Wednesday, May 04, 2005

They Eat Their Own (Part Nth) 

Update on this earlier post on Lynndie England's guity plea: the military judge who accepted it has now thrown it out and entered a "Not Guilty" plea on her behalf, saying he's not convinced she knew what she did was wrong. Seems it was the ex-boyfriend/father of their child, the estimable Charles Graner's testimony that sent the judge over the edge:

"Graner, who was convicted separately in the scandal and sentenced to 10 years in prison, testified England was just following orders by placing a dog leash around an Iraqi prisoner's neck and leading the detainee out of his cell.
The technique was legitimate, Graner said.
Pohl excused the jury and admonished the defense team because Graner's testimony, he said, contradicted England's guilty plea Monday.
In making that plea, she admitted her participation and said she knew it was wrong. If she was just following orders, Pohl said, she should be pleading not guilty."

Well, it certainly contradicts Graner's defense, which had been that he was just following orders like a good German. He'd made no bones about his dissatisfaction with England's testimony, saying "well, I hope it gets her a lighter sentence" in the tone of someone who'd just as soon see her impaled on a sharp rock.

I see several things converging here:

    1.) If England truly is on the "slow" side, it doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't understand that it's wrong to hurt human beings; that would mean that lurking inside every learning disabled or mentally slow person in the world is a regular deSade;
    2.) There's no question the administrative shot-callers all the way up to the White House knew what was going on, and if England enters a not guilty plea, their culpability is much more likely to come out. Like the judge said, you can't have a "one-person conspiracy";
    3.) Either way, whether the torture was being done and the pictures taken just for the amusement of the guards, or whether the guards were just following the orders of the higher ups (which we know they were, but it doesn't mean the guards weren't enjoying themselves), this shit is going to once more besmirch the front pages of your local Disturbers. And that means, even allowing for the craven submissiveness of the general media, one more chance for the administration to be exposed for the cruel and psychopathic clods that they are.

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