Monday, June 21, 2004
Via Zemblan patriot K.Z.: The President, although he is accustomed to bulldozing the Congress and bulldozing the press, will apparently not be allowed to bulldoze the evidence:
A military judge on Monday declared the notorious Abu Ghraib prison a crime scene that cannot be demolished as President Bush had offered. He also refused to move the trial of a soldier accused of abusing inmates.In related news, Paul Bergrin, defense counsel for Sgt. Javal Davis, announced at the same pretrial hearing in Baghdad that he would seek to put both Bush and Rumsfeld on the stand as witnesses. But the judge wasn't buying:
[Col. James] Pohl declared the prison a crime scene and said it could not be destroyed prior to a verdict. President Bush had offered to dismantle the facility to help remove the stain of torture and abuse from the new Iraq; but Iraqi officials have declined, calling it a waste of resources. Saddam Hussein used Abu Ghraib to torture and murder his opponents.
Davis' civilian lawyer, Paul Bergrin, won permission to seek testimony from the top U.S. general in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and from the chief of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid.UPDATE: Even without Messrs. Bush and Rumsfeld, the guest list should be pretty lively. From the AP wire:
But the judge turned down a request to seek testimony from higher-ranking witnesses, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Pohl left open the possibility of calling other senior figures if the defense could show their testimony was relevant.
The defense will also have access to Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who was in charge of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and now runs U.S. detention facilities in Iraq. Others who could be questioned include Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, and Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, chief of coalition intelligence operations.