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Senior Abu Ghraib officer charged with detainee abuses

[JURIST] The US Army announced late Friday that it has charged Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, former head of interrogation operations at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], with seven violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice [text], including disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction of duty, failure to obey a regulation, false swearing, cruelty and maltreatment and interfering with an investigation. He is the highest-ranking Army officer to face criminal charges as a result of the prisoner abuse scandal. Jordan's lawyer had said Tuesday that the charges against his client were anticipated [JURIST report].

Jordan, who was trained as a civil affairs officer and put in charge of Abu Ghraib's Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center [backgrounder] when it was formed in September 2003, admitted to Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba [Times profile], who investigated the Abu Ghraib abuses, that he was a poor choice to oversee interrogations [NYT report]. The Taguba report [PDF text] recommended that Jordan be relieved from duty and reprimanded for "failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct control knew, understood, and followed the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War" and "failing to properly supervise soldiers under his direct authority." In addition, the August 2004 Fay report [PDF text; JURIST report] recommended that Jordan and Col. Thomas Pappas [Wikipedia profile], Jordan's superior, be punished for their roles in the abuse scandal. It was disclosed in January that Army investigators had recommended [LA Times report] Jordan be charged. Army Times has more.

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