It took less than a day to try, convict, and sentence Jeremy Sivits in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. Sivits has been demoted and ordered expelled from the Army, and will serve a year in prison. It’s an example of justice – military-style. And officials say if there is any silver lining in all of this, it’s that the U.S. is showing how a “democracy deals with wrongdoing.” But as the world watches, there are questions that the system may fail the smell test if prosecutors only go after the small fry…and leave the big fish alone.
Only seven soldiers have been charged, so far. The military brass is pledging to take their investigation “wherever it might lead” but civilians, like Secretary Rumsfeld and others, are beyond the reach of these investigators. Military justice, on parade.
Kevin Barry, a former Military Judge and Director of the National Institute of Military Justice
Professor Lee Schinasi, a retired Lt. Colonel who spent 23 years in the JAG corps. Schinasi is now a professor at the University of Miami law school.