Well, I think ...
... it's an appropriate condition for her now.
This is not the image of an American Soldier.
When asked by judge Col. James Pohl whether England knew right from wrong, Denne said she had a compliant personality and tended to listen to authority figures.
On Monday, England told Pohl that she initially resisted taking part in the abuse at the Baghdad prison, but that she succumbed to peer pressure.
"I had a choice, but I chose to do what my friends wanted me to," she said.
This is the image of a monster.
I wonder if she named her child "Grendel"
FORT HOOD, Texas - A military judge Wednesday threw out Pfc. Lynndie England’s guilty plea to prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, saying that he was not convinced that she knew that her actions were wrong at the time.
Col. James Pohl entered a plea of not guilty for England to a charge of conspiring with Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. to maltreat detainees at the Baghdad-area prison.
The mistrial for England, a 22-year-old reservist who appeared in some of the most notorious photographs from the 2003 abuse scandal, means the case gets kicked back to the military equivalent of a grand-jury proceeding.
The charges that England had agreed to plead guilty to carried up to 11 years in prison. Prosecutors and the defense had reached an agreement that capped the sentence at a lesser punishment, the length of which was not released.
But Pohl's decision invalidates the plea deal.
This suggests that England will stand trial, and if found guilty will NOT be eligible for the reduced sentence for which her lawyer had negotiated.
On the other hand, it provides a defense which might make a difference in the finding in her case. If she is found to have 'diminished capacity', it could at least constitute extenuating circumstances. (Unless the basic training curriculum has changed since I was received at Fort Lewis in 1968, every soldier learns the difference between 'extenuating' and 'mitigating' circumstances. If accepted, either finding may result in a reduced sentence if she is found guilty.)
Also, if anyone in the military is forced to pay attention to the "tends to listen to authority figures" circumstance, that opens the door to prosecuting individuals higher up the chain of command than a staff sgt. (The commanding officer at Abu Graihab, a Bridadier General, was relieved of duty at that post; but she apparently received no further punishement -- other than, of course, that she doesn't have a career anymore.)
It is perhaps most galling that nobody between the on-duty NCO and the commanding officer has been charged with any crime. Dereliction of duty seems the most obvious. If these offenses were committed on a military site, and they were, the unit commander (Lieutenant, Captain or perhaps Major) should have been aware of them and should have either stopped them or reported them. To my personal knowledge, no unit commander has even been identified.
Mind you, I have no sympathy for terrorists. Call them insurgents, call them freedom fighters, call them anything you wish; I don't care what happens to them as long as it's eventually fatal. The world will be better off without them.
The few international agreements on the rules of war are careful to distinguish between soldiers and criminals. "Prisoners of War" are protected by international agreement; criminals are not. Such an agreement is the Geneva Convention. Or, as it is more formally known:
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
In Article 4, this agreement carefully defines legal combatants:
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power >1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:>
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;(c) That of carrying arms openly;>
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.