This is in Marie Claire???
October 13, 2006 3:46 PM   Subscribe

A Soldier's Tale, featured on the always excellent Cursor, catches us up with Lynndie England (not to mention her hybrid child).
posted by malaprohibita (22 comments total)
yes! an excellent article... I've been forwarding this around all week.
posted by k8t at 4:41 PM on October 13, 2006

Great article. Thanks for the post. And the link to Cursor, too, which I didn't know about.

Unlike England, the actual whistleblower in this scandal was known as an aloof, unsavory character back at home (rural Pennsylvania?). You never know how people will react to these kinds of extreme situations.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:14 PM on October 13, 2006

That Charles Graner creature just becomes more and more admirable with every article I read about him.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:52 PM on October 13, 2006

Graner handed an envelope to England's father, who opened it and scanned the images, then handed them to Terrie. They showed nudity and sexual scenes. Apparently, Graner had given them the wrong vacation shots.

Uh huh. And all the nudie shots on the whole internet were uploaded by mistake, too.

You can almost see where Shays was coming from. Clearly whatever the OGA guys told them to do, they also got "creative". But that naked prisoner pyramid was used as a screen-saver. This wasn't something they were doing in secret.
posted by dhartung at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2006

Thanks for this, malaprohibita. Post title indicates why I'd likely not have seen this elsewhere—unless it gets posted everywhere on the web over the weekend, which it might, since it's really, really good.
posted by cgc373 at 7:30 PM on October 13, 2006

Next month, in Man's World Monthly, an interview with Graner in which he blames everything on England.
posted by ook at 7:52 PM on October 13, 2006

Who cares? I mean, thanks for the FPP, but why even bother to read about this piece of human trash?
posted by orthogonality at 8:30 PM on October 13, 2006

Because it was an interesting, well-written piece that shows that yes, Virginia, human trash are human nonetheless?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:29 PM on October 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

Great article, thanks for the post.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:46 PM on October 13, 2006

I feel kind of bad about England, my feeling is that what was going on was encouraged by the CIA and the brass. On the other hand I'm not really worried about Grainer. I suppose that's kind of a double standard. Oh well.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 PM on October 13, 2006

"Graner was the total opposite of Jamie [Fike, England's husband]," says Jessie. "Lynndie told me, 'He's real open. He likes to do stuff. Wild things.'" England didn't know about his past. According to court documents, Graner beat his former wife, Staci Morris, and dragged her by the hair across a room. A former civilian prison guard, he'd also been accused in a federal lawsuit of assaulting an inmate at Pennsylvania's State Correctional Institution-Greene in 1998 and putting a razor blade in the inmate's mashed potatoes.

WTF was this guy doing in the military, looking over Iraqi prisoners?
posted by delmoi at 11:38 PM on October 13, 2006

This isn't a professional army any more, delmoi. They're taking anything they can get. Requirement standards have been lowered.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:50 PM on October 13, 2006

Actually, that's entirely too broad a brush. Some units are spuerlative, and are truly working as professionals. I should think Graner & Co are truly exceptions to the norm.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:53 PM on October 13, 2006

Truly, I should not have used truly twice in that response. Spuerlative has potential, though. Sounds like something a politician might do.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:55 PM on October 13, 2006

Didn't anybody else find the quotes interspersed from Janis Karpinski incredibly creepy, and out of place? You know, the Janis Karpinski who, as a general officer and commanding officer of Abu Ghraib prison when Lynndie England was posing for pictures might actually have been responsible for what was going on inside, but who only took a slap on the wrist demotion to Colonel for her part in it, and got a nice book deal to explain her failures of command, while England is doing 3 years in the brig?
"Janis Karpinski remembers the day England arrived at Abu Ghraib in 2003. "She came in a carload of 20 soldiers," she recalls. "On their way to the prison they hit an IED [improvised explosive device]. It didn't hurt them, but it was a real 'welcome to Baghdad' moment." England and the other soldiers climbed out of the vehicle. Karpinski greeted them. "I shook her hand — it was very small. She's small, you know. Not assertive or aggressive. Honestly, she was young and innocent. I know those words don't seem to apply to the pictures she was in. But when I touched her, I felt fear."
"In situations like Iraq, the first thing some young female soldiers look for is a protector — a senior male, let's say, who's sitting in a vehicle with her," says Karpinski. "She says, 'I'm really afraid.' And he says, 'Don't worry.' A closeness develops. It's intentional on his part. And naive on hers. Graner is a big, hunky guy. He can probably put his arms around England and still touch his shoulders. Does she feel safe with him? Yes. And all she has to do is be sexually wild with him."
and then (pretty self-servingly on Kapinski's part, I'd say):
Karpinski remembers when she first saw the photos. It was late one evening at Camp Victory, a military base in Baghdad. "A colonel came into my office with a folder. When I opened it, the first thing I saw was a human pyramid. There's little Lynndie England, looking like some two-bit prison-marm with that cigarette dangling out of her throat and her thumbs-up. I was shocked."
So Karpinski was shocked, shocked ! that such photos of "little Lynndie England" existed!

Why is my stomach still turning at Karpinski's continuing bullshit? Why, if Karpinski had been running a decent chain of command, would England have felt like she needed a "protector" like Graner? And why did Karpinski not see how much trouble a guy like Graner was in a prison like Abu Ghraib, well before he started doing his reprehensible scenes with prisoners? How in God's name did such a narcissistic twit ever make Brigadier General in the U.S. Army? And why isn't she in the damn brig with England?
posted by paulsc at 2:30 AM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Who cares? I mean, thanks for the FPP, but why even bother to read about this piece of human trash?

wow. just... wow.
posted by quonsar at 8:11 AM on October 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

There are places in the world where people live lives you can't imagine. Fort Ashby sounds like that kind of place. I mean, when your whole life is under the conditions that exist in a blighted small town, you grow up kinda weird. I've been there, I've seen the way some people live. I knew this kid who worked in a chicken packing plant near us. He'd take acid before he started working.

I think it's failure of the oh-so-sophisticated among us that places like this still exist.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2006

wow. just... wow.
posted by quonsar

Yeah, I agree.

I didn't think much of Lynndie England before I read the article but it was interesting to gain some insight into her life. If someone were to write such a good article about Graner, or any of the other principles, I would read it, too.

I could have done without the "hybrid child" crack, though. I think that's just crude. That child has a stain on him for nothing he did.
posted by taosbat at 12:36 PM on October 14, 2006

That child has a stain on him for nothing he did.

Didn't you read how he threw Lyndie's ID badge in the prison? That kid violated established and respected penal facility codes -- JUST LIKE HIS PARENTS.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2006

I actually agree with you taosbat.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:23 AM on October 15, 2006

Thank you, malaprohibita.
posted by taosbat at 9:58 AM on October 15, 2006

Holy cow, I never realized until reading this that England worked at the infamous chicken-stomping Pilgrim's Pride factory.
posted by whir at 1:09 PM on October 15, 2006

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