Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Code Red

No jail time for officer charged in death of Iraqi general

A military jury on Monday ordered a reprimand but no jail time for an Army interrogator convicted of killing an Iraqi general by stuffing him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. also was ordered to forfeit $6,000 salary and was largely restricted to his barracks and workplace for 60 days.

Welshofer, 43, had originally been charged with murder and faced up to life in prison. But on Saturday he was convicted instead of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty.


After hearing the sentence reached by the jury of six Army officers, Welshofer hugged his wife. Soldiers in the gallery — many of whom had worked with Welshofer and who had testified as character witnesses — broke into applause.


Prosecutors said Welshofer put a sleeping bag over the head of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, sat on his chest and used his hand to cover the general's mouth while questioning him at a detention camp in Iraq in 2003.

Prosecutors said the general suffocated.

The defense had argued a heart condition caused Mowhoush's death, and that Welshofer's commanders had approved the interrogation technique.

Prosecutors described Welshofer as a rogue interrogator who became frustrated with Mowhoush's refusal to answer questions and escalated his techniques from simple interviews to beatings to simulating drowning, and finally, to death.

Lessee...ordered to stuff his head in a sleeping bag or loose cannon? Ah, who knows--we'll just split the difference and send him to his room for a couple of months. I would imagine that a few Iraqis will be upset by this, but once we send them all copies of A Few Good Men, they'll be cool with this. Of course, we'll have to edit out the part at the end where Kevin Bacon reads Jack Nicholson his Article 31 rights, cuz that ain't gonna happen...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet James Yee, an innocent man was imprisoned.

8:21 AM  

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