I’m not sure how sorry I feel for Lynndie England, but I feel tremendously sorry for the idea of Lynndie England.
England was released from military jail about a year ago after serving 521 days of a 3-year sentence. Officially England was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees, and one count of committing an indecent act in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Unofficially England was found guilty of being stupid enough to let herself be photographed abusing prisoners. Oh, and for looking the way Lynndie England looks.
She recently gave an English-language interview with the German paper Stern.* And because God has a wicked sense of humor, the interview coincided with Bush’s veto of HR2082, which would have outlawed waterboarding and seven other interrogation techniques.
Q. The former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, called you and your colleagues the "rotten apples" of the military. Bush claimed to be ashamed of what you did.England is unemployed, living in a trailer in West Virginia, undergoing psychotherapy, and taking antidepressants and antianxiety medications. She sometimes fears for her safety.
A. Well, back then I thought: How can they say that when it was happening all over Iraq. The same thing is happening in Guantanamo now and other places. We knew that our officers knew about it and our sergeants. We thought if they know then somebody else knows. And I really do still think that Rumsfeld knew what was going on. I mean he had been there while I was there at that prison. And if he was there I know he knew what was going on. How could he have not known? And Bush? He's the headman.
Donald Rumsfeld is living very, very comfortably somewhere, but has been pretty much erased from the memory banks.
The headman himself, George W. Bush, is hoping his ass is safely out of the White House before the total collapse of the American empire.
*Definitely read the complete Stern interview. The various AP and UPI rewrites are bastardized.