Judge Clears Second Navy SEAL in Iraqi Abuse Case

BAGHDAD -- A U.S. military judge has cleared a Navy SEAL of wrongdoing in the alleged beating of a prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American contractors in Iraq.

The military says the judge found insufficient evidence to convict Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe on charges of dereliction of duty.

Keefe -- one of three SEALS charged in the case -- was not accused of assaulting Ahmed Hashim Abed but of failing to prevent the abuse.

The case has drawn fire from at least 20 members of Congress and other Americans who see it as coddling terrorists to overcompensate for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

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