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Army general denies recommending use of dogs in Abu Ghraib interrogations

[JURIST] A high-ranking US Army officer testified Wednesday in the court-martial [JURIST report] of Sgt. Santos Cardona, the second of two soldiers accused of using unmuzzled dogs [JURIST report] to terrify detainees during interrogations at the Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] detention center in Iraq. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller [Wikipedia profile], the former commander of military intelligence at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], told the military jury that when he visited Iraq in 2003 to review interrogation methods at Abu Ghraib, he suggested the use of dogs for "maintaining custody and control" of detainees, but that he never mentioned using them for intimidation purposes during interrogations. Shortly after Miller's visit to Abu Ghraib, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez [official profile, PDF], then commander of US forces in Iraq, issued new interrogation guidelines that appeared to allow the use of dogs.

Miller refused to testify in the court-martial of Sgt. Michael Smith, who was convicted of similar charges and sentenced to six months in jail [JURIST report] earlier this year, but he agreed to testify [JURIST report] last month for the defense in Cardona's trial. While Cardona's attorney expected Miller's testimony to prove that Cardona merely followed orders from above, it is not clear how much Miller's testimony will actually help Cardona. The New York Times has more.

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