Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Uh oh

Soldier: England Pics Had Legitimate Use - Yahoo! News:

Isn't it always the way? You go to all the trouble of crafting a lie and getting everyone reading off the same page in the hymnal of bullshit. It seems to be effective -- the proles take the fall, and the money walks, as usual. You get within inches of the fnish line... and some danged fool tries to help with a bit of freelancing and screws the pooch.

FORT HOOD, Texas - The reputed ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal on Wednesday contradicted a key part of Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea, in which the defendant said she knew she was committing wrongful acts when she took part in the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees.

The testimony of Pvt. Charles Graner Jr., contending that notorious photos taken of England at the prison were to have a legitimate use, could endanger England's guilty plea to seven abuse charges. Under military law, a judge can formally accept England's guilty plea only if she knew at the time that what she was doing was illegal.

The judge, Col. James Pohl, planned to question England again Wednesday afternoon to try to clarify her state of mind when the abusive acts occurred.

Graner, who is said to be England's ex-boyfriend, was found guilty in January and is serving a 10-year prison term for his role in the scandal.

Pohl abruptly stopped England's sentencing hearing after Graner testified for the defense that three pictures he took of England holding a naked prisoner on a leash were meant to be used as a legitimate training aid for other guards.
In a handwritten note given to reporters Tuesday, Graner had said he wanted England to fight the charges.

"Knowing what happened in Iraq, it was very upsetting to see Lynn plead guilty to her charges," he wrote. "I would hope that by doing so she will have a better chance at a good sentence."

Graner maintains that he and the other Abu Ghraib guards were following orders from higher-ranking interrogators when they abused the detainees.

It would not surprise me in the least if there was a new Yakuza-like response to this bad news: someone needs to sacrifice a finger to atone. Whose fast food will it be placed in to push the real news off CNN this time?


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