A CIA agent who testified behind the scenes to protect his identity told a court-martial on Tuesday that he saw a Navy SEAL “beat up” an unarmed prisoner in Iraq. The agent said he saw a prisoner with a SEAL on his back and hit him. The agent said he reported the October 2003 incident to a senior CIA official on the ground, who warned the Navy commander that such behavior was unacceptable.
Tuesday was the second day of the lieutenant’s trial. Andrew K. Ledford, accused of allowing his Navy SEALs to abuse prisoners, including one who later died.
Earlier Tuesday, former Petty Officer Dan Cerrillo testified under immunity that he was a Navy SEAL who attacked the prisoner and pressed his face in the sand.
But Cerillo, who served in Ledford’s Foxtrot platoon, said he was acting on orders from “these people we shouldn’t be talking about” — a practice used by witnesses and lawyers to avoid references to CIA One of the euphemisms for bureau. (Other terms include “the agency,” “another government agency,” and “security personnel.”) “If [the prisoner] doesn’t answer, I let him talk,” Cerrillo told jurors in Ledford’s case. group.
“In the middle of [the incident], the security guy told me not to punch [the detainee] in the face because then it would be very difficult for him to get her out,” said Cerillo, who was later wounded in Iraq and left the Navy for several years. weeks ago.
The public is barred from courtrooms when CIA agents testify about classified or classified material. As he continued to testify, the public was kept on the other side of the protective agent’s curtain. During the unclassified portion of the CIA agent’s testimony, none of the six jurors on the jury asked any questions — because they were fully entitled — that could reconcile his view of events with that of Cerrillo. A CIA attorney was present throughout the testimony.
The attack occurred in late October 2003 when SEALs worked with CIA agents to arrest “senior” Iraqis suspected of being terrorists.
Two weeks later, Navy SEALs arrested Manadel Jamadi for alleged involvement in an attack on a Red Cross building in Baghdad that killed 12 people. Jammadi was taken to Abu Ghraib prison where he died after being interrogated by the CIA. The Interpol launched a murder investigation. No charges have been laid in Jamadi’s death, but 10 SEALs have been accused of abusing him and other prisoners.
No CIA agents or employees have been charged, angering some Navy personnel. “I’m not too happy about it because I don’t think it’s right,” Cerrillo said when asked about his stance on the Ledford case. Ledford faces dereliction of duty, false reporting, misconduct and assault charges.
Defense attorney Frank Spinner told jurors that prosecutors would not present any witnesses to prove that Ledford saw the atrocities or knew about the abuse of prisoners by SEALs under his command. Jonathan Freimann, one of the prosecutors, Lieutenant, said in opening statements that Ledford was guilty of “failure to lead”. On Tuesday, two members of Ledford’s row of 16 testified that they punched and kicked prisoners, including Jamadi.