Forcing naked Iraqi prisoners to pile themselves in human pyramids was not torture, because American cheerleaders do it every year, a court was told today.
A lawyer defending Specialist Charles Graner, who is accused of being a ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, argued that piling naked prisoners in pyramids was a valid form of prisoner control.
“Don’t cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?” said Guy Womack, Sergeant Graner’s lawyer, in opening arguments to the ten-member military jury at the reservist’s court martial.
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The prosecution showed some of those pictures in their opening argument, including one of naked Iraqi men piled on each other and another of Ms England holding a crawling naked Iraqi man on a leash.
Mr Womack said that using a tether was a valid method of controlling detainees. “You’re keeping control of them. A tether is a valid control to be used in corrections,” he said.
This much, I believe:
Apart from arguing that the methods were not illegal, Graner’s defence is that he was following orders from superiors. Mr Womack said: “He was doing his job. Following orders and being praised for it.”