Abu Graib II
According to the Washington Post
Lynndie England, 21, as the soldier appearing in a picture holding a leash tied to the neck of a man on the floor. England, a member of the 372nd, has also been identified in published reports as one of the soldiers in the earlier set of pictures that were made public, which her relatives also confirmed yesterday. England has been reassigned to Fort Bragg, N.C., her family said. Attempts to reach her were unsuccessful. The military has not charged her in the case.
England's friends and relatives said the photographs must have been staged. "It just makes me laugh, because that's not Lynn," said Destiny Goin, 21, a friend. "She wouldn't pull a dog by its neck, let alone drag a human across a floor."
England worked as a clerk in the unit, processing prisoners before they were put in cells, taking their names, fingerprinting them and giving them identification numbers, her family said. Other soldiers would ask her to pose for photographs, said her father, Kenneth England. "That's how it happened," he said.
Soon after CBS aired its photographs, Terrie England said she received a call from her daughter.
" 'Mom,' she told me, 'I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,' " Terrie England said.
There are some things you have to refuse to do. The Freedom that your President talks about so often, also means the freedom to choose. It does not mean freedom to do what you like, when you like. It is not absolute freedom.
Being in "the wrong place at the wrong time" is something we have all experienced, but it can never be an excuse for acting wrongly. You joined the Army and were trained as a clerk. So you should have said, "Sorry, sergeant, I'm a clerk, could you get someone else to pose for your photographs?" You could then have walked away. Are you going to tell us you couldn't walk away?
You didn't even know whether your victims were innocent or guilty. What you suffer from is lack of empathy. You were unable to - or had been trained to make yourself incapable of - putting yourself in those guys shoes.
You will have plenty of time - the rest of your life - to think about the famous maxim: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" knowing that you have been put in a position of power over another human being and utterly failed to do "the right thing".
On the other hand....
, May 7, 2004, indicates this admonitory letter would be more appropriately directed at recently retired Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski. Would Lynndie grasp the concept of absolute freedom?
Maybe she will have time to to recognise the moral tale of the Abu Graib abuses as she grows up and learns more about life and the world.