The US Army Corporal of the 372nd Military Police Company was not the only member of the group to be convincted for brutal treatment of prisoners, who were at times humiliated by being stacked in naked pyramids, attacked with dogs, and ordered to masterbate while soldiers took humiliating photos. Graner himself was sentenced on charges of indecent acts, dereliction of duty, conspiracy to commit maltreatment, and assault consummated by battery.
Graner had said previously that he was ordered by military intelligence to torture prisoners in such a way so as to prepare them for more intense interrogation techniques. Prisoners were also placed in solitary confinement for periods of as many as thrity days, which is forbidden by international statutes such as the Geneva Convention, that defines rules of war and also says that detainees must be documented, treated without cruelty, and given access to medical treatment.
Graner was among seven officers that were convicted following the release of photos detailing the torture inside the prison, that were leaked to the media in January 2005, shortly after the U.S led invasion of Iraq.
In the bigger story, former Colonel Graner is being viewed as a scapegoat to relieve top officials who ordered the torture. Since 2003 the U.S occupation has given U.S soldiers immunity under Iraqi law which is why many relied on U.S to charge and convict the officers responsible, but their short term prison sentences and discharge makes it look like, at least to the Iraqi people, that officers involved in the heinous crimes of torture and humiliation got off scot-free.
But now a federal probe is being conducted against Steve Stormoen: the retired CIA officer who was part of the offensive operation that imprisoned and tortured Iraqi men without entering names into army record books. Under his watch a detainee named Manadel al-Jamadi was tortured to death in a shower stall with members of CIA present. A military autopsy report then revealed that Jamadi died from complications of a lung injury he recieved from navy seals upon being captured, after which his body was contorted and chained to a window, and a bag was placed over his head which made it too difficult to breath.
No one has yet been charged in his murder even after being reviewed by the Justice Department on two separate occasions. The use of shady military tribunals where CIA employed private war contractors to interrogate suspects, turned out to be a smart move on behalf of the Bush administration’s officials, because private mercenary companies such as CACI International, and the Titan Corporation fall outside the jurisdiction of international law. These proxy groups further complicated the question of who was to be held accountable for the war crimes abuses.
Baghram Air Base in Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib in Iraq are just a couple of examples of hundreds of secret prisons worldwide where torture is used in a fatal way, and has led to the death of a detainee. Even though prisoner registration under an assumed named, and with a fingerprint was suggested at one point Col. Thomas M. Pappas, top military intelligence officer, "decided against it" the Washington Post reports.
Top officials have since said that as many as 100 ghost detainees were held at secretive prisons in Iraq.