Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Private England Goes to Jail

Lynndie England is headed for jail for her abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Displaying enlarged photos of the abuse, the prosecution emphasized “What soldier wouldn’t know that that's illegal? …She is enjoying, she is participating, all for her own sick humor." Although England is one of the most infamous of the torturers, the Army reportedly has opened more than 400 inquiries into detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan and punished 230 enlisted soldiers and officers.

I haven’t met a single American who is not sickened by what England and others like her did to those Iraqi prisoners and more generally to the cause of freedom in Iraq. The abuse undermined the moral arguments for why we were there. The convictions underscore the moral arguments for why we are different. I doubt the story of their punishment gets the worldwide coverage it deserves.


Blogger t'su said...

Personally, I was rather annoyed that her plea bargain went bust. I viewed the trial as simply a stamp on the fully finished and enclosed letter.

As to worldwide coverage, I've noticed the England conviction in everything from the China Daily and the BBC to al Jazeera and Hindustan Times. Of course nothing burns brighter than the hot flame of scandal, and the conviction following scandal hardly sparks a flicker.

9/27/2005 2:07 PM  
Blogger Anthony D'Amato said...

Personally I'm more sickened by the coverup. As the NY Times reports, an Army captain said that "Army investigators seemed more concerned about tracking down young soldiers who reported misconduct than in following up the accusations and investigating whether higher-ranking officers knew of the abuses."

Naturally. If they get the higher-ups, then they have to get the even more higher-ups, and who knows where it will stop? Rumsfeld? Bush?

9/27/2005 9:41 PM  
Blogger WWW said...

It seems impossible for the commanding and ranking officers not to have known what was going on. They were either incompetent that they did not know what the soldiers under their command were doing or they knew and turned a blind eye. The lack of prosecution of higher ranking officers decreases the message sent by the Private England's trial. The message now is "Don't do anything disgraceful until you have rank to hide behind."

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