Another soldier convicted:
An Army Reserve private faces up to 16 years in military prison when he is sentenced for beating one of two Afghan detainees who later died.
A military jury found Pfc. Willie Brand guilty on Wednesday of assault, maltreatment, false official swearing and maiming. It acquitted him of similar charges involving the second man. His sentencing hearing begins Thursday.
Brand, an Ohio reservist with the 337th Military Police Company, was accused of repeatedly beating the two detainees while working as a guard at a detention center at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan in December 2002 and then lying about it. The detainees died later that month.
The conviction was for abuse of a prisoner known as Dilawar. An Air Force medical examiner had testified the man was injured so severely that his leg muscles were split apart. Homicide charges were dropped earlier this year.
As the verdict was read, Brand, 26, wiped tears from his face. His attorney, John P. Galligan, said the conviction will be appealed.
”When you send a man who has been to war back with a conviction, that’s punishment enough,” Galligan said.
Military prosecutors did not comment afterward. They had asked the jury of four enlisted soldiers and three officers to reject Brand’s claim that he just did what he was told and taught.
”It’s an excuse that comes up when you are caught,” 1st Lt. David Trainor said. ”He was not confused about it (his orders); he lied about it.”
I just find it hard to believe this is just a few rogue soldiers acting up. There is more to this.