25 January 2006

A torturer-murderer gets slap on the wrist, but no prison time

A military jury ordered reprimand, but no jail time, for a soldier who tortured an Iraqi general to death.

And the decision drew applause.

From the Associated Press:
A military jury has recommended that an officer once facing up to life in prison for the interrogation death of an Iraqi general be given only a reprimand, a decision that drew applause from soldiers.

Initially charged with murder, Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. now faces no jail time, the forfeiture of $6,000 in salary and what amounts largely to a barracks restriction for 60 days.

"I deeply apologize if my actions tarnished the soldiers serving in Iraq," Welshofer said during his sentencing hearing. "It was never my intent to cast aspersions on their tremendous accomplishments."

Welshofer was convicted Saturday of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty for stuffing the Iraqi general headfirst into a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest.

The sentence will be reviewed by Fort Carson's commander, Maj. Gen. Robert W. Mixon. He cannot order a harsher sentence, said Welshofer's defense attorney Frank Spinner.

Prosecutors had described Welshofer as a rogue interrogator who became frustrated with Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush's refusal to answer questions and escalated his techniques from simple interviews to beatings to simulating drowning, and finally, to death.
[Read more.]

No comments:

Post a Comment