GIs face charges in torture-death

As we have noted, all US soldiers accused of killings in Iraq have thus far been acquitted. This particularly grisly case will really put Pentagon justice to the test. But we again note that, in any case, higher-ranking officers–who the accused GIs say “had sanctioned their actions”–are getting off the hook…

Three GIs to Face Trial in Iraqi’s Death
By Robert Weller
The Associated Press

Friday 03 June 2005

Denver – Three soldiers have been ordered to stand trial at Fort Carson on murder charges in the suffocation of an Iraqi general, who died during an interrogation 1 1/2 years ago. Chief Warrant Officers Lewis Welshofer and Jeff L. Williams and Spc. Jerry Loper, all of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, also face charges of assault and dereliction of duty during combat operations, Army spokeswoman Kim Tisor said Thursday.

Prosecutors claim the soldiers put Maj. Gen. Abed Mowhoush headfirst into a sleeping bag, tied him up with an electrical cord and threw him to the ground. The Army accuses the soldiers of sitting and standing on Mowhoush’s chest.

Previously secret court testimony indicates the Iraqi general’s body was badly bruised and he may have been severely beaten two days before he suffocated on Nov. 26, 2003.

No date was set for the court-martial. If convicted of all charges, the soldiers face life imprisonment without parole, forfeiture of all pay and dishonorable discharges.

Welshofer and Williams were interrogators, and Loper a prison guard. All have denied wrongdoing, saying commanders had sanctioned their actions.