Sick Abu Ghraib Photog Released From Jail

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, August 06, 2011

Spc. Charles Graner, the sick low-level bully and ringleader in the scandal that rocked the already shaky U.S war effort to its deepest, darkest core in 2004, has been released from jail, three and a half years ahead of schedule. Recall with revulsion the many now iconic photos of Abu Ghriab: young Lynndie England with an Iraqi prisoner on a leash, the hooded detainee hooked up to a fry station, the pyramid of naked male bodies. The dogs, the dead bodies, the U.S soldiers, thumbs up over a fresh, bloodied and bruised corpse.

Charles Graner was behind all of those photographs and more. According to jailhouse interviews with England, who spent a year in prison and had the married Graner’s baby behind bars, the then-Army reservist seized upon and played off of the frenetic, often desperate anxiety of his young inexperienced crew of national guardsmen and women — most of whom were not trained nor prepared to serve as prison guards in a war theater — and was responsible for whipping up the sexual antics and fraternity house atmosphere at the notorious prison. But Graner had a past — of anger and abuse, as a husband and a state correctional officer. At Abu Ghraib, he was in his element. He was the perfect tool for a higher-level directive involving the systematic abuse of prisoners including not only physical and psychological pain, but sexual humiliation. For a while, he was effective. Sadly, we’ve been living with his effectiveness ever since.

This is what i wrote almost three years ago when Salon had tried to air brush Graner in order to fry the big fish in the Bush Administration (a laudable effort, but I couldn’t allow them to let this predatory eel off the hook):

 

So while I understand the inspiration behind Benjamin’s latest, “Sympathy for Charles Graner,” I don’t see how a semi-white wash of the guy with the camera is going to advance the cause. Sure, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and a handful of DoD, White House and CIA lawyers are running around with their livelihoods and plump speaking fees ahead of them while Graner rots in jail, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong there.

Benjamin travels to Graner’s family home in western Pennsylvania to talk to his parents, who describe Graner’s treatment at Fort Leavenworth — where he has been sentenced for ten years on charges of conspiracy to maltreat detainees, failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty, and maltreatment, as well as charges of assault, indecency and dereliction of duty — as “terrible.” His father goes so far as to say he shouldn’t be in prison.

But Benjamin’s story skips over a few things about this Persian Gulf War vet, former corrections officer and amateur photog. He says that Graner is the only person involved in Abu Ghraib still behind bars, and that “Lynndie England is not in jail.” He fails to mention that England, the 21-year-old pregnant lover of the 36-year-old Graner at the time of the scandal, did more than a year in prison and had his baby behind bars.

He also fails to mention that Graner had a history of abuse. His ex-wife and mother of his two young daughters (they are pictured, lovingly with Graner in the Salon spread) took out a restraining order on him in 1997 after he allegedly threatened to kill her and dragged her across the floor by her hair. As a correction officer he was accused by inmates in two separate incidents of physical abuse while shouting racial epithets and in one case, putting a razor blade in an inmate’s mashed potatoes.

He has been called the “ringleader,” of the activities among the 372nd Military Police Company, orchestrating not only the abuse and sick photography of the Iraqi prisoners seared upon our brains, but of the sexual antics among members of the company, particularly England. She recalled in a prison interview with Tara McKelvey of Marie Claire how she fell in with Graner’s weird sexual fetishes long before they were sent to Iraq together. In Iraq, he took pictures of everything, with one particular signature: the “thumbs up” sign.

Lynndie recalled her lurid affair with Graner  in a wide-ranging interview with Marie Claire:

England refused to give him up. In March 2003, she went with Graner and another soldier to Virginia Beach. During the trip, Graner took pictures of himself having anal sex with England. He also photographed her placing her nipple in the ear of the other soldier, who was passed out in a hotel room. Soon, it became their new game: Whenever Graner asked her to, England would strike a pose. “Everything they did, he took a picture of,” says Hardy, her lawyer. “I asked Lynndie why she let him. She said, ‘Guys like that. I just wanted to make him happy.’ She was like a little plaything for him. The sexual stuff, the way he put her in those positions, that was his way of saying, ‘Let’s see what I can make you do.'”In a supply room, Graner takes a shot of England performing oral sex. England adds a flourish for the photos: a thumbs-up sign. In another photo, England is standing near a detainee, Hayder Sabbar Abd, a 34-year-old taxi driver, as he is being made to simulate masturbation. Again, she gives a thumbs-up.

Why did she let Graner take all those pictures? Wasn’t she afraid he’d show them to people? “I didn’t want him to take the pictures,” England tells me. “But he took pictures of everything. He kept a camera in his cargo pocket. He was always taking his camera out. Sometimes he took the pictures for himself. Sometimes he took them for documentation…

… England remembers one detainee, “Gus.” (The prisoner’s real name has not been released.) “He didn’t like Americans,” she says. Gus was a “small man weighing approximately 100 pounds,” according to government documents. He was mentally ill; he had smeared his own feces on his body and threatened to kill some of the guards. One autumn night, Graner went into his cell with a leash (a “tie-down strap,” according to the documents). Gus was submissive. Graner put the strap around his neck, led him out of the cell, and handed the strap to England. Then he took a picture — and sent the jpeg to his family in Pennsylvania.

“Look what I made Lynndie do,” Graner wrote in the email….

Now this devil, who is right up there as one of the myriad footmen to the League of Extraordinary Bastards who orchestrated the war and all of its tortures and renditions in the name of God and honor and country, is getting out of jail and into a community near you.

Justice served?

 




32 Responses to “Sick Abu Ghraib Photog Released From Jail”

  1. [...] (Cross-posted at Antiwar.com) [...]

  2. DoD needs to release ALL the damn photags from Abu Ghraib. Every last war criminal one of them. Let the world see what crimes were committed in "our name." Then put Bushco on trial. Every last one of them!
    Graner, you sorry punk, you may be out of jail but you'll never be out of prison. That albatross you wear must be one stinking horror by now.

  3. I'm with you on this, Skulz. Accountability. That's the cure for all this govt lawlessness, and the damage to the country that results.

    The UN Charter became US Law when the US signed it. That criminalizes BOTH threats of war and war itself. That means every member of the Senate and House who signed the AUMF (Iraq) committed a felony in doing so. Same for follow-on funding. And not just garden-variety felonies, but war crimes. And those felonies, having resulted in the deaths of US soldier/citizens, qualifies the same gang for state charges of felony murder.

    If all the political elite thus implicated, were tried — at the very least — and fairly convicted by a jury of regular citizens, and sentenced — in view of all the world — to spend all or most of the rest of their lives behind bars in orange jumpsuits, I believe that the next time some morally defective dipsh*t like Bush or pathological death-worshipper like Cheney tried to kill US soldiers, the US reputation, and US prosperity — for personal political and crony corporate profits — there just might be some hesitation on the part of Congress to rubber stamp the enterprise.

  4. It is not just one bad apple.The whole USA is one big bad apple.Bush and his criminal gangs were put in power again .Many pople approved of what took place in the prison.

  5. Remember My Lai .Many Americans consider Spc. Charles Graner,Lynndie England,and the many like themas national heros.

  6. Hi Jeff: We need to make that happen. I confess that I haven't got a clue as to how. The corrupt bulls*@t has reached the interminable stage. Can't takes no more. I'm of the opinion that the treason wrought on our nation by Bushco and continued by the Obama must and should be dealt with the old fashioned way. Firing squad. But that's just me and I seem to have this really bad attitude thing working at present.

  7. They all should of gotten life in prison

  8. [...] Source [...]

  9. Having been in combat more than once all I can say is that this kind of thing happens more than you would think. Not to this extreme or at this level but it goes on daily with prisoners. Simple things that you don't even think of at the time. The act of charging your m16 and pointing it through a cage is so common it's not even looked at twice. Buttstroking someone with the back of your rifle is also not considered a big deal.

    I am as dedicated or more so than most anti-war activists. However, I also understand that people are human and will follow the pack leaders. We should not be there period, but as long as we are this type of thing will go on. In order for one man to kill another you must think of them as less than human. The only way to stop this it to end wars. Hatred, Fear, Revenge and Immaturity of the Soul and Mind are a potent coctail.

    So first you brainwash people their whole lives with propoganda, then you send them to war were they are conditioned to kill and then you expect them to overcome all the conditioning and treat people with respect?? Yah sure right.

  10. What he did was sick. But it's a symptom of something much larger. It's the result of a disease created by our nation.

    Think about this. How much of the hatred being spewed at this sad sack is based on the propoganda that the MSM puts out?

    Is he the bad guy becuase he did what he did? Is he the bad guy because he got caught? Is he the bad guy because he put other American lives at risk? Trust me the MSM doesn't care one bit about the first reason.

    Yes, we should condemn him for what he did, but we also need to look at why he did it, why he was allowed to or told to do it and why are we really upset about him being caught.

  11. [...] http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2011/08/06/sick-abu-ghraib-photog-released-from-jail/ Posted in Zionist Threat « DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: Black swans galore [...]

  12. "Spc. Charles Graner, the sick low-level bully and ringleader in the scandal that rocked the already shaky U.S war effort to its deepest, darkest core in 2004, has been released from jail, three and a half years ahead of schedule. Recall with revulsion the many now iconic photos of Abu Ghriab: young Lynndie England with an Iraqi prisoner on a leash, the hooded detainee hooked up to a fry station, the pyramid of naked male bodies. The dogs, the dead bodies, the U.S soldiers, thumbs up over a fresh, bloodied and bruised corpse".

    All this tells me that is about neo-fascism and how it works.., now some want to call it war crime.., some other something ells‘.., never mind that or this.., this is about the neo-fascism and is coming from the elite who orchestrated the Iraq war…, pure and simple.

  13. The abuse will never stop until people are held accountable. Case in point, Obama continues CIA black sites and permanent detention.

    Want to end war crimes? Hold war crime trials for both the Bush and Obama administrations.

    Please!

  14. Just 10 years… & of that this evil-scumbag only severed 6.

    On the other hand, you have the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist who was subjected to torture akin (if not worse) to that at Abu Ghraib. She has been sentenced to 86 years in prison by the American "justice" system.

    And then you have American's wonder 'why do they hate us so?'.

  15. Whose idea was this…………… to release this SADISTIC MORON while…. negotiations are going on to extend the occupation…?? I'm sure Moctada Sader is VERY happy to see this release… The U.S. lets the poster boy for everything wrong and evil one can think of …….go home early from "detention"….. Was he REALLY ever detained at all…??? More echoes of Viet Nam as nixon pardoned Lt. Calley after….3 of his 20 year sentence… FootNote….. Black Stooge Colin Powell , then a 31-year-old Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference M? Lai (Glen had limited knowledge of the events there). In his report, Powell wrote, "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal[22] soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Powell's handling of the assignment was later characterized by some observers as "whitewashing" the atrocities of M? Lai.[23] In May 2004, Powell, then United States Secretary of State, told CNN's Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."[24]

  16. Wow, whose idea was this….??? Letting the SADISTIC MORON off (early) WHILE the U.S. is negotiating to continue the occupation… Moctada Sadr thanks the idiot responsible and so do I… to wrist slap these torturers and murderers…. Who is in charge…??? More echoes of Viet Nam… When Nixon released Lt. Calley after three years of his 20 year sentence to…..house arrest at Ft. Benning… *** Foot-Note ***

    [WIKIPEDIA]
    Colin Powell , then a 31-year-old Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference M? Lai (Glen had limited knowledge of the events there). In his report, Powell wrote, "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal[22] soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Powell's handling of the assignment was later characterized by some observers as "whitewashing" the atrocities of M? Lai.[23] In May 2004, Powell, then United States Secretary of State, told CNN's Larry King, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."[24]
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/20http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:My_Lai_massacrehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:My_Lai_massacrehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dead_man_and_chhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MyLai_Haeberle_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dead_woman_fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dead_woman_chil

  17. Graner is a dishonorable cretin but he and the other 5 or 6 low ranking reservist who were punished for the torture at Abu Ghraib were scapegoats. They were so far down on the food chain they weren't even cogs in the torture machine. Does anyone think that an uneducated low ranking NCO from the hills of western Maryland could have come up with the things they are shown doing on his own?

    The architect of the torture regime in Iraq was MG Geoffrey Miller, the head of Detainee Operations with able assisstance from Col Tom (?) Pappas the commander of the military intelligence brigade at Abu. Miller reported directly to the sec def bypassing LTG Sanchez the commander in Iraq. Miller, Pappas, the CIA angents/contract killers as well as the leadership of the active Army MP battalion that Graner et al were attached to walked away scott free. That's what you should be disgusted about.

  18. Yep, What he did was dispicable no doubt about it. However, there is no way he could have been doing these things if they were not sanctioned from higher up. NO WAY!!!!

    Orders are a funny thing. On the one hand you are told that you can and should dissobey an "illegal" order. Well how in the heck are you supposed to know what is legal and illegal when our own justice department can't? (morality is a seperate thing and you can't dissobey an order based on morality without going to prison) This one was clear cut so I am not going to give this guy a break, but he was a scapegoat and I'm sure he didn't believe what he was doing was illegal, at least not in regards to his chain of command.

    His acts, as peverse as they were, were sanctioned.

  19. In 1990 my best friend was sentenced to 7 years without chance of parole for the murder of a civilian. I testified on his behalf because I was there and saw everything. We were under fire and he did everything correctly, under the rules of engagement. First shouting "alto" (stop) then put down your weapon. We were fired at again repeatedly. He returned fire with two, three round bursts from his M16A2. Killing one of the men shooting at us and also a woman who had ran out in front. We did everthing we could to save her life. Including running under fire to give her aid and mouth to mouth as she died. He was the first man convicted of Murder during combat since Vietnam.

    Military Justice my rear end. The press made him out to be the devil incarnate, all lies.

    The people on this site should know better than to believe anything the MSM putts out.

    Was this Graner messed up or messed with? Was he all there or a semi-moronic tool, like his girlfriend? My guess is that people much smarter then those two were behind this mess, they just took the fall.

  20. [...] Kelley Vlahos: Abu Ghraib-torture U.S. soldier released from prison [...]

  21. Graner was better off in prison – as it is probably not safe for him to walk the streets, somebody might lynch him.

  22. SICK PICE OF CRAP NEEDS TO DO LIFE ALONG WITH THE PEOPLE INCHARGE.INCUDING THE PRESIDENT AND HIS STAFF FOR SENDING THE SOLDIERS INTO AN ILLEGAL WAR OR WARS.oBAM AND STAFF TO.

  23. He is not the only one that was let go early ,many recieved very light prison terms,or were founfd not guilty for many heinous because they were judged by juries in the good old USA.

  24. It is actually not safe for the rest of us that he is free.This guy is a psychopath.

  25. Truth is he's really not that different from a lot of civilian prison guards in the U.S. The sickness that is in America's blood permeates all aspects of its society, not just the military. The Swat team that smashes down your door in Cleveland is not that different from the military squad that smashes down someone's door in Baghdad.

  26. [...] blame the ones who get assaulted. And we have seen just how sick some in the military are in their behavior at Abu-Ghraib and in groups such as the ritualistic “Kill [...]

  27. [...] [...]

  28. all aspects of its society, not just the military. The Swat team that smashes down your door in Cleveland is not that different from the military squad that smashes down someone's door in Baghdad

  29. If you were not there do not judge. Lest you judge you be judged.

    After 911 every american wanted justice. just remember all the americans that died that day

    and the family members that still wonder why. I feel Grainer got some justice for the famlies

    and all AMERICANS. God be with you C. Grainer

  30. Guy looks like a total sociopath.

  31. One need not forget that few of those ghastly photos were released and thousands are yet to be shown to the civilized world. The mentally sick creatures need to be separated from the normal society and this would ensure a safe world for us. literature review writing services

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