Army Rebukes Congressional Aide for Abu Ghraib Role

Associated Press
Saturday, March 11, 2006; Page A20

The Army has reprimanded a senior congressional aide who served in Iraq for his role in the abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison, his lawyer confirmed yesterday.

David P. Sheldon declined to discuss the exact reason for the punishment of Army Reserve Capt. Christopher Brinson, the deputy chief of staff for Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).

Brinson led the platoon of Army reservists that included Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr., a guard and central figure in the scandal who was sentenced in January 2005 to 10 years in prison.

Sheldon said Brinson was unaware of his soldiers' actions and blamed his superiors for allowing the abuse to happen at the prison. Brinson has submitted a rebuttal to the Army, the lawyer said.

"The command structure that Captain Brinson inherited at Abu Ghraib was not of his making. Nor was the treatment of detainees something that members of his unit initiated," Sheldon said in a statement to the Associated Press.

"Captain Brinson had no knowledge while he was at Abu Ghraib of conduct by certain soldiers that subsequently led to the criminal prosecutions of those soldiers."

Brinson received the reprimand in January. It was first reported Friday by Salon.com and confirmed to the Associated Press by Sheldon.

Marshall Macomber, the congressman's chief of staff, said only that the matter was "an internal issue for the Department of the Army."

A memorandum by Brinson to Graner praised him for "doing a fine job" and said prisoners often tried to provoke the guards. The memo was dated Nov. 16, 2003 -- eight days after Graner was photographed in images showing some of the abuses at the prison near Baghdad. In one, the former Pennsylvania prison guard stands grinning behind a pyramid of naked prisoners.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo in August 2004 from a former member of the 372nd Military Police Company.

Rogers, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, declined to comment at the time.Associated Press

Saturday, March 11, 2006; Page A20

The Army has reprimanded a senior congressional aide who served in Iraq for his role in the abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison, his lawyer confirmed yesterday.

David P. Sheldon declined to discuss the exact reason for the punishment of Army Reserve Capt. Christopher Brinson, the deputy chief of staff for Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).

Brinson led the platoon of Army reservists that included Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr., a guard and central figure in the scandal who was sentenced in January 2005 to 10 years in prison.

Sheldon said Brinson was unaware of his soldiers' actions and blamed his superiors for allowing the abuse to happen at the prison. Brinson has submitted a rebuttal to the Army, the lawyer said.

"The command structure that Captain Brinson inherited at Abu Ghraib was not of his making. Nor was the treatment of detainees something that members of his unit initiated," Sheldon said in a statement to the Associated Press.

"Captain Brinson had no knowledge while he was at Abu Ghraib of conduct by certain soldiers that subsequently led to the criminal prosecutions of those soldiers."

Brinson received the reprimand in January. It was first reported Friday by Salon.com and confirmed to the Associated Press by Sheldon.

Marshall Macomber, the congressman's chief of staff, said only that the matter was "an internal issue for the Department of the Army."

A memorandum by Brinson to Graner praised him for "doing a fine job" and said prisoners often tried to provoke the guards. The memo was dated Nov. 16, 2003 -- eight days after Graner was photographed in images showing some of the abuses at the prison near Baghdad. In one, the former Pennsylvania prison guard stands grinning behind a pyramid of naked prisoners.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo in August 2004 from a former member of the 372nd Military Police Company.

Rogers, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, declined to comment at the time.