Little Green Footballs

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rumsfeld in trouble...

Military judge delays Abu Ghraib trial

WASHINGTON -- A military judge on Monday delayed for more than two months the start of a court martial for an Army dog handler in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq.

Sgt. Santos A. Cardona, 31, of Fullerton, Calif., is charged with dereliction of duty and maltreatment of detainees. The judge in the case, Marine Lt. Col. Paul McConnell, moved the court martial starting date from March 8 to May 22 to give the defense more time to prepare.

If convicted, Cardona faces up to 16 1/2 years in prison.

Another dog handler who faces a court martial, Army Sgt. Michael Smith, told investigators in February 2004 that he and Cardona used their unmuzzled dogs to help the military intelligence unit with interrogations.

Last year at a hearing for the two dog handlers, the former warden of the Iraqi prison testified that Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, the commander in charge of Guantanamo Bay prison, visited Abu Ghraib in 2003 and recommended the use of military dogs during interrogations.

"We understood that he was sent over by the secretary of defense," Maj. David Dinenna testified.

Seattle PI

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