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March 23, 2006

More on Smith's Sentence

The New York Times has a very good piece looking at the Smith sentence of six months in the context of others punished, noting the absence of any real examination of the role of superiors, going up the chain of command. Some speculate that some of these issues might be addressed in the other dog handler's trial - Sgt. Santos Cardona - which is scheduled to begin May 22. At the very least his lawyers intend to call witnesses including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. As Jean Aylward put it to the Associated Press: ''It's hard to make of what this sentence means but the bottom line is there must be clear rules and they must be communicated to lower ranking officers. Our soldiers shouldn't be forced to sort out what methods of interrogation are permissible by watching who gets convicted of what. The rules need to be clear in advance, and senior commanders and civilian leaders who intentionally muddy those rules must be held accountable.'' Amen.