The near-simultaneous “leak” of the Abu Ghraib photos and the excerpts from secret military documents to CBS’ 60 Minutes II and the New Yorker’s investigative reporter Seymour Hersh was a purposeful act. Which source for both 60 Minutes II and Seymour Hersh had access to 1) the lurid time-coded pictures of prisoner abuse, 2) excerpts from the classified report written by General Antonio Taguba, 3) excepts from the secret Article 32 Hearing of Sgt. Ivan “Chip” Frederick, and 4) a tactical interest in planting this material in the public domain?


   Gary Myers, the civilian lawyer for Chip Frederick, was a source for both CBS II and Seymour Hersh. Myers also had access to the photographs, which had been part of the evidence against his client, the Taguba Report, and the transcript of his client’s Article 32 hearing (which Hersh quotes verbatim).  As for his tactical design, Hersh himself reveals: "Gary Myers, Frederick’s civilian attorney, told me that he would argue at the court-martial that culpability in the case extended far beyond his client. “I’m going to drag every involved intelligence officer and civilian contractor I can find into court.” Since lawyer Myers could not expand a military trial without the permission of the presiding officers of the court-martial, he went public on CBS and the New Yorker.
Before this stratagem had been put into play, the legal situation that Myers confronted was as follows:
In early April, his client, a correction officer in civilian life, went before an article 32 hearing (the military equivalent of a Grand Jury). So had 5 other members of the 372nd Military Police Company. Since many of the soldiers had made full confessions, Frederick could be charged with conspiracy to maltreat detainees, dereliction of duty for failing to protect detainees from abuse, maltreatment of detainees, and wrongfully committing an indecent act by watching detainees commit a sexual act. And then , in a month or so, he could face a general court-martial.
The possible legal defense that Frederick was following orders was mitigated by the fact that the time-coded digital photographs showed that the abuses had been photographed only between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m– a time period when no commissioned officers were present – and a time period when Frederick was in charge of the Military Police in the cellblock. Even with a lawyer as savvy and resourceful as Myers, the “following orders” defense would be difficult to mount in a court-martial.
   With the (perhaps unwitting) assistance of CBS and the New Yorker, Myers effectively moved the issue of prison abuse to a larger, global universe– a universe dazzled and infuriated by the release of these lurid photographs.