BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The highest-ranking U.S. soldier charged in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick, a U.S. Army reservist from Virginia, also was sentenced Thursday to a forfeiture of pay, a dishonorable discharge and a reduction in rank to private.
Frederick pleaded guilty Wednesday to five charges of abusing Iraqi detainees. Under a plea agreement, he admitted to conspiracy, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees, assault, and committing an indecent act.
The 38-year-old's prison sentence is the longest yet in connection with the scandal, The Associated Press reported.
The scandal sparked worldwide outrage in April when photos and videos showed U.S. soldiers abusing naked Iraqis at the Baghdad-area prison.
Frederick is one of seven members of the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company charged in the scandal.
Another member, military intelligence Specialist Armin Cruz, 24, was sentenced in September to eight months confinement, reduction in rank to private and a bad conduct discharge for his part in the scandal.
Specialist Jeremy Sivits is serving a one-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in May.
Sivits told a court-martial he saw Frederick punching an inmate so hard that everyone present feared the man was having a heart attack.
A medic was called to attend the man after the incident, which occurred November 8, 2003, Sivits said.
On Wednesday, Frederick told the court that prisoners were forced to submit to public nudity and degrading treatment "for military intelligence purposes," AP reported.
He said he was given no training or support in supervising detainees and only learned of regulations against mistreatment after the abuses occurred.
When he raised issues with his commanders, he said, "They told me to do what (military intelligence) told me to do," AP quoted him as testifying.
"I was wrong about what I did and I shouldn't have done it," Frederick told the judge, Army Col. James Pohl. "I knew it was wrong at the time because I knew it was a form of abuse."
Frederick said military intelligence soldiers and civilian interrogators told the guards how to treat detainees, including stripping them, depriving them of sleep or taking away their cigarettes.
Investigators wanted detainees "stressed out, wanted them to talk more," he said.
A military intelligence soldier called as a witness during the proceeding, Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Kramer, referred to an e-mail from the U.S. command in Baghdad telling him to order his interrogators to be tough on prisoners.
"The gloves are coming off, gentlemen, regarding these detainees," the e-mail, which was read into evidence, said. It added that the command "wants the detainees broken."
A report this year by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba said using military police to break down prisoners may have been a technique imported from the Guantanamo Bay prison and possibly detention centers in Afghanistan used to hold suspected terrorists, AP reported.
He deserves what he got. He took things too far. I understand the sleep deprivation and some humiliation but some of the stuff they were doing over there was a bit extreme. He really deserves what he got for letting those idiots take pictures of the abuse. Now that was stupid!
[quote][i]Originally posted by asuusa[/i]@Oct 22 2004, 07:13 PM
[b] What did that Muslim soldier of ours get for rolling that gernade into one of our tents?
I haven't heard anything about him. [/b][/quote]
Clear cut case of Millitary Treason. The Death penalty would be appropriate in that case (although it IS odd we havn't heard much on that case since it occured).