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Profile: Charles Graner

 
  

Positions that Charles Graner has held:



 

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Charles Graner actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Mid-October 13, 2003-January 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Haj Ali Shallal Abbas, a mayor in the town of Abu Ghraib, contacts US authorities at the Abu Ghraib prison facility to inquire about young Iraqis who have been arrested. He is then himself detained at the prison where, like others, he is subjected to an array of abusive tactics. He too blames first and foremost Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick and Cpl. Charles Graner. “Frederick had come once or twice with a group of dogs,” Abbas later recalls. “They would tie us to the doors and then unleash the dogs on us. Graner was a disgrace to all civilized and democratic values every day. Graner enjoyed seeing prisoners tortured and tied up in the cells.” Abbas had surgery performed on his left hand two weeks before his arrest and is awaiting a second operation. Graner focuses his cruelty on Abbas' sensitive hand. Every day, Abbas says, “He made me put my hand out in the cell bars and would stomp with his boots on this hand.” Graner's treatment causes his hand to become irreparably damaged. In late November, Abbas sees prisoners stripped naked, hooded, cuffed, and beat with shoes on the sensitive parts of their bodies. [ABC News, 8/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, Ivan L. Frederick II, Haj Ali Shallal Abbas
          

October 24, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Three detainees at Abu Ghraib, suspected of having raped a male teenage detainee, are set aside for punishment and stripped by MPs. Pfc. Lynndie England describes the scene, apparently talking about Spc. Charles Graner and Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick II: “They started to handcuff the two rapist[s] together in odd positions/ways. Once the two were handcuffed together, the third guy was brought over and handcuffed between the other two. Then they were laying on the floor handcuffed together, so all the other prisoners could see them. Cpl. Graner and Staff Sgt. Frederick then asked me to start taking pictures with the camera.” [Sources: Report of the ICRC on the treatment by Coalition Forces of POWs]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, Ivan L. Frederick II, Lynndie England
          

Evening October 25, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       At the Abu Ghraib prison, three detainees who were photographed naked the day before (see October 24, 2003), are again striped naked, handcuffed together, placed on the ground, and forced to lie on top of each other and simulate sex acts while they are being photographed. This treatment happens, according to a CID (Criminal Investigation Division) investigation, “on several occasions over several days.” Those present or participating in the abuse are the MPs Spc. Charles Graner, Ivan Frederick, Pfc. Lynndie England, and Spc. Sabrina Harman, all of the 372nd MP Company. Also directly involved are three military intelligence soldiers from the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion. Two of the military intelligence soldiers arrive at the Hard Site when the abuse is already taking place. One appears to have known beforehand that something was going to happen. [Washington Post, 5/22/2004] When they arrive, one MP is yelling through a megaphone at the naked detainees, who are forced to crawl on their stomachs and are handcuffed together. Gen. George Fay will later conclude in his report (see August 25, 2004) that this incident “was most likely orchestrated by MP personnel.” On the other hand, England says, “MI [Military Intelligence] Soldiers instructed them [MPs] to rough them up.” One of the most clearly humiliating photographs taken at Abu Ghraib is also dated October 25. It depicts an unidentified naked detainee, nicknamed “Gus,” with a leash around his neck and with the end held by Pfc. England. Spc. Megan Ambuhl is also present, watching. According to England, Cpl. Graner put on the leash and then asked her to pose for the photograph. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, George R. Fay, Lynndie England, Megan Ambuhl, Sabrina Harman, Ivan L. Frederick II
          

October 27-November, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Upon arrival at Abu Ghraib prison on October 27, a detainee is stripped and left naked for six days at the Hard Site. After that, he is given a blanket, which is his only piece of cloth for the next three days. The following evening he is taken by Spc. Charles Graner to the shower room, where he is interrogated by a female interrogator. The session ends and the interrogator leaves, when Graner and another MP, who fits a description of Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick, enter the room. They throw pepper in his face and beat him for half an hour. The detainee claims being beaten with a chair until it breaks, hit in the chest, kicked, and finally choked until he is unconscious. When the detainee is first interrogated, the female interrogator and her analyst think he is lying and they recommend a “fear up” approach. After a second interrogation, the military intelligence team recommends that he be moved to isolation since he continues “to be untruthful.” Ten days later he is interrogated for the third time and he is put in “the hole,” which is a “small lightless isolation closet.” The interrogation report reads: “[We] let the MPs yell at him” and “used a fear down,” but “he was still holding back.” And for the following day, the log instructs MPs to “use a direct approach with a reminder of the unpleasantness that occurred the last time he lied.” [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ivan L. Frederick II, Charles Graner
          

Early morning November 30, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       A detainee at Abu Ghraib attacks Cpl. Charles Graner while he and another MP are forcing him into an isolation cell. When the cell is later checked, the detainee is found covered in blood. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner
          

Evening November 4, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh, detainee No. 18170, is taken from his cell in the Hard Site in Abu Ghraib. “On the third day, after five o'clock,” he later testifies, “Mr. [Charles] Graner came and took me to room Number 37, which is the shower room, and he started punishing me. Then he brought a box of food and he made me stand on it with no clothing, except a blanket. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head.” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh
          

(7:00 a.m.) November 4, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Spc. Dennis E. Stevanus is summoned to the shower stall of the Hard Site in Abu Ghraib. When he arrives he discovers that detainee Manadel al-Jamadi, interrogated by the CIA less than an hour before (see Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. November 4, 2003), is dead. Jamadi's body is still shackled to the stall. When the hood is removed, he is found to have severe head wounds. (It is unclear whether these wounds were present when the prisoner was taken in, or whether they were inflicted during the interrogation.) [Los Angeles Times, 5/18/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Stevanus calls a medic and notifies his superiors. Lt. Col. Steven Jordan arrives at the site at around 7:15 a.m. He finds several MPs and medics in the shower stall. The deceased prisoner is still handcuffed with his hands behind his back, lying on the floor face down. When the body is uncuffed and turned over, Jordan notices a small spot of blood on the floor where his head has lain. [Sources: Jason A. Kenner, AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] There is also extensive bruising on the body. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004 Sources: Jason A. Kenner] Jordan alerts Col. Thomas M. Pappas. A CIA supervisor is also notified. He arrives and requests that the Hard Site hold the body until the next day. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] According to ABC News, Spc. Jason A. Kenner sees the body packed in ice while a “battle” rages between CIA and military intelligence interrogators over who should dispose of the corpse. [The Guardian, 5/20/2004] The body is then put in a body bag, packed in ice, and stored in the shower area. [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004 Sources: Ivan L. Frederick II, AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] Photographs are later released of MP Spcs. Charles Graner and Sabrina Harman posing next to the dead body wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice, giving a “thumbs up.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] According to MP Spc. Bruce Brown, an MP with the 372nd, they spray “air freshener to cover the scent.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/18/2004] The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is also alerted. [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004]
People and organizations involved: Bruce Brown, Sabrina Harman, Jason A. Kenner, Manadel al-Jamadi, Criminal Investigation Division, Charles Graner, Steven L. Jordan, Thomas M. Pappas, Dennis E. Stevanus
          

Shortly after 12:00 a.m. November 9, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       At Abu Ghraib, seven Iraqi detainees are brought to Cellblock 1A from one of the tent camps escorted by MPs. The seven Iraqis are suspected of having taken part in a fight. They include Nori al-Yasseri, detainee number 7787; Hussein Mohssein Mata al-Zayiadi, detainee number 19446; and four others known only by their first names: Haidar, Ahmed, Ahzem, Hashiem and Mustafa. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004 Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] At least one of them was detained on suspicion of car theft. [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] When they arrive, they all have their hands tied behind their backs with plastic handcuffs. Empty sandbags (“gunnysacks”) are put over their heads. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] According to an account later provided by MP Spc. Matthew Wisdom, the other MPs suddenly begin striking at the prisoners. Spc. Charles Graner, Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick and Sgt. Javal Davis “rotate around the detainees and abuse and hit them,” Wisdom later testifies. Graner poses for a photograph with his fist, clenched as if about to strike, close to a detainee's head. “Right after the picture [is] taken, he actually hit[s] him,” Wisdom says in his testimony. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] The MPs then throw the tied-up Iraqi men against the walls until they fall on the floor. Wisdom later recounts, “Sfc [Sgt. First Class] Snider grabbed my prisoner and threw him into a pile.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Pfc. Lynndie England, who had her birthday the day before and has come to the cellblock to visit her boyfriend Spc. Graner, says the prisoners fall in what she calls a “dog pile.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] According to Wisdom, he sees “Staff Sgt. Frederic, Sgt. Davis and Cpl. Graner walking around the pile hitting the prisoners.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Several guards take turns leaping on top of the pile. Also present is Spc. Jeremy Sivits, who later testifies: “That is when Sgt. Davis ran across the room and lunged in the air and landed in the middle of where the detainees were. I believe Davis ran across the room a total of two times and landed in the middle of the pile of detainees. ” [Washington Post, 5/22/2004] “A couple of the detainees kind of made an ‘ah’ sound, as if this hurt them or caused them some type of pain.” In the meanwhile Pfc. England and Sgt. Javal Davis stomped on the lying prisoners' fingers and feet. Sivits heard them scream because of it. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] The alleged car thief later testified during Frederick's trial, he felt someone putting his foot on his head when he was thrown into the pile of men. “He put his whole weight on my head and on my knee. I was screaming and crying.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] At this point, MP Sgt. Shannon K. Snider of the 372nd MP Company, who is working in an office on the top floor, hearing the cries of pain, leans over the railing and angrily yells at Sgt. Davis to stop abusing the prisoners. When Davis steps away from the pile of men, Snider leaves. “I believe that Sgt. Snider thought it was an isolated incident,” Sivits says, “and that when he ordered Sgt. Davis to stop, it was over.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] It was not. Testimony by Spc. Wisdom suggests some ringleaders among the MPs pressured the others to join in with the abuse. According to Wisdom, he too asked Davis not to stomp on toes. Davis then allegedly tells Wisdom: “Who are you to tell me to stop?” [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] Wisdom witnesses Frederick hitting a prisoner “in the side of his chest.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004; The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] Frederick then takes notice of Wisdom looking on. Wisdom testifies that Frederick “looked at me and said: ‘Wisdom, you've got to get some of this,’ meaning I should hit the detainees as well.” [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] According to Wisdom's account, he goes outside after this incident, [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] and proceeds to alert his team leader Sgt. Robert Jones II. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] After Snider has left the scene, and possibly Wisdom as well, the MPs put the prisoners back to their feet and remove their handcuffs. Graner orders the detainees in Arabic to take their clothes off. Graner takes the head of one of the naked but hooded prisoners in one arm and smashes his free fist into his temple, causing the prisoner to sag down on the floor. “Damn, that hurt!” Graner says jokingly. Sivits walks over to see if the detainee is still alive. “I could tell that the detainee was unconscious, because his eyes were closed and he was not moving, but I could see his chest rise and fall, so I knew he was still alive.” Maybe this is the same incident witnessed by Wisdom, as perhaps is the following. Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick writes an X on another detainee's chest with his finger and says, “Watch this.” Then he punches the prisoner on the indicated spot so massively that the hooded prisoner sways backward, falls to his knees and is gasping for air. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Frederick has singled out the alleged car thief for extra punishment. “I stood him up and punched him in the chest. I was angry. They told me he was the ringleader. He hit a female soldier in the face with a rock.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] Sivits testifies that Frederick says that “he thought he put the detainee in cardiac arrest.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] When the detainee subsequently collapses, he is checked by a female medic. She says he is “faking.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] The MPs take out their cameras to take pictures of the seven naked men and begin putting them in humiliating poses, often placing themselves in the picture as well, smiling. Graner makes them climb on top of each other to form a human pyramid, as is reported by Spc. Sabrina Harman. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004; Washington Post, 5/22/2004] “They put us two on the bottom, two on top of them, and two on top of those and on top,” Al-Zayiadi will say. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] “The pyramid lasted about 15 to 20 minutes,” according to Harman. [Washington Post, 5/22/2004] The prisoners are also made to crawl on hands and knees with MPs riding on their backs. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] “They were sitting on our backs like riding animals,” Al-Zayiadi says. Meanwhile, others are taking photographs. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] Frederick then takes hold of the prisoner whom he has singled out for additional punishment and motions him to masturbate. “I grabbed his arm by the elbow, put it on his genitals and moved it back and forth with an arm motion, and he did it.” [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/2004] He makes another detainee do the same. “I lifted his hood and gave him a hand gesture, telling him to keep doing it himself.” [New York Times, 10/21/2004] After having informed his team leader Sgt. Jones, Wisdom returns to Tier 1A to find a naked detainee being forced to masturbate in front of another naked detainee on his knees before him. “I saw two naked detainees,” Wisdom will later recall, “one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open. I thought I should just get out of there. I didn't think it was right.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] According to Wisdom, Frederick says to him: “Look what these animals do when we leave them alone for two seconds.” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004; The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] Meanwhile, Pfc. England makes sexually suggestive comments “in a somewhat sarcastic, fun tone of voice,” according to Wisdom. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] “I heard Pfc. England shout out, ‘He's getting hard.’ ” [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Again Wisdom leaves the building to tell Sgt. Jones, who assures him the “problem [will] be addressed and dealt with,” [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] and Wisdom assumes that the problem will be taken care of. [The New Yorker, 5/5/2004] Others, meanwhile, are lined up and forced to masturbate. These facts are corroborated by photographs that show the MPs laughing as they look on. [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Al-Zayiadi later identifies himself in one of these pictures. “They told my friend to masturbate and told me to masturbate also, while they were taking pictures,” he says. [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] In the end, Al-Zayiadi says they are tossed naked but still hooded into a cell. “They opened the water in the cell and told us to lay face down in the water and we stayed like that until the morning, in the water, naked, without clothes.” [Washington Post, 5/21/2004] One of the seven prisoners is likely Haydar Sabbar Abed who says he was originally arrested for not carrying his ID card. After being involved in a fight with an Iraqi prison employee in one of the tent camps, he is taken to the Hard Site. He later recalls: “They cut off our clothes and ... told us to masturbate towards this female soldier. But we didn't agree to do it, so they beat us.” He also says: “They made us act like dogs, putting leashes around our necks. They'd whistle and we'd have to bark like dogs. We thought they were going to kill us.” [BBC News Online, 8/4/2004] The next day, Wisdom asks for and is granted a transfer to a job elsewhere in the prison. Although he and Sgt. Jones say they have been angered by the abuse, they do little more than mildly confront their colleagues with their objections. [The Los Angeles Times, 8/5/2004] To the detainees, the experience has been harrowing. Al-Yasseri will later call it a “night which we felt like 1,000 nights.” “I was trying to kill myself,” says Al-Zayiadi, “but I didn't have any way of doing it.” [Rolling Stone, 7/28/2004] Gen. George Fay will also describe this incident in his report (see August 25, 2004), which he concludes was an the affair of MPs alone. He states that military intelligence “involvement in this abuse has not been alleged nor is it likely.” However, one of the pictures taken that night, depicting the “human pyramid,” is later used as a screen saver for a computer in the Hard Site. The screen saver is later seen by a female military intelligence interrogator, but she states, according to Gen. Fay, that she did not report the picture because she did not see it again. The same interrogator, Fay will report, had a “close personal relationship” with Staff Sgt. Frederick, [Sources: AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, 8/23/2004] one of the main instigators of the abuse that night.
People and organizations involved: Hashiem, Ahzem, Ahmed, Mustafa, Sabrina Harman, The New Yorker, Matthew Wisdom, Shannon K. Snider, Haydar Sabbar Abed, Haidar, Nori al-Yasseri, George R. Fay, Jeremy C. Sivits, Charles Graner, Ivan L. Frederick II, Charles Graner, Lynndie England, Robert Jones II, Javal Davis, Hussein Mohssein Mata Al-Zayiadi
          

August 23, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Spc. Charles Graner and Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick appear before a judge in Mannheim, Germany for their arraignment. Military prosecutors have agreed to drop some of the charges against Frederick. He will pleads guilty to the rest at his next hearing in Baghdad in October (see October 21, 2004).
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner, Ivan L. Frederick II
          

January 14, 2005      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Charles A. Graner Jr. is found guilty of maltreatment, assault, and dereliction of duty as an MP at Abu Ghraib. [The Guardian, 1/15/2005]
People and organizations involved: Charles Graner
          

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