Army Pfc. Lynndie England cnn 5/2:
“I had a choice, but I chose to do what my friends wanted me to,” she said. … “They did it for their own amusement.”
Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of US human rights abuses. Investigations of numerous deaths while in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate forcefully that Abu Ghraib was not “exceptional” and that Lynndie England was not merely a “bad apple.” This level of abuse, torture, and death is a pattern.
Where is the accountability from this administration? What have they done? A very few show trials of the smallest number of people that could be blamed for participation in the most widely publicized incident; busting down Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski to Colonel; and laying a few reprimands & “unspecified administrative punishment” on five other officers. [cbs 5/5] Again, all focused only on Abu Ghraib, and, frankly, only on the most widely publicized incidents at Abu Ghraib. [And among other sorry aspects to this case I am forced to note the sexism in the media coverage of this case, which has turned England into the public face of the Abu Ghraib scandal.]
If this administration took seriously the concept of an “ownership” society it would have taken ownership and responsibility for the war crimes committed on its watch. But in the Bush administration the buck only goes as high as the most conveniently disciplined flunky.