US Officer Cleared Over Abu Ghraib

Only officer charged with a crime in torture scandal will face no punishment
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 9:17 AM CST
Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan arrives for his general court martial at a military court on Aug. 20, 2007, in Fort Meade, Md. Jordan, the only officer charged in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal has...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The only officer who faced a court-martial over the torture at Abu Ghraib has been cleared of all criminal wrongdoing. The BBC reports that Lt. Col. Steven Jordan was convicted in August of disobeying a gag order, but that decision was annulled and his record is now clean. No officer has been dismissed or faced any direct charges for the Abu Ghraib scandal, although 11 lower-ranking soldiers have been convicted.

Jordan's defense attorneys argued that although he was officially in command of the interrogation center, he had no control over the interrogations. Human rights activists expressed anger at the decision, pointing out that the military has reneged on its promise to investigate those higher up on the chain of command at Abu Ghraib. "Although the abuse was systemic and widespread, the accountability for it has been anything but," said the ACLU.