Everyone, pretty nearly everywhere, has seen the images of abuse at Abu Ghraib. The name of the prison alone has become synonymous with torture and humiliation, and the acts committed by Americans weakened our collective name on the global stage like almost nothing else in recent years.
Lynndie England, the public face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, told a German news magazine that she was sorry for appearing in photographs of detainees in the notorious Iraqi prison, and believes the scenes of torture and humiliation served as a powerful rallying point for anti-American insurgents.
In an interview with the weekly magazine Stern conducted in English and posted on its website Tuesday, England was both remorseful and unrepentant — and conceded that the published photos surely incensed insurgents in Iraq.
“I guess after the picture came out the insurgency picked up and Iraqis attacked the Americans and the British and they attacked in return and they were just killing each other. I felt bad about it … no, I felt pissed off. If the media hadn’t exposed the pictures to that extent, then thousands of lives would have been saved,” she was quoted as saying.
I see. England played a large role in torturing and humiliating Iraqi detainees, many of whom had done nothing wrong, but “thousands of lives would have been saved” if only her crimes had been covered up more effectively. As far as she's concerned, the problem wasn’t her shameful and illegal conduct — she was, as you may recall, seen holding a naked prisoner on a leash — the problem was scrutiny of her shameful and illegal conduct.
The mind reels.