‘They would have done the same thing’



Lynndie England’s bad luck is that the Abu Ghraib “abuses” (if we want to use such a meagre word for what amounts to torture and murder) are still mostly being investigated from the bottom up, with - so the official narrative goes - everything just being a case of a few “bad apples”. The official narrative, of course, is provided by the very same people who are responsible for Abu Ghraib, namely the people who ordered “harsh” treatment of prisoners and who drafted secret memos about how laws such as the Geneva Convention or the prohibition of torture simply didn’t apply any longer. It’s not clear whether we will ever see people like John Yoo in court, just like it is very likely that Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush will enjoy the same kind of elder-statesmen accolades as Henry Kissinger. What is increasingly clear, though, is that the Abu Ghraib photographs will be the defining images of the Bush jr presidency. In any case, in a new interview, Lynndie England, the woman holding the leash in the image above, talks about her role: “Of course it was wrong. I know that now. But when you show the people from the CIA, the FBI and the MI the pictures and they say, ‘Hey, this is a great job. Keep it up’, you think it must be right. They were all there and they didn’t say a word. They didn’t wear uniforms, and if they did they had their nametags covered.”