Lynndie England, the Army private shown pointing at naked prisoners’ privates and leading one prisoner around on a dog leash in photos from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, was found guilty on September 26 of four counts of maltreatment of detainees, one count of conspiracy to maltreat and one count of committing an indecent act. England, looking very much the manacled munchkin, was then led away to begin a three year prison sentence.
During England’s court-martial, her attorney, Captain Jonathan Crisp, consistently portrayed her as a naïve young woman so smitten with Charles Graner (the father of England’s lovechild and convicted ringmaster of the Abu Ghraib Gulag) that she was incapable of choosing between right and wrong, and was manipulated into participating in the abuse and concurrent photo sessions.
A clinical psychologist testifying on her behalf stated, “It (England participating in prisoner abuse) was very much like a little kid looking to an adult for what to do and what not to do."
Even Graner, leader of the Abu Ghraib Gang and serial philanderer, called England “young” and “suggestible.”
If these are accurate characterizations of England, how did this slow-talking, oxygen-deprived, learning-disabled “kid” get into the military in the first place?
How did England end up being deployed to Iraq? Who made the determination she was mature enough to understand what she was getting into before enlisting? Don’t the military screen their cadets? Seriously, there seem to more stringent criteria to get into an R-rated movie.
With the current shortfall in military recruitment, those criteria are not likely to get any higher, either. I expect recruiters will begin calling on England’s 11-month-old child any day now.