Michael's Dispatches

Godspeed to Santos Cardona.


06 March 2009

This is a sad story.  During the morning workout of reading reports from the front, I found that one of our latest losses in Afghanistan was also a casualty of Abu Ghraib.  The ghosts of prisoner abuse haunt everyone.

Godspeed to Santos Cardona.

Abu Ghraib MP Slain In Bid for Redemption
Ex-Soldier Hoped to Boost Afghan War Effort

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 6, 2009;

Santos A. Cardona, an Army dog handler involved in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, was determined to continue fighting in America's overseas battles to erase the stain of his assault conviction, his family members said.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    error · 13 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    alexa kim · 13 years ago
    I always marveled that the commanding officers of Abu Ghraib were not held accountable. As far as I can tell, we didn't really learn anything new as humans. What I noticed is that some of the really guilty were protected. As usual. But that's not all.

    I also noticed that the usual opportunists came in like tornadoes to make their case for their cause using the visual remains of the victims. They dissolved into a feeding frenzy and took us all along for the feast.

    How many pictures of all the humane and suitable treatment the prisoners of AG received before and since the infamous events?

    Yeah, those don't sell so well, do they. But since I don't trust anything my MSM tells me, haven't for a very long time, they could thrust all kinds of stuff at me about back then and I'd throw it right back. I'll go look around on my own for whatever I need to know.

    I ended up feeling sorry for every soldier who may ever have to say out loud to someone "I used to work there" or the like. Not because it meant he or she was guilty of something, but because some humans will demonize them the moment they just hear the term.

    I know there are lots of people who want to keep the horrid transgressions of a few at that facility fresh in our memories so we can all feel guilty yet again, to keep that wound wide open.

    I'm not going to be their audience.

    Instead, I will focus on the other victims of the fallout, some of whom are those such as this man and his K9 brother in harm's way.

    I will re-focus on the image of Cardona and Zomie, for a change. They are just as much a reality of AG.

    The Baghdad Central Prison is a different place. Some of the people directly and indirectly involved are different people. Some for the better.

    Remember that too, please.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Teri Morales · 13 years ago
    Santos was my brother and best friend. He was railroaded by the goverment for doing what he was told. His life was hell for the three years it hun over his head and it makes me so mad the he lost his life for a country that hung him out to dry.
    He was a wonderful person of the type there was too few of in this world. We as a world and those who loved him the most. He was a wonderful father, friend and took everything in stride with a smile to cheer you. He was to have gotten married in April and was looking forward to his break in the states. His Working dog who was killed was named Zoomie. I will never get over his loss and hr will never be forgotten.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    nickid1027 · 13 years ago
    Let me ask this of everyone that says these horrible things about SGT Cardona, how he deserved what he got and how heƒ??s a disgrace. Do you wear red, white and blue? Do you put your hand over your heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance? I thought so! How dare you, as an American, think that it is ok for you to come on here and bash ONE of the very MANY people that were over there defending you? It is very amazing to me that you are casting judgment when you donƒ??t even have a clue! I, as several other people here have had the GREAT privilege of having this GREAT man in our lives. If only you could have been so blessed. Know that there are always two sides to the story. The ƒ??higher upsƒ? tell you to do something and if you donƒ??t you get in trouble. You do what they tell you to do and you get what happened to SGT Cardona. He couldnƒ??t win for loosing. But, what happed to the ones in command? Nothing. The time that I had spent with him I stood by him and believed in him and I will continue to do so now! Santos you will be missed and NEVER forgotten!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Erik Stewart · 13 years ago
    The people that know Cardona know truly who he was. The unkind and untrue words spoken by people that were not his friends mean nothing. He was a great soldier, a friend, and a good man. GOD Bless you and your family. I will see you on the otherside.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gabe Figueroa · 13 years ago
    A great friend, patriot and soldier. I'll see you again in a place much better than this. May you rest in peace my friend and may God watch over your family.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    J. Ochoa · 13 years ago
    Santos has been judged by his maker and he does know the truth....Santos was a great person to be around who loved his daughter very much....he was so full of life....I pray for him and his family, we will meet again Bro...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bridgette · 12 years ago
    Santos went through a lot of hardship and hurt when people claimed "abuse" at Abu. He loved the military! Those who truly knew him know the ones who talked crap about him and ABU were wrong! He was an awesome person....

    He will be deeply missed :cry::

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Ramsey · 12 years ago
    I got to know Santos for a short time in Tampa Fl selling motocycles { bikes another of his passions} We got to be very close instantantly we clicked,even though wedidn't have a lot in common,I'm 17 yrs his elder and no military.We did have a love of our families,this country [ not the brass and politics] and God .He told me his story ,the man was a patriot and was screwed.Idespise the higher ups almost has the ragheads and the yellow cowards in this country who slander this great man . Santos , I love you brother God bless you and your family ,if I see your daughter at the ballpark ,Ill be looking after her. P.S. You were one of the few which didn't judge me,never looked down , by the strength of your friendship and God Almighty I'm clean and sober !!!!!! I miss you See ya In God's kingdom
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alice Shew · 10 years ago
    Santos was my student when he was a skinny, little very active student. I loved his energy and his spirit. I knew a lot about what he was going through and we made a connection that continued. We stayed in touch over the years and I am so proud of the man he was becoming. He loved his little girl so much and wanted everything to be good for her. He loved his country and loved the military. I believe he and others were scapegoated. We would meet up once a year for lunch or dinner and catch up. When I heard the news of his death, my heart broke. I still cannot delete his emails. He was a good person with a good heart. He struggled and grew over the years. I will always honor him on Veteran's Day. He was a soldier who loved his daughter and her mother.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chanel · 4 years ago
    Armiger ends when the gauge is depleted.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Big Bah · 3 years ago
    I served with Santos in B co 1/ 25 AIR. from 1995 to 1998. I was stunned when I found out he was gone. I had met up with him in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. We had remained in contact for years. Then the emails and phone calls stopped. I was speaking to a mutual friend about him in 2015 " Now why don't he write?" Santos probably spit his drink out when I asked that one. You will be missed brother. For anyone who reads this and did not know him personally, Santos was absolutely railroaded and shit upon by the government for the Abu Ghraib incident, those slimy little JAG prosecutors don't even deserve to be in his presence. He was a great soldier and warrior. I am my brothers keeper!

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