Nothing’s Shocking

Oh me oh my:

A military dog handler convicted for his role in the prisoner abuse scandal has been ordered back to help train the country’s police […]

Sgt. Santos Cardona, 32, a military policeman from Fullerton, Calif., served in 2003 and 2004 at Abu Ghraib as a military dog handler. After pictures of Cardona using the animal to threaten Iraqis were made public, he was convicted in May of dereliction of duty and aggravated assault, the equivalent of a felony in the U.S. civilian justice system. The prosecution demanded prison time, but a military judge instead imposed a fine and reduction in rank. Though Cardona was not put behind bars, he was also required to serve 90 days of hard labor at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Before Cardona boarded a plane at Pope Air Force Base this week for the long flight to his unit’s Kuwait staging area, he told close friends and family that he dreaded returning to Iraq. One family member described him as “depressed,” though stoic about his fate. According to a close friend with whom Cardona spoke just before his departure, the soldier is fearful that he remains a marked man, forever linked to the horrors of Abu Ghraib — he appears in at least one al-Qaeda propaganda video depicting the abuse — and that he and comrades serving with him in Iraq could become targets for terrorists. To make matters worse, his 23rd MP Company has been selected to train Iraqi police, which have been the target of frequent assassination attempts and, according to US intelligence are heavily infiltrated by insurgents. Attempts to reach Cardona directly were unsuccessful.

I got nothin’.


Comments: 33


Damn, what are you doing up?


Ha! I got somethin’!
“The Bush Administration: Making Bad Apples Into Bad Apple Sauce. Since the Year 2001. ‘Ah-heh-heh-heh.'”


What the hell?

Also, I fear your sleep schedule is as fucked as mine.


and that he and comrades serving with him in Iraq could become targets for terrorists.

There’s a solution to this: Rope. Tree. Bad soldier.

Some assembly required.


Hey, a post during daylight hours. What an exciting, new sensation. Now, if only it wasn’t such a godawful story.

(The timestamp hasn’t switched back from summer time, I see. It’s now half past two in the Supersecret Sadly HQ known as Germany.)


In the context of this article the thing that “…makes matters worse” is the increased danger that he’ll be in while training police. Not that a convicted felon is training the police. That makes matters just the same, I guess.


Do we not have one soldier who would be capable of training police (supposedly in techniques that don’t involve assault) in place of this criminal?


He’s a dead man.


They’re setting him up. He can’t tell any tales after he’s dead. Just stick him in there with a bunch of Iraqis that know what he’s already done, and let nature take it’s course. See, no fingerprints. And no tell-all books after he comes home. Fuckers.
Would it be at all possible to have a government that was as interested in fighting the terrorists as they are fighting John Kerry? In my lifetime?


John Kerry is a Democrat, equals a terrorist.



Attempts to reach Cardona directly were unsuccessful.

Yeah, but I get the feeling that the attempts to reach Cardona directly — very directly — on the part of the insurgents in the Iraqi police force will be successful, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.


Simple question for all of you. Have any of you ever served in the military? Probably not which is why your opinion carries no weight. You have no idea what this soldier was ordered to do in Abu Ghraib. I don’t think this guy is a criminal at all. I think he was doing what was ordered of him. When the public got wind of what was happening there and freaked out they needed a scape goat and the soldiers were it. They may have gotten a little carried away but they were not torturing prisoners. If holding a barking dog in front of a person and scaring them is torture then tough crap. How about beating them or pulling out there finger nails, now that is torture. Not making them pile up naked. That was a technique used to break them down mentally. But I guess we should be mad at America cause we are so aweful. Try watching one of the videos where they behead Americans and then see what you think is torture. This guy was convicted, served his punishment and is now following orders to report back. He could be a disgrace and go UA, but he’s not. He is going because he follows orders. (That is how our military works) I don’t see any of you volunteering to defend this great nation. Don’t get me wrong, there are some bad people in the military, but I don’t think this is one of them. He is showing that he follows orders by returning even after this whole ordeal.


A little off-topic: does anyone know where to find the text of what John Kerry said in his “stuck in Iraq” speech? I’m trying to explain the concept of “context” to some clueless right-wingers, and the transcript would really help.


I was going to give OnceAMarine a respectful response, as in: Why, yes, many of us have served in uniform. And lower ranking soldiers were scapegoated? No fucking kidding!

But then he started explaining what was and was not torture…and I lost interest.

I still think Martin Wisse should knock that shit off, though.


OnceAMarine: who is the ultimate commander of the armed forces?
Correct, the President of the US.
Is he a member of the military, or a civilian?
Correct again. And there’s a damn good reason for that, and it’s called checks and balances.
To suggest that anyone who hasn’t served cannot comment on the actions they carry out in our name is bs. I’m not vilifying this individual per se, but we have EVERY right to call out the bad apples if we find them. To suggest otherwise would mean the military has carte blanche, ’cause the rest of us “don’t understand” the culture. Bullshit.
The new Military Commissions Act takes a lot of those checks and balances away, giving the military the right to seize an American, on American soil and detain him indefinitely without habeus corpus. A despicable act, and one I assume will be overturned eventually. But make no mistake; they work for us and answer to us.


Dear Once and Future Maroon,

I think he was doing what was ordered of him.

I’m glad you didn’t buy the “a few bad apples”-bollocks, but you really think the fact that he may have been following orders from his superiors when abusing the Abu Ghraib prisoners make it any less of a fuckup?

How about beating them or pulling out there finger nails, now that is torture.
Um, yes. Haven’t been paying much attention, have we?

I don’t see any of you volunteering to defend this great nation.
a) You don’t know shit.
b) Don’t expect the rest of us to give our lives trying to clean up your mess.

FWIW, I haven’t got anything in particular against sgt. Candona. He fucked up and got punished, and that’s that, at least as far as I’m concerned. But the fuckwits who ordered him to go back to Iraq on the other hand, where he’ll be in enormous risk of being at the receiving end of a snipers bullet, as well as bringing the occupation even further into disrepute, those bastards I do have a problem with.


Once a Marine, I have served so I guess my opinion has more weight with you, huh? Okay here is my opinion. I think that what happened at Abu Ghraib was a lot worse than a few soldiers getting carried away, but I do agree with you that they were scapegoated. I think that according to the UCMJ, orders to commit torture are UNLAWFUL ORDERS and therefore do not have to be obeyed. I think that if you don’t know that then you are either not a former Marine or you are an idiot.


I don’t think this guy is a criminal at all. I think he was doing what was ordered of him.

Marine, this excuse, as you may know, didn’t work at Nuremburg — if you don’t, then you’re opinion means shit.

But I guess we should be mad at America cause we are so aweful.

No, I’m pissed at a lot of Americans because we sent a bunch of people to their deaths for no fucking reason at all, and were complicit in torturing them (beyond siccing barking dogs at them. Maybe you should read about it.) because our ‘leadership’ thought it might be wise.

Tell me Marine, if these ‘techniques’ (which included beating — see ‘liquified legs’ — and strapping them up by their arms while their chests and lungs collaspsed) were meant to break them down and offer up information, how come Iraq’s such a fucking mess three years later? Either this shit works, or it doesn’t. The evidence seems pretty obvious, don’t it?


WHat once & always doesn’t seem to get is that this guy is going on a one way trip. He’s the villain in anti-american propaganda videos. He is a big, gigantic target.

And the Army has to know it.


What does it take to get a dishonorable discharge these days?

He’s a dead man. He’ll be sent to scout for IEDs by the roadside.

Oh, and OnceA? Your argument was more compelling before you tried to make it.



Do you think none of us have served in the military because you think this is a site for young republicans? I volunteered for 3 years in the Army in 1981 and served until 1984, actually extended my term for 6 months because my commander asked. Was never AWOL like the CIC.

But that doesn’t matter. the vast majority of the people that comment on this blog respect the soldiers enough to think that wasting their lives to support the agenda of cowards and liars is wrong. If you’re looking for people who think our servicemembers should be used as cannonfodder and are themselves afraid to serve there are a large number of other sites you can visit.


I second the opinion that he’s being set up. Can’t implicate his superiors after getting the execution style bullet to the back of the head.


This Cardona buy did something wrong, was punished, and is now being put in a very dangerous situation. He shouldn’t be doing this kind of thing in Iraq right now, for his own safety and the Iraqis he’s training. What he did at Abu Gharib was wrong. There is no point in defending it.

Saying our civilian leadership has failed the military and the American people is like saying the earth revolves around the sun. It’s that obvious. The military still has to abide by our laws, even though Bush is trying to turn it into the private army of the executive branch and the GOP. The president certainly won’t obey the law or the constitution. Don’t let the GOP take the military down with them.


Isn’t mentioning Nuremburg a violation of Godwin’s Law (amended for Republicans) or something?


Shorter Marine: Since the terrorists behead people, you should be glad we only tie them up and electrocute them.


The title of this post is “Nothing’s Shocking”, which is probably an unfortunate entendre.


Probably not which is why your opinion carries no weight.

With that sentence, any weight yours may have had evaporated.


Miss Emily: if he’s so worried about his comrades, let him take the honourable way out, is what I’m saying.

Apart from that, I can’t really care about what happens to torturers or torture enablers.



So, I do I take it that you approve of sending this guy back to Iraq to his almost-certain death? If, as you say, he was just “following orders”, then how do you reconcile the fact that those who GAVE those orders are essentially seeing to it that he will not survive to testify against them at some point in the future?

Do you think he deserves THAT? I certainly don’t. I think he ought to be kept safe and alive here at home, not given a death sentence by “terrorist” proxy. Are you on his side or not?



He’s not going. Someone came to their senses, somewhere.


Pulpified, not liquified. Pulpified is the word to search on if you want to spoil your dinner.


OnceAMarineAlwaysAMarine sounds like he served in an alternate universe military service (AKA bullshit Hollywood movies) where abusing prisoners is SOP and moral relativism is the law.


OnceAMarineAlwaysAMarine, did Mr. Spock wear a goatee where you come from? Just askin’.


(comments are closed)