Monday, May 10
From a Picture of Pride to a Symbol of Abuse in Iraq
By JAMES DAO, The New York Times, 7 May, 2004
PORT ASHBY, W.Va., May 6 — For weeks, the Mineral County courthouse has proudly displayed the photographs of local soldiers stationed in Iraq along the stairway at its front entrance. "We're hometown proud," the banner said.
But in the last few days, one photograph was taken down, that of Pfc. Lynndie R. England, whose face has become famous for a painfully different reason.
Private England is perhaps the most prominently displayed person in a series of photographs taken in the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad that show members of the 372nd Military Police Company abusing prisoners.
In one image, Private England is clenching a cigarette between her teeth while giving a thumbs-up in front of naked Iraqi prisoners. In another that became public on Thursday, she is holding a leash attached to a naked prisoner's neck.
The photographs have left her family and friends aghast and searching for answers. They are convinced that she would never have thought up anything so cruel on her own and that she must have been following orders. [...more]