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Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos: Lynndie England
by sources
Friday May 7th, 2004 1:17 PM
Pvt. Lynndie England is seen in a picture smiling, smoking, and pointing at Iraqi prisoners wearing nothing but hoods over their heads.
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England grew up in a trailer down a dirt road behind a saloon and a sheep farm in Fort Ashby, W.Va., a one-stoplight town about 13 miles south of Cumberland.
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Yesterday afternoon, her mother, Terrie England, pressed her fingers to her lips when a reporter showed her a newspaper photo of her daughter smiling in front of what a caption said were nude Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

"Oh, my God," she said, her body stiffening as she sat on a cooler on the trailer's small stoop.

"I can't get over this," she said, taking a drag on her cigarette.

Lynndie England, a railroad worker's daughter who made honor roll at the high school near here, had enlisted in the 372nd for college money and the chance to widen her small-town horizons. In January, however, she gave her family the first inkling that something had gone woefully wrong.

"I just want you to know that there might be some trouble," she warned her mother in a phone call from Baghdad. "But I don't want you to worry."

Lynndie England said she was under orders to say no more. The military has told the family nothing; all the Englands know is that she has been detained, apparently in connection with the unit's alleged misconduct at the prison.

"Whether she's charged or not, I don't know," Terrie England said.

This was not supposed to be the fate of a girl who grew up hunting turkey or killing time with her sister at the local Dairy Dip, making wisecracks about the cars whizzing past.

"She wanted to see the world and go to college," said Terrie England, whose T-shirt bore a design of heart-shaped American flags. "Now the government turned their back on her, and everything's a big joke."

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?sub=1145
§Lynndie England
by sources Friday May 7th, 2004 1:17 PM
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Those who know Lynndie England look at the photographs and cannot believe what they are seeing. Having been confronted for several days with images of the 21-year-old tormenting and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners, they say the woman they recognise in the shocking pictures is not the person they recognise from the lives they shared.
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After training, she returned to Fort Ashby to work at a hicken-processing plant and signed up with the Army's 372nd, based in Cumberland, Maryland. She had been married briefly but the relationship ended before she left for Iraq last year.
...
Testimony from a soldier suggests that as one of the prisoners was forced to masturbate in front of a friend, Ms England, 21, shouted: "He's getting hard." Friends describe Ms England as independent-minded, someone "not afraid to break a nail", but her mother insisted her daughter was not trained as a guard. "She didn't guard them, she booked them. She just happened to be there when they took these photographs." At the time when the prisoners were being abused, at the end of last year, the people of Fort Ashby and the surrounding area were starting to think of Ms England and her colleagues as heroes. Knowing they were helping provide security at the prison made notorious by Saddam Hussein, friends posted pictures of them in the local courthouse and in the Wal-Mart supermarket.

But Mrs England said her daughter telephoned from Baghdad in January with news that would shatter that pride. She said the US army had launched an investigation into alleged abuse at the prison. "I just want you to know there might be some trouble," she told her mother.

Ms England has not yet been charged with any offence but she has been detained at the huge military base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for several months.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=518946
§Lynndie England and Charles Graner
by sources Friday May 7th, 2004 1:17 PM
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The sister of an American soldier who appears in several photos humiliating captive Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison says she's proud of her "kind-hearted" sister.
Jessica Klinestiver says her sister, Lynndie England, probably posed for the photographs because she was following orders.

"I think she's just smiling at whoever's behind the camera," Klinestiver said. She says her sister is dependable and "she will speak her mind."

In a press conference from the soldier's tiny hometown -- Fort Ashby, West Virginia, the family's lawyer, Roy Hardy, revealed England is five months pregnant.

Hardy says the father is Charles Graner, one of the six soldiers who has been charged in the prisoner abuse scandal.

"There's a current relationship but I don't think they get to spend much time together,"

Hardy said. He added that England visited the baby's father in his cell block after he was charged.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1083952585552_79361785/?hub=TopStories
§Lynndie England
by sources Friday May 7th, 2004 1:17 PM
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FORT ASHBY, W.Va. - Family members of an Army reservist photographed with naked Iraqi prisoners said Tuesday she was merely a "paper-pusher" who was in the "wrong place at the wrong time."
Pictures of Spc. Lynndie England, 21, and other soldiers have sparked an international outcry over the U.S. military's handling of Iraqi war prisoners.
In one photo, England is shown making a thumbs-up gesture behind a pyramid of naked Iraqi men; in another, cigarette dangling from her lips, she points to a hooded and naked prisoner.
"It's ridiculous," said Destiny Goin, 21, who has lived with England's extended family since high school and considers herself England's sister.
"It's her picture that you see more than anyone else's, and she really wasn't involved. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040505/ap_on_re_us/iraq_prisoner_abuse_w_va_1

TRAILER-PARK GIRL IN THE EYE OF THE STORM May 7 2004

From Anthony Harwood, US Editor In New York
SOLDIER Lynndie England has become one of the most notorious faces in the US abuse of prisoners in Iraq.
Private England was pictured pointing at the testicles of naked inmates at Abu Ghraib prison as she smoked a cigarette.
In a second picture, the 21-year-old stands laughing with her boyfriend Charles Graner beside a pyramid of naked detainees.
She was also captured holding a leash tied around the neck of a naked detainee.
Private England - a former US prison officer whose job in Iraq was to assign prisoners to cells - is the only soldier to be sent home.
She was reassigned to Fort Ashby, her home town in West Virginia, where she used to live in a trailer park. She has told her family she is being made a scapegoat.
Her father Kenneth said that other soldiers asked her to pose for pictures. "That's how it happened," he said.
Colleen Kesner, a local in her home town, said: "To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, you're sub-human. That's the way that girls like Lynndie are raised.
"Tormenting Iraqis, to their mind, would be no different from shooting a turkey."
http://www.mirror.co.uk

Soldier's mother shocked W.Va. woman among those heldin Iraq investigation
http://www.dailymail.com/news/News/2004050425/
§Lynndie England
by sources Friday May 7th, 2004 1:17 PM
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Attention has now turned to her home town in remote West Virginia, the one-stop light town of Fort Ashby, population 1,300.
The predominantly white non-Hispanic town was named after a fort built there in 1755, where George Washington once slept.
Newspaper reports claim in Fort Ashby, Lynndie England is a being toasted as a hero, with one local quoted as saying that tormenting Iraqis would be no different to shooting a turkey.
Speaking from her trailer, Lynndie England's mother Terrie is quoted as saying her daughter was just doing stupid kid things, and that she was just following orders.
In Fort Ashby, locals reportedly talk openly about an active Ku Klux Klan presence.
Locals contacted by The World Today this morning say the media interest there is causing traffic problems.

JOHN SMITH: As far as the outside media pressure... I've just never seen... especially the foreign press. You know, there's a major interest.

ALISON CALDWELL: John Smith is the news editor of the Cumberland Times News in nearby Cumberland. He says the town is getting a bad rap.

JOHN SMITH: It's one person. From all indications it appears that the soldiers that were implicated in this abuse were merely taking orders, from what we're gathering, from their superiors. Obviously the pictures of her are more disturbing with her in them than some of the other ones with soldiers in them, but to get the town a black eye because of her, I don't think that's a fair assessment.

ALISON CALDWELL: Reports coming out of Fort Ashby say that there's talk of the presence of Ku Klux Klan in that town. You're actually from Fort Ashby.

JOHN SMITH: I've lived there 25-years and I don't know of any Klan presence, and believe me it's small enough that if there was a Klu Klux Klan chapter meeting there I'm sure the word would have been out before now.

ALISON CALDWELL: Jim Bob Thornton from Foxes Pizza Deli says Lynndie England is known to people there. Speaking to NewsRadio's Marius Benson, he says people are saying good things about her.

JIM BOB THORNTON: Oh yes, they say she was a quiet person. I mean, the whole family's been quiet – never really had any kind of problems.

MARIUS BENSON: And how do people feel about the way things are being reported now. Are people being critical of her or does Fort Ashby feel loyal to her?

JIM BOB THORNTON: I'd say they feel loyal to her, myself, but I mean that's just speaking personally.

ALISON CALDWELL: Ruby works at the Road House Pub. She says the town is sick of the media spotlight.

RUBY: Basically they just hope that they'll leave her family alone... that's the only thing.

ALISON CALDWELL: Are you getting hassled by a lot of media, a lot of journalists?

RUBY: Yes we are. Yes, yes, definitely.

ALISON CALDWELL: The biggest thing to happen around there for a long while?

RUBY: I would say so, yeah, yeah.

ALISON CALDWELL: What do people think about what she did?

RUBY: I haven't really heard anyone make any comments. No one really wants to talk about it. They just said that, you know, they basically hope that they leave the family and, you know, they're just kind of getting tired of the... the community is getting tired of the press right now I think.

ELEANOR HALL: Ruby, who didn't want to give us her full name, and who works at the Road House Pub in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, ending that report from Alison Caldwell.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2004/s1103623.htm

Pulled on a leash by tormentor from West Virginia trailer park

CAMERON SIMPSON May 07 2004
HELD like a dog with a leash around his neck, the Iraqi prisoner grimaces as he lies helpless and in pain on the paper-strewn floor of Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail, his humiliation complete.
The tormentor is again Lynndie England, the American army private who featured heavily in the first batch of abuse photographs that shocked the coalition and shamed the White House.
In the previous photograph, the 21-year-old from a trailer home in West Virginia was seen, cigarette in mouth, giving a thumbs-up sign and pointing at a humiliated, naked, hooded Iraqi prisoner.
She has been dubbed the "anti-Jessica Lynch", and the demonisation is expected to grow after the new pictures were published in the Washington Post, which identified her as the guard holding a "leash" around the neck of the naked detainee. Her involvement in the abuse scandal has shocked not just her small-town community, but the world at large.
According to some reports, Ms England is engaged to, and carrying the baby of, specialist Charles Graner, 35, who faces a possible court-martial on charges of maltreatment and indecent acts along with five other members of Private England's reserve unit, the 372nd Military Police Company. When a reporter visited the England family trailer this week, her mother, Terrie said: "Oh my God. I can't get over this."
Speaking at her home, which is festooned with red, white, and blue ribbons, she said her daughter joined the military "to see the world and go to college". But now "the government turned their back on her".
England was trained as "paper pusher" for the military police, her family said. She was assigned to the prison, near Baghdad, to help process prisoners.
Relatives argue that she must have been acting on orders when she took part in the abuse and humiliation of the Iraqi detainees.
England grew up in a trailer down a dirt road behind a saloon in Fort Ashby, a one-traffic-light town about 13 miles south of Cumberland.
A railroad worker's daughter, she liked hunting turkey or killing time with her sister at the local Dairy Dip cafe.
She left high school early to enlist at 17 in the 372nd Company for college money and the chance to widen her horizons. She wants to study to be a meteorologist.
She is a cat-lover and sent money from her army pay for her two sisters' newborn babies, her family said.
In December, England went home on leave. She told her family that service in Iraq was tough. She had lost more than a stone in weight.
A family friend told how one night in December, when England was at home, a thunderstorm swept over the town. "She jumped off the couch and started talking about taking shelter because she thought we were being bombed," said the friend, Destiny Goin.
In January, she gave her family the first inkling that something had gone woefully wrong. "I just want you to know that there might be some trouble," she warned her mother in a phone call from Baghdad. "But I don't want you to worry."
But worry is all the family has done since the scandal broke. "Whether she's charged or not, I don't know," said Terrie England.
"She wanted to see the world and go to college. Now the government has turned its back on her, and everything's a big joke."
She held photographs of her daughter in khakis, smiling atop a camel in Iraq.
At most, the 372nd's alleged abuses of prisoners were "kid things – pranks," Mrs England said, her voice growing bitter.
"And what the (Iraqis) do to our men and women are just?
"The rules of the Geneva Convention, does that apply to everybody or just us?"
Everyone had been proud of Lynndie England. The Mineral County courthouse in Keyser posts her picture and those of other local soldiers under a banner that says: "We're hometown proud."
Now, Ms England is detained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She has been demoted from the rank of specialist to private first class and a decision will be taken later about whether she should face charges.
HELD like a dog with a leash around his neck, the Iraqi prisoner grimaces as he lies helpless and in pain on the paper-strewn floor of Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail, his humiliation complete.
The tormentor is again Lynndie England, the American army private who featured heavily in the first batch of abuse photographs that shocked the coalition and shamed the White House.
In the previous photograph, the 21-year-old from a trailer home in West Virginia was seen, cigarette in mouth, giving a thumbs-up sign and pointing at a humiliated, naked, hooded Iraqi prisoner.
http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/15619.html



§pic
by pic Friday May 7th, 2004 3:31 PM
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Jessica Klinestiver holds up a picture of her sister, Spc. Lynndie England and boyfriend Spc. Charles Graner that was taken during a vacation at the beach last summer during a news conference Friday, May 7, 2004, in Fountain, W.Va. England and Graner have both been implicated in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. England has not been charged. She has transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C., where England has declined to leave the base because she does not want media attention, Klinestiver said. Graner faces a possible court-martial on criminal charges of maltreatment and indecent acts, according to his attorney, Guy Womack. (AP Photo/Raymond Burner)
§Hometown shocked by scandal
by bbc Friday May 7th, 2004 9:00 PM
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I went to the trailer park where Lynndie grew up.

There were four or five trailers next to each other, well kept. Their owners seemed house proud.

Tied around the banister of the steps leading up to the front door of Lynndie's family trailer were numerous yellow ribbons and stars-and-stripes rosettes.

I wanted to talk to her mother, to find out a little bit more about Lynndie.

But a note on the door said the family had gone away. They needed a break from all the media attention. They were very sorry.

It is hard to believe a 21-year-old woman, polite, caring, kind by all accounts, has helped rock the Pentagon and jeopardised the political career of one of President Bush's closest allies, Donald Rumsfeld.

What was it about the war in Iraq that turned her into a monster?

She was supposed to be a filing clerk or paper pusher, as her family describe her, at Abu Ghraib jail. What happened?

Read More
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3695559.stm
§Scapegoat
by scapegoat Monday May 10th, 2004 10:14 PM
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Lynndie England is pictured in her 2001 senior portrait from Frankfort High School in Short Gap, West Virginia. REUTERS/Handout

“What is offensive to me is that we have generals and the secretary of defence hiding behind a 20-year-old farm girl from West Virginia who lives in a trailer park,” Ra’Shadd said.

Asked if his client considered refusing to obey unlawful orders from jail commanders, he said: “She’s a private. Privates take orders from privates first class.”

Potential penalties for England could range from a reprimand to imprisonment and a punitive discharge. Ra’Shadd and the other lawyers are defending England for free, and he said they plan to meet with her for the first time tomorrow at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Ra’Shadd said his client joined the Army Reserves out of patriotism and to prevent another September 11.

He accused intelligence operatives of staging many of the scenes captured in the photographs in order to scare prisoners into talking.

“That is a standard psychological war method,” he said.

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2905640
§Mistrial called in Iraq abuse case
by repost Wednesday May 4th, 2005 9:58 PM
A judge has rejected a guilty plea and declared a mistrial in the court martial of Lynndie England, the US soldier who featured in some of the worst Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos.

The judge, Colonel James Pohl, told England he was obliged to throw out her plea after Charles Graner, the alleged abuse ringleader, testified that he had ordered England to hold a leash that was tied around the neck of a naked Iraqi prisoner.

That was one of many statements made during the court martial which contradicted a sworn statement England made.

"I know this is hard on you, but this trial is going to stop today," Pohl said on Wednesday.

"There is evidence being presented that you are not guilty," Pohl told England, 22, after sending Graner and the jury out of the room.

Graner, England's former lover, said one of the central acts of the case - in which England appeared holding a naked prisoner on a leash - was a legitimate prison procedure.

"If you don't believe you are guilty, if you honestly believe you were doing what Graner told you to do, then you can't plead guilty," the judge said.

England pleaded guilty on Monday to seven counts of abuse in return for a shorter sentence and the dropping of two charges.

Abuse scandal

Her smiling face on pictures of naked and humiliated Iraqis, taken at the prison outside Baghdad in late 2003, is a lasting image of the scandal.

In presenting testimony before the six-member military jury, England's lawyers were trying to show mitigating circumstances.

They were skating a fine line between minimising England's role and having the judge reject the guilty plea.

In a televised interview last year, England said she was just following orders, and took a similar line when the judge first asked her about her guilty plea on Monday.

Photographs

"I assumed it was OK because he (Graner) was an MP (military policeman). He had the background as a corrections officer and with him being older than me I thought he knew what he was doing."

Graner outranked England in Iraq, but his rank was reduced to private as part of his sentence after he was earlier found guilty of abuse.

Graner, addressing the leash incident in court for the first time, said the prisoner involved had repeatedly threatened and assaulted Americans.

"I had wrapped what I call the tether around his shoulder and at that point it slid round his neck. I asked [England] to hold the tether and I took three quick pictures," he said.

Referring to his time as a prison officer in Pennsylvania, Graner said: "I tried to bring what we would have done at Pennsylvania."

Explaining the photographs, he said: "Since we had a planned use of force, I documented it."

US military damaged

As part of her plea deal, England accepted a sentence, still undisclosed, substantially below the 11-year maximum allowed by the charges. The military panel is able to reduce that sentence but may not increase it.

England's mother attended the hearing and brought England's seven-month-old baby by Graner to the courthouse.

The defence lawyers seeking a lower sentence have two main arguments - that England had suffered from learning disabilities while growing up, and that she was manipulated by Graner, who has been sentenced to 10 years for his part in the abuse.

Publication of the photographs in early 2004 hurt the credibility of the US military at a time when the United States was being criticised around the world for the Iraq invasion.

To date, high-ranking officials have not been charged in the abuse scandal even though details of harsh practices in detention centres across Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have emerged.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/17B22CC0-F05B-48F9-AE50-D22F19D4FBD6.htm