Expert Witness Testifies vs Pentagon Stance on Abu Ghraib

Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, the only U.S. military officer to face a court martial in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, was reprimanded after his conviction on a single charge – failing to obey an order. Jordan was cleared of all charges including the abuse of prisoners and failing to do his duty as a senior officer. The Pentagon has stated that none of the other senior officers did anything wrong. But Stjepan Mestrovic, a Texas sociologist who has testified as an expert witness at previous Abu Ghraib trials, calls the Pentagon’s strategy to blame the abuse on a few low-ranking soldiers as “magical thinking.” also reports the behavioral science expert witness stating:

‘It doesn’t make any sense,’ he says. ‘There is no way that a handful of low-ranking soldiers could have invented techniques – all by themselves – that curiously enough were used at [the U.S. Naval detention facility at] Guantanamo and at other places in Iraq and Afghanistan.’…

Jordan, the only U.S. military officer to face a court martial in the controversy, was charged with ordering dogs to be used for interrogations; cruelty and maltreatment of prisoners who were allegedly subjected to forced nudity and intimidation by dogs; dereliction of a duty to properly train and supervise soldiers in interrogation rules; and disobeying an order not to discuss the case with other witnesses. Critics have long asked why the U.S. government has charged only low-ranking soldiers with serious crimes at Abu Ghraib, and why it did not pursue charges against civilian contractors, over whom it has jurisdiction.