From the AP:
The US army has thrown out the conviction of the only officer court martialled in the Abu Ghraib scandal, ending the four-year investigation and drawing complaints from human rights activists of a Pentagon whitewash.No duh! Of course there are officers - and civilians at the top of the chain of command - who have escaped prosecution for what happened at Abu Ghraib. Just as there have been soldiers, officers and top civilian leaders who have escaped prosecution for other crimes in Iraq and elsewhere in the War On Some Terror - and they will continue to escape justice. That's the shame of America in the eyes of the world. So many of us had actually hoped that there might be some truth to what we had been told - that America was better, more honourable, than the rest of us.
Barring any new information, the decision means no officers or civilian leaders will be held criminally responsible for the prisoner abuse - which included the photographing of Iraqi prisoners in painful and sexually humiliating positions - which embarrassed the military and inflamed the Muslim world.
Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by Major General Richard Rowe, the Washington military district chief. He was instead given an administrative reprimand. Jordan, 51, was acquitted at his court martial in August of charges that he failed to supervise the 11 lower-ranking soldiers convicted for their roles in the abuse.
But he was found guilty of disobeying an order not to talk about the investigation, and the jury recommended a criminal reprimand, the lightest possible punishment. Jordan told the Associated Press yesterday that he felt victimised by press coverage that seemed eager for an officer to be blamed for the abuse. He also said he agreed that there were both enlisted soldiers and officers responsible for the abuse who escaped prosecution.