In case you’ve forgotten just who Lynndie England is, I think Wikipedia does a fairly good job of giving her “qualifications”:
Lynndie Rana England (born November 8, 1982) is a convicted felon and former United States Army reservist who served in the 372nd Military Police Company. She was one of several soldiers convicted by the Army courts-martial in connection with the torture and prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad during the occupation of Iraq.
If you recall the pictures from Abu Ghraib, she was the female US military with the cigarette dangling from her lip, pointing at prisoners in an attempt to humiliate them, and helped to further inflame the insurgency.
You might assume that somebody so utterly stupid, somebody so utterly and completely devoid of any intelligence, somebody so throughly hated and disgraced, somebody so inanely dense, so thoroughly moronic, so painfully dense, might perhaps avoid the spotlight, and “let sleeping dogs lie”.
Oh how wrong you would be…
In an interview on March 17th with a German news magazine, this numskull decided to let us all in on some of her, I hesitate to use the word “thoughts” since I think that degrades all sentient life forms on the planet, views.
On the people in her hometown:
Most of them back me up one hundred percent. They say, “What happened to you was wrong.” And some even say they would have done the same thing.
On why she joined the army:
I just wanted to serve my country and be a patriot, I guess. As a child I mainly grew up on military gung-ho movies so that’s where I got the idea. Old Chuck Norris movies, “Delta Force”, “Rambo”, “Missing in Action”, “Platoon”.
On the timing of being deployed to the Iraq (May of 2003):
No, technically the war was over. I mean, President Bush had already announced “Mission Accomplished.”
On the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib:
When we first got there in September the prisoners were already naked, they had them wear women’s underwear, and they had them in stress positions. The company that we relieved was doing the exact same stuff. We just took over from them.
Pushing them around, stripping them down, putting them in stress positions, yelling at them.
On her fame from the pictures:
When we talk about the negative things that happened in the war, then Abu Ghraib is one of the first things to come up, and they usually name me by name. Although I was only in five or six pictures, I am the most famous. So I suppose I am a symbol of this war.
On the offensive nature of the pictures:
Can you understand that people who look at this photo are offended?
Well, they weren’t there. And they don’t know what went on and they don’t know how we felt at the time, in that environment and what we were told to do.
But do you understand the outrage?
To be honest, even if I wasn’t there, I might think, “Yeah, what the hell was going on here? What are they doing to him?” But then I’d realize where it was. And then I’d think, “Oh, well, that’s like standard procedure there.”
Did you feel sorry for Gus?
At the time, I didn’t. No.
He was mentally ill.
Well, now they said that he was. But at the time it was never mentioned. The only English he ever spoke was, “I hate you. I want to kill you.” So I never really felt sorry for him.
Do you feel sorry looking back now?
To be honest, the whole time I never really felt guilty because I was following orders and I was doing what I was supposed to do. So I’ve never felt guilty about doing anything that I did there.
Guilt is one thing but feeling sorry is something else.
(Long silence) Like I said, what he was saying to us, and when he was thrashing out at us, I didn’t even feel sorry for him at the time. And he’s probably out there killing Americans now.
On the “human pyramid” pictures:
None of us knew what Graner was doing. He said he was stacking the men up to control them because it was seven of them in an enclosed area. Once he had got them into that position, somebody said, “That looks odd” and that they wanted a picture. And Graner took pictures too. Nearly everybody took pictures.
What’s the sense in making a pyramid out of prisoners? It has nothing to do with controlling them. It doesn’t make sense.
At the time I thought, I love this man, I trust this man with my life, okay, then he’s saying, well, there’s seven of them and it’s such an enclosed area and it’ll keep them together and contained because they have to concentrate on staying up on the pyramid instead of doing something to us.
You are seen smiling in the picture. What was so funny?
Sabrina Harmon took the picture and she said, “Hey, smile for the camera”. So we did. It was a kind of the moment thing.
Have you never felt regret about smiling at a stack of naked Iraqis next to you?
I never really thought about it.
Do you feel ashamed looking back now?
On forcing the prisoners to masturbate:
And why were the detainees forced to masturbate in front of you?
Well, that happened right after. They were standing and kneeling in front of the wall. They still had sandbags on their heads and by this time most of the guards had gone. Frederick and me stayed downstairs to watch them. Freddie went up to the guy on the end and tried to get him to start by touching his arm and moving it back and forth. And when he didn’t really catch on to what he meant he took his sandbag off and motioned to him what he wanted him to do and then he put the sandbag back on. And so he started doing it.
You can’t even say the word “masturbate”.
You stood next to him and allowed it to happen. Did you not protest just once?
I did. I asked Frederick, “Why are you doing this?” And he told me, “I just want to see if he’ll do it.” So I was like, “Whatever.”
No. I was like, “Fine, you know, whatever.” Then Graner and Frederick tried to convince me to get into the picture with this guy. I didn’t want to, but they were really persistent about it. At the time I didn’t think that it was something that needed to be documented but I followed Graner. I did everything he wanted me to do. I didn’t want to lose him.
On if what she did was torture:
Would you say that what happened at Abu Ghraib was torture?
(Long silence and then she grins.)
Is a smile your answer to that?
Torture? Would I say that what happened there was torture? Hm? To the Iraqis? Definitely, being naked. That wasn’t only torture it was humiliating. Then having me, a female, point at them, that was double humiliating. I wouldn’t say that when we had them running up and down the tier, crawling and just wearing themselves out, that that was torture. It was just to get their mind-set prepped for interrogation. To get them exhausted.
On if what she did constitutes a scandal:
I’m saying that what we did happens in war. It just isn’t documented. If it had been broken by the news without the pictures it wouldn’t have been that big.
On if the pictures caused increased violence in Iraq (I’m one of the first in line to yell at the media when they screw up like with the duke lacrosse team thing back in 2006, but this is ABSOLUTELY unbelievable):
I guess after the picture came out the insurgency picked up and Iraqis attacked the Americans and the British and they attacked in return and they were just killing each other. I felt bad about it, … no, I felt pissed off. If the media hadn’t exposed the pictures to that extent then thousands of lives would have been saved.
How can you blame the media? If you hadn’t committed the crimes in the first place, we would have no reason to report on it.
The government had the pictures in December but they didn’t come out till the end of April.
But you took the photos.
Yeah, I took the photos but I didn’t make it worldwide. Yes, I was in five or six pictures and I took some pictures, and those pictures were shameful and degrading to the Iraqis and to our government. And I feel sorry and wrong about what I did. But it would not have escalated to what it did all over the world if it wouldn’t have been for someone leaking it to the media. Hell, I was at Fort Bragg when the pictures came out and I had no idea.
Can you tell us about the day you heard the pictures had been made public?
The pictures came out on a Thursday, April 27 or 28. I called my Mom on Saturday. I was pregnant at the time, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t get the newspaper, I didn’t have a TV, I didn’t have a radio. I called my Mom from a pay phone and she said, “There’s a hundred reporters out in the front yard. You’re all over the news, your face is in the papers, on CNN.” I just said, “What are you talking about?” I didn’t believe it. She started talking about the pictures and describing them. And I’m like, “Oh shit, how did they get out?”
Were you scared when you realized the pictures were out there?
I didn’t really believe it. It was kind of like I was still in shock. I was like “No, me?”
On did she feel any sense of shame for what she did (what a self-serving bitch):
Did you feel ashamed when you saw the pictures in public for the first time?
At the chow hall they had these two huge big-screen-TVs so you could watch while you were eating. I was sitting there eating and there was this big TV in front of me and they started showing the pictures of me, and everybody in the room turned and looked at me. So I left and went back to my room.
So you did feel shame?
I was scared, I thought “Man, I’m gonna get the shit kicked out of me.”
Any shame, any guilt?
Yeah, I thought, “These people are gonna think I’m horrible and, you know, I am horrible for doing this and getting into that.” But somewhere in my mind I was thinking, you know they don’t really understand the whole story.
On her “role” in the whole affair:
Do you feel more like a victim or an offender?
I feel more like a puppet. First I was played by Graner. Then the media portrayed me as their puppet so they could flash my picture out over and over and over and over again. And then I became the government’s puppet because they didn’t back me up, or remotely take my side. They just agreed with what the media said.
Saying you were a puppet again makes you sound like a victim.
Okay, I do take responsibility. I was dumb enough to do all that. And to think that it was okay because of the other officers and the orders that were coming down. But when you’re in the military you automatically do what they say. It’s always, “Yes Sir, No Sir.” You don’t question it. And now they’re saying, “Well, you should have questioned it.”
On as yet unreleased pictures:
There is talk about new pictures that are even harsher than the ones we know.
I know there were some harsher pictures they had at the time of the trial that the media decided not to expose.
What was on those pictures?
You see the dogs biting the prisoners. Or you see bite marks from the dogs. You can see MPs holding down a prisoner so a medic can give him a shot. If those had been made public at the time, then the whole world would have looked at those and not at mine.
On her prison sentence from the scandal:
Did you think three years was the correct punishment for your crime?
No. It’s ridiculous. It was much too long. If you look at my charge sheet, I was only charged and convicted for posing in pictures. Not for physically abusing prisoners.
How were you treated in prison?
Literally, it was like flies on shit, man. When I got there, they were all like, “Oh my God.” They loved me. I was like a celebrity.
You can read a slightly less impassioned and more thorough view of this self-serving bitch’s interview from the AP reports, but really, don’t you just want to scream right now, not read a watered down version of this?