Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Learning Wrong From The Far Right

(See Below)

"I'm Guilty. No, wait..."

On Wednesday, a military judge threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, saying he was not convinced the Army reservist -shown here in some of the more infamous photos - knew her actions were wrong at the time.

England: "Was this wrong? I really didn't know!"

Even though Pfc. England entered a guilty plea to posing with Iraqi prisoners in humiliating, degrading, and...did I mention humiliating? snapshots, along with other military personnel, including Pvt. Charles Graner, she was obviously just confused, according to the judge.

The military judge, Col. James Pohl, entered a plea of not guilty for England on a charge of conspiring with Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. to maltreat detainees at the Baghdad-area prison and a related charge.

The mistrial came after Graner testified as a defense witness at England's sentencing hearing that pictures he took of England holding a naked prisoner on a leash at Abu Ghraib were meant to be used as a training aid for other guards.
Sort of a 'How To Disgrace The Enemy' guidebook.

England: "Was this wrong? I really didn't know!"

When England pleaded guilty Monday, she told the judge she knew that the pictures were being taken purely for the amusement of the guards. She also admitted to feeling 'peer pressure' from her colleagues.

Evidently, the judge saw things a little differently. He was convinced that England did not understand that what she was doing was wrong. "You can't have a one-person conspiracy," the judge said before he declared the mistrial and dismissed the sentencing jury.

England: "Was this wrong? I really didn't know!"

Under military law, the judge could formally accept her guilty plea only if he was convinced that she knew at the time that what she was doing was illegal. By rejecting the plea to the conspiracy charge, Pohl canceled the entire plea agreement.

Neither prosecution nor defense lawyers would speak to reporters after the deal was discarded. However, England's attorneys were said to be enjoying several nice, cold alcholic beverages at a nearby military bar.

"Was I wrong? I really don't know!

Be. All that you can be!


Private England, was sentenced on Tuesday, September 27th, to three years in prison and given a dishonorable discharge.

England, who had faced a maximum of nine years behind bars, said she was sorry for her actions but said she remained an American patriot.

"I apologize to coalition forces and all the families," England, speaking slowly, told the jury of five officers, also apologizing to "detainees, the families, America and all the soldiers."

She stood at attention to hear the verdict and remained standing, facing the front of the courtroom after the trial ended, her eyes filling with tears. Her mother, Terrie, then came over to give her a very long hug.

England's hands and feet were shackled and she was slowly walked from the courthouse to a van that brought her to jail. She made no final comments. Hopefully, no one will take any abusive pictures of her as she serves her sentence.