- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2007

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The only officer criminally charged in the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal will be court-martialed on eight charges, including cruelty and maltreatment of detainees, an Army spokesman said yesterday.

Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan, 50, is tentatively scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at Fort McNair in the District, Col. Jim Yonts told the Associated Press.

Col. Yonts said Maj. Gen. Guy C. Swann, commander of the Military District of Washington, ordered Col. Jordan to be tried for eight offenses. In addition to the single count of cruelty and maltreatment, they are:

• Disobeying a superior commissioned officer.

• Willful dereliction of duty by failing to supervise and ensure compliance with interrogation policies.

• Failure to obey a lawful general order to obtain permission before using military working dogs during interrogation.

• Failure to obey another other lawful order.

• False swearing.

• Two counts of making false official statements.

Col. Jordan, a reservist from Northern Virginia, was charged in April with 12 offenses. Gen. Swann dismissed four of them after reviewing the record of Col. Jordan’s Article 32 investigation, the military equivalent of a civilian preliminary hearing, held in October. Most of the dropped charges stemmed from accusations that Col. Jordan had falsified vehicle repair records.

The remaining charges carry maximum prison terms totaling 22 years.

Col. Jordan’s military lawyers didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Col. Jordan, a father of three, was the titular director of an interrogation center at Abu Ghraib in the fall of 2003, when detainees were stripped naked, sexually humiliated, beaten and set upon by dogs. Once regarded by superiors as having “impeccable moral standards,” he is accused of failing to exert his authority as the place descended into chaos.

Col. Jordan’s defense at his October hearing was that he had no operational control over interrogations and spent much of his time trying to improve soldiers’ deplorable living conditions.

Col. Jordan hasn’t been accused of personally torturing or humiliating prisoners, and he isn’t seen in any of the photos that stunned Americans, embittered the country’s foes, infuriated the Mideast and compromised the U.S. campaign for democracy in Iraq.

The government claims Col. Jordan’s actions or inaction subjected detainees to forced nudity and intimidation by dogs. He also is accused of lying to investigators in denying that he saw any abuse.

Maj. Gen. George R. Fay and Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones, who investigated the scandal, concluded that Col. Jordan’s “tacit approval” of violence by military police during an episode in November 2003 “can be pointed to as the causative factor that set the stage for the abuses that followed for days afterward.”

Eleven other U.S. soldiers — all from the enlisted ranks — have been convicted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, with the harshest sentence a 10-year prison term handed out to former Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr.

A general and other officers have received reprimands or demotions that ended or blighted their careers.

Since he was charged in April, Col. Jordan has been on active duty with the Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir.

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