View Full Version : Abu Ghraib Prison Guards a bunch of losers

05-08-04, 09:40 AM
Abu Ghraib and the Academic Left
Reporting from Cumberland, Md., the New York Times profiles some of the soldiers implicated in abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and to be honest, they sound like a bunch of losers:

Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr. is a guard at one of Pennsylvania's most heavily secured death row prisons, accused by his former wife of violent behavior.

Pfc. Lynndie R. England was married and divorced before she was 21, worked at a chicken-processing plant in West Virginia and wanted to attend college to become a storm-chasing meteorologist.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/06/national/06guard.england.jpg Pfc. Lynndie R. England, who flashed a thumbs-up sign for some of the Abu Ghraib photos, relaxing at her parents' home last year.

And Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick, another prison guard, planned to quit the Army Reserve this year to spend more time fishing near his rural home in central Virginia. But he did not get out soon enough. . . .

Sergeant Frederick, who is expected to face courts-martial in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, is shown with Iraqi police officers in a photograph that he sent his family.

Specialist Graner, who wears a Marine Corps eagle tattoo on his right arm, served in the corps from April 1988 until May 1996, when he left with the rank of corporal, according to military records. He went to work immediately at the State Correctional Institution Greene, in southwestern Pennsylvania, where he has held an entry-level corrections officer position ever since.

Two years after he arrived at Greene, the prison was at the center of an abuse scandal. Prison officials declined to say whether Specialist Graner had been disciplined in that case, citing privacy laws.

Inmates and advocates for prisoner rights asserted in 1998 that guards at the prison routinely beat and humiliated prisoners, including through a sadistic game of Simon Says in which guards struck prisoners who failed to comply with barked instructions.

After an investigation, the warden was transferred, two lieutenants were fired and about two dozen guards were reprimanded, demoted or suspended.

Specialist Graner was involved in a bitter divorce. In court papers, his wife, Staci, accused him of beating her, threatening her with guns, stalking her after they separated in 1997 and breaking into her home. Since 1997, local judges have issued at least three orders of protection against him, records show.

No doubt many people enter the military and successfully overcome troubled lives. But it also occurs to us that increasing the quality of military recruits would probably help avoid future Abu Ghraibs. One constructive step toward that end would be for elite universities to drop antimilitary policies, so that the military would have an easier time signing up the best and brightest young Americans.

Many academic institutions have barred ROTC or military recruiters from campus for left-wing political reasons--first as a protest against the Vietnam War, and later over the Clinton-era "don't ask, don't tell" law. Whatever the merits of these positions, it's time the academic left showed some patriotic responsibility and acknowledged that the defense of the country--which includes the defense of their own academic freedom--is more important than the issue du jour.

05-08-04, 09:42 AM
May 6, 2004 <br />
Abuse Charges Bring Anguish in Unit's Home <br />
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CUMBERLAND, Md., May 5 Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr. is a guard at one of...

05-08-04, 11:09 AM
Definately not the brightest bulbs in the pack, that is for sure.