More information about how the torture-murder of Iraqi Gen. Mowhoush came to light — and the context in which it ocurred. Utah GI exposed abuses at prison. His reports were brushed off until fellow Utahn stepped in:
The Army captain appeared confused. “You’re using ‘sledgehammer’ figuratively?” he asked the enlisted soldier sitting before him.
“No sir,” the soldier replied, lifting his hands about 15 inches apart. “The handle of a sledgehammer, about this big . . . to assault the detainees with.”
For Sgt. 1st Class Michael Pratt it would have been far easier to look away.
(spotted via Amygdala, How Sgt. 1ST Class Michael Pratt blew the whistle)
More uglies from the story:
A soldier with a squeaky-clean record and reputation during his 18 years in the Utah National Guard, Pratt was apparently unprepared for what he found in his first few months with some of the regular Army soldiers of the 3rd Cavalry.
Among the allegations made in his testimony: That he had witnessed a soldier shoot a 14-year-old boy in the back during a raid – as the boy was running away. That matter, he claimed, was never thoroughly investigated, though fellow soldiers assured him that the rules of engagement had been followed when the teen was shot.
Later, when he learned that unqualified soldiers were conducting interrogations, Pratt again logged a compliant. In response, he testified, he was investigated – and told by other soldiers it was for blackmail purposes.
The final blow came when Pratt reported that a group of combat engineers had confiscated a large stash of currency from an Iraqi family who intended to use the money to send their daughter to Jordan for an operation. When he reported the matter to an officer in his chain of command, Pratt said, “he told me I was getting too close to the Iraqis. He accused me of losing my objectivity.”
“After that incident,” Pratt said. “I realized that it was pointless to report anything.”
Though aware that detainees were often stuffed into lockers, wrapped with blankets and electric cords – and, Pratt alleged, sometimes beaten with a sledgehammer handle – he didn’t seek an investigation.