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Accused GI's wife: 'Truth is going to save him'

Martha Frederick
Two former Iraqi prisoners talk about their treatment at the hands of the military in Abu Ghraib prison.

Ex-CIA officer comments interrogation techniques.

Reaction in the Arab world to the apparent abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops.
•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
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Military Intelligence

BUCKINGHAM, Virginia (CNN) -- Inside and outside the United States, outraged reaction continued Tuesday to photos allegedly showing Americans mistreating inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the actions "unacceptable and un-American."

One of the service members accused is Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick. Frederick's wife, Martha, spoke Tuesday with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: What does your husband say about the accusations?

FREDERICK: I haven't directly talked to my husband about the accusations. Most of what I've been hearing is from the media.

COOPER: When you hear the secretary of defense saying it's un- American, it's unacceptable, what do you think?

You've seen those pictures.

FREDERICK: I've seen the pictures. But I know my husband. And I know the type of person he is. There is no more of a proud man. And no more of an American than I know.

COOPER: You think he's being scapegoated?

FREDERICK: Yes, I do. I really do.

COOPER: Who do you think is responsible, then, for what went on?

FREDERICK: I think whoever was in charge of that facility that my husband was working at, and all those that had the ability to know what was going on and did nothing about it.

COOPER: In a letter your husband sent in January, he wrote, "I questioned some of the things I saw, such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell. And the answer I got was, this is how the military intelligence wants it done."

Is that going to be his defense if this goes to a trial, to a criminal trial?

FREDERICK: I do not know. I have not spoken to my husband as far as that's concerned or his attorneys with that.

COOPER: But you personally believe, I mean the word you were getting through letters from him in the past, was that this was -- this was a tactic that military intelligence wanted him to do?

FREDERICK: In the letters that he sent me, he told me that there were things that were going on, but that he couldn't talk about them on the telephone or through e-mail, and he said that he would have to -- we would talk about it when he got home. He did let me know that he had gone to his superiors, and when he didn't get a response from that one, he went to another superior, and he continued to try to communicate that something was going on or that they needed the policies in place or something to be in place in order to deal with the situations. But he never received any.

COOPER: His attorneys indicated to CNN that he may not abrogate all responsibility. That he may take some responsibility, but not necessarily for criminal wrongdoing.

Do you think he's responsible at all for anything of the things that went on in that prison?

FREDERICK: If he's responsible, I'm sure that it was -- I cannot speak for my husband. I cannot read his mind. I know what type of person he is. And I know that if he did anything, it was in the cause of help fighting the terrorists. Help saving other soldiers, and thinking that he was doing what was right. What he needed to do as a soldier from the military.

COOPER: I can't imagine how hard this must be for you, Martha.

FREDERICK: Very hard.

COOPER: When was the last time you saw your husband, talked to him?

FREDERICK: The last time that I saw my husband was back in last April of 2003. And the last time I talked to him was this morning.

COOPER: How is he doing?

FREDERICK: He's having a hard -- a pretty hard time. He says good times and bad times. You know, sometimes it's easier to deal with. Sometimes it's hard to deal with. There were times when he felt like he didn't know how much more he could take of this. But, you know, he has faith. He has belief in God. He has belief that him coming out with the truth is what's going to save him.

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