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Army Officer Faces Charges of Aiding Enemy in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2007 – U.S. military officials in Iraq have charged an Army officer with aiding the enemy by providing an unmonitored cell phone to detainees, along with other crimes.

Lt. Col. William H. Steele has been charged with offenses under four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Officials emphasized that the charges constitute only an accusation of wrongdoing, and that Steele is presumed innocent unless and until he’s proven guilty in legal proceedings that follow.

Officials allege that Steele aided the enemy by providing an unmonitored cellular phone to detainees between Oct. 1, 2005, and Oct. 31, 2006, in violation of Article 104 of the UCMJ.

A second charge, under Article 134, alleges that Steele had classified material he was not authorized to possess, and that he willfully kept it and failed to deliver it to the proper authority.

Under Article 133 of the UCMJ, Steele also is charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer for allegedly fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee, and for allegedly providing special privileges to and maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter.

Officials also are charging Steele with storing classified information in his living space, improperly marking classified information, disobeying an order from the 89th Military Police Brigade deputy commander, possessing pornographic videos, and being derelict in his duties by failing to fulfill his obligations as an approving authority in the expenditure of field ordering officer funds – all under the UCMJ’s Article 92.

(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

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