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Graner 'Disobeyed Orders' In Iraq

A possible blow to the defense's case on the first day of testimony at the trial of the alleged ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.

Master Sergeant Brian Lipinski admitted under cross-examination that Army Specialist Charles Graner often disobeyed orders while serving as a guard at the Baghdad prison.

Graner's attorneys claim he was following orders to soften up Iraqi inmates before they were to be interrogated.

Lipinski, then the top noncommissioned officer in the 372nd Military Police Company, said Graner wore his hair too long, altered his uniform in violation of regulations and refused to stay away from Pfc. Lynndie England despite being repeatedly told to do so.

"He just didn't like to follow orders?" prosecutor Maj. Michael Holley asked Lipinski.

"That's true, sir," Lipinski said.

"He wants to do his own thing?" Holley said.

"Yes, sir," the sergeant said.

England, who is awaiting trial on Abu Ghraib abuse charges, gave birth in October to a child who Army prosecutors say was fathered by Graner.

Graner, a 36-year-old reservist from Uniontown, Pa., is the first soldier to stand trial in the scandal. He is charged with offenses including conspiracy, assault and committing indecent acts and could get 17½ years in a military prison

Lipinski also testified that Graner initially lied about the cause of face and neck injuries suffered by a detainee in November 2003.

Lipinski said Graner and then-Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick first told Lipinski that the detainee tripped on a pile of rubble in the prison. But later Graner admitted that he slammed the prisoner against the wall, Lipinski said. The impact was hard enough to leave a smear of blood on the wall.

Lipinski was called by the defense as a way to introduce a report about the wall-slamming incident because the report included references to military intelligence officers praising Graner and others for softening up prisoners for interrogation.

He was not the only defense witness who ended up offering useful testimony for the prosecution.

Frederick, who has pleaded guilty in the scandal and testified for the prosecution earlier in the trial, was called back to testify about the role played by intelligence officers. He said they knew about the use of force and did not tell the guards to stop.

"They told us we were doing a good job, and to keep up the good work," Frederick said.

But under cross-examination, Frederick acknowledged that he once refused to follow instructions from a military intelligence officer because that person wanted him to use too much force. He said Graner was with him when he refused.

In trial yesterday, before the prosecution rested its case against Graner, detainee Hussein Mutar testified, saying he was hooded and helpless on a night in 2003 when he fell into Graner's hands.

Mutar, arrested in Baghdad for theft, ended up as the top man in a naked human pyramid allegedly built by Graner while female soldiers watched and others took photos. He testified Tuesday at Graner's trial that he and six other detainees were later told to masturbate.

"I couldn't imagine it in the beginning," Mutar said through an interpreter in his video-recorded testimony. "I could kill myself because no one over there was stopping it from happening."

The detainee also said "the Americans were torturing us like it was theater to them," CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara reports.

"Even Saddam didn't do that," the detainee said.

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