As American As Bad Apple Pie

From Holden:

The Army is doing everything it can to prevent any officer from becoming entangled in the ongoing torture scandal.

…Capt. Ian Fishback, said investigators from the Criminal Investigation Command and the 18th Airborne Corps inspector general had pressed him to divulge the names of two sergeants from his former battalion who also gave accounts of abuse, which were made public in a report last Friday by the group Human Rights Watch.

Captain Fishback, speaking publicly on the matter for first time, said the investigators who have questioned him in the past 10 days seemed to be less interested in individuals he identified in his chain of command who allegedly committed the abuses.

“I’m convinced this is going in a direction that’s not consistent with why we came forward,” Captain Fishback said in a telephone interview from Fort Bragg, N.C., where he is going through Army Special Forces training. “We came forward because of the larger issue that prisoner abuse is systemic in the Army. I’m concerned this will take a new twist, and they’ll try to scapegoat some of the younger soldiers. This is a leadership problem.”

[snip]

[L]ast Thursday, a day after Human Rights Watch notified the 82nd Airborne that it would be releasing a copy of its report outlining the allegations, Captain Fishback said he was summoned back to Fort Bragg from field training for six hours of questioning by investigators.

The report was made public last Friday, and Captain Fishback said investigators had questioned him for about an hour on Monday and again on Tuesday. “They’re asking the same questions over and over again,” he said. “They want the names of the sergeants, and they keep asking about my relationship with Human Rights Watch.”

Captain Fishback said he has refused to disclose the names of the two sergeants – one who has left the Army and another who has been reassigned – because he promised not to disclose their identities if they came forward. But he said his command told him Tuesday that he could face criminal prosecution if disobeyed its “lawful order” to disclose.

Captain Fishback’s concerns were confirmed yesterday during Charles Graner, Jr.’s, testimony in the sentancing phase of Lyndie England’s trial.

Graner said he told officers about detainee maltreatment, which he claimed was done by order of military intelligence personnel.

And at times, he said, military intelligence officers actually were present for the abuse.

“I nearly beat an MI detainee to death with MI there,” he said before Col. James Pohl, the judge, interrupted his testimony.