On September 26, 2005, England was convicted of one
count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees
and one count of committing an indecent act. She was
acquitted on a second conspiracy count.
She was sentenced to three years in a military prison for
her crimes. wikipedia.org
It was on a hot day in the last week of September 2005 that
Lynndie England faced Court-Martial at Fort Hood Army Base,
Texas. On that very same day at the same time, I was in the area
of Fort Hood, returning from mandatory Evacuation due to
Hurricane Rita. Somehow I knew I would remember that day for
years to come, maybe forever. Suppressing an overwhelming
urge to sneak up around the Army Base, I promised myself that I
would put down my thoughts about the unusual events of the day in a
Blogpost when I returned to Friendswood, TX. As it turns out I did,
but inexplicably I left out all mention of the England case. So now,
thanks to the release of the Torture Memos, and, come May 28th,
the images related to those Documents, my thoughts on Lynndie
England are being re-examined and shared online. Three and a
half years later........
The Abu Ghraib leaked pictures and subsequent international
media coverage remain forever an important part of U.S. history
that will be analyzed, written and re-written about. We expect that to
happen. And now, perhaps those of us who were shocked, disgusted
and dismayed by our soldiers' behaviour at Abu Ghraib and other
US-controlled prisons will find our perceptions altered. Just like my
perceptions, The Huffington Post's Tina Dupuy and mine have
I have always wondered what would drive a twenty-year-old female
who grew up in a mobile home in tiny Fort Ashby, WV to wind up as
a soldier in a harsh environment like Abu Ghraib. Even Mick Jagger
expressed his feeling about her in the 2005 album, 'Bigger Bang'
in a song called 'Dangerous Beauty' Whatever the reason, she
wound up in Iraq at age 20, fell madly in love with her Boss, Sergeant
Charles Graner and got pregnant. Young, ambitious and full of hope
for a life with Graner and the baby after their tour of duty, Lynndie
was determined to do whatever was necessary to make her dream
a reality. Even if it meant committing despicable acts that she
questioned inwardly, outwardly she was being all that she could be,
a good soldier serving her country in the time of need. And so she
evolved into one of the most hated females in the world after the
photos of her at Abu Ghraib prison somehow leaked out. There were
other soldiers present as Sgt. Graner supervised the proceedings,
creating some atrocious photoshoots that he declared would serve
as official Documents on the Army's use of Interrogation Methods,
Why did she let Graner take all those pictures? Wasn't she
afraid he'd show them to people?
"I didn't want him to take the pictures," England tells me.
"But he took pictures of everything. He kept a camera in his
cargo pocket. He was always taking his camera out. Sometimes
he took the pictures for himself. Sometimes he took them for
According to Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick II, who was
deposed during the military trial,
"[Graner] always talked about being in Desert Storm, and the
things he saw and did, and he had no way to prove these things
happened. So this time around, he said he was going to take
pictures to take back home as proof."
from (A Soldier's Tale: Lynndie England
byTara McKilvey for Marie Claire)
One person who is ready for a new battle for justice is the
prison commander at the time, Janis Karpinski. When the
Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke in 2004, it was soldiers and
officers who took the blame including Karpinski who was
demoted from Brigadier General to the rank of Colonel.
Speaking with CNN's John Roberts last Thursday she says
of Lynndie :
"You have to understand that it builds into a crescendo,"
says Karpinski. "Lynndie is away from the flagpole, in Abu Ghraib
— the most terrible place. You're being mortared every night.
You are breathing dust and broken concrete. It's hot. You feel
dehumanized. You're drained of every bit of compassion that
you have. She did it because she wanted to come back from
this godforsaken war and be able to say, 'We did this for the
government.' She was made to believe that this was of such
importance to national security. It was, you know,
'You stick with me, kid, and you might even win a medal.'"
"Graner was her protector," Karpinski continues. "She wanted
to please him, and she'd do anything he told her to do. She's
thinking, 'Graner would never tell me the wrong thing. I'm sleeping
with him. I trust him.''
Sgt.Graner, who is still serving time in prison has no contact with
Lynndie or their son; Lynndie wants nothing to do with the person
who denied being the father and instead was instrumental to her
imprisonment and dishonorable discharge. At least eleven lower-
ranked persons were nudged and judged and served time, but
what lies ahead will have them and a lot of others related to the
events on tenterhooks in the days ahead. For, in addition to
seeing justice duly served on the superiors who were never affected
during all this, this will be their chance to watch the courts clear
their names, and the world to finally acknowledge they were the
Karpinski is also ready to go the distance to see that justice is
finally served and even believes a Presidential Pardon should
Roberts: Do they deserve a presidential pardon?
Karpinski: They do. And they deserve to have all of the
convictions overturned. They deserve certainly to have their
discharges dishonorable or bad conduct discharges
Sourced from :
I Think I Owe Lynndie England An Apology
by Tina Dupuy, The Huffington post.
A Soldier's Tale by Tara McKilvey, Marie ClaireBush-era memos vindicate Abu Ghraib soldiers?
John Roberts - Anchor, CNN's American Morning