A convicted Abu Ghraib dog handler heads back to Iraq

His unit will train Iraqi police.

Tim Grieve
November 3, 2006 7:13PM (UTC)

We've read a lot of unbelievable stories about the war in Iraq. This one goes right to the top of the list.

As Time magazine reports, Sgt. Santos Cardona, convicted in May on charges related to his use of a guard dog to terrorize a naked Iraqi detainee at Abu Ghraib, is on his way back to Iraq for an additional tour of duty. His unit's mission: To help train Iraqi police.


We wish we were making this up. We wish even more that people in Cardona's chain of command would understand why sending him back to Iraq might cause a problem for troops hoping to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

They don't, at least not yet. A spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., says the Army commander overseeing Cardona's deployment believes there are "no issues" involved in it. Cardona is simply a military policeman whose "unit happens to be deployed to Iraq, so he went with them," the spokesman says.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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