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Charles Graner Jr., Key Figure in Abu Ghraib Abuse Case, Freed from Leavenworth

Charles Graner
Jana Birchum/Getty Images

When photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing suspected Iraqi insurgents were released to the public in 2004, they caused an international outcry.

Over the weekend, the man who orchestrated the abuses at Abu Ghraib was released from prison.

Charles Graner Jr., 42, served more than six-and-a-half years of a 10-year sentence at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for his part in the physical and psychological torture of prisoners at the makeshift jail in Baghdad. He was convicted in 2005 on charges of conspiracy to commit maltreatment, dereliction of duty and assault consummated by battery and indecent acts.

One photograph showed Graner giving a “thumbs up” sign behind a pile of naked Iraqis forced to form a pyramid; another featured him grinning over a corpse. One of the most memorable images of the scandal showed his former fiancee, Private First Class Lynndie England, then 20, dragging a naked Iraqi man on a leash. England later bore Graner’s child, but he rejected her for another female soldier. England was later sentenced to three years for her role in the abuse.

Although 11 military personnel were ultimately punished for the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, Graner received the harshest sentence. He has been dishonorably discharged and will remain on supervised release until December 2014.


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