Friends, I have been felled. A chest cold brews somewhere south of my collarbone, a headache rages north of it and, well, I’m a mess o’ misery. So let’s try for something better Monday, eh?
In the meantime, Richard Cohen says exactly what needs to be said about Lynndie England:
There is no end to the sadness of Lynndie England. There is no excusing what she did, but explaining is a different matter. She is that rare genuine article, the cliche, the stereotype that turns out upon investigation to be true. She lived with her family in a trailer in West Virginia. She’s only a high school graduate. She married when she was 19 — on a lark, she told her friends, and then for only two years.
She joined the Army Reserve not, as the flag-wavers would like it, for patriotic reasons but for college money (she wanted to be a meteorologist and chase storms). She had an affair or something with Graner in Iraq and has a baby by him. He apparently encouraged her to abuse prisoners. He also married another woman.
A psychologist from her home area testified that England had been a blue baby, born also with a malformation of the tongue that gave her a speech impediment. Apparently, she often chose not to talk at all. She had a learning disability as well. And you can see — can’t you? — what no one will testify to: She’s homely — and that matters for a woman in America. She posed for pornographic pictures with Graner. The discipline of the Army apparently meant she no longer had to have any herself. This is why fascism can be so (sexually) exciting.
Not to bum you out on a Friday, but you know, it needed to be said.
Back to bed for me. OK, I’m already there — the miracle of a laptop and wireless network.
brian stouder said on May 6, 2005 at 11:10 am
Agreed about Lynndie, and agreed (even) about the facism thing.
The greatest disgrace here is that more officers (hell – ANY officers!) in charge of the prison weren’t also subjected to courts martial, and duly convicted and imprisoned.
The only thing that seperates any army from an armed mob is responsible, accountable leadership.
It is worth remembering that this scandal began because other soldiers from other, better lead units, saw what was happening and reported it up their own chains of command.
Dick Walker said on May 6, 2005 at 1:38 pm
As we said a hundred years ago when I was in uniform, FTA!
4dbirds said on May 6, 2005 at 2:01 pm
Hope you feel better soon Nance. I’ll second that that FTA and offer FIGMO, BOHICA and ROD.
Mindy said on May 6, 2005 at 4:27 pm
Stripping wallpaper is enough to make anyone sick.
alex said on May 7, 2005 at 4:07 am
In my new job as a paralegal I’m learning a new arcane shorthand. We send F/U letters. And they might as well be, but it’s understood it means followup.
Jones said on May 8, 2005 at 10:41 pm
That one passed aim No. 3 in my ultimate column test: Make ’em laugh. Make ’em cry. Change their minds. No one changes my mind on most anything anymore. What happens when you get older. That one made me feel just a little sorry for Lynndie England.