. These techniques were apparently never supposed to be used in Iraq, but were brought over by a General sent to improve the flow of actionable intelligence at the prison.

Many leads that would have proved to exonerate the MPs were not explored, such as statements by soldiers that senior military intelligence Sergeants First Class were present to witness and direct events based on interrogations. Medics gave verbal statements that videos were taken to show that no harm was done by the MPs, but was self-inflicted by detainees. The prosecution had evidence that some of its very own witnesses were lying, but none of this was investigated or put out in the press by the government. What was put out were unfounded allegations to smear the MPs and deny their claims.

Many officers involved have yet to even receive a letter of reprimand for promoting unauthorized tactics. One MP CPT in charge of the hard site acted on MI orders on at least two occasions, and gave physical training to an Iraqi criminal for getting out of line. This very same officer is now hiding behind his civilian boss in Congress. This is not what the Army teaches its officers to do.

Enlisted soldiers are supposed to be able to rely on the Chain of Command to not only guide them but to set standards, enforce them and not allow Military Intelligence to use their soldiers in ways that are not authorized. Instead they encouraged it. And this was not just from reservists on trial, it was backed up by a West Point Airborne Active duty Officer who wasnt facing any punishment but came forward because he had more Army Values than any officer at Abu Ghraib.

Punishments handed down were far greater than any other punishments received for very similar cases of abuse involving soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. These cases involved videos, pictures, aggravated assaults, stun guns to testicles, REAL electrocution, fractured bones, armed robberies, etc. In many cases the soldier was facing the same if not more confinement time than 15 years.

In over 70 cases of abuse, only 1 soldier received a sentence of 2.5 years, but only served 9 months; the rest received 1 year confinement or less.

In 10 murder cases, no soldier received over 5 years' confinement. CIA agents, or OGA agents as they were known while working with soldiers at Abu Ghraib, have not been called to account for killing detainees in at least 3 cases.

Given the current circumstances, the soldiers found to be guilty of abusing detainees at Camp Bucca in Iraq were given a full reversal of their discharges and are now allowed to re-enter the military. Recently, the Army said it would only reprimand two junior officers for ordering two dead bodies to be burned in Afghanistan, something that is expressly forbidden in Islam. But the official also excused the officers by saying that the officers did not know what they were doing was wrong.

At the time, in a war zone, soldiers of the 372nd were helping to save lives in a necessary if uncomfortable way. Since they couldn't leave the base to fight the enemy hiding behind civilians or their rockets or mortars, they were told helping interrogations was their part. No one got hurt and no one got their head cut off and many lives were saved by the information that came from the interrogations: weapons caches were found and other important wanted individuals were apprehended.

These soldiers accept the responsibility and are sorry for any unintended consequences that their actions caused while performing the mission set before them.

Because of the press coverage and misrepresented facts, all the soldiers in the Abu Ghraib case were judged by a completely different set of standards. They were not allowed to present a complete defense at trial that would have showed the truth of what happened. Even more information has come out since the trials that would have helped in their defense.

Show these and all other soldiers you support them and will back them up even though their Chain of Command and their government did not. In the wake of the government's refusal to conduct a fair and unbiased independent investigation:

We ask that you give clemency to Charles Graner, Jr., Lynndie England, Ivan Frederick, and release them from confinement now. Reverse or upgrade their discharges along with those of Javal Davis, Sabrina Harman, Megan Ambuhl, and Jeremy Sivits.

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Dale CrossBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
Congress, United States Army, Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz

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