One of the guards involved in the 2004 Abu Ghraib abuse scandal says she does not regret her actions. The revelation comes in the wake of the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier, further tarnishing the image of the American military.
“Their lives are better. They got the better end of the deal,” England said in an interview with The Daily referring to the Iraqi prisoners who were sexually and physically abused in the infamous prison near Baghdad. “They weren’t innocent. They were trying to kill us and you want me to apologize to them? It’s like saying sorry to the enemy.”
Lynndie England, 29, became one of the symbols of the controversial 2003 US invasion of Iraq after photographs of her smiling while giving a thumbs-up in front of a pile of naked Iraqi detainees and pulling a man by a leash went public. The pictures sparked international outrage and shone a spotlight on the abuse and misconduct committed by US soldiers, fueling anti-American sentiments across the world.
“All the prisoners that were there were on the tier of high-priority. They were there for a reason. They had killed coalition forces or they were planning to,” England told The Daily on Monday. “They had information about where insurgents were hiding.”
Instead of feeling remorse, the former prison guard Lynndie England is more worried about the lives of fellow US soldiers who could have been endangered by the scandal. “I think about it all the time – indirect deaths that were my fault, losing people on our side because of me coming out on a picture.”
England was among eleven military personnel convicted in 2005 in connection with the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib. She was sentenced to three years in prison and dishonorably discharged from the military.
The Daily says Lynndie is now “virtually unemployable” and lives with her parents in rural West Virginia. She is raising her seven-year-old child whose father, accused Abu Ghraib ringleader Charles Graner, "didn't want anything to do with the baby."
The latest interview by the infamous prison guard comes in the shadow of a chain of ill-fated actions by the American military. After a Koran-burning incident at a US base in Afghanistan sparked violent protests, a US soldier went on a bloody rampage in Kandahar Province, killing 16 Afghan civilians, among them children and women.