Monday, March 13, 2006

Detainee No. 155148

The Washington Post reports that Army Sargeant Michael J. Smith, in his court martial hearing for the use of dogs at Abu Ghraib, has submitted as evidence the famous photo of himself scaring a detainee with a black dog.

Sgt. Smith's defense alleges that he was specifically ordered by superiors to use dogs on Detainee 155148, whose real name is Ashraf Abdullah Ahsy. The defense alleges this detainee was marked as a "high value" and that his continued interrogation was declared a "special project" of Military Intelligence at Abu Ghraib.

Sgt. Smith and another dog handler allege that the use of dogs against the detainees was encouraged and approved of by Military Intelligence at the prison.

The Post writes that Col. Thomas Pappas, who ran military intelligence at the prison and was recently granted immunity for his testimony, approved of the use of dogs on certain detainees only days before the infamous photo was taken of Ahsy.

More than other torture techniques like water-boarding, and the use of tight restraints, the question of the use of dogs seems to be the most likely to implicate some of the Pentagon's bigger fish, including Col. Thomas Pappas and General Geoffrey Miller.

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