We may never be allowed to call Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, William Kristol, or any of their prosperous fellows to account for their crimes during the ginning up and prosecution of our latest War Against the Iraqis. But, by the Christianists’ God, we can at least ensure that the face of America’s nightmare behavior there will be ostracized from Appalachia’s fast-food emporiums and public housing :
“Former Army reservist Lynndie England hasn’t landed a job in numerous tries: When one restaurant manager considered hiring her, other employees threatened to quit.”
She doesn’t like to travel: Strangers point and whisper, “That’s her!”
Her family received hate mail from all over the world because of the publicity surrounding the photographs and trial and, 5 years after the abuses were discovered, letters just keep coming. This, despite the fact that England wasn’t actually accused (or convicted) of physical abuse of prisoners — and despite the fact that the Senate Armed Services Committee concluded that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were the direct result of Administration policies that “conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees.”
England, by even the most sympathetic reading, failed to protest when ugly and un-American deeds were committed in her presence. She hasn’t shown much “remorse” for her crimes, if only because she doesn’t have the ability or the training to memorize the mandatory Repentance Script (and maybe leak a few tears on-camera when ‘confronted’ with the ‘evidence’). And it’s not as though she were the only undereducated PTSD-ridden veteran and single mother struggling to get by during this recession.
But should she really be the single individual who suffers most for the crimes at Abu Ghraib, just because she’s become the “face” of America’s sins?
I may have to buy a copy of her biography even though I doubt it will tell me anything I don’t already know, least of all about England herself.
(Props to the Jezebel commenter who pointed out, tongue severely in cheek, that by the rules of corporate America, McDonald’s might be overlooking a potential star: “If anything, she was the ideal employee — following orders to the end and working well with her team.”)