Selena M. Salcedo

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Selena M. Salcedo is a former United States Army soldier, who pleaded guilty to charges of dereliction of duty and assault in connection with the abuse of an Afghan prisoner, Dilawar, who later died.[1] Salcedo was a member of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, serving under Lieutenant Carolyn Wood.

Salcedo had been a sergeant at the time of the deaths. Following her conviction she was reduced in rank to specialist.[2] She received a letter of reprimand, and was docked US$250 of her pay for four months. Salcedo was not sentenced to any jail time.

The New York Times wrote a long article on the abuse at Bagram, based on 2,000-page classified report of which they had acquired a copy. That article both quotes statements Salcedo gave the Times, and quotes statements by Salcedo or about Salcedo from the classified report.[3]

The New York Times reported that the judge in Selena's case was swayed by her claims of inexperience and lack of training.[4] The article quoted her military lawyer, Mario J. DeRossi:

"She knew that she didn't have the training or experience as an interrogator. She never once said, 'I can't do it.'"

Featured in the 2008 Academy award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "No Prison for Soldier Guilty of Detainee Abuse". Fox News. August 17, 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ "Soldier jailed for abusing Afghan". The Age. August 24, 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  3. ^ Tim Golden (May 20, 2005). "In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  4. ^ Tim Golden (August 8, 2005). "Abuse Cases Open Command Issues at Army Prison". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-26. Sergeant Salcedo, 24, said she became frustrated with Mr. Dilawar when he refused to look at her during an interrogation, a problem she said she faced as a woman dealing with Afghan and Arab detainees. She admitted kicking Mr. Dilawar in the knees and thighs, grabbing him by the ears when he looked away, and pulling him up repeatedly when he was unable to hold "stress positions" against a wall because of his injuries. 
  5. ^